The Post Baby Weight Loss Challenge – Month 3 update

The Post Baby Weight Loss Challenge

I completed the third month of my post baby weight loss challenge. My weight goal is 105 lbs. I am 107.6 lbs after completing the third month.

The Post Baby Weight Loss Challenge
Month 3

Here are the numbers. I weigh 111.6 lbs on July 26 and I weigh 107.6 lbs on August 26. I lost 4 lbs this month and lost 17 lbs since I started tracking my diet. My goal is to reach 105 lbs by the end of September, 7 months after I gave birth.

It is harder every month. This month, I threw half a bag of Ruffles and a whole jar of Nutella. I asked my husband to buy me some Ruffles from Costco, thinking that I can control myself. I ate a quarter of it in one seating and another quarter the next day. I didn’t feel good that night, but I just can’t stop eating. It was bad, that I threw it out. Then I switch to Nutella. I knew that Nutella is mostly sugar. 2 tablespoon of Nutella is 200 calories. I even started researching for Nutella alternatives. I found some recipes but haven’t tried it. I am surprised that I am still losing weight. I go over the calorie suggestions most days because of added snacks.

Plant Based Diet

We continue to eat mostly plant based/whole food meals. We have 14 favorite meals after a month of starting the diet. We have some favorites and some not so good ones. We’re still not vegan but limit our meat intake once or twice a week. I still consume some form of dairy for snacks (like chocolate covered raisins) and cheese (like pizza). It was easy for me to give up meat, especially beef. I think we’re getting the groove of this diet and I am happy with our progress. For those that want to give this a try, I recommend watching Gamechangers. It is a documentary from Netflix interviewing athletes that are on a vegan diet. You’ll be surprise that Arnold Schwarnegger is in it.

Strength Training

This is still going. I am hitting a plateau on weights on some exercises. I can now lift 65lbs on squats and on the “real bar”. I’m pretty happy with that because I look legit with the full size weights on the bar.

Last Stretch

I am going on my last month. It is so easy to stop at this weight, but I want to reach the goal I set. Wish me luck!

The Monthly Expenses of an Early Retiree – July 2020

The Monthly Expenses of an Early Retiree

July 1st marked our first year anniversary of early retirement. It was fastest year, yet many slow days with a toddler and an infant. Our spending is not normal. This is the year of paying Cobra, giving birth and the pandemic. The first two contributed to an increase in expenses while the pandemic probably decrease our expenses. It is hard to say if our spending will stay consistent. I don’t know what a “normal” year will look like.

In July, we spent, $2,341.59

Groceries – $739.16

Groceries continue to be on top of our spending. This month, we decided to eat more plant based recipe. We watched Forks Over Knives and changed our diet to eliminate most meat. We are eating more plat based / whole foods and limit our meat to once or twice a week. This change is probably the reason of the increase because we don’t have a go-to recipes. We have been have been experimenting with ingredients. Maybe we will be better on this once we accumulate some bulk ingredients.

Electronics – $491.32

Mr. MMD got a new iPhone. I got a new one last December and he’s been using my sister’s old iPhone 6. It is no longer charging. He finally got a new iPhone SE. He returned his old iPhone back for a rebate, but we won’t know the rebate amount until Apple gets the phone.

Home Improvement – $404.16

I am making some roman shades for the kids bedroom and their playroom. There are 4 windows in total. I bought a black out insulated windows and drapery fabrics and some materials needed for the shades. We finally installed one for MBP’s bedroom. It’s not professional looking, but it does the job. I also didn’t add the pull mechanism yet because I don’t want the kids to be playing with the strings. This is good for now and it is a lot better than the former curtains.

Two of our carbon monoxide and fire alarm detector also expired, so we bought a new one. That beeping was really annoying, especially when it happened at nap times. Oh well, we know now that these alarms expires every 7 years.

Others – $706.95

The rest are pretty normal expenses. There are monthly expenses like 529 college plan and HOA dues. I also split our utility bills as a category for each bill. I separated electric and gas as 1 bill, sewer, internet and mobile phone as another. We also have some discretionary expenses and bought some toys and kids supplies and we had some fast food take out because I’m craving for it.

The Monthly Expenses of an Early Retiree
Our Neighborhood Fireworks

Celebrating July

This is the second year that we celebrated 4th of July in an unincorporated county. It is legal to have some fireworks here at certain times, unlike in the city. HOA frowned upon it, but the neighborhood doesn’t seem to care. Last year, we were invited to a party in our block. I basically just walked around and our neighbor invited us. This year, there were no parties but all our neighbors were out in their front porch. We set up some chairs and watched our neighbors fired up some fireworks. MBP enjoyed it. It was hard to tell a 3 year old to keep 6ft apart from the other kids though, but we tried to make sure that we keep the social distance. AHP slept through all the fireworks while our furbaby thought that it was the end of the world.

Overall July was great considering that we are still in a lockdown. Maybe we were just getting used to this new normal and our expectations were low. It was a bit more expensive, but not alarming.

Here’s a recap to our spending in 2020:

And here is the breakdown of our expenses in July

Groceries739.16We are changing our diet ot be more plant based. At some point, we're hoping to optimize this.
Electronics & Software491.32Mr. MMD got a new iPhone
Home Improvement404.162 fire and carbon monoxide alarm and materials for roman shaes
529 College Fund200
Electric and Gas86.41Trending down so far
Shopping68.34Batteries, iPhone case and toothbrush head
HOA Dues68.25
Sewer60.16I started another category to divide our utilities to what it is
Household Supplies59.54Cleaning supplies and toilet paper
Internet45From Comcast
Baby Supplies29.99Some supplies for MBP and AHP
Fast Food28.41Take out from KFC because I was craving for it
Mobile Phone15.91Our very cheap plan for 2 lines in Xfnity Mobile
Toys14.97Some more toys/books for MBP
Alcohol & Bars13.59Some craft beer for Mr MMD. I'm still not drinking because I'm still nursing and it's just easier that way
Toiletries9.83Some soap
Subscription6.55Prime subscription
Grand Total2341.59

How’s your July?

The Post Baby Weight Loss Challenge – Month 2 update

July 26 was officially my second month of tracking my weight. I’m still on the right track, but I can tell that I have more days of giving in to cravings. I have a hard time saying no to sweets.

Ube Halaya – one of the many sweets that is hard to resist

First the numbers. I weigh 116.8 lbs on June 26. I weigh 111.6 lbs on July 26. I lost 5.2 lbs. I’m losing about a pound a week. Today, I weigh 110.6 lbs. I’ve been skipping breakfast for 2 months now. My first meal is lunch and for the past week, I’m typically not even hungry at that time. The hard part is snacking especially late night snacking.

Month 2

Plant Based Diet

My husband and I watched a couple of documentaries on Netflix. One is Forks Over Knives. After watching it, we decided to try a plant based diet for majority of our meals. We’re not vegan. We are just replacing majority of our meals with a plant based recipe. Our lunch and dinner usually have meats in it about 98% of the time. We decided to have one meat day a week and come up with some recipe that are “vegan”. We are not very strict and we are still using what we have. For example, we have quite a bit of chicken broth and we uses that instead of vegetable broth if a recipe calls for it. So far we’re almost 2 weeks in it and we’re finding some really good recipes and some bad ones. Our goal is to continue this on for at least 3 months, in time for my husbands annual exam. He wants to see if it will change his cholesterol level. I also want to schedule my annual exam at that time.

Strength Training

We continue to lift weights about 3 times a week. At some point, I really want to add some cardio, but it takes time. I still want to see a pelvic floor PT before doing any ab work out, but that might need to wait until we’re done with this pandemic. I’m hoping that our local PT clinic will bring back the woman’s health PT. She was furloughed because of the pandemic.

Weights on Aug 1st

Continuing On

My goal is to reach 105 lbs by the end of September. It’s starting to get harder. I have more days that I’m above my calorie intake and I’m definitely slacking more on tracking my diet. I feel good overall. I can fit on my clothes now pre pregnancy, but I still want to lose that 5 lbs – I’m almost there! Wish me luck!