Saturday, December 17, 2011

That's a Wrap!

Happy Holidays!

We say it every year...but WOW! This year really did fly by! So much has happened. So much has changed. Life is crazy and fun and busy beyond what I ever imagined.

The fact that my last post was October 16th has been weighing on my heart. After Gabe was born, I contemplated shutting my blog down - but for some reason I thought I would be able to continue to write posts. I worried that I wouldn't have the motivation or the inspiration. That I would have nothing of value to say. It never really dawned on me that I quite simply, wouldn't have the time.

This blog has been incredibly therapeutic to me over the last two years. I still ocassionally find myself reading some of my earlier posts. It has been quite a journey. The reality is - the rediscovery of me is ongoing. Its supposed to be that way. When I originally started the blog - I used my fat as the "reason" I was writing. While I may have been overweight - the ultimate healing came, not in the weight loss, but in the discovery of what makes me happy.

Yes - I lost a TON of weight. I am really proud of that. YES. I have baby weight to lose, and it will take a while. I get discouraged by that sometimes, but the good news is that I don't weigh 300 pounds this time, so starting over isn't really starting over. That makes me feel better. The weight loss healed my body in a way I never imagined it would - by allowing me to have a baby. Trust me, I never saw that coming.

It's time to be done. My biggest victories can be summarized in a few pictures from blogs over the last 2 years. I hope you enjoy. I thank you for reading. Happy 2012 to you and your families... Heal your heart and find your happy...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

switching gears

My heart for this blog was always for it to be a place to talk about my weight loss journey and the emotions, struggles and victories that came with it.

The blog switched gears slightly when I found out I was pregnant with my surprise bundle o' love.

I have used the blog recently to post in an effort to relieve my heart as I wade through the seemingly endless maze that is my postpartum depression.

After Gabriel was born, I have struggled with my post-baby body, as I am sure most women do after having a baby. I tried to give myself grace while I was nursing, but going back to work required the ever popular pumping in order to continue "nursing" my baby. Giving Gabe breast milk was a priority for me because I wasn't able to do the same for Isaac (for various reasons) and Hope because she was adopted.

I am done nursing now; and as my hormones attempt to level themselves out, I have trying to get going on getting my body back. I haven't been very successful yet. It's not for lack of exercise. I have figured out a way to fit in some pretty hardcore workouts. I have to say though, it is frustrating to work that hard, and hurt for days after, only to have my jeans feel tighter. Can I get an AMEN?

Fortunately, on Friday, when I was crying in my closet over the lack of clothing options I could squeeze my awkward post-baby body into, I realized something. This isn't about whether or not I work out hard enough. It's all about what I eat.

Ok. I know. DUH.

I don't know why it takes me so long to catch on. But let me tell you - this is actually a little bigger than just what I eat. What I have learned over that last several years, is that even though I am not "officially" a diabetic, my body is healthiest when I live as though I am. I have always been on the verge. I have always been considered pre-diabetic, but with my diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes during my pregnancy, I have increased the chances that I will eventually and officially be a Diabetic.

So, here's my plan. I am prepping, and researching and shopping and strategizing my new mission. My mission...(I have already chosen to accept it) is to live my life with the purpose of preventing diabetes. This will essentially require me to live life as if I have already been diagnosed. As an added bonus, I know that my body will respond by dropping this dang baby weight.

I am still in the prepping and research stage. I am hoping to start the shopping phase later this week. I am planning to blog my findings, feeling, victories and struggles just like always. I am new to this, so if anyone has any helpful, verified information I can use - please feel free to pass it along.

I am excited and kind of scared, but this is necessary and hopefully it will help others. So...

Ready. Set. Here I Go!

Friday, October 14, 2011

I get that alot...

"I don't know how you do it..."

I get that alot.

I am not sure what peoples perception of me is. I used to care. I'm not sure I do anymore. That being said, I am fairly certain my world considers me Wonder Woman. I used be fine, running around doing everything, planning everything...I used to be able to do all of that. Plus find time for me, and my kids, my hubby and my friends.

I don't know what changed. But I can't do it anymore.

Don't be impressed by me because I am barely holding it together. Those close to me may even argue that I am not holding it together. I just appear to be. I think those "appearances" can be so damaging. Not just to the person putting on the one-man-show, but to those that are watching. The perception that any one person has IT all together is exactly what creates the endless cycle of attempting perfection.

I guarantee you. Perfection is impossible.

Here's my reality.

I am a full time mom and wife who also happens to have a full time job outside of the home. I have 3 beautiful kids who I can't get enough of. For real. We don't get enough time together.
In order to maximize my time with family I:
1. Pay to have my house cleaned.
2. Pay to have my groceries delivered.
3. Pay to have someone watch my kids.
4. Pay to park. Pay to drive.

My cost is great. I don't mean the money. Change is coming. It has to. So many things are suffering while I run around like a crazy person trying to keep it all together. I may very well collapse before any changes are made...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spinning out of control.

Have you ever felt like that? Like your life has a mind of it's own? Like you need hold on for dear life or it might just throw you off the ride?

That's me right now. Actually, I think Chad would agree - that's US right now.

I knew that having another child would make life complicated. I just truly had no idea how complicated the logistics of 3 kids and 2 working parents could be. Not to mention, how expensive. Why do I work? Oh right...medical insurance... the chance for a good life...paying for college, braces, sports, 401k blah blah blah. What about my sanity? Isn't that worth anything? Apparently not.

I know I am not alone in this. Every working parent out there knows how I feel.

Up at 4:30. Get myself ready. Get kids ready. Drive kids to school. Drive myself to work. Work my butt off. Drive home. Make dinner. Football. Swimming. Clean kitchen. Homework. Bedtimes. Crash. Repeat. OMG!!!!!

Seriously?? I didn't even mention laundry, grocery shopping, snuggle time or anything else that really matters.

All of that said - we find the strength to do it all again. Everyday.

It's the little things.

Like standing in the doorway watching your baby sleep.

Or seeing your daughter climb into her daddy's lap to snuggle.

Or your 9 year old hugging you and telling you "your the best mommy ever."

Yeah. Totally worth it.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

so this is life??

So here I am.

The baby is born (and 4 months old now!)

I have gone back to work - and survived it. Barely. It still breaks my heart daily and I spend every free second trying to come up with a way for me to stay home with him.

Life is settling in. For the most part. I haven't figured out where exercise fits in my day. I did great while I was still on maternity leave - but now that I work, the logistics of my day leave me exhausted.

Breastfeeding may burn hundreds of extra calories - which I am fairly certain I consume with all the sugary foods I crave (damn you Starbucks for introducing the Birthday Cake Pop!)

I worked hard during my pregnancy, and I am proud that my weight gain didn't get out of hand, but it's hard to look at what my body is now, and remember what it was before Gabe. Will it ever be that again? How will I find the time to get back to that?

Every once in a while, I consider giving up nursing so that I can get back to my extreme dieting - but my heart isn't ready for that. I guess my option for now, is to be okay with my post-baby, pleasantly plump, body. Because after all...I just had a baby...


Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Story of Gabriel (part 4 - the part I think you deserve to know)

I have always tried to be authentic and transparent. So that even though most of you don't know me, you could feel like you knew me. Because of everything this blog has meant to me, this post has to be written. Make no mistake - this SUCKS for me.

What I think you need to know is this:

In the end, I was addicted to diet pills and laxatives.

I was so close. No matter what I did, I just couldn't get those last few pounds to come off. I suppose you could say I was addicted to working out too because I worked out multiple times a day. The laxatives started as a necessity. The diet pills were desperation. I have since learned that the pills I was taking are no longer available because of their connection with multiple heart related deaths.

Here is what I believe with everything in me: My baby saved my life.

I don't want your pity, or attention. I don't need sympathy or understanding. I have dealt with my mistake and will not return there. I am PROUD of the 100 plus pounds that I lost all by myself, and I am thankful I am around to have a do-over on the pounds I cheated on. I am telling you this to prevent you from making the same mistake I did. It's an easy mistake. The decision seemed innocent. Like I said, the laxatives were a necessity at first, the diet pills were just a kick start for the final stretch of my mission.

Losing weight is a battle. It is a physical battle, which I believe is the easy part. More importantly, it is an emotional battle that can kick your a** even on the good days. Stay focused on your goal and keep your victory pure. I want that so bad for you.

So there you go. I am sorry if I have disappointed anyone. I hope you can appreciate my motivation for telling you. I hope this doesn't discount anything I have said or will say, but most importantly, I hope you will stick around as I try to vindicate myself for myself. This pregnancy weight will come off, and it will come off the right way because just like you, I deserve a pure victory.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Story of Gabriel (part 3 - the part that was fast and furious)

It had been years since I had given birth. Isaac's birth was amazing to me. I was 37 weeks. He was born at Cascade Birth Center in Everett by an amazing midwife named Charlotte Geddis. I labored for 5 hours and 47 minutes (pushed for 17 minutes.) I had no drugs, and even though most will think I am strange, I loved every moment of it.

The women in my family have a history of delivering early and delivering fast. That being said, 9 years later - we really didn't know what to expect.

By popular demand (and I kind of love telling it...) here is the story of the day Gabriel was born.

At 35 weeks I went off the medication I was taking to prevent the contractions. Not much changed. Maybe a few more contractions, but nothing major. This was the week that I also had my first vaginal exam. I was hoping for some progress, but didn't want to be disappointed either. Boy was I surprised to find out I was 3 cm and 100% effaced! Holy Cow.
Now any woman who has been pregnant knows - once you make information like that public, the onslaught of phone calls and ridiculous questions from anxious grandmas-to-be, begin. We all spent that entire week on edge. Poor Chad didn't sleep well, he checked on me every hour or so. "Are you in labor?" Seriously Chad? If I was in labor - don't you think I would mention it? Wow. As the week continued, I got increasingly frustrated with everyones anxiousness and finally had to point out that in reality - my due date was still a whole month away. Women can hang out at 3cm and 100% for WEEKS. We all just needed to calm down and wait. That seemed to help. A little.

As the weekend approached, Chad and I were excited to have one final date night. My parents had the kids overnight and we went and hung out with my BFF and her new boyfriend. It was such a great night! We had finally kind of let go of the idea of me going into labor anytime soon, and we really just enjoyed ourselves. The guys had a cigar and a couple of drinks and my BFF and I got some much needed time together. Chad and I had a great chat on the drive home and we got home and crawled into bed around 12:30am.
At 2:25am I woke up and needed to go potty. When I was going potty, I had this burning sensation across the bottom of my belly. My first thought was "oh great! I have food poisoning. Dang fajitas!" I crawled back in bed and tried to go back to sleep. 3 minutes later, more burning. Dang fajitas! Then 3 minutes later...wait a minute!!!! Food poisoning doesn't usually happen in 3 minute intervals...OMG!!! I tried to wake Chad. He was dead to the world. I finally just had to full on hit him. "We need to time these." You would think I was speaking German. Poor guy was so out of it. He couldn't figure out how to use his contraction app that he had been so excited to use. I got frustrated, and told him to just call my sister and my BFF. He couldn't figure out how to use his phone. Seriously?? I called Deana - but by then I was having another contraction and could barely speak. At some point, I told Chad we just needed to leave. These contractions were too close together. We had planned to head to the hospital when they were 4 minutes apart; these were closer than that. So, we got in the car and started the 40 minute drive to the hospital.

I remember pretty random things about that morning - but the stuff I think you want to know is: we arrived in triage at 3:17am. Chad had finally been able to use the contraction app on his phone and was able to show the nurses that my contractions were about 1 minute apart. They got me to a room pretty quickly after that. Once in my room, I spent the majority of time standing, leaning on my bed. I had horrific back labor, which really surprised me, and made it so I was very limited in the positions I was willing to try. At some point, my team convinced me to get into the tub. That was short lived though because two contractions later, my water broke at 5:15 am. Deana,who had been at Isaac's birth had told the nurse that once my water broke she thought Gabriel would come pretty fast. Fortunately, the nurse believed her and they quickly got me out of the tub. As soon as I stood up, I had to push. As they were escorting me back to my bed, I pushed once as I was walking across the room. I got on the bed as fast I could. I remember Dr. Burdick saying "let me just make sure you are really ready to push..." it was obvious, so she turned to prep, and as she turned back, I pushed a second time and Gabriel was born at 5:17am!

I was so startled at how quickly everything happened, and my first words were "what just happened?" Someone said "you had a baby" and they handed me my sweet baby boy. He was gorgeous and tiny (6lbs 12oz) and was covered in vernix. He nursed right away and I just stared at him in disbelief.

Years of heartache (infertility) coupled with months of fear, had all been resolved in that moment. Any doubt I had about God, about Gabriel, about myself, dissolved when that little boy looked at me and stuck his lower lip out in a pout that would change my life. 2 hours and 52 minutes of incredibly hard work - to heal over a decade of devastation. Gabe's labor was a million times harder than Isaac's - but it was a victory in the most profound sense.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Story of Gabriel (part 2 - the part where I was forced to face my fears.)

There's nothing like 11 weeks of bedrest...

I know there are women who have to be on bedrest for much longer - but holy cow this felt like FOREVER!

So much happened in these 11 weeks, it would be impossible to tell you all of it. I do know, that sitting around your house alone for 11 weeks might not force you to go crazy, but it will force you to deal with some crap. At first I was pretty depressed and I slept almost all day long. It was so hard for me to be alone. I went from having a constant stream of visitors everyday at the hospital - to sometimes going days without seeing anyone except Chad. This is so hard for me. I am such a people person and I missed my people! As time went on, I stopped sleeping so much and started thinking more. I began having horrible nightmares. These nightmares kept me awake at night and haunted me all day long. In my nightmare, no matter what was happening, the outcome was always the same - I gave birth to a baby boy; a baby boy who was dead. It got so bad that I actually could never even picture Gabe without him being dead. It was awful. After weeks of this torture - I realized that if I wanted to give myself the best chance possible for the birth experience I wanted, I had to get rid of this ridiculous fear. As my due date grew closer, I knew I had to do something drastic and I sought the help of a phenomenal Hypno Therapist.

I am not dumb - I know this revelation will raise a lot of eyebrows and will most likely draw a great deal of criticism - and to that all I can say is, do your research and don't knock it until you try it.

I am so thankful that my two best friends - who I consider phenomenal christian women, recommended Kira to me. My therapy session was powerful and so healing beyond words. I want so much to tell you about it here, but there is no way to describe it adequately this way. What I can tell you is that I know now, that my fear of Gabriel dying was a product of years and years of miscarriages. Of 10 babies who I had knowledge of and fell in love with only to have them leave me. As time went on, and my family in heaven continued to grow, I truly began to believe that I just simply didn't deserve to have those babies. It was amazing to me that Gabriel had stayed in my belly so much longer than all the others - so it only made sense to me that since I didn't deserve the joy of having another baby, he too would die and leave me alone.

I can tell you now that a miscarriage breaks your heart. I can tell you also that it makes you feel physically broken. But I am happy to say, that the day I went to hypno therapy was the day I finally let all of my babies go to heaven. I felt and looked visibly relieved, and I was because you see I had been carrying those babies with me for all those years. That burden was big and it was heavy and letting it go was one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had.

Once my fear was dealt with, I was able to sleep and dream of the day I would give birth to my beautiful, ALIVE baby boy. I sang to my belly for the first time that night. I sang praise songs because I felt JOYFUL and finally excited about having a baby. The fear was gone - and now I could count down the days with anticipation. What a remarkable feeling...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Story of Gabriel (part 1 - the part that scared us)

It has taken me a few weeks to process. We are definitely still adjusting. My family is adjusting to life with a sibling; a newborn. Meanwhile, I need to adjust to that and to the fact that my pregnancy has ended. I am chubbier than I would like to be; sleepier than I am used to and I have milk. Wow. The reality is, I have been absent from blogging from almost the entire 2nd and 3rd trimester of my pregnancy. What happened during those weeks - I still process daily. Little snipits are all I can handle. I am thankful though, that in a day that now is filled with nursing, and poopy diapers - I have moments when I can look back on a pregnancy that seriously changed EVERYTHING for us; a pregnancy that, for a while was the scariest time of my life; but a pregnancy that I believe, ultimately saved my life. Here's the story... I will pick up where the scary part started - December 30, 2010.

This was Christmas break for my kids and myself. We had a great first part of break. Lots of rest and lots of fun activities. It's what I really wanted since it was my last concentrated time alone with just the two of them. On this particular day - I felt really gross. I was totally lacking energy, had no appetite, and really just couldn't get out of bed. I had called my sister to come over so that I could sleep more. Later that afternoon, I pulled myself out of bed so that the four of us could head to Costco. We were getting ready to head out the door, and my spastic puppy Bailey kind of lunged at me. She hit me square in the belly. The impact of her made me feel gross - mostly just queasy, but nothing that caused me too much concern. We went to Costco. At Costco, I continued to feel gross. Nothing horrible, just really blah. After Costco we headed to our favorite Pho restaurant for dinner. As is standard, particularly in the last trimester - I had to pee. When I went to the restroom, I discovered that I was bleeding. Now, blood is never a reassuring sight at any point in pregnancy - so I made a call to my midwife. Long story short (too late, I know...) we ended up in the ER. They did an ultrasound and some blood work. My cervix was about 50% effaced and the monitors were picking up lots of contractions. I was admitted pending the results of the blood tests. The results came the next morning indicating that blood was swapped between me and the baby via a partial abruption of my placenta. The plan was for me to stay at the hospital until my bleeding and contractions stopped. Unfortunately, this didn't happen quickly. The reality was - I was 25 weeks pregnant and at risk of having a baby who really didn't have much of a chance at life. Chad and I were terrified beyond words. At that point, we made the decision to transfer my care from the hospital I was at - to an OB at a different hospital who is a dear friend of ours. I transferred hospitals on January 2nd. I remained in the hospital until January 12th. It was the longest, loneliest 15 days of my life. My heart hurt. My head was spinning. There was so much fear. It had taken me months to accept the pregnancy. I had just started to wrap my head around the whole thing. Did God really bring me all this way only to take this baby away from me? Was that a possibility?

My husband and my sister took turns sleeping at the hospital with me. There was one night when neither of them could stay. As I layed in my bed, waiting for my Ambien to kick in, I tried talking to God. It had been a long time since I had talked to God. I really didn't know what to say, so I ended up crying, those big silent tears you almost don't notice and just saying "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus..." until I eventually fell asleep.

On January 12th - I was discharged and came home to finish my pregnancy on bed rest. My mission - whether I accepted it or not - was to grow this person. Every day mattered. Every day that he stayed in gave him that much more of a chance. Let the bed resting commence...

PS. The picture of Hope and I was taken on one of our "family movie nights" while I was in the hospital.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Gabriel Martin Anderson!!! He has arrived! It's still hard to believe. He was born on Sunday March 20, 2011 at 5:17 am. He weighed in at 6 lbs 12 oz and was 18 inches long. Labor was fast and furious. Seriously - 2 hours and 52 minutes from start to finish. I have had several requests for my birth story - and I am excited to share it. I am currently piecing the events together with the people who were with me. Once that's done, I will share the story of Gabriel. For now, all I can say is... This boy rocks my world!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Looking back - Looking ahead

Wow. It's been months, literally since my last post. I can't help but wonder if blogging would have been therapeutic these last few months of my pregnancy. SO much has happened. Too much for this post. It's been a scary start to 2011 - but the important thing remains, that Gabriel and I are still healthy and plugging along.

As I get closer to the end of my pregnancy - I can't help but start to think about the recovery time my body will need after this. I feel fortunate to have only gained a minimal amount of weight - although I am not yet ready to disclose that number...I do feel confident that what is left after delivery will be relatively easy to lose. I am however, also certain that the skin on my tummy will never be the same. This pregnancy was so different from Isaac's. This time I grew straight out - which had to have stretched my skin to the max. UGH!

As the "skinny" clothes on the other side of my closet taunt me - I can't help but be reminded of what it took to get to that place. Almost 2 years of extreme everything. Extreme exercise, extreme eating, extreme discipline... the reality is - with three kids and a full time job - there isn't going to be time for the extreme lifestyle I was living before. Let's face it, there isn't going to be time for much of anything. The part that surprises me the most, is that I am totally okay with that.

Sure, I want to get back to having a body I am happy and comfortable with. I think that body was the nice size 10 I was a few months before getting pregnant. I feel like size 10 made me look healthy. I was able to dress according to the trends, and more importantly I was able to participate in my life, play with my kids, do races with friends etc. I might not have had abs of steal, but I was healthy and fit enough to essentially do anything I wanted to. THAT'S the body I would like to get back. I don't need to be the size 8 or 6 I was killing myself to get to. From where I am standing now - I see the sacrifice it took to get there, and I am no longer willing to pay that price.

I consider myself blessed. My cost could have been much greater. I am fortunate to be surrounded by family and friends that love me without limits. I am blessed to have a husband who never didn't think I was sexy; and kids who were young enough to consider this an adventure. This pregnancy was probably the best intervention that could have been waged in my situation. Not only did it require me to make the appropriate changes to find a healthy balance to grow my baby, but in the span of 9 months - it brought all of my priorities back into focus.