How I Lost Weight and Tips for YOU!
Updated: Jul 6
January 6, 2019 I walked through the doors of a Weight Watchers studio, finally ready to focus on myself and getting healthy. My weight has always fluctuated, just like so many women. This was not my first rodeo with weight loss. I had joined WW back in 2006 prior to my wedding to shed a mere 13 pounds and feel beautiful in my wedding dress. I was strict with myself, and that resulted in the loss, but also the quick re-gain. My honeymoon was an invitation to over indulge in the all inclusive options at our resort and returning home wasn’t any better! I was married – I had my pretty pictures to prove it – now I could eat! And eat I did! I gained and lost throughout the years, but with having my 3rd baby at 39 years old I hit my highest weight. Soon after having Owen, I began drinking protein shakes every morning and spent a lot of time walking the neighborhood with him primarily as a way to keep my sanity, but also with the hope of shedding the pounds. It didn’t last long. My stomach didn’t like the protein drinks, and returning to work when Owen was 7 months old put an end to the walking everyday. As I got back into work juggling three kids – I put myself last. I focused on their needs, their schedules, their food preferences. So many mama’s do this, we forget we need to take care of ourselves. It took me a while to look in the mirror and decide it was time to do something.
One of the best pieces of advice I think I can give to someone on their weight loss journey is find your WHY and don’t let it go! I remember thinking, my why should be to be a good example to my kids, to help them see a healthy mom and inspire them. But the more time went on, I reevaluated and realized – FUCK THAT – this is for me! I’m doing this for myself. Sure my kids will see the healthy choices – but it wasn’t about them. This one thing I was doing for me, wasn’t about them. I needed to take care of myself, to feel better in my own skin and remember who I was. I got lost, losing this weight was about so much more than just the weight, it was about finding my confidence and feeling like more than MOM. Being a mom defines me, but it’s not all of me.
I had a goal of losing 30 pounds and I hit that goal within 5 months. My loss averaged about a pound a week. There were weeks that I had gains, there were weeks I had big losses, but it was balanced. I hit 30 pounds and knew I could keep going. I wanted to be back to the size I was on my wedding day and I knew now that I could do it! I hit 40 pounds lost after 10 months of WW. This was never a race, this was a relearning of how to take care of myself to focus on veggies and protein and balance. I never deprived myself. I ate pizza every single Friday night with my family, just as I always had done. I did stop downing pints of Ben and Jerry’s like it was my job, but I didn’t give up dessert. I switched up my nightly ½ pint to a sugar free fudgsicle or a Yasso frozen yogurt bar. I made replacements and substitutions where I could and I tracked everything I ate.
I also went to a studio meeting almost every week and it has made all the difference. When I felt like I was running out of steam, I got reinvigorated being surrounded by people going on the same journey as me. Surround yourself with a support system. It doesn’t have to be your spouse or your best friend. In fact, my husband, while supportive, didn’t really care if I lost weight or not. He cheered on my losses to support me, but he never made me feel like it mattered if I lost weight or not. He turned his nose up at my spiralized zucchini noodles and cried if I didn’t bring home pastries from the grocery store! I let him do his thing and I did mine. But I did need support. I needed to have those weekly times where I was surrounded by people who shared their successes, their recommendations, their struggles. All of it was empowering and helped me get centered on my own journey.
I only ever weighed myself at weekly meetings. Weight fluctuates from day to day and I didn’t want to let a scale define my success. I knew when I was feeling good. I knew when I had overdone it with the carbs or the sodium and my bloat was large and in charge! A scale didn’t tell me what I needed to know.
I have always enjoyed looking at and trying new recipes. I’m not a star in the kitchen but I’ve gotten better over time. I have a few things in my arsenal I repeat, but I like to try new recipes and ingredients all the time. I used this weight loss journey to reignite my interests in recipes and cooking. I found bloggers and instagrammers and pins on pinterest and found a lot of things that I enjoyed and helped me so much with my journey. I began scanning everything with the WW app in the grocery store. I focused on the produce and proteins but anything else got scanned and a sharpie marked the boxes in my pantry to show the points per serving. I was saddened to learn what a proper serving size was on most foods! Not what I had thought! I bought a cheap little food scale from Amazon and started weighing portions to be sure I wasn’t cheating myself out of an extra cracker that I was tracking! When I prepped, I also portioned. I’d measure out the correct grams or ounces and bag it up. I tried to be cautious of over eating fruit, but never really cut myself off. I wasn’t getting fat from watermelon people!
Finding foods you truly enjoy that are also healthy is a process when you’ve built up a preference for junk food. You almost have to retrain your taste buds and that can take some time. For example, I used to be very obsessed with sweet creamers in my coffee. I’d also add sugar on top of that! So I was starting off my day high in points and then crashing from the sugar rush and add sugary cereal, snacks, carbs and on and on! I switched out my creamer and sugar for Nutpods and Stevia drops. Now, if I have a coffee with real cream and sugar it doesn’t taste good!
A note on exercise. I am embarrassed to admit this but my weight loss was about 99% nutrition based. My only real form of exercise was walking my dog and chasing after a 3 year old. I have gone through phases when I was able to prioritize fitness, this just wasn't one of them. Recently I've taken up pilates and barre workouts at home and am really loving them. I need to work on keeping consistent though! In reality most people do loose weight focusing 80% on food and 20% on movement. If I had been incorporating exercise, I am certain I would have lost the weight quicker. I would recommend finding an exercise routine that works for you. Are you into cardio, weights, prefer sports like tennis or basketball? Whatever it maybe, try to find something that doesn't feel so much like work, but more like fun!
TIPS for success
Find you why
Have a support system
Find your favorite healthy foods – eat what you love (blog post coming soon!)
Prep and plan (more on planning and my favorite meals coming soon!)
Drink the water
Save for splurges – don’t forget to allow indulgences
Pay attention to hunger – be intuitive about your eating (more info on intermittent fasting coming soon)
Exercise - find something you love and commit