Sunday 30 November 2008

Tomorrow's Weigh-In & Baby Photos

For those of you interested, I have posted Cameron's birth story and photos and video of him right after birth in my personal blog at and my husband has posted his version of the birth story at his blog at .

You would think that, having just given birth to a 6 pound baby, I would be confident about losing weight at my weigh-in tomorrow. However, I have used the baby's birth as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted this week, and I have not been eating healthy or low-calorie all week. My back is killing me right now, so I also haven't been exercising. To be honest, I will be surprised if I have lost any weight and I will be lucky if I haven't GAINED any weight!

Still, it's been an enjoyable week, and I am back on track now, so next week I should see a really good loss!

Friday 28 November 2008

The Baby Has Arrived!!!

I'm home from the hospital now. Cameron was born at 28 past midnight on the 28th (I was induced on the 27th). He weighed 6 pounds 1/2 oz. and was 20 inches long.

Wednesday 26 November 2008

Almost Forgot To Mention My Weigh-in!

Oh, and I was UP half a pound this week at Monday's weigh-in despite being really good with my eating and exercise this week. I guess it's all down to the upredictability of being at this stage of the pregnancy. *sigh*

It was still frustrating to see.

But I am still down 46 pounds.


Well, tomorrow is the day that, if all goes well, I should have this baby induced. I have to admit, I have taken it a bit easy for the past couple of days with my diet and exercise. It's the mini-break from it all that I promised myself ages ago.

I even had a Big Mac from Mcdonald's yesterday. I found that, as much as I enjoyed the taste, it made me feel a bit ill for the rest of the day, so I won't be having one again any time soon. I guess I'm no longer used to having that much fat and salt in my diet.

Tomorrow is also Thanksgiving. We will be going out to dinner for a traditional Thanksgiving meal tonight instead of cooking it. And we are going out tonight because I won't be able to celebrate it tomorrow (other than having one wonderful new little baby to be thankful for by then, hoepfully).

I made a low-fat pumpkin pie, and we will enjoy it when we get home from dinner. They don't "do" pumpkin pie here, but a friend of mine who lives in the US was kind enough to send me the pumpkin mix. My kids will be thrilled to have pumpkin pie again after not having had any in over a year, and I must admit that I love pumpkin pie too! I'm so thankful for having such wonderful friends!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my readers out there!

Sunday 23 November 2008

Two Days Past Now

I am still pregnant. *sigh*

Today is my day off from exercise anyway, but I kind of feel like I should try and get some exercise in anyway.

I was hoping that being so much more fit this time around my body would do what it's supposed to do when the time came, but it looks like my body is instead doing what it usually does and hanging on to the baby until it's forced to let go.

Oh well. At least I haven't had any problems with my blood pressure this time around. That, at least, I can attribute to my healthier lifestyle and weight loss.

Saturday 22 November 2008

One Day Past My Due Date & Still Exercising

I am officially past my due date now. And I still managed to get on my elliptical machine for 85 minutes (14.8 miles). I actually broke it up into two workouts. One was for 45 minutes and one was for 40 minutes. I broke the workout into two, not because I couldn't do 85 minutes in one go, but because it's just so darn boring to do the full 85 minutes. LOL!

I must admit that I did not workout on the elliptical trainer yesterday. Instead I walked around town with my husband doing some Christmas shopping for about two hours, pushing a double stroller with two toddlers in it for most of that time. My shoulders were hurting by the time I got home. And later I went with my husband to walk the dog for 30 minutes.

Even though I was still getting exercise, it feels like cheating when I haven't worked out on the elliptical crosstrainer.

I'm still hopeful that this baby will arrive this weekend. I know it's not likely though. But I really want to get another "Slimmer of the Week" at my Slimming World meeting, and I have to have a loss or maintain the week beforehand in order to get it (and then I have to lose more than everyone else). I had a loss last week, and despite doing all the right things this week, I am not confident that I will maintain or lose, because my body has been so fickle about it at the end of this pregnancy. And I am scheduled to be induced on Thursday, so if I go in to my meeting on Monday and show a gain, I will lose my chance at Slimmer of the Week the Monday after the baby is born.

I know it's silly, but I still want it. LOL!

Friday 21 November 2008

No Baby Yet

Yesterday was my due date, but of course, like all my other pregnancies, my baby did not arrive in a timely fashion. I am scheduled to be induced on Thursday, but I've already been told that I will be sent home if there are too many other women already in labor that day.

I just want to hurry up and have this baby! I want to see how much my belly will shrink from the weight I've lost so far. I want to see how much more weight I have lost that isn't showing yet because of the weight of the baby. I want to be able to exercise without severe pain. I don't want to feel this horrible heavy weight in my belly anymore.

Of course, I want to see my baby and make sure he's healthy. But I'm at the point where I am just frustrated that my body never gets this part of pregnancy right and I always have to wait on the whim of the doctor on when to induce me.

I was kind of hoping that by being in better shape this time, my body would be better able to respond to the signals or hormones or whatever it is that is supposed to start my labor, but apparently, my body doesn't produce the right hormones. I'm trying to be positive and convince myself that this time will be different, but after already having six babies that had to be induced, it's kind of difficult to believe that this one will be any different. *sigh*

Monday 17 November 2008

I LOST!!!!!!!

Oh my goodness! I actually lost 3.5 pounds this week!!!!! YAY!!!!!

At 9 months pregnant, I really did NOT expect a loss, despite all of my hard work, and especially not as much as 3.5 pounds! All of my exercise paid off!

It feels so good!!!!!!!!

Total weight loss while pregnant: 46.5 pounds!

Tonight was another night at the Slimming World meeting to bring samples of "low syn" food. I tweaked a peanut butter cookie recipe and brought cookies. Robert tweaked the recipe for meringues and brought them. Both went over well at the meeting.

I'll share the recipes sometime tomorrow (or later if I am induced tomorrow). (I might have the baby's birth induced tomorrow. He was breech at the last appointment, and if he's still breech, he will be turned and then I will be induced, but he will probably have turned already, so I'll just be sent home to wait some more.)

Temporary Success!

Well, when I weighed in on my scale this morning, it showed my weight down about three pounds! I love seeing the numbers, but I can't count on it for my weigh-in tonight though. My scale fluctuates too much, and I will probably gain a pound or two by evening just through normal daily eating. Still, seeing the number on the scale has put me in a positive frame of mind, and I am looking forward to tonight's weigh-in.

Tonight is another night when we are supposed to bring something of low "syn" value to the Slimming World meeting for others to try. My husband Robert is making meringues using Splenda. He tested his recipe out a couple of days ago because he wasn't sure how the Splenda would cook in the mix and it worked. He's going to put a drop of reduced-sugar strawberry jam in the center of each meringue. Although, he is considering making a chocolate sauce with sweetener for the meringues instead.

I am making peanut butter cookies using Splenda and light margarine. I looked up the recipe values and it will only be one syn per cookie (if I make the mix into 18 cookies). Besides, we are out of desserts at home and I think my kids will like having some peanut butter cookies too.

I'll take pictures of our creations tonight and share the recipes with the photos tomorrow.

Saturday 15 November 2008

Scale Frustration!

Why is it that I let myself obsess over the scale? I already know that my scale fluctuates wildly and never reads the same twice. And yet, I so want to step on it and have it tell me I've lost weight!

Yesterday afternoon, it did tell me I'd lost weight. This morning, usually when I weigh my lowest, it told me I was 2 pounds up from yesterday's weight. I know this can't be, and yet I still get frustrated and cranky because of what the scale tells me.

We went a couple of weeks when both of our scales were not working because they needed new batteries. The inability to weigh myself daily also drove me nuts!

My calories have been in the low-range of my daily calorie allowance all week and I am exercising 85 minutes a day on the elliptical crosstrainer. By all rights, I should still see a loss when I go to my weigh-in on Monday, so why do I let my scale at home frustrate me so much?!!!

Thursday 13 November 2008

What Keeps Me Going?

I have a confession to make. I hate exercising on my elliptical crosstrainer. Even with the music I listen to in order to help pass the time, I can't seem to stop myself from watching the time tick slowly by as I exercise, counting down until I have finished my workout. I hate getting sweaty and hot. I hate it when my muscles start to ache. I hate starting to breathe heavier.

I know the conventional wisdom about finding an exercise that I like doing, but I can't go for walks right now due to my pregnancy-caused SPD which causes me severe hip and pelvic pain. And I have six kids (until my seventh is born), three of them who are still quite young, so I am unable to get away for a different type of exercise very often. I have the elliptical machine at home, so I am able to put some time into working out on it.

So what keeps me doing it? What on earth keeps me going with this exercising each day when I hate it so much?

Because I really, really love the results. I love that I've lost 43 pounds so far and that I've probably lost even more which will finally show when the baby is born. I love that my face is looking thinner. I love that I can fit into clothes while almost 9 months pregnant that didn't fit me before I was pregnant. I love that I can do more physical activities for longer without getting out of breath or tired. I love that my health is improving in noticeable ways. I love that I can fit through our child safety gates without scraping my hips against the sides as I squeeze through.

And this list just goes on.

So the answer is simple. I keep going with my exercise and diet, because I want the results badly enough to not give up.

What keeps you going?

Wednesday 12 November 2008


Ever had one of those days where you just feel like slug? You feel like you can't move at more than a snail's pace, and you don't feel like doing much of anything.

Well, that's how I've been feeling since Monday. I'm not letting it stop me from getting my exercise in though. I spent 80 minutes on the elliptical trainer on Monday, 85 minutes on it yesterday and 85 minutes on it today. And I'm eating well too. If I manage to keep it up for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, then I can count this week as a success no matter what Monday's weigh-in tells me.

The only problem I foresee is that my hip and pelvic pain is getting worse. Using the elliptical trainer was the one exercise I could do that did not make the pain worse. I've already had to give up taking long walks with my husband because it makes the pain unbearable. Now, exercising on my elliptical crosstrainer is beginning to worsen my hip and pelvic pain too. I'm not willing to give up exercise completely though. I wish I had a swimming pool!

It's a good thing this baby will be here soon!

Monday 10 November 2008


Well, the verdict is in and, despite all of my hard work, I am up half a pound this week. Still, I'm 38 weeks and 3 days pregnant, so I am still doing pretty good, and maybe I'll see a loss next week as long as I keep up the hard work.

My Slimming World consultant asked if I'd be okay with being featured in our local paper about my 43 pound weight loss while pregnant. I think it'd be interesting to do, and it might help me keep my motivation too.

Fighting the Snacking Urge

Tonight is my official weigh-in. So of course, I am determined not to blow my healthy lifestyle at the last minute before weigh-in when I have been good all week. And naturally, I am getting the worst cravings for something chocolate and sweet!

I managed to do 80 minutes (13.7 miles) on the elliptical crosstrainer, and I am just going to have to battle those munchies I am feeling. Or maybe I'll have a bite of something sweet to help get rid of the urge for it. I don't know which plan will work better.

Sunday 9 November 2008

Another Good Week

If you remember, I wrote that I was trying not to feel guilty about taking Tuesday off from exercise. Well, I no longer feel guilty about it.

I exercised for 65 minutes on the elliptical crosstrainer on Monday, 100 minutes on Wednesday, 100 minutes on Thursday, 100 minutes on Friday and 80 minutes on Saturday. I covered a combined total of 77 miles on the machine.

I also stuck to my daily calorie limits, with the exception of one day when I went over by only about 17 calories.

It's been a good week, and I am not going to stress about my weigh-in tomorrow, no matter what my scale tells me beforehand.

My official weigh-in is tomorrow night at my Slimming World meeting.

Wednesday 5 November 2008

Runners Burn More Calories Even While At Rest

According to research done at Yale, people who exercise vigorously for at least four hours a week burn more calories even while at rest than people who do not.

Maybe it's just because I have always read a lot, but I thought this was common knowledge. Of course people who exercise regularly have faster metabolisms! Other past reasearch has shown that muscle mass contributes to upping a person's metabolism, so I guess this new research is just another method of explaining why people who exercise regularly burn more calories throughout the day.

Still, it's research worth noting. I think sometimes we look at what our calorie burn is for the amount and type of exercise we are doing, and we lose sight of the fact that the fat-burning effects of our exercise go above and beyond the amount we've just done. It continues throughout the day, as long as we continue to make exercise a regular part of our daily routine.

No Bottled Water This Week!

I love my bottled water. Or, more accurately, I love the Crystal Light drinks which I make with my bottled water. We don't have Crystal Light in the UK, but I used to drink it when I was in the US. Recently, my mom mailed me a bunch of Crystal Light packets which I have been adding to my bottled water.

It's been really helping me drink more water. That has always been my biggest problem before - not drinking enough water. But when I have a pre-made bottle of Crystal Light, I have no problem drinking a couple of liters a day.

We usually get six 1.5 liter bottles of water delivered on Tuesdays by the milkman. Yesterday, while our milk, orange juice and bread got delivered as usual, there were no bottles of water on my porch in the morning. I'm hoping the milkman was just temporarily out and will deliver them tomorrow. I will probably call today to make sure of it.

In the meantime, I am really missing my bottled water!!!!!

Day Off

Having surpassed my goal for last Monday's weigh-in, I let myself take Tuesday (yesterday) off from exercise. I felt really tired. I spent the early part of the day at doctor appointments (due to my pregnancy), and I just really didn't feel like working out.

I had every right to take a day off, and it will not sabotage my weight-loss efforts to do so, and yet, I feel guilty about not exercising yesterday! So today, I did my now usual 80 minutes on the elliptical crosstrainer early in the day and then, after lunch, I spent another 20 minutes on the machine exercising. My total time exercising on the elliptical trainer today is 100 minutes (17.3 miles).

I don't know if I'll be able to fit in the time to do this tomorrow or the next day, but at least I've done a little bit to help assuage my guilt. I do not need to lose anymore weight until after the baby arrives, but I am willing to keep putting in the effort to keep from gaining any weight until then as well.

I'd love to get to the point mentally where I don't feel like I've failed myself for missing a day of exercise. No one, or at least few people, can exercise 6 days a week every week without fail.

Monday 3 November 2008


Despite my negative thinking, I managed to lose weight this week! At Slimming World, I weighed in another 2.5 pounds down!!!! I am so happy! It means I reached my goal for this pregnancy of making it to 3 stone lost (42 pounds) and surpassed it by losing another pound and a half! That's a total loss of 43.5 pounds for me and I am now 37 weeks and 3 days pregnant!

It also means that all the extra effort I put in this week was rewarded!


Weigh-in Tonight!

Well, I've eaten healthy food this week and watched my overall calories. I worked out on the elliptical trainer 6 days of this week (80 minutes on Tuesday, 80 minutes on Wednesday, 80 minutes on Thursday, 82 minutes on Friday, 66 minutes on Saturday and 65 minutes today). And yet, according to my scale, I not only haven't lost weight, but I might have actually gained again this week. Which of course leaves me with one question: Just how big is this baby going to be?!!

I have 2 weeks and 4 days until my due date. I really don't want to gain back any of the weight I've lost in this short space of time and I am working really hard to make sure it doesn't happen, so gains, even small ones like last week's half pound, are really depressing.

Maybe I'll get a surprise at tonight's weigh-in and my weight will stay the same or I'll actually lose some weight. I can dream.

Wish me luck!

Sunday 2 November 2008

Bean Soup Recipe

Pork & Beans

Beans are rich in fiber and this bean soup recipe that my mom always made for me is a really healthy, fiber-rich meal that is perfect for anyone trying to lose weight.

When I lived in the US, we always made this using pinto beans, but I was unable to find dry pinto beans where I live in the UK, so I made it with two bags of dry crab eye beans instead. If just using the basic ingredients (beans, ham, onion, seasoning, garlic powder), this is also a very inexpensive meal that will feed about five people for two nights.

2 bags of dry crab eye beans or pinto beans
2 thick slices of lean gammon/ham (optional but recommended)
2 large white onions
seasoning (I use Nature's Seasons from the US) - to taste
garlic powder - to taste

Tobasco sauce (optional)
low fat cheese (optional)
one baguette (optional)

First, soak the beans in water overnight.

In the morning, add the beans to a crockpot (called a "slow cooker" in the UK) and add water to cover them.

Chop the onions and add them to the crockpot. Chop up the gammon/ham and add it to the crockpot. Add seasoning and garlic powder to taste. (The ham/gammon is not necessary for bean soup, but it adds a nice flavor to the stock that the beans are cooked in.)

Let cook on high for 5 to 6 hours.

Serve up.

I sometimes add low fat cheese to my bowl of bean soup. It melts right away and tastes yummy, but I only add it if I have saved up enough extra calories for the day. I always add Tobasco sauce to my beans because I like my food spicy, but this is not for everyone.

I also like to have a baguette (the one pictured is an onion baton) with my beans to dip into them, but again, this makes the meal less healthy, so it all depends on how well I have been eating beforehand.

A large bowl of crab eye beans without gammon is about 468 calories, and very low in fat. (I do not know how pinto beans compare in calories to crab eye beans.) The gammon adds about 51 calories to the meal, and the low fat cheese adds another 67 calories (depending on the kind you use). The onion baton is about 200 calories. As you can see, if I plan on having all of the extras with my beans, I have to eat very light for the day prior to the meal.

But having the meal without the cheese or baguette makes for a very healthy meal that is not too high in calories, is very low in fat and is high in fiber too.

Also, for those following a Slimming World diet plan, beans are a "free" food on Slimming World's Green Days, and the meat can be used as a healthy extra.

"Before" Pictures & a "During" Picture

Okay, so here's an idea of what I looked like before I started losing this weight, and what I looked like at the end of August after losing 34 pounds of the 41 I have lost so far. Now, remember, in the August photo, I was already 27+ weeks pregnant, so most of the weight loss will only be visible in my face. You can also see the difference in my husband Robert since he has lost the weight too, despite the fact that, in August, he had not yet reached his goal weight, but he now has.

I'm the one hiding behind my kids, and I have long red hair. (I hated having my picture taken.) This was taken sometime in early 2007.

And here's an even earlier "before" picture at Easter 2006, while I was pregnant with Connor.

And here are two photos, one that shows me with five of my six kids while we were in London at the end of last August (and at 27+ weeks pregnant) and one that shows my husband Robert with the kids. I'm calling them "during" photos, because we have both lost more weight since they were taken, and because I will still lose more weight in the days to come, so they don't really qualify as "after" photos.