Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Journey to My Happy Weight

This past New Year's, Kyle and I decided to set some resolutions that we might actually stick to (doesn't everyone?). I see the list everyday hanging in my closet, and I vowed to myself that these weren't some fleeting, silly ambitions but rather lifestyle changes that I knew in my heart of hearts needed to be made for me to feel and do my best.

The crappy thing about changing though is that it's freaking hard.

Burke is now a few months away from turning two (GASP), and until about a month ago, my weight was still teetering around the same safe place it has been since I lost the bulk of his baby weight about a year ago. To anyone who saw me, you would say that I looked "just fine" even "great" by some standards. But everyone reading this knows we all have our "happy weight" or the weight we feel like we are our most beautiful. And that weight for me just wasn't doing it. My pants were tight, I felt more sluggish than I should for someone who gets decent amounts of sleep and works out 2-3 days a week, hated how I looked in nearly every picture. Just blaaaaah.

About a month ago, I was going on several months of "trying to be good most of the time" and, for obvious reasons, not seeing much change. One morning after working out really hard the past couple days and trying to be reasonable with what I was eating, I hadn't lost a pound. I won't list the words that came out of my mouth after I stepped off the scale, but in my husband's words, "Isn't it a little early to be dropping the F bomb?"

I was beyond frustrated. And throwing a toddler temper tantrum at 7 am. But it turns out that was a magical moment since it turned out to be the motivation I needed to get the weight gone once and for all.

That was approximately a month ago, and as I type this I have lost eight pounds.


I realize this is nothing to some of you reading this, but to someone like me who really really really really stinks at losing weight, it might as well be 200 pounds. More importantly, I feel like I have finally found a happy medium of being able to enjoy both healthy and not-so-healthy foods without going overboard.

So to celebrate this humongous milestone in my life, I thought I'd share some things that have helped me accomplish this and get to my pre-children weight. We'll see if I'm motivated enough to lose another seven and be at my wedding day weight. ;)

1. After the rock bottom "weigh in", I started taking Plexus. I can't say it's been 100% responsible for the weight loss, but I do think it's definitely helped a lot, given me energy, and helped to suppress my appetite.

2. Instead of "being good" for breakfast and lunch while "splurging" a little bit for dinner, I was "good" all day long. I use the Lose It app to track calories, and for me, this is critical to keep me on my daily allowance of around 1,100 calories.

3. I am a firm believer in calorie counting as opposed to "low carb." However, I have found that I see quicker results if I try to limit my carbs to breakfast/lunch only.

4. I recently came across a great little list of "skinny rules" written by Bob Harper, and one that stuck out to me was go to bed hungry. This sounds a little harsh at first, but it's been a game changer for me. I was awwwwwful at late night snacking, and I now can say that most nights I go to bed with a little rumble in my stomach. Learning to not be a slave to that feeling as opposed to trying to fill it as soon as possible has been huge in how I look at food now. It also helps to think about the number I want to see on the scale in the morning and how eating 2 heaping spoonfuls of peanut butter isn't going to help that. ;)

5. I've quit ordering fries if I get my kids something at a drive-thru. It goes without saying that most of the time I also don't order anything and instead eat something at home, but I have ZERO self control around fries and/or tater tots. So sorry kiddos, apple sauce it is.

6. Kyle and I enjoy a drink or two several nights a week, and I knew that wasn't going to stop upon my quest to lose weight (have I mentioned I stay at home with 3 kids, 3 and under?). I love a cold beer on a warm night, so if I really want a beer, I try to stick to Michelob Ultra. But most of the time I opt for red wine or a shot of vodka with Fresca (zero calories) and a little lime juice.

7. Weekends will always be more on the splurge side of things for us. Some weekends, I've totally let loose (think insane amounts of Ted's chips and queso with a giant margarita), and other times if we are eating something unhealthy, I'll try to limit my portion (think half of a cheeseburger and only a few fries). I also try not to make pancakes and bacon EVERY Saturday morning and instead make it a special treat. But can we have a moment of silence for the gloriousness of pancakes and bacon?

8. I've found a workout that I LOVE. In January, I started going to the boot camp at my gym, and it was love at first push up. We do something new every day, it burns a crap load of calories, and I love the group of girls I do it with. For me, getting my butt kicked with other fun and inspirational moms has been key for getting me and my 3 monkeys to the gym multiple days a week. It also helps that they have awesome child care my kids actually love going to!

9. I work out 4-5 days a week, without fail. I enjoy food and drinks too much to skip it!

10. I've started using food for what it is meant to be used for, and not to deal with stress or reward myself. This has really been everything if we're being honest. Ever since having kids, I have become a total and complete emotional eater. Tired? Nothing Daylight Donuts can't fix. Hard day? You deserve a burger AND fries AND a beer. It's taken 3 years, but I've finally realized eating your feelings isn't the answer 99% of the time. I say 99% because I had a Sonic corndog for the first time in a month last night, and I can wholeheartedly say I was significantly happier afterwards. Sometimes something fried is the answer.

So there's my top ten tips for what helped this food lover get down to her fighting weight. I can truly say I feel better than I have felt in years. I'm far from perfect, but I feel happier, more energetic, and more centered than I have ever felt as a mom. It's funny how changing the outside can really end up changing so much on the inside. :)

I'm a little in awe that I am feeling courageous enough to post this pic (stretch marks and all), but here's the proof. To say I carry my weight in my stomach is an understatement. I'm sure my other body parts look a little different too, but my stomach always seems to be the most noticeable.

I hope this can be at least a little encouraging to my mom warrior friends who are fighting to balance so many roles on a daily basis while trying to take care of yourself. 

We are all worth it! 



  1. So proud of you, especially the working out part!! This was very motivating!!!

  2. You look awesome Steph!!! Now i gotta whip myself into gear!!!!

  3. You look awesome and your tips are so realistic and I kind of love you.

    1. You are seriously too sweet, Mary! And I can't tell you how much that means coming from one of my favorite bloggers to read!