Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Before and After Pics

I have been reluctant to post before and after pictures of myself throughout my post partum weight loss journey.
To simply put it, I'm super self conscious, and I feel like until I'm exactly where I want to be, I don't want anyone to see my imperfections.
I have been taking photos of myself every couple days to track my progress though.
I don't like to weigh myself because I feel like unless you are medically obese, the number on the scale is entirely inaccurate. 
*Remember, muscle weighs more than fat?*
I woke up this morning to have my usual bowl of oatmeal and flax, banana, and coffee.
I also wanted to nibble on a fun size kit kat bar...aka...our Halloween candy.
That is until I took a look at my "progress pic".
Then I decided that the fun size package of pure sugar and fat was not worth it.
The left is a pic I took 5 days ago (8 weeks post partum), and the right is a pic I took this morning (9 weeks).
Seeing myself in a picture like this just totally motivated me even more to continue doing what I'm doing.
I blogged about what I was doing in terms of trying to lose weight.
You can read about it here.

I had a girl ask me how many calories I was eating.
To be honest, I don't count calories.
I just eat clean and super healthy.
Maybe I'm breaking all the rules of weight loss...
I don't weigh myself, and I don't count calories...
But it seems to be working for me.
I don't need that kind of pressure in my life....
counting every little calorie I consume and stressing out about every little pound on that scale.

Also, I need to add, because I'm breastfeeding, it's important that I eat more calories.
Restricting calories while breastfeeding can diminish your milk supply, and that is a definite "no no" for me since my son is a champion eater.
This is why it's important to me that I make each calorie count, and that every calorie I am consuming is healthy for me and my milk supply for my baby.
I also really believe that breastfeeding is really speeding up my weight loss.
I didn't nurse my daughter for this long, and it took me a LOT longer to lose all the weight.
Who knows, but the rumors must be true?

I'm also a big advocate of planks.
I do 3 to 4 sets after every work out, and hold for a minute each set.
It tones up your shoulders, abs, legs, and butt!
Not to mention it really strengthens your core.

This was my very last prego pic...

I can't wait to show y'all my ball dress!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Harvard & M.I.T. Pass In Review

If you're not familiar with what a military "pass in review" is, I highly suggest doing some Googling and reading about it!
There's so much history and tradition behind it, and I don't think I could do it justice in one blog post. 
Just to summarize what it actually is...

"The pass in review is a long-standing military tradition that began as a way for a newly assigned commander to inspect his troops. Visiting officers and guest speakers are also invited to review the troops"

If you don't know already, my husband is the Assistant Military Officer Instructor (AMOI) for Boston University, Harvard, MIT, Tufts, Boston College, and a few other colleges in the Boston area.
Basically, he assists the Marine Officer Instructor with the ROTC program at these colleges for students aspiring to become Marine Corps Officers upon completion of their degrees. 
Every year during "Parent's weekend" at these schools, the ROTC puts on a "pass in review" to showcase the cadets and midshipmen to their parents and family.

It's a big production that my husband tirelessly planned for the last several months.
After all his hard work, it was awesome to see it all put together!

There are actually two Marines who are active duty that are part of the ROTC (which is why there is a SSgt standing in the front in dress blues in this pic).
They are part of the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program (or better known as MECEP).
Basically, they are active duty enlisted Marines that apply to become Officers.
If they get selected, they go to college (while still being active duty) to get their degrees and commission as a 2ndLt in the Marine Corps.

Harvard and MIT have ROTC programs for every branch of service which is pretty neat. 

Oh, and look at that hot Gunny....oh wait...that's my husband :-)

Joint services color guard (done by cadets and midshipmen)

This is Capt Benke. He is the Commanding Officer for the Naval Officer ROTC program for Boston.

Every pass in review has a "reviewing Officer". 
Again, you can Google it, and read more about it.
Nick invited Major General Boera to be the reviewing Officer for this pass in review.
General Officers in the military rate an artillery cannon "salute", and it was really cool that Nick was able to coordinate an actual Army artillery unit to come out and do the 13 cannon salute for the General.
Nick actually got the meet Maj. Gen. Boera in Afghanistan back in 2010 at Camp Leatherneck.
Maj. Gen. Boera's son, 1stLt Boera (now a Capt) was Nick's platoon commander, and that's how he got to meet him.
Pretty neat. 
He was a great speaker.
You never know with high ranking Officers and senior enlisted military members.
Sometimes, they tend to ramble on and on, and people lose interest.
He was very straight forward, to the point, inspiring, and held everyone's attention.

Afterwards, there was a small informal reception on campus at MIT for the parents, families, cadets, midshipmen, and the staff to mingle.

I'm so proud of my husband and all the hard work he put in to make this Pass In Review a success.
All his tireless efforts, long days at work, and early mornings really paid off.
It was amazing!

Monday, October 28, 2013

2 Months

This weekend was so crazy and busy that I totally forgot to post Mattis's 2 month blog post.
He's officially a 2 month old as of last Saturday!
He is 14lbs 12ozs and 23.5 inches long!!!
Some days, I wish I could slow time down just a little.
Other days, I am counting down the days till you're a little older and a little less needy.
This month has been full of new things.
You are full of smiles and coos.
Whenever mama makes strange noises to your face or clicking noises with her mouth, your face just lights up.
I think you get a little annoyed with your big sister because when she loves on you, it's a little overwhelming.
She's just so in love with you, and she can't help herself.
Do you blame her though? 
You are an amazing goodness, you eat like a champ!
Your little fat rolls are to D.I.E. for.
You love stroller rides in the BOB when mama goes running, and it almost always instantly puts you into a deep sleep.
You are starting to sleep longer through the night which is a blessing to your tired mama and daddy.
In fact, you slept from 2130 until 0400 last night!!!
You love your little bouncy chair and your swing...thank goodness because your sister hated hers.
You love sitting in your bouncy chair on the floor in the kitchen while watching mama cook dinner.

Some "firsts" during your second month of life...
*We took you apple picking
*You "helped" pick out pumpkins at the pumpkin patch
*You attended your first official Marine Corps function (daddy's pass in review)
**You were dedicated to the Lord at church!**

The last one is the most important.
It was important to us that we dedicated you to God, and it was important to have all the wonderful prayer warriors at church pray for you and for our family.
I am so thankful that God chose us to be your parents, and I hope at the end of our time here on earth, He'll be proud of us.

Again, I can't believe I never wanted a son.
I honestly could not life without you, and I think you're just what the Romer family needed to complete our puzzle.

We love you Mattis Mark Vincent....
You're your boy after your mama's heart.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Another Happy Update

I've been up since 530 am, and it's a Saturday.
I'm not up because of the baby.
My husband has to work today, and usually, he takes over "parental duties" on Saturday mornings.
It's a day I look forward to ALL week long, but since he's not here, I figured I'd get my butt out of bed early, make some coffee, have some breakfast, and just enjoy the peacefulness of the house before the kids are awake.

I am almost 9 weeks post partum, and I am ridiculously giddy with my post pregnancy weight loss progress.
I bought a ball dress yesterday in a size 4....yes...a size 4!!!!
My normal pre pregnancy size is usually a 2 in ball gowns and a 4 in jeans.
I wrote an earlier blog post (that I can't seem to find right now to link to) that my goal was to be in a size 4 ball gown for the Marine Corps Ball this year.
I also said that I didn't think that was a realistic goal, but I am happy to say that I comfortably fit into a 4!!!!!!
I still have a long ways to go as far as toning up some of my loose skin on my belly, and losing about 10 more pounds to be exactly where I was at, but I'm really excited that all my hard work is paying off!
As y'all know already, after I had my daughter, it took me nearly a year to lose the baby weight.
So after I had this baby, I was determined to make sure it did not take me as long.
Just like most women, I used pregnancy as an excuse to indulge a little more than I normally would.
Although I was a LOT more mindful about indulging during this pregnancy than my first, it doesn't mean that I made great choices all the time when it came to my sweet cravings.
I gained a ridiculous amount of unnecessary weight with my first pregnancy.
I didn't gain nearly as much with baby 2, but I still did gain a little more than I would have liked. 

So here are two things that have been working for me (in case y'all are wondering)...

My husband and I don't eat pasta, bread or rice...NONE (unless we are doing a cheat meal or out to eat at a restaurant)! Our lunches and dinners are packed with protein and vegetables. I hate the idea that people think that we HAVE to have a starch with meals. NO YOU DON'T! I'll add quinoa to a meal if I'm really missing having that starch with a meal. Our meals are packed with protein and vegetables. Also, since I'm breastfeeding, for breakfast, I eat a bowl of oatmeal to help with my milk supply. My diet really didn't change much from before or during pregnancy, but I cut out all the "pregnancy cravings" that I gave in to during pregnancy. Healthy eating is really just a way of life. It's not something you can just do to lose weight, then go back to nasty eating habits.

I also enjoy a cup of coffee every morning :-)
My favorite K-Cup right now is Donut Shop's "coconut mocha" flavor.

People also get the wrong idea when I say that my husband and I eat super healthy and clean.
They think our meals are bland, tasteless, etc.
So not true!!
I usually take any recipe I find online, and swap out ingredients for healthier ones.
For instance, I made this stuffed acorn squash from Marshall's Abroad.
Instead of using chorizo (which can be really high in fat), I replaced it with chicken sausage (they also make chicken chorizo at Whole Foods).
I also replaced the gorgonzola cheese for a light feta cheese.
It was delicious!
My husband LOVED it, and when he took leftovers to work the next day, his coworkers were all jealous.
My husband NEVER eats breakfast.
Usually because he is rushing out the door to go to work at some ridiculous hour in the morning (4am-5am).
I am a strong believer that if you don't eat breakfast, you're setting yourself up for failure for the rest of the day.
I found this cool recipe on pinterest where you put eggs in a muffin tin, bake them, and you have mini omelets!
I scrambled a dozen eggs, poured them in a greased muffin tin, put a little handful of chopped spinach and mushrooms in each tin, and topped each one with some goat cheese. 
I popped them in the oven for 10 minutes at 425 degrees.
I put them in individual ziplock bags and put them in the freezer.
Every morning, my husband makes his coffee, grabs a mini omelet from the freezer and goes to work.
Once he gets to work, he can microwave his breakfast and eat!
Also, I bought some really nice and expensive non stick pans.
It's so worth the money because I use half the olive oil (or whatever oil) I used to use (with my old pans) when sauteing or cooking different foods.
Olive oil is a super healthy fat to add to your dishes, but at the end of the day, it's still extra fat that you're adding. 
You can still have it in your dish for the healthy aspect (and so that your food doesn't stick to your pan), but it's even better in moderation!
Most people tend to add so much oil to their food when cooking because their food keeps sticking to their pans.
Invest in a good non stick pan!

2) Work Out Routine
I work out everyday. I know a lot of people tell me I need a day of rest, and I totally agree. I choose to do an active rest day. Usually that means I either go on a really slow and short jog. My hour or two each day that I make for myself to work out is my stress reliever. It's the time of day when I can clear my thoughts and get a work out in at the same time which is why I don't have a "day off". I run, spin, and Crossfit. I'm looking forward to joining a box when my son can be put in childcare at the gym.
I'm also blessed to have a husband who is as passionate about fitness as I am, and it makes it a lot more fun when we can motivate each other. 
"A family that runs together, stays together."

If you enjoy running, you can't live without a BOB jogging stroller. Seriously.
This stroller is God's gift to mommies and daddies who love to run.
I have the BOB Duallie Revolution.

All of these things have really been working for me as far as post pregnancy weight loss.
I also feel that breastfeeding has helped a TON.
A couple of my friends said that breastfeeding made them keep some of the pounds on, but it's been completely untrue for me. 

I hope this helps anyone who's having some trouble getting the baby weight off!
I'd love to hear about what you're doing that's working for you! 

And of course, I can't let you go without sharing some pics of my little family :-)

Seriously though....

I don't know what I'm gonna do with her...
 Or him...

Or those cheeks...

So in love...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Post Pregnancy Weight Loss Update

It's Marine Corps Ball season.
I haven't bought a dress yet. 
I am waiting till the last possible minute to buy one because I have been losing weight every week.
I'm hoping I'll drop another dress size by then.
I guess it's a good problem to have, but inside, I'm stressing out a little. 
As far as progress with my post pregnancy weight loss, I think I'm doing alright.
I'm impatient though, and it's just not happening fast enough for me.
Since I'm breastfeeding, it really limits the types of supplements I can take, so I'm really just using good old healthy eating and a ton of exercise!
Some days, I look in the mirror, and I can see a little hint of my abs coming back (major progress)!
Other days, I look in the mirror, and I just see a woman who just had a baby (blah).
With the ball being 3 weeks away, I decided to start doing 2-a-days starting today hoping to do some last minute toning up and hopefully dropping a few more pounds. 

Other than that, I just wanted to add...
Life has been a little crazy lately, and I've gotten super behind on reading blogs.
I've finally had some time today to sit down and catch up on your lives and your adorable photos :-)

Just some pics of life....

I'm loving a glass of good white wine after a long day to relax.

My little diva.

I've never seen a real 4 leaf clover! 
Dannika found one at her school.
So cool!

Little man...
Fell asleep during tummy time.
I would have to agree with him that nap time is way better than tummy time.

Hubby's been crazy working lately, so I took the kids to Outback for a little dinner date.
Best little dinner date ever.

Dannika's preschool is almost 2 miles away from our house.
When I take her to school, I throw both kids in the double jogger, and run her to school, drop her off, and run back with the baby.
I love that run!

Dannika and her best friend at school.

Gorgeous New England Fall time foliage.
I've seriously never seen leaves this pretty!
That tree on the left looks like it's on fire!

An awesome read.
Maybe I'll do a book review once I'm done with it.
I'm not good at reviewing things, but this book is so good, I just may have to!

I'm gonna admit, I take a lot of "selfies" of myself after a nice run.
It's when I feel best, and when I feel the greatest about my appearance.
Some people post "selfies" when they're all glammed up or wearing a special outfit.
I prefer my sweaty face :-)

On Saturdays and Sundays, our family goes on runs together.
It's my favorite thing about the weekend.
Recently, our 4 year old has started running with us!
She ran an entire mile of our 4 mile run yesterday!
So proud.

Hope y'all are doing well!
I promise to catch up on all y'alls blogs soon!!!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pumpkin Patch

I wanted cute pumpkin patch pictures of BOTH my kiddos together.
But of course the little one was not in the mood.
These are the Fall photos I ended up with...and no, I was not in any of them.
Nick took a few of me and the baby, but I was not wearing a very flattering outfit, and I didn't like the way I looked.

And of course my little model with our pumpkins that we each picked out...on our porch.

Don't expect amazing pumpkin patch photos with a newborn in tow...

Monday, October 14, 2013

A New England Fall

If you know me (or have been following my blog long enough), you know about my hate and discontent for New England.
I really just HATE HATE HATE the cold, and I could never ever ever make this place a permanent home because of that reason. 
I also just hate the Patriots and the Red Sox :)
I spent the majority of my first few months when I moved here just being miserable and hating life here.
We've been here almost a year now, and after finding an amazing church, some great friends, and awesome neighbors, I've learned to appreciate our time here since it won't be permanent (or for long).
I'm actually so thankful that God placed our little family here, and I've come to really appreciate the little things about this place.

Now I've said this before, but I'm not a big fan of Fall time.
I don't like scarves and boots, and I could care less that the leaves are pretty.
The only things about Fall I like is college football and pumpkin spiced lattes from Starbucks.

With that said, I decided to really embrace Fall here in New England because there are some cool little perks about New England that the rest of the country doesn't get!

I've never lived in a place where the leaves turn this shade of red. 
I mean seriously.
I have to admit, it's gorgeous, and seeing all the trees turn bright shades of red, orange, and yellow puts me in awe of God's beauty.

Another thing is apple picking!
Everyone and their mothers have been telling us about New England apple picking, and how awesome it is.
So we finally decided to go today.
Probably not the best day to go since it was a holiday, and a million people decided to go apple picking today.
We still ended up having a great time, and because the orchard we went to was so big, it didn't feel like there were a ton of people there.
I hear a lot of locals here complain about "picking season" because it brings in tourists and people from all over the place, and they ruin the orchards.
I understood their point when we went today.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, we went to the Belkin Family Lookout Farm right here in Natick!

I proudly wore my Dallas Cowboys hat thinking some patriots fan would say something, but no one said anything about it!

Me and my red delicious apple.
I never knew how delicious apples tasted straight off the tree!
I'm not even a huge "apple person", but I think I could have eaten them all day if they were straight off a tree.

Golden delicious apples

The whole orchard is shaded with grape vines. 
They're absolutely stunning.

I've never had an apple cider donut before either!
I've never even heard of them until we moved here.
I must say...they were pretty amazing.

My kiddos and me after a fabulous afternoon of apple picking.

Panoramic view of the orchard

I'm not looking forward to winter, but the cool crisp air of Fall is really nice.
We've been trying to take advantage of it by running outside a lot.
I know once it gets too cold, it will be nearly impossible for me to run outside with the kids.
Today, Dannika asked if she could run with us.
We let her run a little bit with us, and when she got tired, she hopped into the jogging stroller.
I love that we are setting an example to her.

A family that runs together, stays together. :-)

And I could never end a blog post without a picture of my adorable son!
This picture makes me laugh.
It's amazing how such a tiny human being can be the "big spoon". lol.

So perfect...
"fearfully and wonderfully made..."

I'm loving the New England Fall :-)