And we have liftoff

I have officially lost all of the baby weight. For those of you counting at home, that’s 34 pounds I’ve lost since giving birth. Eight of that was baby. The rest was mine to deal with on my own.

I’m happy – not, you know, happier than say if I’d won an Oscar, but certainly happy – and, as I’ve said before, feeling healthier than I have in ages. It’s amazing to me how much has changed.

1) I rarely drink anymore. I wouldn’t have considered myself a big drinker, but I probably had a glass of wine or two a few times a week. I wish I could tell you that I don’t drink because I don’t want to “waste the Points,” but primarily I eschew booze because after a year of not drinking, I can’t metabolize alcohol well. If I’m going to drink, it’s got to be for a reason, and it’s got to be good booze. Otherwise, eh. I can do without the low-grade hangover and the kink such a thing puts into my day.

2) I make sleep a priority. I am in bed every night by 9:30 p.m., give or take a few minutes. I try to get at least seven hours every night. I won’t lie, I miss a whole lot of stuff this way, and it’s going to be hell once the new television season starts up, but I am convinced more than ever that if you can, get sleep.

3) Nothing aches anymore. Other than the after effects of a tough workout, I’m not plagued with stomach pains, headaches and other weird maladies. After a pregnancy where I could barely walk a block without feeling as though my hip bones were threatening to bust apart and head home, being able to go about my day without complaining and moaning is liberating.

I’ve already gone on about the eating, and to be honest, it’s some mindful stuff I’m working on. I mean, I am on a diet, which means that no matter how awesome the wares they’re hawking at Whole Foods are in both theory and practice, they’re not always conducive to my eating plan. After all, I still have twenty pounds to lose.

I’ve lost this 20 pounds before, and unfortunately I can’t blame the baby on the fact that I’m stuck losing them again. An unhappy job (not the one I have now, the one before that), half-marathon training, house buying and the stress of trying to have a baby was to blame. I ate a lot of my feelings, and despite the amount of working out I did, it’s true that even running 10 mile straight is no license of snarf down piles of pizza and cupcakes. Sure, I ate foods that weren’t processed and/or made with clean ingredients, but I ate a whole boatload of them.

Unlike the first time I lost these 20 pounds, I’ve spent years examining why I eat the way I do, and why 100-calorie snack packs are the devil – or at least shouldn’t be such a large part of my diet. Since Weight Watchers is no longer focusing solely on fake food, I find myself following the diet and putting into practice better eating and snacking. I’m not perfect – I still have to forcibly make myself grab the apple, rather than the Pop Chips, even though I love apples. I’m trying to be mindful of eating more fruits and vegetables, and letting them be my guide.

Oh but those Pop Chips. And the awesome people at Pop Chips sent me four massive boxes filled with 1-point sized portioned bags so they are my favorite people in the world. And everyone in my office loves me, too.

So anyway, I don’t worry so much about these last 20 pounds, and what it all means. It means a lot – it’s my chance to break this once and for all, to pay attention and be patient and kind to myself, rather than make excuses. It’s my chance to do right by my daughter and let me be the end of the line for emotional eating as a coping mechanism. But I’m not worried about whether they’ll come off and what it’ll do to me – it’s just stored energy after all, not the devil.

To that end, some of the things I’ll be sharing with the redesign are recipes and snack ideas. I like to read what other people are eating, and get inspired by meal ideas. One of my very favorite food bloggers, Kalyn, created this amazing casserole that everyone in my house LOVED. I added lean ground turkey, seasoned with thyme, and dipped it into sriracha. Seriously, I’m making it again tomorrow. It’s amazing and so healthy – though I also made it with half egg whites, half eggs.

More than anything, I’m happy to be at a peaceful place, and to know that I’ve worked hard to get here. I don’t think it stops being a battle – I read somewhere during my pregnancy, and I wish now I could remember where, that peace and happiness are things you fight hard for, they don’t just come easily. At my yoga studio, they sell shirts that read, “choose happiness.” I need to buy one and wear it at least once a week as a reminder that you choose to be happy.

It takes more effort for me to not react with anger to someone than it does not to binge eat. I am a gluttonous when it comes to my ego, and I am trying hard, each and every day, to do something more positive with all of that energy.

Today at boot camp, for the first time, I helped lead the drills before class. It was amazing to realize. In three months, I’ve come a long way. I have a long way to go, but I’m going to get there. I’ve got no doubt. So glad you’re all joining me for the ride.