Up Close and Personal- How I Lost Over 30 Pounds
This is a vulnerable, personal article - you’ve been warned ;).
About a year ago, I was feeling extremely depressed. I had just had my 4th baby, and I was the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life. I weighed as much as I did when I was 9 months pregnant with my first! I had also been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during that 4th pregnancy- which was a very necessary slap in the face. I was still eating like a teenager, not really working out, and my body was warning me that I could be facing some much bigger problems than just feeling chubby if I didn’t make some serious changes pronto. I have Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes on both sides of my family, so I knew I really needed to make some changes if I wanted to try and avoid a similar diagnosis! I was also tired of not feeling confident- and I wanted to change.
At first, I just started an exercise routine. For me personally, exercise is a lot easier than dieting, so I started there. I started working out 30-50 minutes daily, depending on what workout I was doing and what I had going on that day. I varied between running on the treadmill and doing workout videos (I love Turbo Jam and Jillian Michael workouts!) because with 4 little ones, I don’t have money or time for the gym ;). Exercise was really important for me as well because I was struggling with postpartum depression and the daily exercise was crucial for my mental health. I noticed a huge difference in my attitude and emotional well-being on the days where I skipped my workout. Exercise is a natural drug ;).
Next, I started to cut back on portions. Instead of going back for seconds, I stopped after one helping. I tried my best to cut out unnecessary snacking and to limit the unhealthy snacks I ate. I was able to lose 15 pounds this way, which was the kickstart I needed to do the harder things. I was able to see progress, but knew I wanted to go farther- and since my weight loss had stalled I knew I needed to take the next step.
I had watched my sister lose a ton of weight over the previous year, and when I asked her what she did, she shared her meal plans with me. I felt good about doing these particular meal plans because I don’t believe in crash diets, or anything that requires you to mess with hormones or eat unrealistically. This meal plan provided lots of fruits and vegetables, plenty of protein, and a variety of healthy fats and carbs- something I knew could be a sustainable lifestyle, which in my opinion is another big part of weight loss! It was something that would help me learn to eat healthily- so I could lose the weight, and keep it off. It was definitely hard at first, because I was eating 6 small meals a day- and between that, feeding my family, and exercising 45-60 minutes every day (sometimes doing an evening workout as well!), I felt like my whole day was spent in the kitchen and exercising!
There’s no ifs ands or buts about it- losing weight is HARD. But, over this past year I have been able to lose 32 pounds- and I feel so good!! And I don’t say this to boast or to get compliments, and I know there are people out there who have lost a lot more. But I share this because my heart breaks for those who desperately want to lose weight and just don’t feel that they can. It can be absolutely OVERWHELMING to think about the weight you want to lose and everything you have to do to get there. I found myself in tears so many times because I so desperately wanted to lose weight and just didn’t know where to start.
I share my experience because if I can do it, you can too!!! I’m just an average mom. I’m not a physical trainer or professional athlete. I am not a health nut by any means. I have had more ice cream than I should (and don’t apologize ;) ), I still love getting burgers and fries, and eat like a pretty normal person. I no longer work out 2 hours a day. I still indulge in my favorite treats- but with moderation. And while I may not have the perfect Instagram body- I have a real, healthy body. I have more energy, I feel SO MUCH STRONGER, and I’m happier!
If you’re wanting to lose weight, but just feel overwhelmed with where to even begin, choose ONE thing you’re going to change- have a salad for lunch every day, exercise 20 minutes, make a commitment to stop any snacking after dinner, cut out soda, cut your portion sizes in half- whatever feels doable, start there! Once you have a handle on that, add something else! When you start seeing that little progress, you’re going to feel more motivated to push through and do the bigger harder things!
You also have a fantastic tool through Cook’n! Utilize Cook’n’s calorie counting feature to help you keep track of calories with those family meals that aren’t part of your diet, and the meal planning templates are a WONDERFUL tool to help you plan ahead your meals and stick to your diet!
Another big component- find someone to be your support. It was so helpful to call my sister on days where I felt overwhelmed and frustrated, or to share in the little successes, like when my favorite pair of pants fit again, or when I could start shopping in the S/M sizes at the store instead of L and XL. Having someone to cheer you on and encourage you when you’re down is so important!
I’m not going to lie- losing weight is HARD. Way harder than I thought it would be emotionally. And yet way easier than I thought it was going to be physically! You really can do it! It’s hard- but not impossible! Just take those baby steps to get you going!
Have any of you had success with weight loss? Please share your stories below for any of our readers who need the encouragement! I’d love to hear all about them!
Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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