Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Kara's Year: 2009 and Feelin' Fine

This is my year. I have a goal to establish healthy habits in my life this year that I can carry throughout my life. When I told Chris that I made Tonya take these pictures, he carefully asked "Are these the before or after pictures." They are my before pictures I guess.... but the truth is, this is much better than I looked a year ago... so maybe they are my middle pictures?
I tried to look extra serious, worn, and without any makeup, so that even if I my body doesn't change, I may still look more dazzling in the after pictures :).
Holding in my love handles to visualize what I would look like without them

So, let me explain more about why this is going to be my year. First of all, I have to say that I don't think that I look horrible... in fact... I think that I look fine for having two kids. Yes, I have some nice love handles and jiggly thighs, but I don't really have a super poor self image. Mamas need a little bit of padding to snuggle up with.
This is the problem. I have established some poor habits that I want to get rid of. I actually am a pretty health conscious gal, but I have one habit that I can not break, and that is...drumroll please.....over eating. It all started in high school when I had an extremely high metabolism, and I got teased for being able to eat anything without gaining weight. Well, when I started college, it slowly became obvious that if I kept eating a lot, I would no longer maintain but put on weight. I have never really been able to break my habit of eating too much. Baked goods are the worse. I am not lying when I say that if I totally lose control, I could eat a small loaf of banana bread by myself in one day or 5 freshly baked cookies. This is actually kind of embarrassing to admit that I eat like a hungry lumberman. I realized how bad my bread/food addiction was when after Christmas when I actually felt sick of baked goods and stopped making them, I dropped 4 pounds immediately. Not to get all Oprah on you all, but I really am trying to figure out why I am overeating. Is it habit? Is it boredom sometimes? Is it a comfort? Maybe a combination of all of these things. I really want to gain control of this, so I can establish life long healthy eating for myself and my family. I would love to have help if any of you ladies would like to support each other.
Being a woman, I have had dozens of dieting/weight loss/post mama body conversations with women, and I am starting to wonder if we are all making this too complicated. We do not need fancy diets. There is no easy way about it. We all just need to figure out what amount of calories our bodies can handle (with the right healthy foods) and stick to that to maintain... or cut down a little bit to lose. Add consistent exercise to that and walah.... I know that it is not that simple for some women who have health complications, but for me, I feel like I need to stop making excuses so much and try harder. I actually feel like I am getting in much better physical shape as I am training for a half marathon, but I really have to get control of the overeating!
So to you my dear friends, I ask:"What is keeping you from being the healthiest you can be?"
I want to lead a long and healthy life and continue to have energy for my family.... so it is time for me to gain control while I am young. Do any of you have tips that help keep you from overeating??


Carrie said...

Chocolate. That's what's keeping me from being the healthiest I can be. On a serious note, though, have you ever read the book "French Women Don't Get Fat"? I read it a few years ago - it's a quick read - and really picked up some great new habits from it. If you haven't read it yet, pick it up the next time you're at the library.

adrienne said...

First of all, you look great!
Anyways, lack of time and energy keeps me from being healthier. I literally do no have the time or energy to exercise on a regular basis. Come on, I have 3 kids under 4!! But I am active at home, so I'm sure that helps. I find that when it comes to eating, I just don't think enough. If there is something yummy (or sometimes just edible) sitting around, I eat it because I'm usually distracted or in a hurry. I guess the key for me would be to keep healthy yummy stuff sitting around and make it so that I don't have to think.

Margaret said...

First- you are brave!!
Secondly- You look amazing. You really do. Way to go.
I honestly think having kids is what pushed me over the edge towards healthy eating. I used to eat pretty healthy but now having a child, I want her to eat really healthy. (Not that I didn't just eat a handful of chocolate chips, I still am not the healthiest eater.) But we've made some permanent adjustments to our diet that still allow for treats and goodies, but just overall more aware of the types of food I eat. Like not buying the cheapest thing, but looking at ingredients, buying local produce, etc. I hope that makes sense.
I've thought about this a lot though and I realize that I eat way more as a stay at home mom because I'm here, it's accessible and when I'm cleaning the kitchen I suddenly find myself shoving chocolate chips into my mouth. (Seriously, I keep doing this one.)
But if I just don't buy the junk I crave and make a mental note to be aware I eat better.
But I agree with you. For most people, exercise and diet is the way to a healthy lifestyle, you don't need all the bells and whistles. Our bodies know what to do if we take care of them.
I'm rambling.

Sam said...

Right now, I am 36 and 1/2 weeks pregnant and all I want is sugar, sugar, sugar! But, before I was pregnant I found that in order for me to exercise it needed to be a social experience as well. So I found something that worked and I stuck with it for a year and lost 65 pounds! Anyway, one thing that I recently read and that I've attempted to put into practice a bit is always having on hand the one thing that I usually always "want." I know it sounds weird, but knowing that I have a package of Keebler Elf cookies if I want one, or a 1/2 gallon of ice cream makes me eat less of it because I know it's always there if I want it and if I don't, it's okay because it'll be there tomorrow too. That has worked for me in allowing myself that little bit of cushion room. Also, not eating after about 5 or 6 PM helps in loosing weight as well. Good luck :) I sure miss you guys.

Anita said...

Kara you look fabulous, I am jealous of your skinny arms!! You really do look great.I understand the want to be more healthy more than just lookin good, which you already do.Have you ever heard of intuitive eating? I'm not sure all the details, I am still looking into it, but with most unhealthy addictions, they are caused from thinking errors going through our minds that just need to be corrected. Unfortunately I don't think there are any tricks, just tools to help us look at the food before we shove it in our face and ask ourselves if our bodies need that food or not. We subconsciously know what are bodies need, and how much they need, we just have to train ourselves to tap into what we already know.(when i lost 15 pounds last winter I did not count one calorie, I just ate healthy, exercised, and ate when I was hungry, no more or less. I don't know if this makes since but I will get some more info on it. I personally think the majority of our diet or at least 50% should consist of raw foods ( which I know you do a lot of in the summer, with all the amazing produce around you), all the extra additives in foods I'm sure is contributing to our belly fat. -When this baby comes out, count me in on the challenge to be healthy this year-
p.s. our strawberries in season in April? I hope you say yes, we will have to go pickin

Katie and Bryson said...

Holy cow KARA you are brave!!! And you look great. I think you are skinnier than college.
Maybe I am in denial, but I don't think there's anything wrong with a healthy appetite. But you'll notice I'm also not posting pics of me in spandex on my blog :) You need your energy to take care of kids all day! I find when I'm running, the rest of it all falls into place anyway. So then I can eat like a lumberjack and not look like one. Good times.
Anyway, I don't know if I regave you my blog address, but here it is

Niki said...

Oh brother Kara if half of us could only be woring about the small love handles you, have life would be much better much better for most the world, you look fabulous. Greg says no need to worry about the weight, start working on the tan!!! J/K

Kara said...

I have heard of that book. I need to learn to savor my food more.... if only I had time to savor the food. I am usually shoveling food into my mouth as a child screams for water. Eating less and savoring more reminds me of my dad. He eats so so slow and is so skinny. So maybe the book should be called "French women and Bud don't get fat." Also, one question... does anyone think that french women might also be skinnier because more women there smoke??
I totally understand that it would be tricky for you to find time. You also live in a colder place, which would make it hard in the winter. I have memories of my mom doing Jane Fonda workouts at our house. Maybe that would be a good option for you. Make sure to wear a striped jaccercise outfit too, please :).
So, I am very health consious (especially with my kids) and try to eat locally..... but if only I could eat less (and I suppose the organic ben and jerrys I have in my freezer isn't too much better than regular ice cream). My sister Niki gave me a good idea of trying to eat off of a saucer plate to make the plate look more fool. I think that I will try that. What kind of chocolate chips do you shove in your mouth.. dark chocolate or milk?
I didn't realize that you had lost 65 pounds. I didn't think you had 65 pounds to lose girl. That is amazing. You are getting really close to your due date aren't you?
Yes, part of my problem is that I am not listening to my body. I eat when I am bored and not when I am hungry, and I often keep eating when I am full.
You run way more than me I think, so you can probably get away with eating more. Do you go by yourself? You look great!!
Are you saying that removing love handles is the key to world peace? If only it could be that simple :). Let's work together girl. Thanks for commenting sister :). Tell Greg that if he wants to send me and you to Mexico, I would gladly work on my tan :).

Kara said...

I meant to write full and not fool :), although I am foolish sometimes in my eating :)

Jaime said...

Kara, WOW Hot mama!!!

breanna said...

i agree you look great AND you are very brave! i realize that you made the blog private, but still! i don't think i could ever do it! i'm with you on the overeating...i baked a sheet of cookies tonight (16). they were intended for everyone, but i put the kids to bed early...and ate 12 (yes 12!) within the past few hours! i think i eat because i like it, but maybe there is an "oprah reason." for now I'll just tell myself they are my "nursing calories!"

Summer said...

You look great Kara!

I totally hear you, though. I am a snacker by nature, and I think that's where a lot of my problems have come from. I snack when I'm bored. Ever since the New Year, I have been working on establishing better eating habits, and I have been amazed at how many times I've caught myself going to the kitchen to get something to eat, without really even thinking about it!

What has helped me is that I have told myself that I can only have one snack in between meals. No snacks before breakfast, or after dinner. It has also helped me to actually plan out my meals and my snacks so that I know what I'm going to have and that is all!

Good luck training for your run! What an impressive goal!

Steve & Sarabeth said...

Ugh. I'm having major self-image issues right now, but being 33 weeks pregnant, there's not much I can do about it. I'm with you...baked goods are my weakness. My best advice is simply to keep the stuff out of the house. If there are cookies in the house, I will eat them. "Out of sight, out of mind", I guess.

The Bains said...

I'm still trying to find a middle ground. I am a very healthy eater in all areas EXCEPT BAKED GOODS :-) In fact I ate so much cookie dough tonight I feel sick. I am also in a situation where I can't work out (doctors orders) so it's even more important that I am careful with mi comida. :-) I am smiling that you took pictures of yourself (you look dang girl sista) and posted them...I love it!!! I love your honesty.

The Bains said...

I mean "dang good" not "dang girl"

Kara said...

You are my idol Ms. Mama of 3!
The one snack in between meals would be good, because I am a snacker. So, no snacks after dinner? Ah.. that would be hard for me, but good... or maybe I could just have a piece of fruit or something.
After I had Gabe and people kept brining me pies and crap that I was shoveling into my mouth, I literally threw a bunch in the garbage so I wouldnt have to deal with it. Isn't that messed up that in a world where many are hungry, I am throwing away food so i won't eat it?? Anywho.... let me make a formal announcement that if I have another baby, please bring me a fruit basket instead of doughnuts :).
Talk about someone who looks good after having kids. You look great. Isn't it funny that we all are so hard on ourselves and we think that everyone else looks great?

K Harker said...

you probably posted this a long time ago but I forgot your blog was now private so I don't get it on my "google reader". Any way I'm just catching up.

My problem is, too many excuses! I try and find excuses not to work out or take time to really think about what I am eating. But I actually have a problem of "not eating" where I just skip meals all together, usually it's lunch. Then I snack on some thing "bad" before dinner and eat too much a dinner. I need to stop skipping meals and eat small meals through out the day.
This was a good "eye-opener" post for me. I need to stop with the excuses and just do it!

Kelsey said...

Number 1, you need to change your font so I can read your blog without going crosseyed. Second....I had no clue you were training for a half-marathon, I (and Jeremy) was going to but we didn't get drawn in the lottery. Now I'm going to do a triathlon with my sister the end of April. How's you're training coming along?

Amanda Nemelka said...

Kara...I NEVER would have thought these were "before" pictures. You look crazy good!

Kara said...

Skipping meals.. interesting. I love food too much to ever forget..
I can't change my background... because I just did and accidentally erased all of my links.... so hopefully you won't be totally cross eyed by the time I see you this summer.
Yeah.. I am glad you are in. I am going to call you. I really miss you. I have not really been in a phone talking mood lately... I don't know why., but I really need to catch up with you missy.

Kara said...

OH, and Kelsey, the training is going well. I am up to 8 miles now. My main problem is that it is hard to find the time to go!! I go at night one night a week with a friend, Saturdays, and then whenever I can find time in between. I am definitely not thinking I will be running this race in a great time, but I will be happy just to do it.

Adrienne said...

Kara, your so funny, I love, love ,love your blog. Your expressions crack me up in those pictures! And hey, your body looks great! Really. Speaking of your baking though, I want, need, your pumpkin-chocholate cake recipe!

Annalise Jones said...

Wow you are brave! And apparently you have so much good friendship and support! I Am jealous. It's so hard to stick to healthy goals isn't it. Here's my feedback. You.. (a) admit you are addicted to starch, and then (b) suggest that you should "simply" limit yourself. That's like an alcoholic saying "just one shot of vodka a day." Good luck. Anybody knows addicting substances are so tricky, you gotta escape entirely! I am a horrible compulsive eater myself and the ONLY thing that worked for me is to STOP buying that stuff, STOP baking that stuff, just enjoy it when you're at someone elses house because then its a controlled environment and you won't binge. When you're home alone in your kitchen, you can only eat what's there. What's there is only there because you bought it. So set some rules about your grocery list. Hope that helps :)

Annalise Jones said...

Who is Anita? I swear by raw foods :)

also wanted to say, when I was dieting (back when I MET you!!) what kept me motivated was to be READING every day. Like scriptures--gotta keep the inspiration fresh in your mind. Read nutrition/diet books like Eat to Live, and you will be like "Cake? no thanks, I'd rather not get diabetes!" hee hee. Corvallis library has a TON of raw food books. Victoria Boutenko is awesome.