My YouTube Video on How I as a New Mom Lost Weight!

When you’re nearly 100 pounds overweight and just gave birth to your first child, the prospect of weight loss can be daunting. For me, I had iron-hard determination to make a change. As you can imagine, being that overweight was incredibly uncomfortable.

So take a peek at my five-ish minute vlog on how I lost 90 pounds as a busy, new mom! If you want more info, this vlog goes hand-in-hand with my blog entry here! By popular request, here is the link to check out Warrior Mom Fitness by Whitney and also Sharny and Julius, who helped me get below that evil plateau!

 

This is a topic that impacts a lot of people and I’m happy to share my experience to help others! I’d love to hear any questions or requests you have!

xoxo
Laura tenPas

How to Stop Late Night Eating

Nothing tastes as good as skinny [or rather, healthy] feels”

-Kate Moss 


This mantra, with the added brackets that emphasize the wordhealthy, has seriously helped me overcome some of my mental battles with late night cravings. But let’s face it, sometimes good mantras just don’t quite hit the spot when our tummies are yelling, nay, demanding to be heard. So, I’ve decided to divulge my secret on how to lose weight by stopping late night eating in its tracks.

Ready for it? Healthy drinks… There, I said it. If I’m getting peck-ish any time of day when I know that I don’t actually need to eat, I reach for one of these bad boys that I’ve listed below. Now, let’s be clear. If you haven’t gotten enough calories or nutrients throughout the day, then by all means listen to your body and eat something healthy. But if you’re certain it’s just your body jonesing for a snack, then I suggest you turn to these options below.

  • Zero-calorie beverages are my #1 saving grace when it comes to late night (or even early morning) munchies. I’m not talking about diet soda here, but instead lets look at a few healthy drinks. I do intermittent fasting so I choose drinks that aren’t going to kick me out of my fast. Here are some of my favorites:
    • Unsweetened Hot or Iced Tea
      • Licorice Tea – Now I’m not a huge fan of black licorice, but this stuff has a yummy sweet flavor that tastes like its sweetened.
      • Good Earth Sweet and Spicy Tea – Holy crap! This stuff totally hits the spot after dinner when I need just a little something to help me feel like I just had dessert. If you like sweet cinnamon, this will rock your world.
    • My Own Homemade Mock-arita
      • Watch my YouTube video here or just follow the steps below:

        • Ingredients:
        • Step 1: Run the lime around the rim of your glass and press rim onto the plate/bowl of pink salt
        • Step 2: Pour in sparkling water and in a shot of apple cider vinegar
        • Step 3: Finish of with a squeeze of lime and add ice, if desired
      • Apple cider vinegar is incredibly beneficial to your health (more posts on this later) but quite frankly, it can be super gnarly to drink on its own. But this mock-arita not only makes it taste delish but fills up your stomach!
      • Get this, pink Himalayan salt has been known to reduce signs of aging, help with ketosis and even improve sleep quality – bam!
    • Hint Water
      • No sweeteners whatsoever but seriously tasty!
      • Pineapple is my favorite – I can’t believe its not sweetened
    • Infused Water
      • A quick Google search will show you that people can go nuts with all of the options for infusing water. So find a flavor that you like and infuser bottle to your liking and go wild!
      • My personal favorite flavor is chocolate mint – just put chocolate mint leaves in your infuser and refrigerate for a bit

Sometimes I do all of these throughout the day because I realize that I’m actually dehydrated but it’s showing up as hunger. Other times, just one of these drinks is sufficient and I can feel satisfied enough to keep fasting. For more information on weight loss, check out more of my articles on here at lauratenpas.com

Enter the share circle: Do you have any beverages or tricks that you like to use to keep from binging on snacks?

Backstory on the Whole Acro Yoga Thing

We’ve literally just taken up AcroYoga in the last month… literally. And yet, we can already do, like, 5 poses?! For those of you who aren’t into yoga, you can do closer to 20+ (non-acrobatic) poses after a month of daily practice. But this is a whole different animal.

Let’s start with a brief overview. According to my research, AcroYoga melds three branches together: yoga, acrobatics, and Thai massage (umm.. still not sure what Thai massage is, but when I know, you’ll know). There are two types of practice: solar and lunar.

  • Solar: The base (or the person doing the lifting) and the flyer (the person who gets to do all the fun stuff, like being lifted) are both in an active role. This is where they work on the acrobatic, fluid movements together.
  • Lunar: The flyer is more passive in this type of practice, allowing the base to take control. The base supports the flyers weight in various positions twisting, stretching and massaging them (ah, there it is).

As you can imagine, the benefits of each are numerous, so I’ll just name a few major ones from our experience so far.

  • Connectedness – Todd and I have been through a lot in our marriage (some of which I’ll talk about in the family section of my blog), so reconnecting is vital for us. Like, the marriage-saving kind of vital. Well, I guess that’s a little far; God saved our marriage, but this has been incredible restorative for us. It involves a lot of communication (physical and verbal), as well as touching in ways both sensual and laughable (we find the two often go hand-in-hand).
  • Plain Ol’ Fun – Seriously, this is as much fun as it looks. Especially when you see the practice paying off and you’re actually getting better! As adults, I feel like we often don’t get to work on something that shows any progress very quickly (see my posts on weight loss or even raising a teen). However, for us, AcroYoga seems like one of those things that has more immediate gratification.
  • Building Trust – This goes back to connectedness but I thought it deserved its own spot. From the very first time he lifted me up into front bird pose and neither of us broke anythingI knew we could grow from there. And after just about a month, our confidence in ourselves and each other has increased tenfold. Falling also helps.. Yes, actually falling and learning how to do it correctly has helped it not seem so terrifying (even if your husband is a crane and you’re a long-haired chihuahua).

I will continue to post more on Acro as we grow in our practice. Let me know if you have any questions or anything specific you want to hear more about.

Cheers!

xoxo

Laura tenPas

Appalachian Trail Thru Hike 2015

“Wait, you hiked how far?!”

“How did you get food?”

“Did you carry a gun?”

“Didn’t you miss showering every day?”

These frequently asked questions are just start of what I will discuss in this section about our thru hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2015.

Family

For those who want to find out about foster care, adoption, roadschooling, and many other facets of our blended family, you’ll find it in this section!

AcroYoga

Here I will share photos and videos of our beginner yoga sequences so you can follow along!

Fitness

In this section, I’ll discuss my fitness journey and how I can help you achieve your goals!

About Laura

Hello lovelies! My name is Laura tenPas. And yes, the capitalization in tenPas is supposed to be funky – it’s Dutch. My husband and I have been married since 2013 and have taken on some seriously difficult endeavors since then. To give you a small glimpse, we have hiked the entire Appalachian Trail in one year, fostered and adopted many children in our home and are currently off in an RV trying our hand at roadschooling! We have 2 adopted sons, one foster son (in the adoption process) and 1 biological daughter [but more on them in the family section]. 

I started this blog to open up my world to others and hopefully give encouragement to those whom I would never meet otherwise. I have been in some rough places in my life, places that felt lonely and isolated. I have been almost 100 pounds overweight, I have suffered from feeling stuck in self-defeating thoughts and behaviors, and the list goes on… But every day I am finding new freedom and experiencing more joy. My goal is to share my experience, strength and hope with you – so that you may find courage in this fact: No one is alone.

If you ever need a word of encouragement or have any questions, please feel free to reach out!

Wishing You Freedom and Blessings,

Laura tenPas

Website: lauratenpas.com

Email: laura@lauratenpas.com

How this Mom Lost 90 Pounds!

I take a deep breath — contractions have stopped for a moment. I step on the outdated-looking hospital scale… 195 pounds. [Insert internal groan] How did I let myself go so far? I’ve always struggled with weight but this.. this is on a whole new level for me.

Yes, I was pregnant. And yes, I had been told weight gain was very normal. But this….? Compulsive eating and sedintary habits had paved the way for me to gain 70 pounds during my pregnancy. I knew that was far too much. As a 5’1″, small-framed person, I fell solidly in the obese category, even after I gave birth. By the time I checked out of the hospital with my sweet little nugget, I was about 185 lbs. I arrived home elated about my new baby and equally determined to never fall under the obese category again.

Year One (195 lbs – 145 lbs)

  • Diet
    • Vegan
    • Low Fats
    • High Carbs (From fruit, nuts, and beans)

For the first year, I re-introduced the vegan diet I had followed pre-pregnancy, which was high in carbs and low in fats. Sticking to this diet helped me lose the initial 50 pounds over the year. I highly recommended following Dr. Fuhrman and watching these videos if you are interested in the immense benefits of a clean, plant-based diet: Forks over Knives and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. I have so much more to say on the subject of the vegan diet, but I’ll save it for another post.

After having my daughter, Ashton, I quickly started jogging. Being 80 or so pounds overweight, you can imagine that my “jogging” was more akin to something like shuffling. But I used the gentle 8-week Couch to 5k running program to ease back into jogging. I also joined my local YMCA and started going to group fitness classes two or three times a week. I almost solely depended on cardio to help get the initial weight down.


Year Two (145 lbs – 105 lbs)

  • Diet
    • Low Carbs
    • High Protein (Keto)
    • Lots of Vegetables
    • Intermittent Fasting

By the time I hit 145 pounds, I had hit a MAJOR plateau. Even though I was still overweight, my body was struggling to shed the last 30 pounds (my original goal was 115). So I had to find some new way to switch it up on myself. I was also losing faith in myself. It felt as if my body would never look even remotely like it had before. Then, I found Sharny and Julius‘s program called Fit, Healthy, Happy Mum. I was so thrilled to find a program where the creator, Sharny, a mum of six, had an incredible body after losing a significant amount of weight. I found hope again! By following their meal plan, I finally dipped out of my plateau and lost MORE than my goal weight in about 6 months!! I will talk more about this program in later posts but I wanted to touch on it here.

  • Exercise
    • 5 Days of Weight Lifting
    • 2 Days of Cardio

During this plateau, I was searching to find a way to really change my fitness game. After some research and networking, I found Warrior Mom Fitness by Whitney. At a very reasonable cost, she tailored an online personal training regimine to fit my goals and needs. For those moms out there who are looking to trim up and show some muscle, I highly recommend Whitney. A few months later, I found Sharny and Julius (as mentioned above), who also have exercise included in their weight loss program. They have an array of options to suit the needs of mums in various stages of fitness. I would also highly recommend them for moms who are looking for a gentle way to get into exercise. I will eventually post more in depth about different aspects of weight loss but this a general overview of how I lost 90 pounds over two years.

Through this journey of weight loss, I’ve discovered that there is so much stigma around us moms and our bodies. When it came to body image, I was incredibly hard on myself and operated out of fear – especially fear of the unknown. I was terrified that I could never get down past pre-pregnancy weight. But if you take away anything from this post, please hear me when I say, Change is possible. Our bodies have done something incredible and are deserving of our love and patience. It may have taken me 2 years to get here… I probably could’ve done it a lot faster knowing what I know now. But my body is so happy and energized because I give it the nourishment and exercise it craves.

A question for you: What stigmas about motherhood or your body are you working through today? What are things we can do to encourage one another?

Family

In this area we will talk about anything including roadschooling, foster care, adoption and marriage.