I didn’t become overweight until I was about 16 years old. I had just started dating my boyfriend (who is now my husband!), and within the year first year of our relationship, I had gained so much weight.
We spent a lot of time going out to eat and/or whipping up pizza rolls and bagel bites for dinner. I found myself eating double portions or going for seconds at every meal, not to mention drinking a lot of alcohol at the time. I noticed that I was gaining weight and had not-great eating habits, but I never cared enough at the time to do anything about it. I continued down that road throughout the rest of high school, and in the first few years after.
Then, I got pregnant at the age of 20.
Before I got pregnant in May 2011, I was probably about 65 to 68 kilograms. One month during my pregnancy I gained 6 kilograms (which my doctor pointed out was a significant amount to gain in just a month’s time during pregnancy), but I couldn’t control how much I was eating.
After I had my baby boy in February 2012, I was about 83 kilograms. At this point, I still knew in the back of my head that I should do something about my weight and my eating habits—but as a new mum, it was hard to focus on and make time for myself. I spent my days working from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and I also had to care of my son. I was also nursing at the time and hoped that it would help me lose the weight that I gained. It didn’t.
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Ahhh flashback to my first year at the state fair being a mom. ? At this time, I didn’t really care about myself, what I looked like or how I felt about myself because my biggest concern was my baby. I remember looking at other new moms and thinking holy crap, her body bounced right back and she doesn’t even look like she carried a baby for 9 months. Howww?!! ? I was so excited to breast feed, not only because it was going to be so good for my baby, but also because I had hope that it would help me lose a shit ton of weight & I would magically get “skinny”. (Ugh, btw, I absolutely hate the word skinny) & I was like heck yeah, I’m nursing, I’m about to lose all this weight I have put on and I’m gonna be one hot ass mom.. It’s like, I wanted to lose weight but didn’t care enough to do anything about it. But then I started to read about weight loss and the basics of it. I started to understand what a body needs in order to lose weight & it came down to one thing. Calorie deficit. I needed to be in a calorie deficit so that I could lose weight. So I started tracking my calories & wow! I didn’t even realize how MUCH I was over eating. I started realizing how much time it takes in the gym to burn off a burger. And my mindset about food started to change. I started making more mindful decisions. I ACTUALLY STARTED to do SOMETHING about wanting to lose weight. And I was consistent with it. And that’s when I started noticing the weight drop, my clothes getting bigger, other people were starting to notice my weight loss, I WAS FEELING SO GOOD! And I fed off of that day by day. It kept my motivation going and going and before I knew it.. I was at the state fair again a few years later, looking completely different, feeling completely different, with a whole new mindful mindset about food, a whole new way of control myself, a whole new way of lifestyle. It’s tough guys. I know. Eating habits are the hardest things to break. Give it a real chance. Make a real change. & be consistent with it, even if it’s just for a couple weeks – be consistent & you will notice results and it will drive your motivation to KEEP doing what you did to get those results.
For the next couple of years, I continued to live the same lifestyle and maintained a weight of about 77 kilograms. Then, I got pregnant with my second child, my baby girl. I was a little bit more mindful about what and how I was eating during my second pregnancy, knowing that I didn’t want to gain as much weight as I did when I carried my son.
A few months after I welcomed my daughter in March 2015, and I weighed 83 kilograms again. I also became a stay-at-home mom around this time. My husband decided that he wanted to start eating healthier and going to the gym, and I was supportive, but I wasn’t ready to join him.
That is, until I saw how great his results were after his first month. I literally thought to myself: omg…I can’t be the bigger wife with a super hot husband. This way of thinking didn’t make me feel good.
Instead, it sparked my motivation and decision to join my husband on a healthy journey.
When I started my journey, I knew I had to eat less. So, I read an article online that broke down the basics of weight loss. Simply put, I needed to create a calorie deficit for my body to be able to lose weight. Using the MyFitnessPal app, I started tracking my calories and set my calorie intake goal to about 1,450 to 1,500 calories per day; that’s what I needed to consume based on my height and weight and physical activity in order to lose a little bit of weight weekly. (And everyone’s needs are different!)
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throwback thurssssday! ⠀ ⠀ Ahh I remember the months leading up to my wedding. I was at my heaviest weight that I had ever been.. ⠀ ⠀ I could sit here and easily go into how awful I felt about myself back then & how much I didn’t care about myself or what I was doing to my body but today, I’m choosing not to go there. ⠀ ⠀ I’m choosing to look at the pic on the left & the pic on the right & think — wow! I have come along freaking way. And I feel so much happiness looking at this because I’m so glad that I made the step into a healthier future and stuck with it. ⠀ ⠀ AND NOT JUST THE BECAUSE OF THE PHYSICAL ASPECT. ⠀ ⠀ I remember the horrible mental state I was in back then.. My emotions were all over the place. I had no real clue who I was or what I wanted to be. ⠀ ⠀ My mental state today is so much more stable. I am continuing to accept who I really am and working towards who I want to be and where I want to go with my life. ?⠀ ⠀ ⠀ I can’t wait to keep growing as a person and keep looking back to see how far I have come! ?⠀ ⠀ ⠀ SIDE NOTE: Can you guess what day I got married? ?⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀
I love rice and pasta—and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to stick with a diet long term if I cut out the foods I loved entirely. So I made small tweaks, like switching from simple carbs like white rice to complex carbs that would sustain me longer, like brown rice. I also swapped regular pasta for whole-wheat and protein pastas, and I portioned my meals to one serving of each food item per meal.
My meals were as basic as can be. I probably ate brown rice and honey BBQ-baked chicken breasts every weekday for the first six months of my journey. On the weekends, I ate what I wanted but tried to be very mindful about my decisions and the amount I was eating. I also weaved in “mini meals,” or hearty snacks, to hold me over when I needed.
Here’s what my diet looks like now during a typical week:
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MAMAS YOU CAN DO IT!! ⠀ ⠀ I think all mommas can agree with me when I say that you feel guilty taking time for yourself. Even if you’re doing something to better your mind & body. ⠀ ⠀ I was that momma. I was the momma who want to be with my babies all the time. I never want to miss a second. I literally was selfish with my babies and liked to keep them all to myself. ? ⠀ ⠀ So when I started working out, I only went to the gym or did my workout at home after the kids went to bed at night. I would feel guilty if I took the time to take care of myself when they were awake.. ⠀ ⠀ But the more that I fell in love with working out, eating healthy & this entire lifestyle – I felt less and less guilty for taking care of myself. And realized that my babies need a healthy momma. They need a momma who takes care of herself and takes the time to make herself feel better and do things that calm her sanity. ⠀ ⠀ For a while, working out was like therapy to me. It was the only real alone time that I had. It was the only time that I really focused only on ME and did something that was for ME. ⠀ ⠀ After doing it for a while before I noticed that yes, I was doing this for me BUT the kids now have a happier momma, my husband now has a wife that has MUCH more self confidence & my family was also benefitting from this as well because I was becoming a healthier person to be around (physically and mentally). ⠀ ⠀ And at that point, I fell in love with even more. ?⠀ ⠀ My biggest advice to you is don’t make CRAZY changes that aren’t realistic for you to stick with. Start small, simple & keep adjusting until you find something that works for you and your lifestyle. ?⠀ ⠀ And if you want my help – I’m here for you!! ⠀ ⠀ I’m working on building a team of amazing girls who are motivated to get in their best shape & help inspire others. So if this is you girl, don’t hold back! I would love to be your guidance and mentor! ?⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀
I also started to exercise. I had no exercise experience leading up to my health journey; I wasn’t in sports and I never worked out. To be honest, I was scared of the gym. For the first few months, I would do 30 minutes of cardio on the Arc trainer and use random weight lifting machines for about 30 minutes.
Now, I’m all about strength training and HIIT exercises. I typically do combinations of these types of exercise four days a week for 40 minutes. But my *favourite* type of workout right now is lifting free weights. I love feeling strong.
I now know it’s not selfish to take an hour a day away from my kids to work on myself, my health, and my fitness.
During and after both pregnancies, I didn’t care about how much weight I gained because I was so busy with my children and only worried about their well-being. I was obsessed with being with my kids 24/7 and couldn’t imagine doing something for myself. I had to tell myself that it’s okay to take care of myself in addition to my family.
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When I started my weight loss journey after having my second daughter, I was the heaviest I’d been at 83 kilograms. Within six months, I lost 27 kilograms. But I want to remind other women that it takes time. Be consistent and be patient with your journey. And remember, you get out what you put in. (I didn’t always wake up at 4:30 a.m. feeling motivated to go to the gym and workout, but it was the only time that I had during the day to do it!)
Losing weight also does not have to be difficult and stressful. Simplify your meals, tweak the foods you like to make it a healthier version, and be mindful of portion sizes.
My journey has changed my life in so many ways. I am a much more positive person to be around. I don’t lose my breath carrying the laundry up the stairs. I have become so much more comfortable with myself and the way that I think about myself. This has become my new lifestyle—and I am 100 percent in love with it.
This article originally appeared on Women’s Health US
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