I have been slightly overweight my whole life, especially in adulthood, but when I got pregnant with my daughter two years ago my weight spiraled out of control. I weighed 249lbs after my daughter was born.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? When I was overweight my joints ached, I became short of breath easily, and my over all attitude was miserable. I felt trapped in a body that didn’t feel like my own.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? My turning point was the birth of my daughter. I knew that if I didn’t step up and get healthy right now for her, then nothing would get me to lose the weight. Being an active mom is what drives me to this day. I want to be a good example for my whole family.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? I started by simply counting my calories with Myfitnesspal. I didn’t change what I ate, but just ate less of everything to stay within my calorie goal each day. From there, I realized that the healthier the foods I ate, the more of them I could eat and still be at or under my calories. As far as exercise, I had a C-Section with my daughter, so I couldn’t do strenuous activities right away. I walked with a stroller a couple of times per week and slowly added in at-home workouts I found on YouTube.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? I started feeling significantly better just a few weeks after starting, but I began to see a visual change after around two to three months.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? There were several obstacles I had to overcome! First off, being a new mother involved around the clock care of my daughter, lack of sleep, postpartum blues, crazy hormones, and lack of time! However, I wanted so badly to lose the weight that I was willing to work around my daughter’s schedule to meet her needs and mine. Some days that meant waking up before she did at around 4 AM to prep my meals and do some workouts. Other days I would have to wait until my daughter was asleep to get my workouts in.
Secondly, having a newborn meant that our funds were depleted. I had to get creative with meal preps and buy in-season fruits, frozen veggies, and frozen chicken breast. Just making it work no matter what was my goal.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? There have been MANY times I have felt like quitting. This time last year I was stuck at 190 lbs for four months on a plateau. The only thing that kept me going was the fear of being stuck at 190 for the rest of my life. I just kept tracking my calories as accurately as possible and switched up my routine. Staying consistent is what eventually got me out of that stall. I have been asked by so many people how I stay motivated. The short answer is that I don’t! I just make the better choice day in and day out whether I want to or not. You just have to want it bad enough and just start your journey even if you don’t feel like it! Don’t wait around for motivation!
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? Yes! like I said before, I was in a big plateau this time last year. I just stayed patient and trusted the process to eventually break out of it. It also helped that I tried really hard each day to get at least half my body weight in ounces of water! I also stalled in weight loss about a month ago and finally broke out of that plateau by starting intermittent fasting.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? I have lost most of my weight in about 18 months (a year and a half).
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? Oh yes! My wedding ring is way too big, my wedding dress from our wedding four years ago hangs off of me, and I started in a size 16 US jean and I am currently in a size 6 US! I haven’t fit in a size 6 since grade six or earlier.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? When I was heavier I ate a lot of cheeseburgers and fries, fried chicken tenders, snacked mindlessly on chips and dip (my weakness), and had HUGE portions. While I still enjoy those foods in moderation, my main diet consists of lots of veggies, chicken and fish, and healthy snacks like rice cakes with peanut butter, berries and other types of fruit, oatmeal and fiber one brownies!
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? Physical activity of any kind when I was heavier was a lot more of a challenge. I have slowly worked my way back up to running, lifting weights, and just having fun playing with my toddler! I have also noticed that I recover faster these days.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Be CONSISTENT! I have counted my calories day in and day out for over a year and a half. There were many days when I would go over my goal or slip up and eat something I probably should have said no to. The important thing was moving on from that day and picking up where I left off the next day.
- Be patient and take things slow! I have aimed for a loss of one pound per week the entire time I have been on my journey. I have tried crash diets in the past that made me lose 20 lbs in a month, but I ALWAYS gained it back and then some. Slow and steady wins the race!
- Make your new lifestyle sustainable! My motto is this: if I don’t want to do something for the rest of my life, then I don’t even start doing it now! Whether it be a certain dieting style (ex.: keto, paleo, etc.) or a specific type of workout, if you can’t see your self doing it for the rest of your life, then don’t do it! There is no end game, so making your lifestyle doable is so important! I will have to work on my health and fitness for the rest of my life, and I want to make it as enjoyable as possible!