Really, though, I've been considering priorities. Ok. That's stretching the truth a bit. I've actually been thinking about my thighs.
So, turns out that when you have two kids in two years, your body changes. Obviously, I gained weight. But that information aside, my whole body changed. I carry weight where I didn't used to. Pants that fit at a certain weight no longer fit at that same weight. I'd like to say that I've taken this information in stride because, for the most part, I have. I haven't stressed about weight loss, and I knew that it would take a while for everything to go back to normal--especially considering everything that's happened to my figure in the last two years.
But I'm starting to stress.
Like anyone else who wants to lose a few pounds, I've been logging my calorie intake in MyFitnessPal. I make sure to make lunches and breakfasts ahead of time so there are no surprises. I'm careful with my evening calories. I make sure to include a large portion of vegetables and then hedge my bets with Greens First. Oh, and I calculate my carb intake at each meal to make sure it's between 45-60 grams. (That last part is a PCO necessity.) I've even reminded myself to stay calm because I know weight loss is difficult for me. One pound at a time, you know?
The major difficulty in my current equation is exercise.
First of all, I know I need to exercise. I have never argued otherwise. Secondly, I wouldn't mind exercising. I'm not avoiding it like the plague or attempting to give all the reasons exercise isn't a benefit. I know how beneficial cardio is for PCO. I miss running a tiny bit. I also miss the community I had when I was running on a regular basis. But when it's the topic of conversation and I share this information, I often hear things like, "Get up at 5 am." or "You make time for the things that are important!"
I agree. So help me find the balance.
4:30--5 am: Eli wakes up so I get up to nurse him. After I nurse him, I try to pump for 15 minutes to make sure my supply doesn't diminish while I'm working. If he wakes up at 4:30, I may get to lay down for another 30 minutes before I have to start on my morning routine. But that's rare. On the mornings it does happen, I am groggy and know I will not be starting an exercise routine. Judge me if you must.
5:45-6 am: Finish feeding/pumping and get in the shower. Attempt to get ready for work in 45 minutes.
6:45-7 am: Leave for work.
7:15-3:30: Work. I've been asked if I have time to exercise at work (like on a lunch hour), and, unfortunately, the answer is no. My planning period is 4th hour (10:44-11:32). I pump during that time and try to work on grading, etc. Then, during my lunch (12:28-12:58), I eat and pump again. There is little time for anything else.
4 pm: Monday & Wednesday I head straight to Mom and Dad's and nurse Eli right away. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday I head straight home so I can nurse him promptly. On Monday or Wednesday, Ryan and I (and Eli) usually eat with my Mom and Dad because my Mom has been awesome enough to cook dinner. Between nursing and dinner (and playing a little bit with Ryan), we usually stay until a little after 6 pm because Eli will likely want to nurse again at 6.
On Tuesdays, I try to find something to cook for Ryan and I so we can eat dinner. Often it's something simple like sandwiches.
On Thursday, Chris is home. We either go out for dinner or cook something quickly at home so we can be at small group by 6:30.
On Friday, Chris is home. We try to go out and spend some time as a family.
6:45-7:30 pm: Put Eli in his bouncy seat and get Ryan in the bathtub. After his bath, I get Ryan in a clean diaper and jammies, go through his night-night routine and put him to bed.
7:30-8:30 pm: I had been waiting to start Eli's night-night routine until 8, but it seems to work better to start nursing him at 7:30. It usually takes 30-45 minutes to nurse him at this feeding (so he gets enough to sleep through the night). We spent a little bit of cuddle time without wrangling big brother, and then he gets a clean diaper, jammies and a swaddle and I put him down for the night. Sometimes I fit a bath into this time period.
8:30 pm: I attempt some light cleaning--picking up toys, cleaning off the counter, putting a load of laundry in, loading/unloading the dishwasher, hanging up/putting away clothes, making sure the cloth diaper situation is under control, getting my lunch/water together for the next day, cleaning out the diaper bag. I've given up almost entirely on sweeping and dusting.
9:30 pm: Sit down and pump for at least 10 minutes. If my supply has been dwindling, I may do a power pump (10 minutes on, 10 minutes off for an hour). On the nights I don't power pump, I consider starting an exercise routine. I've scolded myself for NOT starting one. But frankly, I'm tired. So I usually go to bed. When I do power pump, it's 10:30 and I know I only have about six hours before Eli is up and I have to start all over again, so I usually go to bed.
On the nights Chris is home, I do most of the same things from 7:30-9:30 with the exception of power pumping. Usually, Chris and I will talk and/or watch whatever TV box set we are into at the time. Sometimes we have time to go for a walk after we eat, so we fit that in if we can. Since Eli is starting to stretch his nursing routine a little, that's more of a possibility than it used to be. And on Saturdays and Sundays, I have more flexibility. Those days aren't an issue.
As it stands, I'm struggling to find time for regular Bible study, exercise, grading and general cleanliness during the week. My house is in disarray most of the time and I feel like I never quite catch up at work (well, except for now. But it's the beginning of the school year. The grading pile is coming.) and I miss sitting down to dig through scripture.
I appreciate the people who seem to find the time for everything. I'm also a little jealous of them. But since I'm a variation of a single parent Saturday--Thursday, some things are a little more difficult to schedule. So forgive me when I want to egg your house after you tell me I need to prioritize in order to lose weight. Honestly, I don't think I'm wasting a lot of time on unnecessary things. (But in all sincerity, I'm not jealous of your progress. I think whatever anyone else does to be healthy is fantastic.)
Here's the other problem: when I say these things, I feel like I'm being ungrateful for the gifts I've been given and I SO do not want to give that impression. Ryan and Eli are among the most extravagant of blessings--the ones I never thought I would get. If having them meant I had to stay this size for the rest of my life, I would gladly endure it. I remember what it was like without them.
I guess I'm just trying to figure out how a healthy lifestyle fits in my new normal. I've committed to doing an exercise video on Saturday and Sunday because I know I have the time. I can usually get Eli to sit in his swing for 30 minutes. It's the other days I'm having trouble with. Am I doing this wrong?