Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2015. Let's move on.

I started the year with such high hopes. We were coming off a rough 2014 full of Jeff's health crises and adjusting to being a family of four instead of three. I resolved to lose the baby weight and get down to my wedding weight of 180 lbs, become a certified child passenger safety technician and be less of an asshole.

The year started with the announcement that my employer had sold the business to a larger cosmetics company and we were all unemployed. As the sole source of income in our household, this was BAD NEWS. I had intended to look for alternative employment this year, because I wasn't happy with a lot of things there but I intended to do it on my own time, so that I could get a job before I needed one. Thankfully, they offered us severance packages that paid full salary for three months. After apply and interviewing for any chemist position available, I was finally hired at a new company and life started to settle back down.

Now that we had (actually affordable) health insurance again, I went in for my yearly well woman exam. My midwife noticed that I had nodules on my thyroid and sent me for ultrasound. Of course, the ultrasound came back suspicious for cancer and I had to have a biopsy. Thankfully, the biopsy came back negative. I also finally decided to see a rheumatologist about my constant hand pain. After some blood work, he diagnosed me with psoriatic arthritis, an auto immune disease that attacks the ligaments and tendons and causes joint pain. He started me on Otezla, which hasn't had much of an effect for me and I'm still dealing with a lot of pain that keeps me from doing a lot of the things I love, like crafting. At least I know what's wrong now instead of being brushed aside again.

The kids are great though. Makayla's a genius and reading chapter books on her own now. We still struggle with her stubbornness and hard headedness (don't know where she got that from) but she's a pretty good kid. Liam is in to everything and running everywhere. He has about 30 real words now but he never stops babbling in between. He's got a lot to say- we're just not always sure what it is. He's a good sleeper :)

Jeff's *nearly* done with school. Happy days ahead.

We lost Jeff's stepdad this October after a long battle with cancer. He was a good man and is missed.

As far as my goals for the year:

I am now a certified CPST. I've been volunteering around the community at seat check events and offering help to anyone and everyone. I gave a presentation at Makayla's school and helped a couple families keep their babies safer. It's been hard for me to "turn it off" and not help people who don't want help. I just want to save all the babies (and not so babies) and it's hard for me to accept when people make less safe choices. But I'm working on it.

I did not reach my weight loss goal- but I made damn good progress. My pregnancy high was 256 lbs. I made it down to 192 lbs this year. 12 lbs shy of my goal, but I call 64 lbs lost a good effort.

Me, now

After Liam was born, but before I started losing weight

Because people always ask, here's how I lost the weight. I started by keeping a honest and complete food diary. Once I took an honest look at EVERYTHING that I ate in a day, I realized how much more I was eating than I needed. It's easy to forget that things like coffee creamer add a lot to your overall calorie consumption. I used My Fitness Pal to keep track of my food. It's easy to use, has a huge database and give you the opportunity to add in your own recipes. I used it to calculate how many calories I need to lose two pounds a week. It gave me an initial calorie goal of about 1600 calories a day. So I started eating less. And I kept track. I didn't have any dietary restrictions. If I wanted oreos and it fit into my calorie goal, I had an oreo. Every ten lbs or so that I lost, my fitness pal would reduce the amount of calories I got. Eventually, I gained a good understanding of the approximate calorie count of most of the things I ate and I didn't need to be as strict at documenting it. In August, we also joined the YMCA and I started swimming 1200m at least once, usually twice, a week. That's the entirety of my weight loss. Eat less, move more and keep track. I am pretty proud of myself and I'm not ashamed to say it.
As far as my third goal "Be less of an asshole", I don't know about this one. It's not a very good objective. It's not a SMART (specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, time-bound) objective. I feel like, yes, I haven't intentionally antagonized anyone and I've kept a lot of my feelings to myself. We decided to intentionally limit our involvement in the parent club at Makayla's school. We still participate in events put on by her school, but not the ones through the extra parent club because I don't play nicely with others. My sister and I aren't currently speaking because of a lot of reasons. But we can't have a conversation without it ending in a fight. I don't believe this is my fault entirely, but it does take two to fight. This situation has added a huge amount of stress to my life.
So here's hoping that 2016 will be boring, mundane, peaceful and we'll find a trunk of gold in our backyard while digging post holes for the fence.
A girl can dream.