Monday, December 14, 2009

New Directions

So, I told you that, after my fatty liver syndrome freak out, the Nurse Practioner assured me that they were going to help me through this, monitor me monthly, and get me on the right track. She figured out my basal metabolic rate and told me that these are the calories that I need to simply "be". If I eat that many calories and expend calories through exercise, weight loss would result. Great -- fine. All set to join a gym that my friend has been urging me to join so we can work out together.

Then, three days later I dislocated my knee. Since then the only exercise I'm getting is stumping around on crutches and Physical Therapy. But that's another story.

I also mentioned that I have completely fallen off the WW bandwagon. This is for two reasons -- first, my aunt, who had encouraged me to go to WW with her, has stopped going. The meeting location is about a 20 mile drive for me (we chose that location because it's close to my aunt). So, if my aunt (for whom I would walk on hot coals) is not going to be there, I am, shall we say, "disincentivized" to drive that far for a meeting, get sneered at by the weigh-in lady (only one - the others are lovely), corral chickadee #2, and then run back to my home city in time to pick up chickadee #1 from school.

On my WW meeting days, I'd drop off Chickadee #1, go to School of Community, then head to WW. I'd take Chickadee #2 to lunch at Chick-fil-a (they make a mean 8 point salad), and rush back to pick up Chickadee #1, then rush home to get into ballet gear (chickadee, not me) and rush out to ballet, run some errands in that hour, then go home. I'd be gone from 8 am until at least 5, with maybe a 15 minute period here and there to come home. That is CRAZY. It was making ME crazy. And ineffective. And tired. Not to mention a cruel mommy to a 3 year old.

The second reason is the basal metabolic rate that the Nurse Practioner gave me. I'm not sure whether the WW formula is wrong, or if I did it wrong, but it turns out that, if we are talking 50 calories per WW point, then my daily point allowance under WW seriously underestimated my caloric requirements -- by say, at least 300 calories per day. Given the fact that, because I was not really losing under WW, I had further reduced the number of points I was consuming each day, I was never going to lose weight that way -- I had sent my metabolism into a tailspin.

So, instead of doing WW, I asked Santa Claus to bring me a GoWear Fit armband. Have you heard of these things? Basically, it's an armband that you wear on your left bicep. It keeps track of the calories you expend, the steps you take, and the amount you sleep each day. You connect it to your computer and it records the data. Then, you connect to their website and enter what you have eaten for the day. The website will tell you whether you have consumed more than you have expended and provides reports that analyze your sleep efficiency, what sources you have gotten your calories from, and the like. It takes the mystery out of things, and will give me something concrete to bring to the doctor when I go in for my monthly "check in". So, it's all good. While the armband is pricey ($199 -- $179 on, having raw data in front of me is really helpful. I can see, for example, that I get way too few calories from protein and more than I should from carbohydrate. I can see that I need to increase my steps, though that's kind of difficult with crutches. I think it will be a good tool, and there are other features, such as alarms and reminders, that I haven't worked with since you need to have a matching "wrist display" to see what you are doing in "real time" rather than after the fact. Santa's helper is bringing that, I think.

OT -- Nickelodeon ParentsConnect "World's Biggest Online Baby Shower"

When I was pregnant with Chickadee #2, my sister invited me to Carroll County's Biggest Baby Shower. At the time, my sister worked for the County's Infant and Toddler's Program, which provides early intervention services to children with disabilities and to their families. The concept of the County's Biggest Baby Shower was to get a bunch of pregnant women into a room, give them a nice lunch and some cake and punch, some party games and door prizes, and LOTS of information on infant development, services, health, and other parenting topics. Even though I only won a small scrapbook which I later regifted (with full disclosure to the recipient that I was regifting), I learned a lot despite the fact that I was not a brand new mother.

Now, even if you don't live in Carroll County and it's not the summer of 2006, you too can participate in a great virtual baby shower, complete with games, advice, and prizes. It has come to my attention (via a dear blogging (and real-life) friend at A Parent in Silver Spring) that, this Wednesday, December 16 (as in, two days from now!) Nickelodeon is hosting Nickelodeon ParentsConnect's World's Biggest Online Baby Shower. Between 10 am and 8 pm, the ParentsConnect Message Board will be hopping with shower games, a lifeline of advice on parenting, and many cool (really cool) prizes. Need a UppaVista Baby Stroller or a Medela Freestyle Breast Pump? Drop in to the Message Board for your chance to win these and many other great prizes -- from diapers to jewelry! The host of this unique online party will be Susan Newton, of The Shower Diva fame.

You can participate in the party in one of three ways:

1. Log in (or register) for ParentsConnect. Go to

2. Go to Pingg, RSVP "Yes!" and use the "Share Invite" to invite others. The person with the most guests wins a $650 stroller. RSVP at:

3) Visit on December 16 between 10 am and 8 pm to join the party.
Go to

See you at the party!