Monday, March 15, 2010

Healthy Wife, Happy Life

Last week I joined 4 of the Queen Vee's daughters/daughters-in-law in a health challenge via the blog Healthy Wife Happy Life. I wanted to post a duplicate of my "about me" post here on my regular blog.

Hi, My name is Sue and I wear a Girdle

I am the 34-year-old mother of 3 and I live in rural Wyoming. I'm a little late joining the challenge; I wasn't sure I was willing to commit to counting calories. But after 8 weeks of exercising several times a week and seeing no results, something needs to change.

I met Audrey's husband Chris when we were teenage Army Brats living in Heidelberg, Germany. Audrey and I mostly just know each other online, but I'm hoping to crash the Carlson family reunion this summer and hang out with all the Carlson women!

My latest love affair with the girdle actually began with the Carlsons. I attended their Uncle Kirk's funeral at the end of September 2009 and it was the first time I had seen them in several years. I had a 9-month-old baby and was feeling super chubby. I didn't have anything nice to wear that didn't make me feel like a heifer (Audrey, totally hearin' you on the lack of Sunday wardrobe), so I spent two hours at my sister-in-law's house trying to find something suitable to wear. Everything I tried on showed the giant gut, which, when you view it in profile without sucking it in, sticks out further than my boobs. Not cool. Finally my SIL suggested I try a girdle. It's one of those corset types that would double as sexy lingerie if I actually had the bod for it. But I digress.

Here I am with Melissa, Victoria, Mindy and Samantha 5 months ago:

This is me just a couple weeks ago at my daughter's baptism (Audrey, I think Lily and Jonah are less than a week apart). I stopped highlighting my hair because it was a luxury I couldn't afford to keep up, but I'm thinking my natural dark brown actually makes me look fatter.

In January I decided it was time to get serious about losing the baby fat so I started exercising diligently. The sad, sad news is that exercise alone is just not enough at my age. A true tragedy. Over the last couple of weeks I have just tried to control my portion size and eat fewer treats, but that hasn't done much for me. So now I am committing to the tedious task of keeping a food journal and counting calories.

I am 5'5" and 158 pounds. After consulting the MyPyramid website I determined that my recommended calorie intake is 2000. I was pretty stoked and thought, "That's a ton, I can totally do that." Yeah, well, after adding up yesterday's calories (when I wasn't committed to this challenge) I discovered that I had eaten over 2700 calories. And I had even been somewhat "careful" yesterday. Today I have already surpassed 1200, it's only 4:00pm and I'm STARVING! This is going to suck more than I thought. Did you know that one measly turkey and provolone sandwich (on multi-grain bread, thank you very much) with mayo is 592 calories? Holy crap, that's almost a 3rd of my daily recommened intake. What a bummer! I expected the high calorie counts for things like brownies (which I made on Sunday and are now taunting me from the kitchen) at 170 calories for a 2" square, and frosted sugar cookies (my weakness) at about 200 calories a pop. But a sandwich and grapes for lunch hit over 700 calories? Ugh. This is gonna be hard.

But having had this calorie revelation, I'm now realizing why I haven't lost any weight. Like Sam said in a previous post, I guess it's not OK to eat all day, every day. And like Melissa mentioned, age is slowing down our metabolism so we really have to work a lot harder than we did in the glory days.
Ladies, let's kick this fat to the curb! My goal is to go from a size 12 to a size 8. Not in 3 weeks, of course, but I'd like to at least not have my jeans feel painted on when they're fresh out of the dryer. That would be a good start for 3 weeks.


So, after one week of the challenge I am feeling SO much better about my level of health. Turns out counting calories is really the secret to losing weight. I've always tried to convince myself that exercise was enough because I just didn't want to watch what I ate. I forgot to weigh myself before breakfast this morning, but I have lost at least 3 pounds in the last week by staying below 2000 calories. In 8 weeks of exercise I fluctuated up and down only a pound and a half. The first day of calorie counting felt like sheer torture, but after a week, it is so much easier to eat healthy! For the first time in a long time, I'm not just eating because I have a taste craving or because it's simply an activity to engage in. I feel hungry again, a sensation I'd become mostly unfamiliar with in the last couple of years. I'm making much better food choices and I've become aware of what a bad example I've been setting for my children. I let them eat WAY too much candy; instead of a special treat, it's an everyday expectation. They've been eating more fruits, veggies and dairy now that I have it in the house.

In addition to losing 3 pounds, I got my haircut and that always makes me feel like a new woman.

(Thanks, Monica, for taking my picture after the haircut!)

I'm looking forward to week 2 of the challenge. If you're so inclined, PLEASE join us! Just leave a comment on one of the recent posts here and Audrey will hook you up. It helps so much to have this community of friends working toward a common goal and supporting one another.


Manina said...

Cute hair! I love getting my hair done. It is the one day I actually feel like getting dressed up and less like a frumpy old mom. :)

I need to do that same thing with calorie counting. I am just not motivated enough to do it. I had to do that after the birth of Drew to lose any weight. Running 4 times a week didn't do much till I cut out all the crap. Wouldn't it be nice it losing weight was easy? :)

Apis Melliflora said...

Sue, I'm so glad you're a "healthy wife." I love reading your posts. You tell it like it is and make me smile. Let's go week 2!

The Dragonfly said...

You look really great Sue! Those healthy choices are showing in your skin, hair and smile!

Sue said...

Sam, that's really just the work of Photoshop and my hairdresser who also happens to be a make-up artist. But I'll pretend it's all the fruits and veggies!

Jenn said...

Ugh, baby weight. I hate it. Not that my pre-baby body was anything worth raving about. I was secretly hoping that the baby wieght would magically melt off my body but unfortunately I wasn't so lucky. So, I think I'm going to jump on the band wagon and start counting calories myself. Oh, and I think you look great and I'm loving the new hair!

The Queen Vee said...

Proud of you Sue, keep it up....Healthy Sue, Happy Sue. Love ya.

Lori Gerten said...


Brian and Rebecca Nate said...

What a beauty you are!! I don't get to see you with your hair done and make up on very often (hmm... that sounds just like me!) but you look great! BTW I saw you in your spandex pants, 3 pounds I don't think so, more like 15! You look great!

Erin said...

Hi Sue! Ok - so much to tell you! First of all I am LOVING your new haircut. Darling cut and color on you! I so know what you mean - new hair makes you feel so good! Your "I wear a girdle" post was hilarious. It really is so hard to watch what you eat. I'm going to have a nice slap of reality after I have this baby. (for two more weeks, however, I'm pigging out!) I also LOVED the pictures of your daughters on beautiful! And your 8 year old getting baptised...Mormom I'm assuming? Me too. :) Your bigger pictures look great. Glad you figured it out. I love learning new blog tricks. AND thank you thank you for the paper cutter link! I'm totally ordering one of them from that website. I'm trying to decide which one to get - do you have a Personal one or a Professional one? So many to choose from! I'm not worried about cost (like you said - Kenny's buying ;) but I only need it for scrapbooking so I don't know if I need more than a Personal one. Anyway - thank you so much for the link!!! Love your blog.

p.s. Sorry I wrote a book.

Lori Conger, said...

Way to go. Keep up the great work. And I love your haircut. That picture of you is beautiful.

Parker-Delgado Family said...

You look awesome, Sue. I am a huge fan of cute haircuts. It is a great way to feel a boost while you are working toward your goal weight! Your motivation is inspiring--thanks for sharing

The Nelson Family said...

Nice work hot mamma. Sorry i didn't even call you back when I was in Utah. Awful friend. Hopefully I can see you in June. You look great!

The Nelson Family said...

Nice work hot mamma. Sorry i didn't even call you back when I was in Utah. Awful friend. Hopefully I can see you in June. You look great!

Becky in Wyo said...

Yes, lovely pic. And I am soooo looking forward to getting on the bandwagon with you. The anal side of my personality just begs for the tabulating paperwork. Yep, it's weird.