A bundle of joy arrives in November!

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My husband and I are very excited to share that in November, we’ll be parents! We enjoyed an awesome five years of marriage before deciding to expand our family, and now that we’re expecting, we’re over the moon. I’ll be sharing more on the blog later about what it will mean to have a plus-sized pregnancy (hint: nothing dramatic. With healthy eating and exercise, you can have a healthy, normal pregnancy — I have so far been lucky to have not gained a pound, and have felt great!), and how I ultimately made the decision to move forward with my life despite not reaching my goal with weight. But for now, I wanted to share a little bit about how we broke the news.

Matt and I went on a Caribbean cruise in mid-March, and thankfully, even though I was about eight weeks along, other than fatigue, I felt really good (I did miss my mojitos, though!). We decided to take a photo on the beach and write “Baby C” in the sand (See below). I’m wearing my weekly bump shirt that I made (thanks to my pal KJ Pugs), and two awesome gals on the beach helped us stage a mini photo shoot. Because we live eight hours away from our immediate family, we knew we’d have to break the news digitally to some people. Thankfully Matt’s Dad was coming down to visit, so we got to surprise him in person with a custom mug that says “Grandpa, Est. 11/15”.

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We also got to tell my best friend and sister in person. I bought them aunt onesies, wrapped them in boxes, and had them both open the boxes at the same time. My sister screamed so loud and jumped up and down that I’m pretty sure the cats thought it was the apocolypse — it was awesome! Here she is right after hearing the news, and right after putting on her makeup (sorry, Ape! My timing was off on that!), hair still wet in a babushka.

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Surprising my parents was a little bit more complex. We decided to have my sister print the photo from the cruise, and present it to my parents while we skyped them. You’ll hear my sister say we shipped the picture. Thanks to my awesome brother, we have this video of my mom’s insane reaction. (Back story: My mom has been annoyingly obsessed with becoming a Grandma since I was about 18 (not kidding!). She had to be sternly reminded several times that we would have kids when we were ready, and I always told her good things come to those who wait. See, Mom? It finally happened!) PS if you’re offended by F-bombs, do not watch this video because there are several of them! My favorite part is the dog jumping up and down with my mom.

I’d been trickling out the news slowly to family and friends, and as of today I’m 13.5 weeks pregnant and thanks to a detailed scan last week, we know that Baby C. looks great and is so far nice and healthy! (Please say a little prayer, send good thoughts, or make a wish on a dandelion that all continues to go well.) šŸ™‚Ā  To pre-emptively answer a few questions I’ve been getting lately:

  • How am I feeling? As I mentioned earlier, my only major symptom has been fatigue, but I’m starting to perk up a little bit. I haven’t had any morning sickness and I feel so fortunate that so far I’m feeling really, really good. Being crazy excited helps šŸ™‚
  • When is the due date? November 12, a Scorpio!
  • Will we find out gender? Yes! Definitely. I think we still have a few more weeks to go before we’ll know. I definitely have a “feeling” it’s one gender, so I’ll be curious to see if I’m right!
  • Any cravings? In the earlier weeks I craved a Veggie Delite sub from Subway, and have been super averse to chicken. In fact, I’m struggling with eating meat in general. I’ve never been a big meat eater and am having to be creative about getting enough protein. The most consistent craving I’ve had is berries – strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, which I have almost daily. I’ve also craved Sour Patch Kids and Cheez-Its, but am trying to keep my junky indulgences to a minimum.
  • Was the baby planned? Yes, indeed! I am very grateful to have conceived as having PCOS can make things dicey in terms of fertility, and I am well aware of the struggles so many people go through to become parents. I am holding all of the hopeful parents to be in my heart that one day their dream is fulfilled.

So that’s my news, Double Chinners! I’ll be back on the DCD more often now because, heck, I missed y’all, and even though my new blog is cool, DCD will always be my home. Thank you as always for your loyalty and time, and for reading my little old blog. I’m a pretty lucky gal! <3

Appreciating my appetite

Many moons ago, I explored acupuncture, hoping to have an answer to my weight problem, allergies and stress. Before my first session, I remember the acupuncturist was very interested in my appetite. I answered like I usually do when someone asks me how my appetite is, “It’s big.” What the acupuncturist said next surprised me. She said I should be grateful for a good appetite, because many people struggle to eat on a daily basis. That blew my mind. It wasn’t until recently that I’ve ever experienced a bad appetite, and now, one of my telltale signs of being too stressed is when I’m not thinking about what I’m going to eat next. There’s the type of stress that makes me want to cram everything crunchy into my mouth, and then, when I get really spastic, I don’t want anything to do with food. Thankfully that doesn’t happen too often anymore now that I’m learning stress management techniques in therapy, but isn’t it interesting that an appetite is actually something to be grateful for? You could have a lack of appetite from illness, or just never really be hungry. I can’t imagine it!

One of my coworkers once told me if there was a pill he could take instead of having to eat three square meals, he’d do it in a heartbeat. He found the whole act of eating annoying — the cost, the preparation, the time factor, the having to chew it. When he said that I was shocked, because I find unreasonable joy in food — the preparation, the smells, the tastes, the textures, the social aspect. In fact, one of the positive parts of the detox was that I cooked a lot, roasting vegetables, pureeing fruits, experimenting with new squashes. I love food, beyond just the taste and the fact that it fuels me, but how it’s a hobby, a learning experience and a form of medicine.

My husband has a healthy appetite, I’d say, but it’s nowhere near as robust as mine. I’m usually the one finishing my meal at restaurants when he diligently takes home half. My mother is the same way; she can out eat most grown men any day of the week. I’ve moved past the shame factor of having a big appetite because there’s really nothing to be ashamed about, as long as you stop when you’re full and eat things of reasonable nutritional value. However, my big challenge is always “Am I finishing this because I’m still hungry, or am I finishing it because I feel like I should?” It’s these things that are important to realize about appetite, learning how to fine-tune it to keep it in control, to acknowledge the differences between hunger and emotional eating. It’s an art I’m still working on.

How would you rate your appetite — big, small, non-existent? Do you see what I mean about learning to appreciate your appetite?

Crazy for Cookie Butter

Speculoos Cookie Butter is crack in a jar.

Dear Friends:

When I step into Trader Joes, I’ve entered a magical land full of intriguing things like baked onion rings, coconut oil, confetti rice… and COOKIE BUTTER!!!! My friend Jason discovered this first and posted all about it on his Facebook page, and I thought to myself “Oooh… I want that.” But, in the name of weight loss (which has since stalled.. I’m hovering right at 9.4 pounds… COME ON!), I resisted. Until yesterday, when my willpower was weak, and the 104 degree heat sent my husband and I into the air-conditioned shelter of shopping.

It’s freaking delicious. It’s basically crushed biscuits in a paste form, and it tastes like cookie dough. You can put it on pretzels, celery sticks, toast, cookies or english muffins – or just eat it from the jar. Not that I would do that or anything. Not like my husband caught me yesterday with a spoon in my mouth, moaning with the sinful deliciousness of a cookie butter that has zero nutritional benefits.

It’s 90 calories per tablespoon, so I’m not really doing myself any favors. But it’s so damn good. However, as soon as this jar is gone, I must resist buying another, because this stuff has cracked my “I don’t crave sweets” code. And that’s some powerful stuff. Because I believe in hedonism, I’ll be including a jar of this stuff in my 150 fan giveaway. Evil, right?

Have you entered yet?! HURRY!

The contest ends Wednesday night!

 

 

Tempatation: Salty or Sweet?

Happy Wednesday, Double Chinners! Some of you may know that I’m in a cupcake decorating class. It’s been a fun creative outlet for me besides studying and I’m taking it with an old friend from college. Sounds fun, creative and interesting – but doesn’t sound conducive to weight loss, right? Well… I think you might be surprised to know, it ain’t no thang at all! I’m a classic salt lover – give me a pile of tortilla chips over a cookie any day! I’m especially not a huge cake fan (I had to learn to like birthday cake, even), so I knew a cupcake decorating class wouldn’t be a big deal for me.

Luau Cupcakes with Fondant Plumeria and Tiki Men

In class Saturday, we made Luau themed cupcakes, with hand-formed fondant plumeria, graham cracker crumb “sand” and hand drawn fondant tiki men. They’re super cute, right? I ate one out of 17 cupcakes (7 points sans fondant), and now they’re gone – given away to coworkers and friends and neighbors. It’s weird to me that I can have a gorgeous display of homemade cupcakes in my house and cease to even notice they exist, but a bag of tortilla chips is like crack, beckoning to me from the pantry with its salty, crunchy lore.

In fact, I often have little bowls of candy around my home – I love having a bowl of treats for when guests come over, usually something like dark chocolate Doves or like right now, crunchy malted Robin’s Eggs. Again, the candy doesn’t get me into trouble. Occasionally I may have a couple here and there, but it’s never a trigger for me like salty and crunchy are. I can’t even allow myself to buy tortilla chips anymore, because I’ll keep dipping into the bag until I’m shocked that I’ve eaten half a bag on “study breaks”.

Do you have a preference for salty or sweet? Do you find one or the other sets off cravings or triggers?