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My Husband is a Loser…

and thankfully, so am I.

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Chuck March 2011

As you know from reading my blog, we have been making some major lifestyle changes over here. Mainly, we have incorporated juicing and exercise into our days. Chuck started out by juicing for breakfast and dinner and eating a small lunch (he works hard as a heavy equipment operator and it didn't seem wise for him to work and eat nothing). And he began running. I think he started  out running about half a mile (and then walking). He now runs three miles on a regular basis and twice last week ran six miles. He is back to eating, but much smaller portions and he also juices twice a day. Oh, and he's dropped 25 pounds. In just five weeks.

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Chuck is fitting into jeans he hasn't worn for almost ten years (and I will refrain from commenting on why one would keep clothing that doesn't fit for nearly a decade…) Sorry about my pathetic before and after pictures, but I think even from these two you can see a drastic change. His stomach has been shrinking before our very eyes and you can see how much weight he has lost in his face.

Aside from weight loss, Chuck is sleeping better, he no longer snores, and no longer falls asleep on the couch when he gets home from work. And dare I say it? He's less irritable in the evenings because he's less tired…His old routine used to include several cups of coffee and maybe a Red Bull to stay awake after work. His routine now includes vegetable juice and decaf. He's a new man and I'm so very proud of him.

And me? Well, I started out with a goal to lose 12 pounds, juice and exercise every day and feel better. I have made a commitment to eat 90% all natural foods. Almost everything I eat is natural and unprocessed. I eat tons of fruit, veggies, nuts, beans, eggs, a little meat. I don't eat dairy because Apollo is allergic. I remember a line from Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead where Joe Cross asks a man, "What if you ate like this [plant based] but allowed yourself two meals a week where you ate your burger, fries, whatever?" That is pretty much my mantra. I "allow" two meals a week to be "normal". This allows me to go out with friends or the occasional date with my husband without needing to munch on carrot sticks.  

In the six weeks I've been at it I've lose eight pounds (and I've unfortunately discovered I still have more than four pounds of fat/flab left on my body), my diet is excellent and I've been exercising at least six days a week. I wish I could say I feel better, but I don't. Not one little bit, which is incredibly discouraging. I eat ZERO junk. And almost no processed foods. I'm assuming I still feel lousy because I rarely get a chunk of even three hours of sleep. 

I've been incredibly discouraged about my running…I have made very little progress in that as well. I can only run a short distance before I am completely winded and have to stop. Our house sits snugly in a little valley which makes for a beautiful view. And some very hilly runs. It definitely can't be compared to a run around a track or on the sidewalk….We have two choices in our route: steep or steeper.

Well,  Thanksgiving morning Chuck and I decided to run together so he could give me some tips. About three paces into our run he told me to slow down. So I slowed down and with his encouragement was able to run a half mile. I felt like I was going to die when we reached the half mile mark. Chuck kept on running (for a total of six miles that day) and I walked the half mile home. The next day I easily ran a half mile. And again the next day.

This is progress I am very excited about. I know some of you out there are probably laughing at my struggle to run a half mile, but this is more than I have ever done in my adult life. I'm 35 years old and six weeks ago I was getting zero exercise. Now I can run a half mile and of course plan to increase that. And in the bigger picture, I weight a total of 17 pounds less than when I got pregnant with Apollo.

So there it is. The ups and downs. The good and the bad. Chuck and I are both focused on long term change, not short term easy fixes. And we will succeed.

21 Comments

  1. Susan

    Would your older girls be willing to help out a couple times a week for the middle of the night wake-ups? We had foster 6wk old twins for several nights and my 14 year old was my helper. Maybe that would help with the sleep?

  2. Toki-chan

    I have just started to learn to run too. I’m 23 and guess what, after my boyfriend led me through how to run (which was mostly also telling me to slow down) I can run about a half a mile before my lungs start to scream, so your not the only one :D.

  3. liz

    I am so proud of you BOTH!!!!!! Half a mile is alot. I Kickbox,do Vinyassa yoga, STRIKE, all sorts of cardio…running is so much harder in my opinion. I have done 5 K in the past yrs and right now if I tried I couldn’t run a half mile. My hubby on the other hand could go out and run anytime. When he takes time off(and he does triathlons) he always starts back with run a min ..walk 2 min…You might try that. Or even run one walk 3 min….anything is better than getting discouraged…you are doing GREAT!!!!!

  4. Jessi

    IDK what your view on vitamins is, but you should consider upping your Vit. D. It won’t replace sleep, but here in the Pacific NW where the sun is a rare treat, we don’t make enough of our own, along with the drainage of pregnancy and breast feeding, you might be low. I had mine tested recently because I was so tired ALL the time.. and it was so low it was actually leaching minerals from my bones. My doc recommended 500mg a day. I already feel more energized.
    Like I said, it doesn’t replace sleep, but maybe it would help.
    Fingers crossed that Apollo gets the relief he needs soon and you get some sleep.

  5. Maddi

    Don’t feel discouraged because Chuck can run more. He’s a guy. Guys have it easier. Its just the truth. But From what I read you need to slow down a little bit. One other tip* STOP RUNNING lol. I hate it and it sucks a lot. There are other forms of exercise. I find a lot of the mothers around here do Zumba. Its dancing but its very much cardio. They love it and the weight just falls off. There are other alternatives. But for the on the budget exerciser I would say running is as good as anything, I personnally like biking. Steal one of the kids bikes and see who can do 6 miles faster, eh? lol I have a little question about Apollo, do you expect to find something in his esophagus, making it hard for him to eat? I just want an idea of what you hope or not hope to find? Good Luck!

  6. Vicky

    Renee, thank you SOOOO much for continuing to post on your/ Chuck’s progress in making changes to your eating and exercise habits. It has been so encouraging to me! I am making similar changes, but I’m “on my own” in this new adventure. It’s hard. Every time I think I might fail, you post an update and it encourages me to keep pressing on.
    Right now I’m doing pretty well with my eating habits (though french fries and ice cream have been calling my name for the last week!). I need to start exercising, though. I just don’t like it, and, therefore, I have a hard time motivating myself to do it.
    Again, thank you. Please keep posting updates!
    Vicky

  7. Elena

    How wonderful! Don’t be discouraged with your running or dieting – women’s bodies just work differently and for goodness’ sake, you’ve had 9 babies and are still up all night with Apollo! You looked fabulous BEFORE you started this lifestyle overhaul and anything else is gravy.
    I’ve been trying to convince my husband to run with me, but no dice. He’s healthy as a horse, but it’d do him a world of good with stress relief. Oh well. Recalling an old adage about leading a horse to water. He does occasionally read your blog with me, so maybe he’ll see this and be motivated by Chuck’s AND your progress 🙂
    Keep up the good work, you rock!

  8. Sophie

    Congrats on your changes! I did the couch to 5K to learn to run. It’s easier if you do those intervals rather than trying to run straight.
    I hope it helps you!

  9. Lisa

    Every little step in the right direction makes a HUGE difference! You go girl!
    Now about dear hubby….You had posted a pic of him awhile ago and I noticed the weight loss in his face right away! Keep up the great work Chuck!!

  10. sunny

    Renee, Good job on the diet improvements. but please work on this sleep thing. Get one of your girls, one of your parents, a neighbor, a babysitter….you are surrounded by people, surely someone can give you a nights uninterupted rest. Its going to affect your health. Love your blog. Take care.

  11. Roxana S

    I started running this past year, and also eating much more heathy and smaller portions. After about 6 months of doing that I lost about 20 lbs. I wanted about 30lbs, but could not. I have to start running again and continue to eat properly. You are not the only one. As others have said, your body could very well be depleted from all the work you do plus the lack of sleep. Have you thought about pumping milk and having one or two of the kids have one night a week that they get up and take care of Apollo? That way you can get a good nights rest and help your body replenish itself. If you are so tired and lacking energy you might think about even the quality of your milk. The quality of milk lessens as time goes on. Just some thoughts

  12. Jo

    I am very proud of you both! It was from your blog (a cpl wks ago) that I re-learned about juicing. I suggested it to my husband and he agreed! we are moving in 1 mo and will then start this as well as exercising together. We both need to eat healthier and he wants to gain no more weight. He is a good weight, but gradually putting on just a bit more and that has to stop at some point. So glad you are both sticking with it!

  13. gabe

    Good job! I’m trying to get in shape and improve my health too. Once I hit my 30’s that baby weight just has not wanted to come off as easily. I’m careful with my foods to, more than ever, since my baby seems to have some allergies as well (by 2 weeks I had figured out that dairy is a problem, not sure what else yet). Have you heard of T-tapp? That may be an exercise program that would work better for you. I’ve heard of it from many other moms of many. It is popular in that crowd because it only takes 15 minutes a day (though you can do more), gives fast results, requires no special equipment and helps tighten and tone that mom body. It may be a good option especially given how your feeling and the lack of sleep.

  14. Brooke

    I was really shocked when I saw that picture of your husband the other day- he looks very young (even though I don’t know him)…
    Have you tried “Couch to 5K”? you can find a plan online that will take you slowly through running- I used to be an avid runner (like 13miles running), but I’ve stopped due to changes in my body from bearing children that would make hip and knee injuries inevitable.
    Whatever you do, keep pressing on to exercise. It is a GOOD thing. I like HIIT. You can google that. Takes me 12-15 minutes 5-6 days a week and I’m stronger than when I did p90x for two years. i’ve been at it abut 8 months and am now pregnant with #8 with my oldest being 8 years old.
    The Lord is good to show me something that would be effective for me (not for everyone) and fit into my schedule!
    Congrats on all your hard work and now we’ll pray for the missing ingredient- SLEEP~

  15. robyn reed

    You can do it!
    I started running again a year ago after a >5 year hiatus (2 kids, residency, blah blah blah). I followed the Galloway walk/run plan (jeffgalloway.com, no association, just worked for me). The great thing is, everything I used to hate about running stopped. No sore muscles. No injuries. No lungs-bursting-out-of-my-chest.
    I kept doing it. I had never run more than 5 miles. I ran 3 miles twice a week, every week (early in the morning, before work). I ran 3 minutes, walked one minute… 6 miles one weekend, then 8, then 10. In August I ran a half marathon with my mother (63 years young) and sister. In October, we ran our first marathon, and finished in style!
    If running is making you feel like you’re dying, think about trying the run-walk method — you feel kind of dumb when you start walking 3 min into your run, but you’ll find you can go forever.
    And congratulations on making lasting, sustainable, fantastic changes!!

  16. Rachel

    Wow, you are inspiring 🙂 I guess I don’t have any excuses with only three little ones underfoot….and they sleep too! (or my DH gets up with them…)
    Any chance you could share the juicing recipes you are using? Also, recipes for what you are eating (wholesome, real, etc.) would be awesome 🙂 TIA!

  17. Lorien

    I wanted to second what Jesse said. I would have your D levels checked. Also, it seems so simple, but have them check your iron AND your B-12 levels. Because both will leave you so, so fatigued. It sounds like you are doing everything else right. Except sleeping enough. I really feel for you.
    I had my husband watch Fat, Sick and nearly Dead with me recently. He has really gotten on board with juicing and actually does most of it for us. It has been great.
    Keep up the good work. 🙂

  18. Emily S.

    I’ll add another vote for checking your Vitamin D. I’m 36yo and just found out mine was severely low (we live in No. CA and get plenty of sunshine). I’m taking 50,000IU of VitD per week (10,000 a day, 5 days a week). It’s been about 2mo. and I’m feeling way better than I was! I literally felt like I was walking uphill all day before- and my baby even lets me sleep 8hrs at night!

  19. CailinMarie

    Hey, I’m one of your “lurkers” but I wanted to post some encouragement. My husband made a huge diet/lifestyle change over the summer and the results were immediate. To be supportive I made the same changes… and the results have been much slower. Much slower. So I get frustrated if I allow myself to look at him. But when I focus on the changes in me… well they are in the right direction and they ARE happening even if they are taking longer than I’d like.
    So that was a lot of verbiage to say, “good job! keep it up!”
    Running. If you haven’t been running it is hard to start, because your heart rate is up, your breathing is up, plus your legs are working… think about it… you’ve got a few full body systems invested in this and they are stressed. So again, good job, keep it up.
    And an extra pat on the back because I have less than 1/2 as many kids as you have and finding the time to sleep, and run, is a challenge. So I am amazed that you can.

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