Marriage/Life Partnership and Weight Gain

Marriage/Life Partnership and Weight Gain

Marriage/life partnership can be an amazing journey for many. The hard times and good times that occur along the way, often lead to the strengthening of the relationship.

Changes also happen as couples get older together. One of the things that can change is body weight- namely of the gaining variety.

This post will go into unwanted weight gain/body changes throughout marriages/life partnerships and how it can be remedied-together.

Weight gain/body changes: Getting comfortable

When many people are at the beginnings of their romantic relationships, appearances are usually maintained to keep the other person interested. Once the relationships have been going on for a while, they may feel as though they can loosen up a little.

Then a little becomes a lot.

This leads to gaining weight because a person may think, “she/he/they already loves me so it does not matter what I look like.”

Weight gain/body changes: adulting

As we get older, many of us get settled into our careers. Most of the days then become taken up by working and doing household things after the workday is over.

We also may make some not-so-good choices when it comes to lunch during the day. Something quick may be chosen which might not always translate to being healthy.

When it comes to exercise, workouts may not happen as much (or at all) due to working. They also may have a job that involves a lot of sitting which means less calories are burned throughout the day.

Because of all of this, couples may come home from work and be too exhausted to do a workout.

Weight gain/body changes: pregnancy

Many couples want to have children. The idea of raising a little one and watching them grow, tends to be very exciting.

If a couple chooses to have a child through pregnancy- bodily changes will occur. It takes a lot to grow a baby in the womb! The changes that happen include weight gain, hips widening, breasts increasing in size, stretch mark formation and of course a growing belly.

After the child is born, the changes may remain for at least a few months. For some women though, the changes can last for even longer than that. Stretch marks may not fade completely, weight may be really slow to come off, breasts may become saggy and the abdomen may have loose skin.

Another way pregnancy can cause weight gain/body changes is by the couple becoming very busy taking care of their child once it is born. This can take the focus completely off themselves which allows  good nutrition and exercise to go out the window. In these cases, both individuals (not just the woman who grew the baby!) may gain weight.

Weight gain/body changes: health issues

There are health issues that cause weight gain/body changes. These can arise as couples keep moving through life together. The following are some examples:

  1. Stress- Couples may have to endure a lot of stress due to familial, relationship and/or career related problems. Stress can lead to overeating in some people which leads to weight gain.
  2. Depression- Dealing with depression due to a variety of reasons can cause overeating and/or less of a physical activity level.
  3. Hypothyroidism- The likelihood of having an underactive thyroid increase as we age. One of the symptoms can be weight gain.
  4. Diabetes- Many people become diabetic (type 2) later in life. This can cause weight gain.
  5. Menopause/male hormonal issues- Hormones change as we age which can lead to weight gain.
  6. Medications taken to treat illnesses- Some of the medications we have to take to treat illnesses, have weight gain as a side effect.

Ways to remedy unwanted weight gain/body changes

Couples can work together to get their bodies back in shape. These are some things that they can do:

Exercise related

  • Make it fit into your day/week: This can be done by going over schedules. If a couple has a child (or children), they may have to take turns having one take on the childcare while the other one works out.
  • Figure out workout routines: There are a ton of different ideas for workouts that can be found online. It would be wise for a couple to seek the ideas out and choose what will work for them. They can even workout together!
  • Get home gym equipment if it is in the budget: Since a lot of gyms are closed and/or unsafe in these times, it could be a good idea to purchase some home workout items. A couple can have access to the items whenever they want which may help them stick to their workout routines.

Diet related

  • Look at what they are consuming: Taking a look at the kinds of food they eat on a regular basis, can help them figure out where they are going wrong and what needs to be changed.
  • Figure out each other’s dietary needs: To lose weight, people need to figure out the amount of calories and types of food they need/want to eat so that can happen. Two people in a relationship will most likely have different dietary needs when it comes to getting the scale to go down. They can help one another with this. If this seems difficult, there are weight loss programs out there to look into.
  • Meal/snack planning: It is a good idea to plan out meals and snacks. This is so that the right food that fits new dietary needs are always in the kitchen and pantry. Couples should also make sure to have a “cheat meal” once in a while which could mean getting takeout food.
  • Get on the same page with the new diet: If only one of the people in the relationship is changing up their diet, the other person needs to understand what they will be eating and be supportive. They could even enjoy the same meals together.

Healthcare related

  • Keep track of concerning symptoms: If one or both people in the couple are dealing with mental and/or physical symptoms, it may be a good idea to write down these symptoms daily in a journal. This can possibly help to see if there could be another underlying issue going on which could be causing the weight gain.
  • Attend tele-health appointments together: Since many clinics are limiting the amount of people in the rooms during appointments and the infection cases are increasing rapidly, having a tele-health appointment would be good. The couple can be in the video together and help to make sure all concerns are being covered.
  • Help each other in the management of illnesses: If one or both people in the relationship get diagnosed with a condition that is causing the weight gain, they should support each other in the management of it. If their diagnosis is successfully managed, weight loss may be able to happen easier. That could mean helping make sure that they take their medication daily if they are the kind of person that forgets.
  • Attending counseling sessions- If mental health and/or relationship issues are causing behaviors that lead to weight gain, a couple should consider counseling. Counseling can be done through Zoom now due to the pandemic.
  • Possible medication change: If any medication that is being taken causes weight gain, it might be a good idea to see if a change to it is possible. This could mean reducing the dosage or switching to an entirely different medication that does not cause weight gain (or less of it). A couple can support one another if any side effects occur from weaning off or tapering down on a medication.

One more thing that a couple can do that does not fit into the above categories is using a reward system for getting into better shape. An example of this could be that they can buy something they have been wanting only after a certain weight loss goal is reached. Doing something like this may provide a lot of motivation for the couple.

It can all be done together!

As we get older, our appearance changes. That is just life. Some of changes cannot really be helped.

Weight gain is one of the things that can be fixed though. If a couple is truly devoted to each other and wants to lose some, they will be able to work together to get it done.

There may be bumps along the way of their weight loss journey, but the relationship will end up being even stronger in the end and they will look amazing!

Have any of you been in a long relationship where you found yourselves gaining unwanted weight? If so, did you work together to get it off? I would love to read about your story!

Thanks for reading!

#marriage  #lifepartners  #weightgain  #weightloss  #fitness   #diet  #womenshealth  #menshealth  #weddingplanner   #weddinginvitations

Easy Anti-Inflammatory Soup

Easy Anti-Inflammatory Soup

These past couple of months, my husband and I have been enjoying making a chicken soup that provides lots of health related benefits for us. Today I am going to share it with you all!

Lots of healthy goodies!

My husband has IBS so we try to make things that do not make his symptoms worse. He is also very sensitive to salt so we have to take that into consideration too.

All of the ingredients are very healthy and nourishing. The following is a list of some of them and their benefits:

  • Lemongrass- Lots of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, helps with GI distress
  • Ginger- Anti-inflammatory, helps with GI distress, immune system boosting
  • Turmeric- Anti-inflammatory, immune system boosting, pain relief, helps with GI distress
  • Cayenne pepper– Helps with GI distress/digestive health, pain relief, clearing congestion
  • Cumin- Helps with digestive health, anti-inflammatory
  • Coriander- Helps with digestive health, anti-inflammatory
  • Cilantro leaves- Helps with digestive health, anti-inflammatory
  • Carrots- Higher in carbs than other vegetables but still provide lots of vitamin A and are great for the immune system.
  • Bell peppers- high in vitamin A, high in vitamin C, immune system boosting, high in antioxidants
  • Mushrooms- These are higher up on the FODMAP scale but if you one can handle them, they are worth eating (if you like the taste that is). They contain good sources of vitamin D, selenium and are great for the immune system.

Why are there no onions and garlic in the soup?

We do love onions but it unfortunately causes my husband to have what he calls, “dumping syndrome.”

He gets the shits. Other people with IBS can probably relate.

In terms of garlic-he is allergic to it. So, we definitely can not use that in the food we both want to eat.

If you like these two things, feel free to add them into the soup if you choose to make it! I am sure it will be absolutely delicious.

The recipe

Nothing about the seasonings is that exact because quite frankly, we really do not keep track of how much of what we put into it. We go by taste alone.

Here it is:

Ingredients-

  • 6-8 pounds of chicken, cut into small chunks
  • 3 liters of unsalted chicken stock
  • 3 pounds of carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 large bell peppers, chopped
  • 16 ounces of sliced mushrooms
  • 2.5 cans of coconut milk
  • Seasonings- ginger powder, lemongrass powder (or paste), turmeric, garlic, cumin, coriander, cilantro (leaves), cayenne powder, onion powder and potassium salt (has less sodium).

Directions-

  1. Cook cut up chicken pieces in some oil. Set aside.
  2. Put the chicken stock, veggies and seasonings to taste into a large pot. Heat on low heat for 15 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the chicken to the pot and cook for 10 minutes on low heat. Stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in the coconut milk and cook for another 5-8 minutes.
  5. Serve with more cilantro on top, rice, naan or whatever you want!

This makes a good amount of soup so it can be frozen if you are not going to finish it in a reasonable amount of time.

Customize it any way you like!

Stay healthy everyone

We should all be putting healthy foods into our bodies at least once in a while- especially with this pandemic going on. This soup is just another one of the many meal ideas out there that will provide you with some great nutrients.

Thanks for reading!

#cooking #nutrition #soup #diet #health #covid19 #familylife #herbs

Perfect Lower Carb Snack Options

Perfect Lower Carb Snack Options

When a person switches over to a diet with a reduced amount of carbs, they may feel as though their snack options are limited. Fortunately, there are some good lower carb choices out there.

Here are some ideas!

Lower carb snack options

Zucchini wraps-

Zucchini is just great in general on a low carb diet. You can slice it thinly and put in a tuna/mayonnaise filling- like what is show in the above picture.

Coffee and cream-

If you are a coffee drinker, consider having some with heavy cream in it! It can give you energy all while filling you up.

Parmesan crisps-

These are close to crackers! Some might find them too pungent though. There are cheese crisps that come in different flavors/cheese types that may be more mild than these parmesan ones.

Lunch meat, pepperoni slices and cheese-

These three things or a combination of them are great choices for a snack. A lot of people may eat them with crackers and/or bread for a sandwich- just skip those for a lower carb option!

Lower carb pudding-

Mixing together sugar-free pudding and two cups of heavy whipping cream gives you a decadent, lower carb treat. It is great for a snack and/or dessert.

Bacon-

Um… why not?

A handful of nuts-

Nuts provide good fats and nutrients all while being lower in carbs than other snacks. Combining a handful of nuts with something else (i.e. a cheese stick), can make for a great and filling snack!

There are more options out there!

Watching carbs is an adjustment at first because there are so many carb laden foods out there. Once you look more into this way of eating, you will find that you do not need to feel deprived. There are delicious and filling options available to turn watching carbs into a long term thing.

The foods pictured in this post are just some of my go-to snacks. My absolute favorite snacks right now are sea salted cashews and cheese.

What lower carb snacks do you guys like?

Thanks for reading!

#lowcarb #keto #pcos #womenshealth #health #diet #diabetes #insulinresistance #food

HealthMinder Journal + Daily Women’s Health Planner

HealthMinder Journal + Daily Women’s Health Planner

I love using planners/journals and just writing things in general. There are many apps available so I could do planning/recording without writing, but I prefer the tactile experience of using a pen and paper.

I frequently look online for planners and/or journals to buy that might suit my needs better than the one (or ones!) I am using at the time. This means that I go through way too many planners to count.

Recently, I started using a journal called, HealthMinder. This post will provide a review of it as well as show the planner/journal I created.

The HealthMinder

The cover got screwed up….

This is a great journal that allows you to keep track of your health each day. The reason why I bought was because I wanted to stay on top of my symptoms that I get from hormonal changes and being a Post-COVID “Long-Hauler.”

HealthMinder separates out things you can record about how you are feeling each day mentally and physically as well as any other things that you like to take note of (blood pressure, blood sugar, weight etc.). I really like this feature because it makes it easier to look back and see what area problems are happening in.

The symptoms glossary can really help you with putting into words what you may be feeling. It also shows you what part of the body the feelings may fall under.

Although it is a pretty small section, I do like that there is space to put down what you ate each day. This is important if one is trying to figure out if diet is playing a role in the symptoms they are having.

I also love the health recording section in the back of the book. You can put down your medical history, insurance information, test results, contact information for your health care providers and any questions you may have so that you can remember to ask them at your appointments.

The aforementioned section in the back, allows you to have information all in one place. This makes it easier so that you do not have to search around in a bunch of different places to look things up.

In conclusion, the HealthMinder is a wonderful way to keep track and take care of your health. I would highly recommend it.

The following are pictures of the inside of the journal:

The company that makes the HealthMinder also makes other journals. These include the DietMinder (mainly for tracking food but also fitness), BodyMinder (mainly for tracking exercise but also food), CruiseMinder (for planning a cruise ship vacation), MaintenanceMinder (for helping one maintain their weight), DietMinder Junior (for helping children keep track of their food intake and exercise) and CodeMinder (helps you keep track of usernames and passwords).

The HealthMinder on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/HEALTHMINDER-Personal-Wellness-Journal-Symptoms/dp/0963796879/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=HealthMinder&qid=1602196410&sr=8-1

The MemoryMinder site to look at the other journals: http://www.memoryminder.com

My creation

While I really like the HealthMinder, there are some other things I want in a planner/journal. This is what led me to create my own!

I decided to call it the Daily Women’s Health Planner. This is because it is a combination of a health journal (like the HealthMinder) and a daily planner. Its features are as follows:

  1. Goals page- Provides space to write down any goals you want to reach.
  2. Health issues page- Space to write down your current and past health issues
  3. Workout plan pages- There are three of these pages so that you can write down the routine you want to have each week. This is great if you are like me and keep up the same workout routine for about six weeks.
  4. Menstrual cycle information page- This page gives a run down of what our hormones may be doing each day of our cycle and what our vaginal discharge should be like. It is nice to look back on to see what you may be feeling each day.
  5. The daily planner/journal pages- There are 180 days for you to track. Each day includes two pages. The first page for each day allows you to record the date, personal menstrual cycle information, mental/physical symptoms, supplements/medications taken, other health related things you want to track (blood pressure, O2 stats, hours slept etc.) and how your workout for the day went (if you did one). The second page for each day allows you to record a to-do list/schedule, your diet and how you thought your day was overall.
  6. Supplement/medication tracker- This provides spaces for you to write down the supplements/medications you currently take (and how they affect you) and supplements/medications you are interested in taking (and what you think they will do for you).
  7. Resources- This is just a short list of health-related apps, books and sites that may be of value to you.

This planner is perfect for me because everything I want to track is all in one place. I hope it will work out for anyone else who decides to use it too!

I made three different covers for the journal. In the near future, I plan on making the journal ring-bound because it makes it easier to open and use.

Here is my planner and one of the three covers it comes in:

Find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KJGW4ZR

Planners and journals can be great

Not everyone likes to use them but those of us who do, find them very helpful. There are so many of them to choose from that everyone who likes using them is likely to find one that suits their need.

The one I made is great for women and non-binary people who like to track and plan multiple things each day.

Do you like using journals and planners? Let me know which ones you like!

Thanks for reading!

#journaling #planners #todolists #health #symptoms #menstrualcycles #women #nonbinary

Postpartum Bellies

Postpartum Bellies

Growing a baby is tough work!

It is no secret that a woman’s body can change after giving birth. When it comes to our bellies, some women find that they end up looking way different than before. After all, a new life was grown in them.

I am here to give another reminder that we are still beautiful!

What may happen to our bellies after childbirth

Many women have changes happen to their midsection after getting pregnant and giving birth. Some women out there are lucky enough to look exactly the same afterwards, but most do not fall in this category. That is perfectly okay!

Here are the ways that childbirth can alter the appearance of a woman’s midsection:

  1. Can cause diastasis recti- This is when the large abdominal muscles separate after giving birth. There will appear to be a bulge in the middle of the belly of the person that ends up with it.
  2. Stretch marks- Getting these can be caused by genetics and/or a high amount of weight gain.
  3. Loose and/or wrinkly skin- This is caused by the stretching of the skin that occurred during the pregnancy in order to grow the baby.
  4. Discoloration- Giving birth can lead to discolored skin that can last a long time in some cases.

These changes that women can end up with, may be really upsetting. Some report feeling ugly, fat, disgusting etc. Many also worry that their partners do not find them attractive anymore.

What can be done about post-child (or children) bellies

Some women may want to change the way their postpartum bellies look. Here are some ways that this can be achieved:

  1. Stay healthy and active- This is important in general!
  2. Healthy weight loss- Do not try to lose weight too fast after giving birth. This may cause even worse loose/wrinkly skin and stretch marks.
  3. Tummy tuck/surgical repair- This may help improve the appearance of diastasis recti and loose skin. The cost range for this type of surgery is $6,000-$12,000.
  4. Laser therapy- This may improve the appearance of stretch marks. It can cost $2,000 and up.
  5. Microneedling- This may improve the appearance of stretch marks. It can cost up to $4,500.
  6. Creams- There are creams that are made for improving the appearance of stretch marks and firming up loose skin. They may contain ingredients such as CoQ10, elastin, alpha hydroxy acids, collagen, DMAE and retinol. The cost can range from $10-$140+.

My post-child belly

Me and my weird Shein pajama set.

 I gained around 25 pounds during pregnancy which is pretty average. Throughout the months, I put on Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Stretch Mark cream all over my belly in hopes that I would not be left with any stretch marks afterwards.

Unfortunately, stretch marks showed up the very last two weeks of my pregnancy. I already had some stretch marks from puberty, so it was disappointing that I was going to have more.

I was still extremely excited to meet our son though!

After giving birth, the skin on my belly turned completely black. It was shocking. I was told it was normal for brown skinned women, but it was still unwanted.

In addition to the stretch marks and hyperpigmentation, I was also left with loose and wrinkly skin. I felt really ugly. Fortunately, my husband was really nice about it and said that it would look better in time.

He was right!

After my gradual weight loss and getting back into shape, my belly started to look a lot better. The stretch marks reduced in color and the hyperpigmentation went away.

I still have a little bit of loose and wrinkly skin on the lower part of my abdomen, but I can truthfully say that I am okay with it. No plastic surgery is wanted!

Our bellies have been through a lot!

It is totally normal to have a different looking belly after having children. We are not gross because of this. It can be hard to see it that way, but it is important to try. Doing things to improve the way our bellies look is only part of the equation.

Thanks for reading!

Pictures of postpartum bellies: https://www.boredpanda.com/women-after-giving-birth-postpartum-bodies-takebackpostpartum/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic

Stretch mark products: https://www.azhealthyfamilies.org/stretch-marks/creams/