Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Transformation Tuesday: Weight Loss Anniversary

Today marks a new anniversary for me.  This one is one I haven't really talked about on the blog much, but something I've had to talk a lot about when I see people in person.  So many people have been so sweet complementing me and encouraging to me, that I wanted to put this out there in hopes of helping some others.  So, here goes...

In the last year, I have lost 40 pounds!  I wish I could claim it was all baby weight, but very little of it could be claimed as such.  I started my journey less than ten pounds above my pre-pregnancies weight.
Wearing shorts!  (First time in years.)
It took several huge life changes and some big realizations to motivate me to start a healthier lifestyle.  Once we moved to Virginia last summer (huge life change #1), and I became a stay at home mom (huge life change #2), I started baking even more than normal as an outlet for some of my time and energy.  I need to have something productive to do everyday, and like to bake for my hubby and with my kids, so this was filling some of my hours.  But around when Eli was about to turn one and be weaned from breastfeeding, I realized that if I kept up with so much baking we would all end up having way too much of a good thing (realization #1).  And then I stepped on the scale (realization #2), figured how close I was getting to thirty (realization #3), and decided I needed to do more than just cut out the sweets and fresh bread.  Being at home all day with the boys meant constant access to my kitchen, and the potential for very unhealthy snacking, which has always been my weakness (realization #4).  So, I followed the leads of friends and family and joined weight watchers.

I used the online version of weight watchers.  Basically, I would enter everything I ate on their online tracker, and they would tell me the amount of points.  Then, I would make my food choices based on my remaining points for the day/week.  You get a certain allowance per day, and then a weekly allowance too which helps for birthdays/events/splurging.  I was able to pretty much stay at or under my points allowances every week, and the pounds just started dropping off.  Portion control is really the most important thing WW teachers you.

I started eating breakfast (for the first time consistently in my life), a morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, and sometimes even a drink/ice cream if I managed my points really well.  I was really spreading my food across the day instead of just having a lunch, afternoon snack, and large dinner like I used to.

Not exactly by choice, but I also started getting a little more active.  I became responsible for walking the dog (a task Brian had always done while I worked) and also needed to take Theodore to school and back (which meant double trips for me, so about 1.2 miles of walking three times a week).  We also started some walks up to the library and other places nearby since we couldn't drive anywhere.

I weighed myself each week.  Originally on a Friday, but then I switched to Monday, which I think was a better day for me.  I tried not to weigh myself between weigh-ins.  And after 10 weeks I was down 20 pounds!  I let up a little around my birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, but still managed to lose another 10 pounds by the end of winter.

I took the photo on the left the day before I started Weight Watchers.  It was a motivating factor as well.
I steadily kept on watching points or counting calories (though for some reason, just straight calorie counting was tougher for me-I like the point system WW gives you) months passed, and the days of trudging through the snow to take Theo to school let up.  The warm weather never felt as good as it did this year, and I started taking long walks when Theo was at school and Eli would nap.  We hit March-which I planned to turn into "Movement March," but it wasn't really until April when I started exercising a lot.  I started a couch to 5k app (5k Runner app), started doing some Jillian Michael's videos, and made it a point to just move more in general.  Now I've never been much of a runner, but something about the app and training routine kept me motivated and I've kept it all summer.  Since I started running I lost another 10 pounds, and though I don't feel the pounds come off as quickly now, I am building more muscle and still dropping clothing sizes and inches.
My latest 4.5 mile walk/run.  This includes a huge hill on Darbydale that I used to fear, but I recently ran up!  The math teacher in me loves all the charts and graphs and numbers I get to see throughout the running and tracking (this is the mapmywalk app.

I'm not done yet though!  At a year into this "diet"/healthy changes, my goals are:
  • Be closer to my goal weight/jeans size by my 30th birthday (another 15 pounds away)
  • Maintain healthy eating (even through any future pregnancies I may have)
  • Continue moving (biking, exercise classes, hiking... if only the boys could keep up with me)
  • Start more consistent strength training

Wwwoooh.  That was a lot, but now that's it out there stay tuned for more helpful tips, recipes, and ideas.


Ashley Eddie said...

Wow, that's awesome! You look great. Don't know if I talked to you about it last time I saw you or not, but definitely noticed. Such a motivating story, too. I am having such a hard time this go around. With Annalyn, I was close to my pre-pregnancy weight by 5 months, but that's only about 6ish weeks away and I'm not even close. I think the threat of that juniors size bridesmaid dress really helped - if only we had another sister getting married! LOL. But really, I find it a lot harder while breastfeeding. For one, it makes me hungry, and two, it seems like if I cut calories too much my supply drops (which is a lot easier to see now that I'm pumping all day every other day). Did you have a similar experience while breastfeeding? I'm hoping once we're done with that, it will get a little easier to drop weight again. (I always said 6 months was my "long goal," but the closer that gets, I can't imagine weaning her yet. Funny how different it's been with her.) Any advice? Maybe just some patience? :)

Shannon E said...

Thanks! I really wasn't ever counting calories during breastfeeding, so I can't be sure. I always felt like the actual baby weight came off pretty quickly while breastfeeding, but I had more excess pounds to begin with that didn't come off. I was always so hungry when breastfeeding though, especially with Theo (no surprise since he was huge). I didn't have a lot of time to snack though when I was teaching, so that was always helpful. I never kept food in my room (which I know is the complete opposite of your work environment).
My sister is still bf-ing too, and I tell her not to worry too much about it until she's done, as I don't want it to stress her supply. In general though- lots and lots of water, and snacks with protein in them (beans/cheese/deli meat normally) help me the most. Keeps me full.

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