I still need to lose a good 20-25lbs to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. The dreamer in me wants to hit it by my birthday in May (about 25 weeks from now), but the realist in me realizes that although that might be a doable goal for most (1lb a week!), it likely won’t be with me (due to PCOS, struggling to balance work/home/family/gym and some other challenges I anticipate might be popping up in the upcoming months).
When I started losing weight, this was my process:
Step One: Pre-contemplative.
I did all my research, educated myself, found healthy recipes I would enjoy and envisioned what my life would be like when I implemented a healthier lifestyle (like, more expensive groceries, financial planning for the gym, cutting back my TV schedule, the excitement of buying new clothes, having more energy).
What’s changed: the healthy recipes I used to make don’t always work for my current lifestyle (examples: Evan’s not a big soup fan, Charlie doesn’t always allow me the time to cook). I’ve been trying to do a crockpot recipe once a week (bonus: it almost always makes enough for two or three full meals, which means less time cooking later in the week) and relying on already prepared veggies for an easy way to get in my vitamins and bulking up on natural, low calorie food. Baby spinach, shredded carrots, sliced mushrooms, frozen whole green beans, frozen sugar snap peas, frozen broccoli florets and frozen pepper and onion slices are my go-to faves. For those who insist they hate frozen veggies: give the broccoli FLORETs (not cuts a try) and WHOLE green beans–they taste fresher.
Step Two: Diet
I made a series of changes to my diet–just a couple changes at a time, continuing over several weeks.
What’s changed: It’s been really hard to mentally readjust to eating less now that I’m no longer pregnant or nursing. Foolishly, I thought I could drop from 2000 calories to 1300 calories like that. Ha! I’m reduced my calories in stages–first 1800, then 1700, then 1500 and now 1400. As long as I’m losing weight at 1400 calories daily, I’ll stay here.
Step Three: Address any ongoing health issues
I know I did this backwards. It should have come before I started anything, but I knew a doctor lecture about weight loss being necessary to solve the health issues would demotivate me. If I could get that lecture and tell the doctor, “Well, I’ve actually lost X number of pounds by changing my diet and my gym membership starts next week” and received positive support from the doctor, I would stay on the path I needed to be on in order to be successful.
What’s changed: Time. I have struggled to fit in self-care appointments, whether it’s a haircut or a doc appointment. But I’m getting better at this. I had a doc appointment last week, fit in a shoulder x-ray this morning and will get my hair (and maybe even my brows) done Wednesday evening (thanks, Evan!!).
Step Four: Exercise
I started an exercise plan. Again, this was a series of changes over time. It started with a plan to use the elliptical for 30 minutes three times a week and increased over time to include different cardio, weight training, fitness classes and ultimately, the challenge of a triathlon and later an 8k race.
What’s changed: Ummmm…. stubborn, STUBBORN achilles tendinitis and a shoulder injury that may actually be a herniated disc or degenerative disc disease. However, I am getting it addressed and hope to be on the mend soon!
My plan now is the same.
Two weeks ago, I started a 30 day food challenge. 1400 calories daily. Smarter choices. More water. Less chocolate. I’ve stuck to it 90% of the time, which has led to a 4lb loss in the past 2 weeks. That’s definitely a generous and aggressive loss for what my body normally tolerates, so I am not expecting it to continue. In fact, I suspect it will come to a screeching halt soon. When that happens, I’ll do what I’ve done before: re-evaluate and make adjustments (lower calories, add or increase exercise, reduce carbs or increase protein or dairy).
Bottom line: There’s one thing that has NOT changed. I know how to do this.