Preparing to Lose A SHIT TON OF WEIGHT

We all know that most women have struggled with food, weight, and image issues at some point in their lives. And let’s be honest – a lot of them fight these battles for pretty much their WHOLE damn lives. My personal relationship with said issues is one that’s had its cliché ups and downs. I have never been a skinny chick, that’s for sure. I’ve always been an average weight, from infancy to young adult, and I have always loved to eat. In college, the dangerous combo of lots of dining out/on the run, lots of booze, and very little (if any) exercise made for a pretty hefty Ra. At 24 I started going to the gym regularly, cut carbs, and swore off soda and fried food, and by the following year I had reached my personal low adult weight of 125. Not gonna lie, I was pretty damn hot. But it was extremely difficult to maintain my bod at such few lbs., even though I’m just about 5-feet-4-inches tall (one of the things that kills me about being a woman – this crazy BMI-based notion that all of us should weigh a certain amount based on our height – but I’ll get to that later).
Anyway, by age 26-27 I had found bodily peace at what I like to refer to as my Triple H (Healthy, Happy, & Hot!) weight range, which fluctuates between 132-137 lbs. It’s not hard to maintain with regular exercise, as long as I don’t eat giant blocks of cheddar cheese or entire trays of lasagna in a single sitting (but Lord, how I want to!). I was able to keep my HHH figure through the honeymoon stage of the happiest, most snuggly and comfortable relationship I’ve ever been in (a time period during which many women notoriously gain weight), through grad school (I was shoving cheese doodles and Ruffles with onion dip down my throat while writing papers at 2 AM and still kept my shit on lock), and through my first year of marriage (to my comfy relationship dude). In fact, I weighed 132 on my wedding day on June 9, 2012, without prior dieting. So… First comes love, then comes marriage, and you know what kinda crazy shit comes after that!

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Hubby and I being Hot on our Honeymoon

On June 18, 2013, I found out that I was preggo with Mr. Caz. And I hate to say it, but one of my first thoughts was: “I’m gonna get SO HUGE!” I got on the scale. I was already a teensyyyyy bit over my HHH weight, and I was about 4 weeks along. DOOMED.
Over the subsequent 9 months, I packed on 49 pounds keeping my little man safe, warm, and thoroughly nourished. Trust and believe, pre-preggo me was always someone who said, “Oh, I’ll be fine gaining weight while I’m pregnant! It’s natural and beautiful and I will be soooo excited that I’m going to be a mommy that I won’t even care! I’ll still eat healthy, I’ll just eat more.” WRONG. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, on every level possible. I weighed myself EVERY SINGLE MORNING of my pregnancy. And with every pound gained, I would become a little more dejected and cried a few more tears. And believe me, I tried! I remained very active throughout my pregnancy (literally, I went to the gym until I was 38 weeks!) by working with my rockstar trainer Jen (who you will hear much more about soon!), going to pre-natal yoga classes, and walking in the park regularly. But my body did what it had to do, and now, here I am. I lost about half the weight in the first month or so, which happens, especially due to breast feeding. But the rest ain’t comin off easily, for sure.
My baby is almost 6 weeks old and I CAN’T WAIT to get the okay from Doc to get back to workin it out, because (listen closely people, this is my first piece of advice!!!) THERE AIN’T NO HEALTHY WAY to achieve or maintain your goal weight without exercise. As this blog continues, I will be keeping you all posted about my personal struggle to lose my baby weight. (#firstworldproblems #icanaffordfoodproblems #iknowishouldjustbehappyimamotherbutdammitiwannalookgoodtoo)

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Trainer Jen and I on my last day at the gym. I’m the one with the huge ass belly.

Now, I don’t want to hear any of this Your-Post-Partum-Body-Is-Beautiful Shit. Sure, it was a miracle that I grew a person in there, and miracles are quite beautiful. But I don’t think that that means I need to keep all the miraculously-gained weight (I mean, it’s really freakin amazing to gain almost 50 lbs. in under a year. You almost have to TRY).

 

Why You Might Find My Baby Weight Struggle Interesting

1. I think that in a country in which the population of obese people is unbelievably immense (no pun, I swear), we should all be paying a little extra attention to our health, with the exception of maybe Dr. Oz and Jillian Michaels. So I hope that if you follow along with me here, you will be inspired to prioritize getting healthy too!

2. In keeping with the Keepin It Real theme here, I know that most real people cannot (and don’t even want to try to) subsist on all the delicious foodstuffs that we are “supposed” to eat regularly to stay thin. Pureed quinoa sprinkled with barley (ohhhh yum!)? Or kale juice – please, no matter how many people have said “it tastes soooo good with a little apple mixed in for sweetness” including myself, I know the truth – nobody wants to drink that crap for breakfast or ever! I mean, why drink kale juice when you can have a nice fluffy scrambled egg or two? Then there’s the steamed fish bullshit. Steamed fish for dinner every night? Come on Aniston, you know that shit is a litttttle monotonous – you’ve been eating it every night since your first Friends interview and now you’re on the verge of senior citizen status. Or what about 1 itsy bitsy square of 99% cocoa dark chocolate for dessert (really, it’s just not as satisfying as a big honkin’ bowl of full-fat chocolate chocolate chip)? I plan to eat generally healthily, not to spend a few weeks on a crazy diet that I won’t stick to for the rest of my life. I also plan to eat foods that I love, like PIZZA, pasta, dessert, and disco fries. I have a feeling that the majority of people, including those that want to lose weight, prefer the latter to the former too.

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3. I am Italian. Making and eating food is ingrained in my soul. My blood is 30% olive oil. I cook mad good shit. I’m going to post recipes for my favorite dishes, most of which are fairly easy to make and quite satisfying. If you read this, you can make them too. Or you can just eat vicariously through the internet.

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My kid’s first Friday Home From the Hospital

4. I hate working out. I mean, I love the feeling that working out gives me, but I hate having to do it. I am pretty sure I’m not alone on this. Who the frig wants to go to the gym 5 days a week and get sweaty and look at old dudes on the elliptical and smell their cologne (who the F wears cologne to the gym? STOP IT!)???? NOBODY WANTS TO GO TO THE GYM WHEN THEY COULD SIT ON THE COUCH. Or better yet, NOBODY WANTS TO GO TO THE GYM WHEN THEY COULD BE EATING! Yikes, I’m going off on a tangent. What reason am I on here? I think reason #4 is: you will get to read my crazy ass rants about annoying gym people from time to time. Also, there will be more rants about annoying food/health trends.

5. PIZZA. LOTS OF PIZZA WILL BE MADE. It won’t always be incredibly healthy, but sometimes it will be, I swear.

 

I hope everyone enjoys their dinner tonight! And I hope it’s not kale juice!
XO, Ra

What You Should Really Bring to the Hospital to Have Your Baby

A preggo gal in one of my Mommy Facebook groups recently posed a very important question to the experienced ladies: What should I pack in my bag for the hospital? I, too, asked this question in a similar forum when I was preparing for the arrival of my little dude. I’m pretty sure I also asked every mother I know, including my own, who thought it was insane that I was packing my husband. AKA, I made him stay in the hospital the entire time with me. (Ma: “Why do men need to be there? It’s not for them, it’s for you. Let him go home and sleep in peace for God’s sake. What’s wrong with your generation?” Me: “What do you mean? Did I make the baby by myself? You think I should have to sleep in a scary room in a scary place with this scary new tiny person that I have no idea what to do with? Are YOU gonna stay with me then?”). Anyway, I got a wide variety of responses, some helpful, some not. Shout out to my cousin G for the best piece of advice: “Don’t pack clothes, you’ll wear the hospital gown the entire time.” Well, I DID pack clothes, I think 3 changes of clothes, and I DID NOT wear anything except for the gown the entire time, because WHO THE HELL WANTS TO PUT CLOTHES ON WHEN YOU SMELL LIKE A ROTTING CORPSE AND YOU’RE LEAKING ACTUAL POUNDS OF GOD-KNOWS-WHAT FROM YOU-KNOW-WHERE!?! I also brought make-up (in hindsight, Laughing My Ass Off). So, I feel that it’s my responsibility to help others avoid making the same mistakes I did, and I’m adding my two cents on this subject while the whole experience is still fresh in my Mommy Brain. Also I’m posting this for my preggo girlfriends; I don’t want to have to repeat myself when your Preggo Brains ask me more than once (I definitely asked multiple people this question multiple times).

THINGS TO PACK IN YOUR HOSPITAL BAG

1. Deodorant. Do yourself, your new human, and everyone who will be visiting you a favor and Amex that shit (don’t leave home without it).

2. Toothpaste and toothbrush (see #1).

3. A blindfold. Wear it every time you go to the bathroom so you don’t accidentally see yourself in the mirror. Make your baby daddy wear it the rest of the time if you ever want him to have sex with you again.

4. Phone charger. You will die if you can’t charge your phone. Must have contact with the outside world.

5. An alarm clock. Just kidding. Between visitors, nurses, lactation consultants, the birth certificate Nazis, people trying to sell you ridiculous shit (“Are you sure you don’t want commemorative porcelain booties engraved with your kid’s name for $377?”), the cleaning crew, the food crew (ohhh here comes #6), and a rabbi who will wish you “only good things” every single day, there will literally be 1,687 people in your room at all hours of the day and night. No need for a wake-up call!

6. Food. I know you can’t really pack it in your bag, but you should make people bring you real food from the real world. It will make you very happy.

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(Me in my hospital gown eating a turkey sub brought by my sister. Best Sandwich of My Life)

 

7. Wine or champagne. Have a glass or two with your baby daddy on the night after your baby gets here. It’s a big day and you need to celebrate! (Anything harder and you can add the social worker to the list in #5.)

8. A nursing pillow (boppy, my breast friend, whatever. Do you want your newborn getting a staph infection from a skeevots hospital pillow? Didn’t think so).

9. Flip flops or slippers (your pretty pedi-ed feet + skeevots hospital floors = no no).

10. Your balls. As in, “Hey, thanks for the call/text/random pop-in-that-I-wasn’t-expecting, but I am EXHAUSTED, and I’m trying to figure out what the hell is going on, and I look like a monster, and I’m trying to have that brand new bonding thing happen with my baby and his father, and I REALLY don’t want a 27th visitor today, but I can’t wait for you to come see us when we get home (after like 4 weeks).”

11. An extra bag. Your 26 visitors per day are going to bring you tons of crap that you have to then bring home, and where the hell are you supposed to put it?

12. One of those things from Men in Black that will erase from your brain everything that just happened (if you want to have more kids).

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Happy Birthing!

Xo
Mama Ra

First Post! This is How It Is

On February 18, 2014, I became a Mama. Big Bid-Nass. This shit is NO JOKE. I’m not sure who Rajneesh is, and I normally hate Memes or whatever the frig these supposed-to-be inspirational pics with words on top are called, but I saw this on Pinterest and it really SPOKE TO ME.

So, out the gate I’d like to say that February 18 was “THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE,” but I’m not sure that that’s really true. And in the interest of keepin it real, I’m telling the truth. Many women claim that the day their first kid was born was indeed the BEST DAY EVER (and maybe it was!), whereas I prefer to look at it more as the jump off of the very long BEST CHAPTER OF MY LIFE. My kid’s born day was an exhilarating, eventful, and exhausting day, that’s for sure, but “BEST”? Nah. I had a few days before, and a few days since, that are in the running for that title. Plus, 15 completely horrendous hours of labor that  culminated in an emergency c-section do not, in my book, qualify as the best of ANYTHING.  My son, Caswell Richard (we call him “Caz” and I’ll probably refer to him here as CC), has been a real, live human for just over four weeks now. He is absolutely my greatest creation and the center of my universe, and I believe that motherhood will prove to be the greatest experience I have ever had. But there are many elements  including my relationship with my husband (who I married about a year-and-a-half ago), my incredibly close family ties, and my strong friendships, that have been preparing me for and shaping this experience since before I even knew I was pregnant. And all of those elements are just so good, they truly fill my heart with freakin joy. They are the BEST parts of my life. And pizza – pizza is one of the best parts of my life! Yummo.

This is your invitation to join me on my journey through new motherhood. Why should you listen to what I have to say? Well, you certainly don’t have to. I am no expert on anything, I have no answers, and I probably don’t even have any new or innovative methods for traversing the already much-traveled path of being a mommy (not to mention, the already densely trafficked highway of blogging about being a mommy). All I can offer are my newly minted mother’s instincts (supported by expertise found in a shit load of books and garnered from the proverbial village of family and friends who are generous enough to offer advice and support when it’s needed) wrapped up in words spun to convey comedy, tragedy, and humility. But if you’re not my family member, my friend, or a current or former friend/acquaintance/co-worker/lover/hater who wants to perv on my life in this internet-centric world where it’s just so damn easy to do, and you want me to convince you why you should read this blog, then I will.

REASONS TO READ MY BLOG

1.       As a brand new mama, keeping my little bundle of joy (and poop and puke and snot and god knows what else I have yet to discover) alive and getting him acclimated to the world outside my uterus is my #1 priority. But I don’t think that that means that I and my health, my marriage, my home, my family,  my social life, and goddamnit my once-hot-bod(!!!) SHOULDN’T be a priority. If any or all of these cornerstones of a full and happy life are on your VIP list, then we have something in common. And who doesn’t like to know that they aren’t weird or crazy for feeling the way that they do?

2.       As the title implies, I am a real person. I also have real expectations of myself. If I could afford a personal chef, a nanny, a maid, an assistant,  and a trainer for 6 hours a day, life would be a breeze and I’d be posting 4-weeks post partum naked Instagram pics of myself, preparing four-star feasts  from lean, grass-fed proteins and Whole Foods produce, and pitching my reality series to E! But alas, like billions of women before me, I will attempt to juggle breastfeeding, diaper changing, cuddling, tummy time, laundry, feeding myself and my husband, losing my baby weight, cleaning my house, cleaning my bod, brushing my teeth, watching my fave TV shows, hanging with my friends, and hopefully sleeping. Godspeed to me (and to all the rest of you)!

3.       I will be posting funny anecdotes and tear-jerking epiphanies, as well as recipes and workouts, and probably just some random soliloquies. At the very least, I seek to entertain.

4.       If nothing I’ve said so far qualifies my blog to convert some of your precious internet time (read: 18 hours a day) away from Facebook, Buzzfeed (WHAT CELEBRITY MOM YOU MOST LIKE? TAKE THE QUIZ!), and the Huffington Post (ok, if you think you’re above all that, we can call it LinkedIn, Obama’s website, and CNN.com), I hope for nothing more than to share my experiences for the sake of creating some camaraderie among other post-partum 30somethings who are just trying to keep their shit together too. I believe – I KNOW – that there is an Eden in which I can be a good mother and enjoy all the other fabulous experiences that this beautiful world has to offer, and I’m vowing to find it. If anyone out there is seeking the same holy grail, then why not seek it together?!!! (That’s another thing that kills me – Mommy Competition. To be discussed later!)

Enjoy!

Mama Ra