So let me start from the beginning... With Henry, I gained almost 60 lbs during my pregnancy. In the first two weeks after his birth, I lost 30 lbs of that. I was insanely swollen so a lot of my weight was fluid retention...
See? Told ya. However, after that first two weeks, I did not lose anything else. I had issues with breastfeeding from the get go, and even though I was exclusively nursing for almost 4 months, it did nothing for my weight loss. By January, Henry was 3 months old, and I still had 30 lbs to lose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. So, really, if I wanted to, I could say I lost 60 lbs, but I don't think that accurately depicts the situation.
In January, I just felt gross. I have been varying degrees of overweight most of my life, but, honestly, I never really felt bad about myself. In January, I had a lot of moments of self-loathing. That was a new thing for me, so I decided I really had to get shit taken care of. Initially, I didn't set a time constraint on my weight-loss. I've never lost more than 15 lbs at a time in my life, so I didn't even know where to begin with this goal. As time went on, and I had success, I decided to go by the "9 months to put it on, 9 months to take it off" rule. Well... 9 months and TWO DAYS.
To give a little background for anyone reading this blog for the first time, I will briefly depict my weight history... I have always been like 10-20 lbs overweight my entire life, according to medical charts. Weight loss and maintenance has always been an issue for me, and I do believe that my metabolism is on the low end of the spectrum. I have always played sports and worked out, and been decently fit, just never thin. At the time I got pregnant, it was 2 months after my wedding, and I felt pretty good about my body. I was doing crossfit and paleo religiously, and I was in really great health. This 30 lbs I lost does not get me to my ideal weight. My ideal weight is still about 10-15 lbs away.
So what did I do to lose the weight? What a hard question to answer. The bottom line is I exercised more and ate less. The REAL bottom line is that... I cut out all the emotional/mental bullshit out of the equation, and just freaking did what it takes.
Exercise: Henry and I attend Baby Boot Camp 5 times a week. It's a good and effective work out. Working out for an hour five times a week is more than most people. Boot camp definitely has helped my body look so much better, but was it the main factor in my weight loss? No. Although, the constant support and motivation from my mom friends was incredibly helpful and encouraging.
Food: Obviously, my diet and calorie intake has been the main source of success for my weight loss. I didn't go on a "diet." I don't have time to plan out meals or go grocery shopping the way most diets require that you do. Well, actually I have plenty of time, but I hate grocery shopping and I am lazy. Anyway, I really ate all the same foods as before. I just ate a whole hell of a lot less. I do not count calories. Again, too lazy. Basically, I just had to gauge what hunger level I needed to be at to lose weight steadily week to week. My guess is that it was around 1000 calories on a daily basis. I know that 1000 calories a day is not "healthy". But neither is being overweight. I do not recommend eating less than 1200 calories a day, but my metabolism sucks major ass, and 1200 calories even with working out will not allow me to effectively lose weight. Argue with me all you want, but I just lost 30 lbs... so just trust that I know what I am saying. Of course, there are days I probably ate something crazy like 3000 calories. But they were very few and far in between. Like once or twice a month. Not once or twice a week.
More food stuff: 1000 calories a day sucks. I was/am hungry a lot, and it's pretty miserable. I hate to say this because it kind of sounds like the beginning of an eating disorder... but after a while, I embraced that super hungry feeling. I would tell myself "this is what losing weight feels like." I do not have an eating disorder, by the way. I needed to lose 30 lbs, so I did what it took. And it was over 6 months, so obviously I wasn't doing anything too crazy.
Even more food stuff: I would like to point out that I basically do not drink alcohol. Not because "I don't drink." I do. It's just that with a baby, I never go out to bars and we go to dinner at 5:30. I also don't particularly "enjoy" alcohol. I like drinking with my friends and family and getting a buzz going... but I couldn't care less about good wine or cocktails or trying new beers. COULD NOT CARE LESS. All that combined makes not drinking about as easy as not doing crystal meth (translation... very easy). I want to mention this because I know a lot of single 20 something girls will read this. When I was single and going out all the time, I don't think I could have foregone alcohol for six months. And even if you only drink on the weekends... multiply 1000 calories by 20 weeks, and you're not going to get the same results.
Now I want to talk about cutting out the bullshit. I have a bad metabolism. I've been chubby my entire life. I have always had to work harder than other people to lose weight. I have a parent who criticized my weight from a very young age. I was made fun of when I was a kid. I felt left out sometimes as an adult. I freaking love food to the point that it is like textbook addiction. I sometimes compulsively eat without even realizing it. I have narcolepsy which messes with your hunger signals.
The point is... there will always be a million reasons that you can tell yourself why you are overweight or why it's harder for you to lose weight. BUT... So let's say you had a brother who always called you fat growing up, and you feel that a lot of your issues stemmed from that. Well... even if you go to therapy, talk it out, confront your brother, he apologizes, you cry and hug and fix everything... That's not going to make you like food any less. That's not going to make a Double Dave's pizza roll any less tempting. It's not going to give you more energy to go on a run.
You just have to decide if you're going to do it or not. Doing it means sticking to the plan every day. Not three or four days a week. Not three weeks but then going on vacation and gaining 10 lbs. It's an every day thing. Every one of your actions has a consequence. Having a margarita has a consequence. Going for a run has a consequence. You have to constantly be on top of what you are doing and how it's going to feel each week if you do or do not lose weight.
I highly suggest setting a goal date and doing weekly weigh ins. I have had the internet to keep me accountable, but even if it's your mom or your boyfriend, just check in with someone. And take pictures. Seeing yourself look better in a picture is so much more gratifying than just looking in the mirror. That picture is there to remind you "this is what making good decisions looks like."
I know that all sounds like a lot of tough love, but I am just trying to be as straight forward as possible. There was nothing fun about losing 30 lbs other than losing 30 lbs. If I could look awesome without ever working out, trust me, I wouldn't. And I love food and I can eat a ton. Losing 30 lbs has not changed that one bit. I know I am going to continue to struggle with this forever. It's never going to be something I don't have to think about or put effort towards.
One last topic... My body does not look the same since having a baby. I am the same weight, but this body is different. The stretch marks from pregnancy are still there, and my bellybutton looks squishy. And if you've had a child, I don't even need to tell you what's going on with my boobs. I swear it's like you could fit your cell phone and keys in the empty space in my bra.
What does it feel like to lose 30 lbs? It feels just as awesome as you think it would. I recommend it.
Ok. Now come the pictures. First, I will do a series of me in work out clothes, then, I will do me in regular clothes. The regular clothes series doesn't start until around April because I felt too gross to let anyone take a full body shot of me...
(sorry, I had to include that picture)
And the regulars...
Somewhere in my blog, I talked about that last dress. I bought it when I was pregnant, thinking it would be loose and breezy for after the baby. WRONG. I couldn't even get it over my head. No joke. And now it fits perfect! I bought those ikat/chevron jeans when I was pregnant, too. So glad I did because they are incredibly soft and comfy now.
While we are talking about clothes, I am still a size 12. I could probably do a 10 in some bottoms, but I am so thick in my waist and ribs that I would have to lose another 10 lbs to go down in dress size. And I'm 5'6 for anyone who has never seen me in person.
AND WHAT THE HELL... I now weigh 168 lbs.