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How this Mom Lost 90 Pounds! 

 May 6, 2020

By  Laura

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 I step on the outdated-looking hospital scale... 195 pounds.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?

Laura


Mother of 4 kids, Special Education Teacher, and NASM Certified Personal Trainer.

Laura tenPas

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  • Hi Laura,
    I think it is amazing what you have accomplished. I’ve always believed you can put anything you put your mind to and you certainly have proved it. Nice article and well written, I look forward to reading more about Fitness especially on Yoga.
    Kerry Lee

  • That is an interesting article Laura. I know exactly how you felt when you were on the heavier side. After having my third child, my weight just kept going up and up. The funny thing I was eating healthier and about the same amounts but the weight just kept coming. I have always shied away from lots of exercise and after reading about your success, it has motivated me to get more active. Many thanks.

  • Way to go on accomplishing so much! It’s amazing what setting a goal and having fierce determination can do. I’ve honestly never heard of a high-carb diet for weight loss. Lately all you hear are how bad carbs are for you, but I guess it all depends on what kinds. As a mom, I struggle the most with losing my belly. I have lost everywhere else, but that part is so hard to get rid of. Any tips?

    • Hey Carla! So with the high carbs that means I ate really healthy foods. So I’d have a fruit and veggie smoothie every day, which is super high in carbs but also crazy healthy. Honestly, it worked when I was obese but stopped working when I hit the plateau. What really helped with belly fat was keto and intermittent fasting. That really kicked it into high gear for me!

  • Hi Laura

    Congratulations, on losing the weight, you look amazing. You are a very determine person, and you did not give up, and eventually exceeded your goal.

    A young lady I know, had a baby recently, and she gained so much weight, it is like she had more than doubled in size. Your post would do well in encouraging her and others who might be looking to lose their baby fat (as some calls it.)

    Thanks for sharing all that you did to lose the excess pounds. You did well. Continue to take care of yourself and your family. Ashton, a beautiful name for a beautiful baby.

    All the best

    • Hey Jackie! Thank you! I’d be happy to help your friend any way I can. I know I was incredibly overwhelmed at how much I’d gained. When I finally found a few moms who had successfully lost all their baby weight and more, I was so encouraged. So my goal is to do the same. It CAN happen!

  • Great story, thank you for sharing. The toll that childbirth exacts on a women’s mind & body is tremendous… many never get back to where they were before the pregnancy. Your journey is inspirational in the sense that you saw some initial success then hit a plateau. Instead of getting down and defeated, you simply persevered and found another way that worked for you. Great lesson… thank you

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