Back in February, I blogged about how hard it is to eat healthy, exercise regularly, and invest in yourself as a mom with busy little ones (although I can’t say, I’m sure it is just as hard when they are older!). For me, February was the start of changing my life and really working hard to shed the 15+lbs of Jonah baby weight that stubbornly wanted to stick around.
I joined a Lifetime Bootcamp class in January and in February I learned about Lifetime’s 90day Challenge. Most of the women in my class were participating and when I heard that the average person lost 7lbs during the 90days, I jumped on board. I was just hoping the weekly weigh-ins would motivate me to eat healthier.
The week before our challenge began, our trainer handed out a list of foods to eat and to avoid. As I glanced over the list, I realized that 90%of what I ate was on the “bad” list. Oatmeal, crackers, sandwiches- isn’t that every moms staple diet?
A couple days later, we did a grocery store tour and really talked about healthier options, having go-to foods, and identifying the “dirty dozen.” The eating plan was essentially clean eating, Paleo, and gluten-free… with a few modifications. No calorie counting, no low-fat obsession, no cheat day- just a change in lifestyle.
As the challenge began, I was excited to cook healthier foods and see if I felt any different. The first 2 weeks were hard! I craved pizza crust when I don’t even really like pizza. My mouth watered when Josh would eat a Poptart for breakfast :). But, I did it. I kept telling myself, “Just 90 days!” I think the best part was knowing that all these other women were in it too! We would spend Monday mornings talking about all the foods we had to avoid eating over the weekend ( or how we wish we had avoided them) or how we looked forward to a gummy multi-vitamin because it tasted like dessert.
Now the vulnerable part: weight, measurements, and sizes. After you become a mom, all privacy seems to be ripped away and with it goes your vanity. I believe beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, it is in no way defined by outward appearances. This is not meant to be offensive, boastful, or judgmental. It is only meant to encourage and challenge. I know how badly I wanted my confidence back after having two children close together and I know many, many moms who feel the same. With that in mind, this is only to share my personal journey, to encourage that lifestyle change CAN be done without quick fixes and to share ideas for accomplishing your goals. You are in charge of you!
Mid-February, I weighted in at 148.6lbs. Body fat 28.4%. I was wearing a size 8. Hip measurement: 37inches. Waist: 30inches. Legs 22inches. Arms 11.5inches.
Over the next 45 days, I had a HORRIBLE time loosing weight. I lost 2lbs and 2% body fat. That was it! Nonetheless, I felt absolutely amazing. I was so sold gluten-free living and on how great I felt! No more nap-time slump, no more bread cravings- I could go to a Mexican restaurant and not even want to eat chips and queso (my fave!).
I did some cardiac testing at the gym to make sure I wasn’t working out too hard or training in the wrong heart rate zones. My test came back perfect- I was burning fat all the way into zone 4 (high intensity). The trainer even told me, ‘Your results look like what we tell people to aim for when they want to loose weight.”
My next step was to check my cortisol levels. That too came back fine.
Finally, I met with a dietician at the gym. We talked about everything and she finally decided that it had to be hormonal (related to recent babies and breastfeeding.) She gave me some suggestions and I implemented them.
Within 2 weeks, I had lost 5lbs. Then the next week a couple more.
On May 18th, we completed the Lifetime 90day Challenge. I weighed in at 136.2lbs. Body fat 20.2%. Hip: 34inches. Waist 28 inches. Legs 21 inches. Arm 10.25inches. And… my favorite part, I went shopping and easily wear a size 4. I haven’t worn a size 4 since before Norah!
I still have a little belly fat I would like to lose, but in this process I really have changed my lifestyle. I learned so much about HIIT training and have taken a break from distance running. I never knew I liked sprints so much! I eat clean about 90% of the time. Wheat makes me feel terrible and I have found a new LOVE for cauliflower! The best part is that I have regained so much confidence that was lost in the postpartum body. And, while you will NOT find me strutting a bikini at a public pool, you WILL see me being the first to jump in with my babies (thank God for tankinis and cute one pieces because these glorious baby-battle-scars across my mid-driff have gone no where with the baby weight 🙂 .)
I hope this post is encouraging! Changing your life is SO hard, especially as a mom. Our lives are so devoted to our little people (and every other commitment) that we often put ourselves and our bodies on the back burner. My main suggestion is to start with changing what you eat- it is the hardest thing to do, but gives the greatest rewards. Avoid gluten, sweets and drinks. Keep bacon, chicken, veggies and dark chocolate on hand. 🙂
LOVE dark chocolate 🙂
Part 2: Food Ideas… Coming Soon!