I've struggled to write this post for awhile. I think the reason is two-fold.
1. I didn't want to admit that I was ever so heavy. If I don't post pictures, maybe it wasn't really that out of control? Maybe I wasn't really in a size 22 jeans. But I was, and putting pen to paper to tell my story makes it real.
Part two of why I've struggled has to do with my goals. What do you do when you reach your goal? A goal you've had set for over 7 years and never thought you'd ever reach. For the longest time, the thought of "now what" terrified me.
Here's me roughly 7 years ago on the right and me two weeks ago hiking the mountains in Vegas on the left.
So let's start at the beginning-ish. I was a multi-sport athlete throughout school, never really a healthy eater but most definitely an active person. Went to college, stopped playing sports, started drinking and eating out every night and hello weight gain. I'd like to blame my highest weight on my pregnancy but folks, that's not the case. I ended up getting back there when I was pregnant but I hate to tell you, I was there once before. Shortly before getting pregnant I had started to lose weight by biking every day. I was killing myself on the recumbent bike putting in 60+ minutes a day trying to see the scale budge. While it was helping, it was only half of the battle.
After I had Henley, I dropped weight fast pumping full time but when I stopped pumping, the weight crept back up. In October, after killing myself on cardio machines at the gym for 2 months after being back at work and not seeing a difference, I found the courage to email a girl I had followed on Instagram. She was a BEACHBODY coach I had followed through my pregnancy (our pregnancies overlapped) and truth be told, I thought she was the shit - I still do folks because she is.
If you've heard this story before you know that I reached out to her for Shakeology because in my head, the answer was to replace a meal with a shake - that's how I was going to lose the weight. She shot me down. Hard. What kind of coach doesn't want to have an easy sale on shakes? Sarah. After weeks of going back and forth, I joined an accountability group, picked my workout program AND had my shake delivered.
What I learned in the coming months set me up to succeed. I started with the 21 Day Fix program and learned about fueling my body, portions and balanced eating. I also learned about accountability. These building blocks were absolutely crucial to my success and I can't stress that enough. I run into people I haven't seen in awhile and the first thing they ask is always, "how did you lose the weight?" and I always feel inclined to tell them my whole story because it's not an overnight fix. There isn't a magic pill or shake. You can't starve yourself of certain things because then when you have them again, you have a tendency to binge on them and you're in this vicious cycle. And you have to WANT to be and do better for you.
My biggest revelation was how awful I was eating. I was having a salad for lunch - in a mixing bowl and covered in french dressing, topped with shredded cheese and croutons. But it was a salad and I needed that because I had just done 60 minutes on the elliptical and felt like I was dying.
It took going back to the absolute basics of what I should be eating and how much I needed to properly fuel my body before I started seeing a difference in my body. Once I re-learned this step I took the 80/20 approach to life. Eighty percent of the time, I am on - I meal prep, I'm fueling my body with exactly what it needs (and what I like - that's an important piece, loving what you eat) and twenty percent of the time, I do what I want. It works for me. It's a lifestyle, not a diet.
Some tips and tricks that have worked for me:
- I meal prep my breakfast, snacks and lunch for work. I'm at work and can hold myself accountable without having to worry if my family will eat what I'm making so my 80% of being "on" is generally applied from the start of my day until about 6pm.
- I meal plan our dinners for the week. While I actively look for healthier alternatives to things like tortilla shells, yogurt dressings and the likes - I don't force my family to eat tofu or turkey burgers. A typical week will have the following dinners: tacos, BBQ chicken and potatoes, Philly cheese steaks, loaded potato soup.
- I drink water 95% of the time. I've found a healthier caffeine alternative that I mix in my water. I'll drink Shakeology when I have cravings, am on the go or need a snack post-run. I'm also a HUGE fan of the new BEACHBODY Energize Fruit Punch flavor. It's the bees knees folks. I also have a drink after work. Generally it's a beer - Michelob Ultra Pure Gold. If we go out I'll have a vodka club soda with a lime - YUM! I have a 4 year old, I'm not giving up alcohol.
- I keep "fast food" snacks on hand so I'm not tempted to have a gut-bomb on the go. I order my Shakeology in the to go packets so I just need a bottle of water to dump it in. I also LOVE the Kodiak Flapjacks in a cup. You add water, mix and microwave for 60 seconds. It's heaven in a cardboard cup and fills me up for the afternoon.
- I try to move my body every single day. Running is my jam. I used to run and when I gained weight, I started smoking (to curb cravings duh - lol) and developed asthma so naturally I stopped running. When I gave up smoking 5 years ago, I got my asthma under control so when I started losing weight, I made the decision to try running again. I'm happy to say I'm up to about 15 miles a week and it's my "me time." On days I don't run I'm doing BEACHBODY on Demand workouts in my living room. My current faves are Chalene's Turbo Fire HIIT workouts and Joel Freeman's LIIFT4 weighted workouts.
What works for one person may not work for the next. I will say it's been 3 years and I've never jumped back up in weight. I still go on vacation and eat and drink what I want (but you bet your ass I'm working out in my hotel room with the BOD app on my phone o/r jumping on the treadmill). I still drink after work. I still eat Christmas cookies. 80/20. It saved my life.
Here are some links to my favorite things:
Blender Bottle - obsessed to have fun new bottles for drinking water out of!
After all this, I want to say, I am NOT a BEACHBODY Coach. BUT if you are looking to shake things up, if you're ready for a change or if you're maybe looking to get started...go see what Sarah has to offer. She will change your life. You can find her website here: The Hotmess Mommy or visit her on Instagram here: @sarahthehotmessmommy - you won't regret it.