Monday, October 6, 2014

How to Lose Weight while still being friends with Cookies

Since having Sage I have lost 50 pounds and I wanted to document how I did it and why I did it so next time I have a baby I can look back and realize I can do hard things.  Because it has been hard; mentally, spiritually and physical! I have debated about publishing this post for a while.  If you choose to read this novel (it's long!) I hope it gives you courage, ideas and hope.

After having Sage, I was 175 pounds.  I worked so hard to stay fit during her pregnancy but somehow managed to gain 5 more pounds with her than I did Crew….how is that fair?!?!  (In reality, I still had 5 or so extra pounds from Crew’s pregnancy I never got rid of so I started at a higher weight..ugh…guess I can’t really blame anyone but me for that….I digress…) I always lose about 20 lbs of water weight within the first few days which left me with 30 lbs I had to lose on my own.  I felt gross, hated taking pictures, and had 2 shirts that fit.  Postpartum kicked in, I couldn't work out until I healed and used food as a comfort and distraction. 

One month after having Sage (don’t I have the cutest family ever!!)

Every day I would say, “I will eat better tomorrow” or “I already ate one bad thing, might as well just make a day out of it”.  The list goes on of excuses.  My biggest one was “I deserve this”.  It had been a hard day or I was so tired or on and on….I ate what I thought I deserved and ironically when I was done felt more undeserving and worse about myself then before eating my “prize”.  For months I did this until I finally realized that for me, FOOD SHOULD NEVER BE USED AS A REWARD.  I had food up on a pedestal, something that would make me happy and something I deserved.  When I heard people say, “Food is fuel” I would just look at them and think, you really need to live a little and enjoy life and food.  Food was my coping mechanism for depression and stress and it wasn’t helping me.  6 months flew by and although I was working out again, I had only lost 5 more lbs.  After feeling gross for so long, motivation finally kicked in. I knew I needed to change.  So here is what I did in a nutshell:
I worked out and watched what I ate.  I didn’t go on a diet, I didn't stop eating certain things, I just made little steps towards being healthier. 

January 2014 - 6 months mark

I continued running and starting doing yoga and kickboxing again for cross trainer.  Working out is a big therapy for me so I worked hard not to miss my work outs and signed up for a half marathon to have something to work towards.  Having a race made me feel accountability.  I couldn’t skip my work outs or the race would be misery. I also found having someone to run with made a huge difference.  Working out on my own meant no willpower but when I went with someone I couldn’t just stop because I was bored.  It made a HUGE difference.  I will forever be grateful for all the ladies who are willing to run with me despite rain, heat, grumpiness, or cold!
I control my sugar intake.  No one needs 3 desserts or treats in a day.  You don’t really need one every day.  Treats are just that now…treats, special things for special occasions.  Not something I just eat because I am bored.  I normally try to eat treats on birthdays, get togethers, or holidays only; however, if we are watching a movie and I really want a cookie I eat one….ONE.  Not 5 or 10.  (I once ate so many cookies in high school I threw up, okay you didn’t need to know that)  Eric and I also don’t eat after 9 PM at night.  We were eating so much junk at night and then going to bed so it could all turn into fat.  I started sleeping better and feeling better once we cut off food at 9.  I also don’t buy treats.  If we want a treat, we either make it or go out together and buy it. 
I buy less processed foods.  Cheetos used to be another one of my favorite foods.  Once I stopped buying so much processed food though I no longer love them.  It is amazing what your body adjusts to.  When I eat greasy gross food, healthy doesn’t sound good.  But when I eat healthy, unhealthy food loses its appeal.  I pay attention to chemicals in my food and therefore don’t buy low fat or fat free.  We eat normal full fat food.  Full fat food does not mean McDonalds or fast food.  I really like to know the ingredients in my food so I make most of what we eat for our meals.  Notice, I didn’t say we don’t buy process foods at all.  We do it in moderation.  Sometimes I throw a digornio stuffed crust pizza in the oven and serve it with a salad for dinner….I am human!  J 
Meal planning is a must.  I always go to the grocery store with 7-15 dinner meals on my list and we snack on fruits, veggies, nuts or cheese instead of cookies, chips, or whatever else.  I try to only eat 3 meals a day…that’s what works for me.  Snacks are what expanded my waistline most. I put on my plate a regular sized dinner…not one for a starving teenager and eat until I am full.  With this said, we still go out to eat and I eat whatever I want (I don’t ever get drinks or desserts but that is personal preference.)  Eating out is a special occasion to me since we don’t do it very often.  If you eat out more often, don’t treat it like that.
Drink a lot of water.  I tried to have water be my family’s primary drink.  When I drink carbonation it feels like my bones are being sucked dry and my teeth feel sugary and gross.  Juice isn’t taboo but I like to limit it too since they it is high in natural sugars. 
Go to sleep and fake it til you make it.  I once heard someone say put on your workout clothes before you decide if you are going to work out.  I don’t recall every finishing a healthy meal or a run and thinking, “that was a waste of my life”.  I have sooo many times thought, “I really wish I didn’t eat that or why did I stay up so late?”  It took me two months before I liked running.  It was kind of like death until that point…..DON’T YOU DARE GIVE UP!!  Healthy habits are just that…habits.  Do habits form over night?  Never.  But they do form as you keep trying.  Get enough sleep so you can function and be rational. 
Pray for help and talk about your goals with people.  I told everyone about the Oatstraw tea I found for my depression, I share recipes I find that are healthy and good, if I was discouraged I would call my mom or talk to my sister or a friend.  The insight and advice I got helped me keep going.  When I finally lost my weight, in my head I still felt chubby.  It took a lot of positivity and support from Heavenly Father and my loved ones to feel good inside too.  Every time I thought, “this is just the way I am, or this is just a trial I have to deal with” I realized that was Satan telling me to give up.  I will not let him win.  I prayed and fasted for help and I got it.  Never forget you control your life and choices and there are so many people willing to cheer you on and help you succeed.
So that is how I did it.  A little after Sage turned 1 I reached my weight goal.  I felt good, food didn’t control me, and the whole food is fuel thing makes a little more sense.  What I eat is how I feel.  I don’t really want to feel like a soggy French fry or a giant chocolate cake.  I would rather feel like a strong carrot  J  (that was a joke) In all reality, I would rather feel like me. I will probably never be super skinny but that is okay.  My perfect balance lets me keep my cookies aka happiness and stay healthy at the same time.  So go find your perfect balance and never be afraid to ask for help.   In the end, my journey taught me how to be healthy and happy not at a certain weight but with the choices and decisions I was making about my health.  I will keep learning, keep starting over (everyone has those days) and moving forward.  I am so grateful for my health and that I can keep up with my kids, feel the Spirit, and make a difference in the world because I am okay with me. 

September right before lotoja – 15 months after I had Sage

Breakfast Ideas:
Bolthouse smoothies are awesome.  I buy the big ones and drink about 8 oz when I am rushing out the door a lot of mornings.  They fill me up and keep me going until lunch. 
Oatmeal is really filling, (I like oatmeal with raisins or apples and cinnamon)
Eggs with cheese

Leftovers, salad, or whatever my kids are eating.  I do not eat their leftover food though.  I don’t need 3 lunches! 

Whatever I want….I just eat a normal meal size and don’t have dessert most nights.  Dessert is not a requirement!  I cook with heavy whipping cream too… gasp!  Mmm….I mix up our menus a lot which some people say is a no no for losing weight but I love cooking and variety.  I pick 3-4 heavier meals for the month and try to stick to healthier options the other nights. 


If you are dying of hunger…then stop already!  Fruit, veggies, nuts, cheese are our go tos….real foods….not packaged stuff.

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