Diet Dispatches

Calories burned juggling?

January 31, 2012 

An encouraging note

Andrea Weigl, features reporter, writes: I am now into my fourth week back at work. I have to salute any woman who can juggle motherhood, full-time work, breast-feeding and exercise. I haven't been able to do it.

And what I'm failing to do is exercise. So much for my ambitions of going four times a week before or after work. I've been to the gym once - and that was on a weekend.

But I have hope. I hope that I can get my act together when I stop breast-feeding at six months. When I can finally sleep through the night and don't have to schedule everything in four-hour increments, exercising may be a more realistic goal.

At least, I've lost a pound a week since returning to work. which is the amount experts say breast-feeding moms can expect to lose.

I think my loss may also have to do with not being at home all the time now. I'm a grazer. If there are cookies on the counter or ice cream in the freezer, they will not last long in my presence.

Other than that, I wanted to share an email I got from a reader in response to one of my earlier blog posts. It was so sweet and encouraging.

JoAnn "Jo" Wynn of Chapel Hill wrote: "Oh, honey, really. Take it easy on yourself. It's going to take almost a year to get back to your old self.

"Your weight is perfectly reasonable, even if it's higher than you want.

"I have no advice other than what you are already doing except to observe that two changes must occur that are not easy to accomplish: Stop nursing, and sleep, sleep, sleep. They'll happen eventually.

"... For what it's worth, I've done this up and down after baby three times, and am within 3 pounds of the 137 weight I had been before having the first child 10 years ago. Of course, I had to come to terms with the fact I would never be a size 6 or 8 again, and be grateful to be a 10.

"Good luck, but also, be at peace. Your body has been through all kinds of indignities, so it needs time to recover. And yay for you - you have a baby!"

Thanks, JoAnn, those words mean a lot to me.

It's hard to do alone

Sharon Powell of our Eastern Wake News and Clayton News-Star, writes: Am I eating healthy? I'm not sure. My usual breakfast is either a blueberry bagel, without cream cheese because I'm lactose intolerant, or two croissants. And, of course, I have a strong, strong cup of coffee. Why strong coffee? No respectable sailor worth her weight in sea salt is ever seen outside her quarters without her trusty coffee mug.

Last week, for the first time in weeks I took time to have lunch. My life partner, David, and I ate at a Mexican restaurant. I ordered two chicken quesadillas and rice. The chicken was healthy, but the rice, which I love, probably wasn't. As usual, I left something on my plate. I have never been able to clean a plate, much to my mother's chagrin when I was a child and now to David's chagrin.

One could define dinner for me as "Dinner impossible." If I could afford a cook, I'd hire one. It is hard to find time to make a meal or maybe I just simply don't want to set aside time to cook. It's a chore almost as bad as doing laundry.

I am making better progress with my aerobic workout. Sammy, my faithful beagle-hound-mix, keeps me honest. He doesn't complain, and I'm sure he enjoys the long walks/runs.

I'm working on my muscles too. The other day, I picked up a set of 10-pound weights that have been sitting on my bathroom floor for longer than I'd like to say. I did two sets of reps and plan to use them again.

What have I learned so far? First, there are many reasons why many of us have poor eating habits. This is why so many are either underweight or overweight. It takes some discipline to change old habits and routines. And we need support to turn the scales around. It's hard to do this alone - not that everyone can or should hire a cook.

Can I see my reward in the distance? Walk MS in Raleigh is March 31. I'm not sure I can be ready by then, but I can try. Is anyone else getting ready to walk for MS? I'd like to hear from you. Drop me a line at or leave a comment on Turning the Scales blog.

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