I just signed up for a friend’s 40 day fitness/health challenge and she’d asked us to take “before” pictures so I did. Then I started looking at my actual “before” pictures from 10 months ago and it made me realize how far I’ve come and how much my focus and dedication has really paid off. Here is where I started: I’d just had my third baby and I didn’t want to buy a whole new wardrobe because I really like the clothes I have, so I knew I needed to do something to lose the weight and keep it off. And it had to be easy, because I’ve tried the hard way in the past, and I knew I couldn’t do that again.
It took me 10 months, but I lost 62 lbs and went down multiple clothes sizes (so my clothes fit again!) – I know that if I was able to lose the weight, you can do it too. Here is the strategy that I used this to lose all the baby weight and an extra 20 lbs:
Eat Real Food – and lots of it.
I read a blog (and now a book) that changed my life – 100 days of Real Food. The author, Lisa Leake, talks about how eating real food (they ate unprocessed foods or foods with 5 ingredients or less for 100 days) can make a huge difference in your diet, your health and your overall well-being. I was hooked, so I started eliminating processed foods from my diet and focusing on real foods including vegetables, fruits, lean protein, healthy fats and an appropriate balance.
Around the same time, my mother-in-law introduced me to the 21 day fix (great info on Pinterest). A workout and eating plan that focused on real foods and an easy system to get in daily workouts and eat tons of healthy food so you fill up on the good stuff.
I followed the 21 day fix plan (using the 21 day Fitness Tracker app, which is amazing), but also focused on eating only real, whole foods – often homemade. I’d spend time on Sundays prepping foods for the week and I’d portion them out into containers so I could grab what I needed and go. And I planned out everything! Because the app tracks the amount of food you can eat based on your weight and lets you eat tons of vegetables (and tons of protein – in my opinion), I always felt full and the weight kept coming off.
Schedule Workouts Into Your Calendar – and lift weights!
With Kid #2, I lost 30 lbs partly by running regularly – and that worked well, but I never got the muscle toning results that I really wanted with running (although I LOVE the strong heart, legs and lungs that running gives you). So this time, I added a weightlifting class – called Body Pump – to my workout routine (plus there was complimentary child care). I attend the class four times a week. I started with pretty light weights, but I was inspired and focused, so every month I’d up my weights just a little bit in one area.
By adding my workouts to my schedule, I always knew I had time to attend. Plus, I always had my exercise bag packed – so I was always prepared and ready to go. I started to notice after a few months that I really felt stronger and was starting to notice the muscle definition that I really wanted. Plus, I was losing weight, so my clothes were fitting much better (because muscle is more dense (and smaller) than fat).
Focus on the small, daily goals.
62 lbs seemed overwhelming in the beginning. That is the size of my 2nd kid (and he’s 8 right now). So instead of thinking of the whole goal, I thought about what I needed to do each day. If I lost 2 oz to 4 oz each day, I’d meet my goal. So that is what I did. I followed the eating plan, I went to my exercise classes and I weighed myself each morning. And every morning, I had lost 2 oz to 6 oz – resulting in 4 lbs to 6 lbs per month. And after 10 months, all of the baby weight (plus 20 extra lbs, so that was awesome!)
Share your success.
With each milestone – pants fitting again, favorite clothes looking great – I’d post something to social media. It was very encouraging to hear nice comments about my successes and kept me motivated to keep going toward my end goal.
Now that I’ve lost the weight again (and seriously, this time, it was not difficult), I’m focused on maintaining my results and building more muscle. I’ve eased up on the eating plan a little bit (because dessert is delicious) and enjoy treats occasionally. I’ve also noticed that I eat much less than when I started my eating plan – because when you’re smaller, you need less food. When you develop a workout routine, stick with it. I run on the weekends, and I still attend my weightlifting class four times a week. It’s work – but I think of it as “my time” and I’m always glad to be there.
I love my clothes and I’m glad they all fit again (and let’s be honest, I had to buy a few more things to celebrate my success!) and I’m glad that I’ve developed and am maintaining a healthy lifestyle that I know will serve me well today and in the future. Plus, I feel better than ever and I think I might actually be in the best shape of my life!
I encourage you to start today. Try eating more vegetables and focus on losing a little bit each day. You are worth the investment in yourself.