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 I step on the outdated-looking hospital scale... 195 pounds.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)
- 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.
- Couch to 5k
- Group Fitness Classes
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)
- 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.
- 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?