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This week when I weighed myself, I was ecstatic to find that I had lose 1.5 pounds. Which brings my total back up to 17.5 pounds lost on Nutrisystem. I was pretty upset by that pound gain last week but I can say now that I am very happy to see it was only a short visit it was paying to me. I have also incorporated the Biggest Loser workout for the xbox into my workout routine. I love my Zumba but I feel I need something a little more intense to get the calorie burn that I want.

I am still very much enjoying the Nutrisystem meals. Lately, I have really been loving the spaghetti with meat sauce for dinner. It is pantry stable and only takes a minute to a minute and a half to cook in the microwave. I top it with a whisper of Parmesan cheese add to it a nice big salad and a cup of ice cold skim milk.YUMMY!

Another meal that I have really been enjoying is the Select frozen gourmet glazed chicken tenders with green beans with almonds. It is awesome. The green beans are crisp and the almonds add the perfect amount of crunch to compliment the tenderness of the chicken. It’s making my mouth water just to talk about it:)

Also, there’s more exciting news  Nutrisystem has introduced a new BMI app for the iPhone to help Americans stay on track to reach our health and weight loss goals! I am all about my iPhone and any app that can help keep me on the right path is fabulous in my book. The free downloadable BMI App is the latest addition to the Nutrisystem Suite of Weight management Mobile apps.

The new app, which is downloadable for free at (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bmi-body-mass-index/id410449057?mt=8#), will provide Nutrisystem members and non-members with an engaging way to quickly and easily assess their BMI, as well as track and monitor changes in BMI over time.

BMI is an effective way to estimate healthy body weight and one of the most widely used diagnostic tools to help identify health and weight problems. The Nutrisystem BMI app for the iPhone features the ability to:

· Calculate BMI in seconds and tell the user if he/she is underweight, healthy or overweight

· Generate a basic diet plan to help improve and maintain an ideal BMI

· Save and track BMI data

· Provide reminders for regular BMI checks

“When it comes to healthy living, knowing and monitoring your BMI is a very important step in the right direction.   At Nutrisystem, we feel that it is our mission to help all Americans lead a healthier lifestyle,” said Chris Terrill, Chief Marketing Officer of Nutrisystem.  “With the introduction of this new, free BMI app for the iPhone, we’re making it simple for anyone – members and non-members alike – to measure their BMI and make positive changes to improve their health.”

Added Terrill, “This app is the latest addition to Nutrisystem’s suite of health and weight loss mobile apps. It furthers our commitment to serving as a leader in the mobile space for weight loss management solutions.”

The introduction of the new Nutrisystem BMI app for the iPhone follows Nutrisystem’s announcement that it has conducted an extensive revamp of its food program.  Last month, Nutrisystem announced that it is incorporating its highest scoring, best tasting fresh frozen gourmet foods into all of its weight loss plans at the lowest price in the Company’s history. The Nutrisystem 28-day program will now include one-third frozen foods and two-thirds of pantry foods and comes with a gourmet money back guarantee and free shipping.

The Nutrisystem® Select® Plan, available only in the Continental U.S., can be purchased by calling the Nutrisystem hotline 1-800-891-3215 or logging onto www.nutrisystem.com.

And don’t forget, right now Nutrisystem is the lowest price it has been since 2003~ If you ever wanted to try Nutrisystem…NOW is the time! What are you waiting for? Start your New You Revolution today!

DISCLOSURE: Nutrisystem is providing their  program to me free of charge  in exchange for my participation in the Nutrisystem Nation Blogging  Program and weekly updates. I am not required to write a positive  review. The opinions I have expressed in this post are my own. I am  disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16  CFR, Part 255

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weight loss, lose weight fast, loose skin, thighgina, weight loss problems, how to lose weight fast, weight loss, how to lose 100 pounds

Want to lose weight fast? Don’t we all. I’ve been wanting to lose 100 pounds for years but I never did it. But, not because it was impossible but because I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready to commit to all the things I needed to do to lose the weight. It’s not hard to lose 100 pounds, but it is a lot of work. A lot of work and it won’t happen overnight. If it does, you may want to go see your doctor because something is probably wrong.

READ ALSO: The Burden of Being a Fat Woman

To lose weight, you need to make up your mind, seriously, that you are ready to lose the weight. You need to go into it knowing that it will take time. It will require sacrifice. It’s not a diet. It’s a lifestyle change. You will have to dedicate yourself to pursuing this for as long as it takes, maybe forever. It is common knowledge that supplements can improve health and have a long list of benefits. Good thing there are effective dietary supplements like Carbofix which can help us further in our weight loss efforts. More about this particular supplement on Carbofix reviews.

The good news is that you can unlearn bad habits and form new habits in about 3 weeks time. 3 weeks is a long time when you are adjusting to reducing carbs and calories. 3 weeks is a long time when you are just starting to move and work out but it’s only 3 weeks.

How to lose weight without feeling like you’re being punished.

After 3 weeks, moving will become a habit. Believe it or not, you will begin to crave it and even enjoy it. You’ll look forward to your morning walk or workout especially if you use the best shapewear. I promise you will. Your body will adjust to your new way of eating. The bad foods will stop tasting as good and the good foods will start to taste better. You will learn to live in your new normal. You will find that after 3 weeks, it doesn’t feel restrictive. This is a lifestyle change so everything in moderation. Don’t put anything off limits or your mind will want it more.

What am I doing to lose weight aside from changing how I eat?

I am developing a healthy relationship with food for the first time, honestly, in my entire life. Food is fuel.

Am I still a foodie? Yes, you can be a foodie without being a glutton. I eat everything in moderation and a weigh and measure before it goes in my mouth. No more mindless eating. No more stress or comfort eating. I’m having to face my issues. It is hard. No more asking for forgiveness. It’s all about permission now and allowing myself to be human. If you want to be guided by a professional, you can seek help from a personal Macro Coaching expert to plan your diet effectively.

I’m eating fewer carbs and less sugar, and eating more vegetables and whole foods. That’s it.

READ ALSO: How a Doctor’s Visit Saved My Life

I’m moving.

Moving doesn’t need to mean going to the gym or getting a Peloton, even though I still want one of those. For me, it means alternating between CIZE by Beachbody ( I started with the 30-minute video and just upped to the 45-minute one) and the BBG app. It can mean just walking.I’m still pretty overweight and out of shape so BBG is hard for me so I modify and on some days, I even do the postpartum workout because it’s what I can do. In the past few weeks, I’ve also added walking 45 minutes a day (when it’s not raining out.) The point is that I am making a conscious choice to move and more importantly, I’m making the time and not excuses. Excuses are what got me here in the first place. Although, after implementing this diet plan to lose weight I haven’t tried anything else, it’s quick and effective.

how to lose weight fast, weight loss, how to lose 100 pounds

Forgiving myself for not being perfect.

I am a human. I am taking one day at a time. Losing this kind of weight and fighting for your life is not a sprint, it’s a long ass cross country race and it takes time. There will be slip ups and plateaus. But with the one day at a time mentality, one foot in front of the other, it’s just one moment of my journey and that one slip up does not define me. Neither does the size of my pants.

Loving myself.

I never thought I could truly love myself. As I said, I am a perfectionist with control issues. I am my harshest critic. I love big and fearlessly when it comes to others but I’ve never been able to look at myself that way. I’m learning to love me. I’m prioritizing me. I am as important as the people I love. I’m beginning to see the good in me. The gifts that I offer the world.

READ ALSO: Sugar is a drug and I was an addict.

Letting others be there for me.

This is another thing that has always been hard for me. I love being people’s rock but I hate hinging my happiness on others so I never do. I’m always afraid they will fail me. But after 20 years of marriage to the Big Guy, he has always been there for me. I always say that he saved my life when we met because that’s when I stopped the anorexia. Well, he’s doing it again. He’s all in and so are my girls and my friends and family. I have received so much love, encouragement and support from so many of you. It means everything to me. You all inspire me.

This is how you lose 100 pounds.

Well, actually the end goal is 111 pounds. It’s not about starving yourself. It’s about loving yourself, forgiving yourself and prioritizing yourself enough to take the time, have the patience and put in the effort to get healthy. If you are considering trying a supplement, make sure to read a review first. For example, this Leanbean review shows a lot of the factors you should consider before buying a product.

To be honest, the end goal is not even a number on the scale for me. The end goal is being completely healthy and on no medication. The goal is to live as long as I can to see my girls grow up, my grandchildren be born and grow up and get married. The goal is to be happy, love myself as unconditionally as I love my family and to feel good in my own skin; to be around to see as many sunsets with my husband as life will allow.

What are you doing to take care of you?

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Well, after last weeks posts,most of you are aware that I have had some  issues with my weight. Or should I say that I have struggled with my weight since I was old enough to realize what weight and body image were.I wasn’t necessarily heavy the entire time but you remember how when you were a teenager, absolutely everything was life or death, well for me the entire focus was on my body. I had thin athletic parents and all my friends were stereo typical cheerleader types in high school.So, that made being average sized feel like I was morbidly obese, though I was not.

Then I went away to college and I was so deathly afraid of gaining the “freshman 15” that I literally started starving myself to death. Since then, its been a string of me trying to find a way to keep my body at a weight that was healthy without starving to death or restricting myself.It’s a hard balance to find.I’ve lost and I’ve gained, like most women in America. ..the world, really. You start having children and before you know it, you’ve put on a few extra pounds here, then a few more there and soon you are looking in the mirror and wondering who the hell this person staring back at you is in the mirror. Being a Mommy, I am guilty of always putting my girls first. I try to find time for me but it is truly few and far between, especially now with the Big Guy gone so much for work. A couple months ago, I decided it was time to find my way back to “me” in Mommy. I really made a concerted effort to find some me time, exercise, make myself look presentable, date nights and some of it has stuck and some has not.One of the first things I noticed  to go, as I sit here typing in my yoga pants and sweatshirt, was the taking time to get ready in the morning.Don’t get me wrong, the reminder has eliminated the yoga pants and ponytails appearance every day. But I realized as I don’t feel good in my own skin; my body isn’t where I want it to be, it has become harder to feel presentable..even in a nice dress and a hot pair of heels.

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This was in September this year on my Birthday.This is what I look like today as I start this journey!

So, I have resolved that I need to lose some weight, for me. Not for my husband or society but for me.I was joking and told my husband that I was going to call this journey my journey from hot mess to hot mommy but that’s not true. I am  NOT a hot mess. I’ve pretty much got it together,with the exception of my weight. I’m simply a woman on a journey to feel comfortable in my own skin. Lucky for me, I have been given an amazing opportunity to be a part of the Nutrisystem Nation blogging program. They have agreed to help me on my journey by providing me with the tools and convenience to reach my goal this time, in a healthy way. No, I’m not making a big reveal of my starting weight..I’m honest, not crazy, but my weight is the one thing I keep private. This is a very big deal to go public with my weight loss journey because it is the one part of my life that is usually off limits. But I trust you, you’re my friends. You’ll be supportive and that’s what I am counting on. You are my accountability.I will keep you posted once a week on my progress.

You, my friends, have been with me through the metaphorical thick and thin of my life over the past year, now I need your support in the the physical thick and thin of my life. I’m starting this journey today…right now. My plan is to combine a lot of Nutrisystem with a good amount of Zumba and a brand new perspective. I want to feel at home in my own body, not like I am visiting a strange planet. I want to be healthy,I want to be a good example for my girls.I want to be able to keep up with my 3 and 5 year old. I want to not be mortified to get in a bathing suit for swim lessons.I want to believe my husband when he tells me that I am sexy.I want the mirror to reflect someone I recognize.I want to be around for a long time to see my children grow up and have my grandchildren. I want to be comfortable in my own skin!

DISCLOSURE: Nutrisystem is providing their  program to me free of charge in exchange for my participation in the Nutrisystem Nation Blogging Program and weekly updates. I am not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed in this post are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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How to stay motivated to work out , fast weight loss, sponsored

Today marks 365 days since I found out that I was diabetic. That was the day that my life changed forever. The thought of dying scared me so much that I began my journey to health that same day. It’s not been easy but it’s been worth it, most days. There’s no such thing as easy, fast weight loss. Changing your eating habits and working out can help get you healthy but it takes time and patience. This is how I stayed motivated to work out for a year.

Let’s face it, often working out is more of a chore than it is a pleasure. Most days I struggle with motivation. I always feel better after I’m done but finding the inspiration to get going on some days is harder than the desire to lose weight or even get healthy but then I remember why I’m doing it; to live.

READ ALSO: How I cured myself of diabetes

How you feel about working out, especially during a shelter-in-place, will definitely impact how hard and how often you work out. Unfortunately, feeling discouraged and out of sorts will only encourage you to do it less and less. In the end, it’ll take a toll on you mentally and physically. As challenging as it sounds, the best thing to do is power through and just do it.

Here are four sneaky ways to stay motivated to work out and lose weight.

Work Out With Friends

Everything’s better with friends. After all, you’re more likely to laugh and smile, and they’re both signs that you’re having a good time. This logic even counts for exercising, so never take your buddies for granted. The trick is convincing them to do it, which is harder than it sounds. Hopefully, once they see your results and how you’re pushing yourself to be better, they’ll happily join. If social distancing measures mean you have to stay at home, you can use Zoom or FaceTime to connect virtually.

Work Out with Music

Who isn’t inspired by the soundtrack of their life? Music makes everything better. A good beat can really inspire your week out groove. Of course, not all music is created equal, and some beats get you more pumped for working out than others. The key is to choose wisely when looking for work out inspiration. Start by picking your favorite songs. Music that you love will help you push passed your exhaustion and to keep going. Next, find upbeat music. Personally, I love to work out to today’s hits or reggeaton.

Getting Dressed Up

Getting dressed in clothes other than day and night PJs isn’t really happening much at my house. In fact, these days, yoga pants and a t-shirt qualify as dressing up. But staying in your pajamas long enough can suck all of your motivation to work out and it’s not very conducive to fast weight loss. One way to change your frame of mind is to use clothes to boost your self-esteem. Whether it’s a Disney Toes or Five Toes design, your workout gear should have two advantages. Firstly, wearing them will make you want to exercise. Secondly, they’ll aid performance, meaning you’ll always be at your best. Working out isn’t challenging when you’re stacking wins.

Don’t Second Guess Your Achievements

You’ve worked hard and hit your goals and suddenly, the goal line moves. This is because we live in an Instagram world and everyone else on social media appears to be hitting higher targets. They’re losing weight faster, easier and looking better doing it. Next thing you know; you feel subpar instead of like the winner that you are. Regardless of what everyone else is doing, focus on you and your goals. You’re not in competition with anyone else. The goal is to be healthy, nothing else matters. After all, you’re the one who has to put in the hard work and do the workout. One day, you’ll reach your target weight and fitness goal. For now, concentrate on what you can control and have fun.

READ ALSO: Food’s an Addiction and Sugar is a Drug

Whether you want fast weight loss or long-term health, this is how to stay motivated to work out for an entire year and beyond. What do you do to stay motivated to work out when you are not in the mood?

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Ok, so its come to my attention lately that apparently, I am not the only Mommy in the world (or even my circle) who is trying to figure out a way to raise a family, keep them healthy and happy, and ,while doing so, keep herself in shape. So, I am proposing that Wednesday, the until now dreaded “HUMP DAY” now become something positive for us Mommies. Let’s make Wednesday the day we come here and share weight loss tips, healthy recipes that taste good ( not ones that taste like cardboard, they help NO ONE!), workout routines that we like and enjoy,etc. I think it could be very positive and who can’t use some extra advice in this area? I mean, usually, we don’t just ask our friends ” Hey, you are in great shape. What do you do?” We’d like to, but we don’t. It’s a little awkward and kinda like asking your fertile friends what kind of sexual position worked best for them when trying to conceive. Sure, it could be beneficial to get some new moves in our arsenal and speed up the process but its a touchy subject and not everyone likes to share, plus how do you ask without sounding like a whack job?Same goes for weight loss. But if we had a place to exchange ideas, or just pick some up, I think it would be helpful. It certainly would for me:) I am currently doing a combination of Weight Watchers and Turbo Jam.Both I love. I started on September 25th of ’09, and have thus far lost a grand total of 25 lbs.It’s good but it could be better. I think I need to change up my food variety.Anybody got any great ideas for yummy,healthy recipes? Or what about tricks to get your kids to eat healthy foods? I have exhausted the Deceptively Delicious cookbook and need some fresh ideas. If my husband catches me sneaking cauliflower and sweet potato into his lasagna once more, it may be the end of me:)Any and all ideas welcome!

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Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Miscarriage, loss, grief, the truth about motherhood, stillborn, infant loss, pregnancy loss, angel baby

International Pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day is a day of reflection for many parents. Sadly, there are so many parents who have lost infants and suffered a miscarriage that the frequency with which it happens is staggering.

Never heard of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day? That’s ok. I wish no one was having miscarriages or losing infants. It’s a day of remembrance for parents who have suffered miscarriages, delivered stillborn babies, sudden infant death syndrome victims and other causes of child loss.

“National observance of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month … offers us the opportunity to increase our understanding of the great tragedy involved in the deaths of unborn and newborn babies. It also enables us to consider how, as individuals and communities, we can meet the needs of bereaved parents and family members and work to prevent causes of these problems,” Ronald Reagan.

Before we lost our baby, I never knew there was a Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. I had no idea knew that 1 in 4 pregnancies ended in miscarriage.

But once I miscarried, everyone I knew had a story. It’s something that happens to a lot of us that none of us talk about. It made me sad to know that all of these women were walking around the world with their hearts broken in a way that brings a pain and anguish that only losing a pregnancy or a child can bring.

The grief is one that you cannot get passed. Time can make it easier to survive, but you never get over losing a baby.

According to United States estimates, roughly 15 to 20 percent of all American pregnancies end in miscarriage in early pregnancy. Miscarriage is defined as the loss of a fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy.

More than 80 percent of these losses happen before 12 weeks. Mine happened during week 10.

READ ALSO: All I Can Do is Cry

I don’t talk about my miscarriage very often anymore. It’s like reopening a gaping wound in my heart to remember too vividly. But it remains, right beneath the surface, like a ghost haunting me. Today, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day,  I want to talk about it.

My pregnancy was unexpected. It wasn’t planned. We were living with my in-laws, waiting for our house to sell in another state. The Big Guy and I had been living apart for 2 years because of the Big Guy’s job. It just wasn’t doable anymore.

The Big Guy and I wanted another child. We’d planned on another child, after Gabi. When Gabi was almost 2, the economy was terrible and the Big Guy had to work out of state. We only saw each other on weekends. We had to shelve the idea of baby #3.

2 years later, living in a bedroom at my in-laws’ house, we were pregnant. Feeling every bit of the scrutiny and judgment one feels when, as an adult, living in someone else’s house with little kids. There were stepping on toes and disagreements on child rearing. It was a lot of good intentions gone awry. Mostly it was a lot of biting of tongues and hurt feelings.

I found out that I was pregnant at quite possibly the worst timing ever. Especially since there was such a lack of boundaries that things like, “ I hope you guys don’t get pregnant. We can’t fit anyone else in this house,” were tossed around, half teasingly and half-truth.

There we were holding this secret. We were excited about the secret baby of ours. More than anything, I was thrilled to be able to give our Gabi the one thing she was asking for, a baby brother or sister. I could stomach all the rude comments just to know that on her birthday, I was going to surprise her with the one thing she wanted most.

READ ALSO: Mommy, I want another baby

It was hard walking around a house, where it had openly been said that another child would be an even bigger imposition than we already were. It was hard keeping it hidden with extreme morning sickness and trying to appear as normal as possible when keeping the biggest secret I have ever had; the most amazing secret.

A few weeks before my big planned reveal at Gabi’s 5th birthday party, I began to spot. It was week 10 and 4 days. I had spotted with both previous pregnancies. I wasn’t worried but I called the doctor anyway, just to be sure. Then, it happened. My secret miracle was lost.  I had a miscarriage, all the world receded to the background and all I could feel was the loss.

It felt like I had been betrayed. I felt guilt for being scared when I first found out that I was pregnant; shame that I had let their words weigh on my heart. It felt like somehow, I was responsible. Did I allow it to happen? Like maybe if I would have spoken up at the time and told them I was pregnant and demanded they accept it, maybe my baby would still be alive. But that was all lies that my broken mind told my shattered heart to survive; to make sense out of one of the most tragic moments of my life.

What was going to be a pregnancy announcement turned into a miscarriage announcement. I felt compelled to let everyone know that my baby was here. He existed. He was loved, even though he was now gone. It was, thus far, the worst moment of my life. I was wounded irreparably and I have never completely healed.

My baby would be turning 6 this November 24th. I have friends who have children who are 5 and 6, who I completely forgot that were pregnant at the same time as I was because the year of 2012 is a complete blur of sadness and grief to me. All that I can vividly remember is the excruciating pain I endured. The millions of tears that I shed. Little voices, hugging me tight and offering me love and acceptance while I mourned the loss of their baby brother/sister.

1 in 4 women experience this kind of loss and the mind-breaking grief that so often accompanies it. It’s unimaginable and unfathomable the pain the human heart is capable of experiencing until you do. Then nothing else seems quite as relevant.

So many mothers and fathers walking around the planet surviving the pain and loss of their children. Let today, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, remind you to be kind to each other, every day because you never know what someone is going through. It could be the worst day of their life or the anniversary of their loss. You just never know.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, Miscarriage, loss, grief, the truth about motherhood, stillborn, infant loss, pregnancy loss, angel baby

READ ALSO: When a Tattoo Heals Your Heart

Somedays I feel strong and like I’ve made major leaps to move on through my grief and loss and other days, I feel like my heart is held together by a stick of chewing gum and a prayer. I am surrounded by what might have been all around me. It hurts because my miscarriage robbed me of that. Still, I try to take joy in the little time I did have; the all-consuming love that I had for my third baby and that has to be enough for now.

Do you know anyone who has suffered a loss?

Please remember to keep them in your thoughts and treat them with extra kindness today, October 15, on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and on all days.

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nutrisystem, weight loss, diet, healthy

I’ve lost one more pound during week 12 of Nutrisystem. Only six more ounces and I will be back to my pre-BlogHer weight. Sounds like I am trying to lose my baby weight, only I have no baby to show for it just a belly full of rich foods and a weekend filled with great memories so I guess it was sort of worth it, right? Only no! I mean, couldn’t I have done exactly the same thing on salad and grilled chicken, minus the alcohol and added in a lot more exercise. If only hugging were a calorie burner, I would have hugged myself skinny at that damn conference.

So, do you think people use traveling and special occasions as an excuse to put off weight loss? Do we procrastinate until tomorrow because we secretly hope tomorrow will never come? Why do we always try to eat all the food the night before we start a diet? What the heck is that about? I mean that can’t be good for you and I know I am not the only one who does that. I start a diet tomorrow, well then you can guarantee that I am eating carbs and sugar tonight. It’s ridiculous, right?

Nutrisystem is changing the way I am looking at food. It’s forcing me to not only take culpability for my eating habits but know that your weight is a direct result of your eating and workout habits. This is obvious from that BlogHer trip. I don’t think I realized how immediate the consequences were apparent.

What is the one thing that you know will derail you every time when trying to lose weight?

Want to join me in losing weight and getting healthy on Nutrisystem? You can join Nutrisystem by calling 1-888-853-4689 or visiting https://www.nutrisystem.com/nsblog

Disclaimer: Nutrisystem is providing my program free of charge for my participation in the Nutrisystem Nation Blogger program but all opinions are honest and my own.

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signs of miscarriage, miscarriage symptoms, causes of miscarriage, grief, sadness, loss, miscarriage, lost baby, how to carry on after a miscarriage

I’ve realized that loss never really leaves you, not truly; not the big ones. They remain right beneath the surface, just deep enough for you to get by, to go on living in that forever changed, never the same way only the loss of someone you love more than yourself affects you. A miscarriage or losing a baby/child is different than losing anyone else.

Last night, I watched the movie Return to Zero on Netflix. I stumbled into it like a drunk falling into a wall and then I stayed there for the duration because even though it hurt when the wounds were reopened, it was familiar. The knowing washed over me like a warm surf pulling me into the undertow. Gasping for breath, the pain of drowning reminded me that I was alive.

READ ALSO: All I Can Do is Cry

I think I’ve been living in a protective state of comfortable numbness for the past 7 years. Maybe it’s where I need to stay for the rest of my life because I can’t let myself feel everything, all the time. I can’t live like the exposed nerve that my soul sometimes is. I mask it with levity. I tell myself that I’m letting go but then I see something, hear something or remember something and my dam of grief breaks wide open and it all comes flooding back. Vulnerability replaces the protective cover around my heart.

Return to Zero is a movie about a couple who loses their child in utero at 9 months from a health complication. The baby’s kidney develops a cyst and the organ bursts. The baby, thought to be completely healthy and normal, dies. No rhyme, no reason and no explanation that can ever console a grieving parent’s heart. Just immeasurable and unfathomable loss. The kind of loss that swallows you up whole. The kind of loss that makes it painful to breathe. The kind of loss that is almost not survivable.

A couple of things have happened in the past month that has really brought it all up for me again and least of all, not being that I am less than a month away from the anniversary of my own loss. I know it sounds weird to remember and mark a day of loss but when you are left with a loss this big, that no one else seems to feel as strongly as you, you feel like you have to hold on to that memory with everything that you are or your baby will disappear forever. You have to fight for it. If not, it will be as if he/she never existed and that is too much to bear so you hold on because, as a parent, you feel like it is your responsibility to that child to make sure the world knows they were here. You are the keeper of their legacy; however short lived it was.

READ ALSO: The TRUTH about Life After Miscarriage

Last month, my friend lost her full-term baby to Trisomy 13. She went through 9 months of unimaginable hurt and loneliness, culminated in the worst kind of pain. That is what losing a baby is like, you feel so alone with your anguish and emptiness. A different friend lost her baby soon after announcing. Other friends are still learning to live in the losses of their children who are gone. Yet, another friend is struggling with fertility and I keep finding myself getting angry because I am afraid that she is going to get pregnant and experience loss. I was so afraid after my loss that I never tried again but I don’t want my fear to color her experience. There’s just been a lot of things going on that have been reminding me of my own empty arms and since I had to have a hysterectomy last fall, the finality of it all has been hitting me harder than I ever could have anticipated. It’s been 7 years since my miscarriage with our third child but the weight of that loss is as heavy as it ever was.

I don’t cry every day anymore. I don’t wear my grief like an armor these days. It’s much more subdued and quiet but it is there and can be felt as strongly as it was on May 1, 2012 in my heart. There are certain things I will never forget; the minute they didn’t see the heartbeat, sitting in a waiting room full of beautiful bellies full of living babies as I sat there with my silent womb. I remember calling my husband to tell him and no words coming out of my mouth, the primal screaming and sobbing that I did alone in my car in the parking lot as my heart broke in between the doctor’s appointment and preschool pick up, the emptiness that I felt in my soul that afternoon, my 4-year-old hugging and kissing my belly telling the baby she loved him at 4  in the morning before I left to the hospital for my D&E, A Thousand Years playing on the seemingly eternal drive to the hospital, the sick child I saw at the hospital that morning and feeling sorry for her mother.

Surviving the Grief, Loss and Aftermath of Miscarriage

I’ll never forget the way I refused to go ahead with surgery until they performed one last ultrasound, the photo I made my husband snap of the ultrasound machine of our baby, the helplessness in his eyes, the loneliness that I felt as they wheeled me back to surgery as the nurses lovingly told me of their own losses, the sadness I felt when I saw their eyes fill with tears and the helplessness that I saw on my brothers’ faces when I found them waiting with my husband in the waiting room while I was in surgery. The love that I felt for each person who tried to hold my heart and protect me from the inevitable pain that was to come next.

The emptiness that emanated from my womb throughout my entire body. The endless crying and guilt. The disappointment at my body’s failure. The blame that I wholly accepted. The solitude and hatred that permeated every single thought for those coming weeks. Laying silently in stillness feeling unworthy of breath. Looking into my daughters’ eyes and seeing the confusion. Fake smiling to survive. People telling me that God has a reason. Someone asking me if I was relieved. People telling me that my baby was in a “better” place as if my arms were not good enough. Having misplaced love and anger and not knowing what to do with either. Trying to be normal for everyone else.

READ ALSO: When a Tattoo Heals Your Heart 

Celebrating my husband’s 37nd birthday, 2 days after my D&E, because I refused to let my pain make things weird. Celebrating my Godson’s communion that same weekend after sending a text to everyone not to bring up the miscarriage to me. The next weekend, going out for our 13th wedding anniversary and celebrating Mother’s Day. The next weekend, attending my 4-year-olds preschool graduation, my 6-year-old’s violin concert and a few days later throwing a party for my 5-year-old with all of our friends and family; the same party where we were going to announce our pregnancy. That Thanksgiving, the due date of what might have been, and someone asking me, “don’t you miss the pitter patter of little feet running around the house?” as my nephew played and I had to run to my room to not break down in front of a house full of people. Between all of these brave faces I was putting on for everyone else, I was crumpled up in a ball sobbing in my bed. I stayed in my room alone as much as I could. I felt like I was dying. Secretly, maybe I hoped that I was.

I’d pushed all of these feeling down. I’m scrappy and I’m good at being stoic even when I just want to give myself over to my grief. Some parts of Return to Zero felt like watching it all happen to someone else but all the same things were being said and I could relate to the hurt, the pain and the fear. My heart cracked wide open for the first time in years and all that pain resurfaced. It flooded my heart and every thought. That’s why I’m writing this post. I know that there are so many women who have lost a pregnancy, a baby or a child and it all really is the same to a mother; we’ve lost the possibility of what could have been and that changes you in ways you never expected. We are irrevocably and molecularly changed from the person we were up until the moment we experienced that loss.

READ ALSO: Some Things Change You Forever

I’m damaged. I’ll never be who I was before the words, “I can’t find a heartbeat” were whispered to me in a poorly lit, sterile room on the second floor of the women’s health center by a kind woman who didn’t know what else to say as I stared back at her begging her to change her mind and take it all back. You are not alone. We might all process it differently and it might look different from the outside but on the inside, we are gutted and speechless and feeling more helpless than we’ve ever felt before.

As much as Return to Zero broke my heart, I found comfort in the fact that someone wrote an honest screenplay that so accurately portrays the realness of loss; the humanity of it all. The primal part of loss that no “I’m sorry for your loss” can ever salve. Losing a child is losing yourself in the world, becoming completely unrecognizable, and being sentenced to a lifetime of living. It’s cruel. You will survive and you will never forget. Tiny time bombs of grief will unexpectantly go off for the rest of your life and you will find yourself a broken mess at the most inopportune times but this is your heart reminding your mind not to forget. This is you living. This is you loving your baby forever and there is something beautiful in that pain; something comforting.

How do you process loss?

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loss of a pregnancy, miscarriage, pregnancy, birth, the first pregnancy

Have you ever suffered the loss of a pregnancy? Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day. I know October is National everything month but I would like you all to pause for just a moment today and remember all the mothers who lost their everything and children who never got to be held. We can’t forget the loss of a pregnancy is the loss of our child that would’ve been; it’s how to survive a miscarriage.

My story is not unique or special but my loss was life-changing for me. In that one moment, my life was altered for eternity. The loss of a pregnancy sounds so simple but I’ll spend the rest of my life learning how to survive a miscarriage. The statistics all say that it is common but it doesn’t feel statistically accurate. I can’t imagine how so many women are suffering so stoically, such a deep and profound sorrow. My heart was irreparably damaged and in its place, a gaping wound remains that can never be filled. It’s a kind of primal pain that is indescribable. 

READ ALSO: Mourning Mother Won’t Let go of Baby

I don’t think that the loss of a pregnancy or infant is like anything else, we will ever experience in our lifetime and I can say for certain that it is nothing I would ever wish on even my worst enemy.

It’s like dying but still being alive. It’s having to carry on when you want to crawl into yourself and cease to exist. It’s survival at the most. It’s a vulnerability that, to this day, still brings me to my knees on occasion. The only thing worse that I can imagine is losing a living child who’ve you’ve spent years loving and knowing.

The worst part about the loss of a pregnancy or infant is what a single solitary loss it is. Surviving a miscarriage is like surviving the apocalypse and your entire family dying, do you even want to survive?

You will never feel so alone as you do when your womb is empty because you feel like your body failed you and no one feels it the way you do. Others know that you lost your pregnancy or your infant but in a few weeks or months, they can forget it if they choose and carry on. And they usually do and you are left feeling like a crazy person who misses terribly this tiny person we never met. You begin to question your sanity, especially when others look at you like “when is she ever going to get over this.” Worse, they actually are afforded the luxury of forgetting that it ever happened to you. Oh yes, they do and no I never will “get over it”.

Every May 1st (The day I survived my miscarriage) and November 24th (our child’s due date), I observe as days of remembrance. I feel the loss every single day but on those two days of the year, I allow myself to feel all of my feelings. Sometimes, I sob the entire day, sometimes I am numb and others, I am still and thankful that even for that short time, my baby was with me and for the two beautiful children that I do get to hold because there are those of us who never got to hold any of their children.

I am past the point of feeling raw or envious when friends tell me that they are pregnant. I am happy for them. In fact, I love seeing them get to experience that love and complete sense of purpose. I no longer ask “why me?” because there is no point. My little one has finally stopped asking for a sibling, and that has helped immensely. My guilt is beginning to alleviate some. My feeling of failure is slowly fading like an old photo.

I do however know how fragile and fleeting life is and that has made me a different kind of mother to my children. If I am being completely honest, I still don’t think that I could survive a loss of one of my girls. (That’s not a tempt fate, so please forget that I even thought that) but the pain nearly killed me and for a little while, it completely destroyed my sanity. It’s hard to be rational when you are a frightened, exposed nerve in the world. I am aware that I am a little more protective of my girls than maybe I should be but you have to understand, they are my everything.

READ ALSO: When a Tattoo Heals Your Heart

I’ve been searching for something to immortalize the baby that I lost, to give me closure in a way. I feel like I need something to mark his existence, proof that he ever existed at all. That he was here. That the Big Guy and I loved him more than anything else in the world, just like we do our two girls. I know that nothing can fill that hole in my heart but I want people to know that I am the mother to 3 children. I was pregnant 3 times. It happened. I’m not crazy. I didn’t imagine it. I am not over it.

I’ve finally decided on a tattoo that I think is perfect. It’s a poem, one that I’ve quoted to my girls since they were babies. I am going to have it tattooed on my left-hand side rib cage, near my heart because that is where my children always are with me, in my heart, forever…even if you don’t see them or forget they exist. For me, they are always right there with me.

If you’ve ever experienced the loss of a pregnancy take today to feel your feelings.

Be kind to yourself. There is no right or wrong way to feel. There is no expiration date on loving a child. It doesn’t matter who else remembers or cares, you do.

We all have our wounds. They might not show on the outside but they are there. Be kind to one another and cherish every single moment with the people you love, especially the little people, because time is fleeting.

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nutrisystem

Nutrisystem, NSNation, diet, weight loss, healthI am so behind; I started writing my Nutrisystem update on Monday and am just now getting around to posting it. Please tell me that I am not the only one who is running her mommy butt off this summer? I thought summer was supposed to be relaxing. My summer is less like a day at the beach and more like a runaway train.Granted the chasing bubbles and chalk art is glorious but damn it, I don’t think that’s going to pay the bills.

My second week on Nutrisystem was completely crazy. My husband was out of town, which means life was chaotic and filled with even more obligations than usual. I spent the entire week running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I am so exhausted. Between all of the running around and keeping the girls entertained, I just couldn’t get anything accomplished. My sister and nephew came into town to visit for a few days. That was awesome but like any disruption to our routine, it threw us into a tailspin. I was really afraid that I was going to fall off my Nutrisystem wagon.

Like any other diet or weight loss program,slips can happen even on Nutrisystem especially when you are running behind and short on time. The difference between success and failure is whether you have a slip and then move past it and get right back on track or if you just give up because of one slip. The key is to never give up.

Thankfully, I stayed pretty close to the straight and narrow this week even amongst all the craziness. My only slip was having a cup of Garrett’s Chicago Mix popcorn that my husband brought me back from Chicago. Thankfully, Garrett’s is nowhere near where I live so the temptation is not there on a regular basis. I’m allowed to have popcorn on Nutrisystem, but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t include cheese and caramel popcorn. So, I slowly enjoyed my popcorn and then I walked an extra ½ hour the next morning and I moved on.

Another evening that could have potentially been a slippery slope of bad eating never happened because of the flexibility of the Nutrisystem program. I was so tired and really wanted nothing more than to just order out, plop my feet up and gab with my little sister but I didn’t do that. I made dinner; chicken nachos with grilled summer squash and zucchini and fresh watermelon. It took about 15 minutes from start to finish.I knew I couldn’t have nachos but I could have a Nutrisystem Chicken and cheese Quesadilla, the grilled veggies and the watermelon. I was even able to have two ounces of the seasoned chicken breasts that I used in the nachos.

chicken quesadilla, Nutrisytem, weight loss, diet, weight loss plan

It may sound like a weird combination but it was delicious and it let me have dinner with my family. What I mean is I didn’t have to sit there feeling like I was being punished or deprived because really, I was enjoying the same meal with them. This is really helpful to me in staying on plan.

I ended up losing another 1 pound and 8 ounces, bringing my grand total so far to 7.2 pounds in 2 weeks. My weight at Monday’s weigh in was 241.4. I knew this week would be a slow loss after last week’s big number but considering all the disruption to our regular routine, I think I did great and I am proud of myself. I am looking forward to next week.

Bonus: I also lost 2 inches off my arm, 2 inches off my chest, 3 inches off my waist, 3 inches off of my hips and 2 inches off of my thigh for a total of 12 inches in two weeks. That, my friends, is awesome. I can already feel a difference in the way my shorts are fitting. Next week, hopefully I’m back in the 230’s!

Want to join me in losing weight and getting healthy on Nutrisystem? You can join Nutrisystem by calling 1-888-853-4689 or visiting https://www.nutrisystem.com/nsblog

Disclaimer: Nutrisystem is providing my program free of charge for my participation in the Nutrisystem Nation Blogger program but all opinions are honest and my own.

 

The winner of the EatSmart Digital Nutrition Pro Scale is Daniela Tapia. Congratualtions Daniela! I hope you will enjoy your as much as I enjoy mine. It’s an amazing and invaluable tool to have on your weight loss journey. But don’t worry, I’ll have more great giveaways coming in the future from EatSmart.

Photo: Nutrisystem

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