Saturday, April 21, 2012

Weight Loss

I've went back and forth in my head about whether I should write this post.  After all, my blog is mainly about my kids and my newfound love of photography.  But this has been such a big part of my life for the last few months that it seems like it deserves a place in my blog.

The day that I went into the hospital to have Lance, my weight was definitely at an all-time high.  And yes, I was at the end of a pregnancy and yes, I was about to lose some of that weight as soon as he was born, but my weight never should have been what it was.  To be honest, I didn't lose all the weight that I had gained during my pregnancy with Nate before getting pregnant with Lance.

I can't be too hard on myself.  After all, I only had about 13 months to lose the pregnancy weight before getting pregnant for the second time with Lance.  But still.  I should have lost it.  And I knew that.  When I went to that first doctor's appointment after finding out we were pregnant and was weighed, I knew I weighed too much.  I was about 20 pounds heavier than I was when I got pregnant with Nate.

Once Lance was born, I was pretty determined to lose the weight.  I started a low-carb diet (my go-to diet) and had some success.  In no time at all, I weighed 10 pounds less than when I got pregnant.  But then Thanksgiving came and my low-carb diet went out the window.  I gained about 10 pounds by the time Christmas came.  I was pretty upset.

At Christmas, I only fit into two pairs of my jeans.  The rest were just too tight.  I was only about 4 months post-partum, but not fitting into clothes is definitely a good-mood killer.  Around that time, Ryan and I decided to purchase an exercise bike as a gift to ourselves and it has made all the difference.

Since Christmas, I've lost a little over 30 pounds (and 70 total since right before Lance was born), and while I'm not at goal weight, I am definitely in a better place than I was just 4 months ago.  I actually weigh just under what I did when I got married.  All of my jeans are way too big.  I only have one pair of capris that actually fit without needing a belt.  And thanks to the exercise, my measurements are smaller than the last time I was at this weight.

These aren't the best "Before and During" shots.  I have a really bad habit of deleting photos that are particularly unflattering, but hopefully you can see the difference in my face. :)

What I've been doing:

1).  Exercise.  I ride the bike 6 days a week.  No excuses.  The only day I allow myself not to ride is on Friday.  Even if we are gone all day, get home at 10 pm, I still ride after I put the kids to bed.  And I don't ride at a leisurely pace.  I push myself really hard.  I am a sweaty mess afterwards. My rides are usually 45 minutes to 60 minutes long, although occasionally I ride 30 minutes or 90 minutes.  When I first started riding, my max resistance was set to 10 (out of a possible 20).  And that was hard. Now, I'm at max 15.  We keep an exercise log, which really helps me stay accountable and lets me track PR's and my progress.

2).  Sugar.  I've eliminated most of it from my diet, with the exception of an occasional treat.  But a treat does not entail an entire bowl of ice cream or brownies every day.  Instead, I may have a couple of bites of chocolate frozen yogurt (Ryan's new fave). What I've found is that other things, like raisins, are sweet enough to calm my sweet tooth.  I've been doing a lot of research and have realized just how toxic sugar is to our bodies anyway, so it really is for the best that I work on consuming as little as possible.

3). Artificial sweeteners.  Yep, those are basically gone too.  I used to easily consume 6-8 packets of splenda each morning in my coffee.  And Crystal Light? Don't even get me started.  I don't think I ever drank plain old water.  It was always Crystal Light.  What I've realized is that, not only are artificial sweeteners also not good for our bodies, but they also can start to act identical to sugar. So even though they help us consume far fewer calories, they still can get stored as fat.  They also have a sneaky way of making us crave other sweet things. So now, I drink as much plain water as I can every day.  I drink my coffee unsweetened.  My only vice with artificial sweeteners now is the occasional Diet Pepsi.  I just can't seem to part with those entirely yet.

4).  Low(er) carb diet: In the past, I've always pretty much done a no carb (or as little as possible) diet. This meant I would subsist on nothing but meat and veggies and a whole lot of artificial sweetener.  While I did see some results, I always hit a certain weight that I couldn't get past.  And then as soon as I quit the diet, the weight piled back on.

Now, I focus on eliminating sugar and wheat.  I do eat rice, sweet potatoes, and oats on occasion, which seems to have made this whole 'dieting' thing a lot more manageable.

So there you have it.  This is what I've been focusing on for the last few months.  I often choose to spend my (precious and limited) free time exercising instead of blogging or tweeting, which I'm sure we can all agree is a much better use of that time.  I'm not done.  I'm not where I want to be, but I'm a lot happier than where I was just a few months ago.

I'd love to hear your thoughts of getting fit(er) after pregnancy and while raising kids. What do you do to stay in shape?


  1. I'm so happy for you!
    My bf took that step too, two months ago; we bought an exercise bike and he started riding it everyday. Then he bought a real bike and goes out whenever he can/I allow him. He also started swimming. He lots 20 pounds so far! (and he's looking hot! ahah!)

    I should start too. I'm always making excuses. I would only have 10 pounds to loose! Should be easy...right? ....

  2. That's great! I know I need to cut out most sugar to get the 10-15lbs off that I've been trying to lose for a year or two. It's kinda ridiculous. It should be easy. I'd love to hear what some of your meals are :) I was born in Seattle :)

  3. I am sooo not a bike rider and I'm always impressed with anyone who is! Six days a week is awesome!! I used to work out after work, about the same time (9:30ish) and it started to get to me so I just switched the time/days. No excuses :)

    And I definitely need to cut out the artificial sweetners. I've already stopped drinking Chrystal Light but I use the fake stuff in my morning coffee.