SO overwhelmed.. Thank you all soooo much for all of the follows/likes/support/kind words.. It all means so much more than I could possibly explain. I can’t keep up with DMs/comments so answering as many questions as possible here!
1. “How did you lose the weight?”
The short version: Complete lifestyle change -> Exercise/healthy food!
Have more time? Here’s the long version!
I lost weight through calorie counting, eating (mostly) healthy foods, portion control, and exercise. I’m sure breastfeeding has played a role as well (I no longer am, we made it to 20months though!) however until I started everything else I was gaining weight while nursing. No wraps. No pills. No drugs (thanks trolls!) NO GIMMICKS! There were days that I exercised at 11:30pm after my kids were (finalllllyyyy) asleep, to make sure I didn’t go to bed without working out. (This doesn’t mean I didn’t take days off.. They were just usually planned and not because I was feeling tired or couldn’t find time to get my workout in) There were days that I “missed out on” certain meals those around me were enjoying. Certain treats/desserts. I was so focused on my goals. SO determined. There were days that I was freaking EXHAUSTED from being up all night with my son and was running on no sleep, yet I kept PUSHING. Days and days that I jogged in place while watching tv. Jogged around my house. There are so many ways to get exercise in without a gym membership. I have spent so much time walking with my kids.. The resistance of pushing a big stroller (with a kid in it haha..) was a great workout for me. I ran up and down stairs/hills while they played. Jumping jacks. Lunges. Jogged laps around my car while my son snoozed inside of it. I did the 30 day shred from home. I danced with my kids.. And walked walked walked some more. I didn’t ever have a daily “plan” except for when I was doing the shred.. I focused on being active and getting my Fitbit steps in. On getting my heart rate up and a sweat on.. I just got MOVING! I drink lots of water (I used to drink 4-5 cans of diet pop a day, NO water). I got a Fitbit charge when I was down about 30lb, currently have the hr and find it motivating to keep active!
I’m now working on weight/strength exercises! I lost 90lbs from home, but in May I joined a local gym to switch things up exercise wise. I currently have shifted my focus to doing a lot of strength training instead of focusing on step goals, doing mostly cardio, etc. I go to a lot of bootcamp classes which I love, as it gets me out of my comfort zone and I’ve learned a lot of new exercises in class! Great to socialize too 🙂 When I first started this journey, I never expected to develop a love for weights. I wish I had started using them more, sooner! Current goal is to work up to heavier weights, particularly for deadlifts, etc.
2. “What was your starting weight and how tall are you?”
I am 5’5 and prior to getting pregnant with my second son I weighed 235.8lbs. I got up to 245lbs while pregnant with him. I officially started my journey in June 2015 at 229ish.
3. “What do you eat?”
I post a lot of my meals for ideas, recipes usually included! Feel free to scroll through my instagram to see what I eat. A lot of the recipes I’ve posted in the past, I make on a weekly or biweekly basis because they have become favourites! I apologize that I have cut back on posting recipes because of this. I find SO many meal ideas on Pinterest. I often search “healthy recipes” or anything of the sort for inspiration.
4. “How many calories did you eat to lose weight?”
I have stopped counting and am currently focusing on just eating healthy food/reasonable sized portions, but when I did I used the Fitbit app. I have heard great things about myfitnesspal as well! I manually added my calories burned for breastfeeding during that part of my journey. Calorie counting helped not only to make sure I didn’t over eat, but also to make sure I didn’t under eat either. I am not sharing how many calories I ate because it’s not a “one size fits all” number!
6. “Do you follow a diet plan? Are you a coach?”
Nope/Nope! I just try to focus on healthy/balanced meals and exercise. I’ve never followed any sort of plan when it comes to what I eat. I just wing it!
7. “How did you gain your weight?”
Prior to getting pregnant I struggled with an eating disorder. When I found out I was pregnant I suddenly ate what I wanted, when I wanted and gained it all then. After I had my son I would lose some weight and gain it back in an endless cycle. I was around 215ish when I got married. After our wedding I had two early miscarriages and was depressed. I binged my way up to 235.8 (that’s the highest I saw on the scale, but wasn’t weighing often). I have always struggled with an all or nothing view of eating. That has been the absolute biggest change with this lifestyle revamp.. Not starving myself, and not endlessly binging. Just. Being. HEALTHY!
8. “Why did you decide to lose weight?”
I was depressed. I got out of breath doing what should have been simple tasks. I remember before I started my journey, my husband and I walked up the front steps of our house and he was talking to me.. I turned away and tried so hard to hide that I was out of breath. I remember feeling so embarrassed. I wanted to run with my kids and not just stand on the sidelines any longer. I was tired of crying. I was tired of being lonely.. I never wanted to make plans with friends, I had become antisocial. I wanted to be a better mom. A happier mom. I had also watched my grandmother lose her quality of life and eventually pass away a few years ago after complications resulting from obesity.
9. “How did you get so many followers? Did you buy them?”
NO! I don’t even like the whole Share4Share thing, let alone the idea of buying “fame”. Just want to make it clear that I have not EVER paid for followers/likes/any of that BS. My account has taken off ever since I posted the comparison picture of me on my couch. I’m not bragging, just want to clear up any confusion. I have been on People.com, Womenshealthmag, Cosmopolitan, Cosmopolitan , Self, Womanista, Today.com, Usmagazine, Huffingtonpost, Metro, Collegecandy, Aplus, Excessmatters, Firstforwomen, Hellogiggles, and more. You can click each site to be taken directly to the article! I have also been shared by Ashton Kutcher, Zooey Deschanel, Tia Mowry, George Takei, etc on facebook. I appreciate everyone that has shared my story and to all of you that have shown me love/support.. it seriously means more to me than I could ever put into words! The amount of traction my account has gained in such a short amount of time is fairly overwhelming to be honest but in an amazing way. Thank you all!!!
10. “Do you have cheat meals?”
For soooo long during this journey I honestly didn’t. In the past I would lose a bit of weight, then a cheat meal would turn into a few cheat days.. which would spiral until I gained the weight I had lost back. For so long during this journey I feared that happening again and found it less tempting to just focus on eating healthy and avoid temptations. I have since started having I guess what’s called “cheat meals” once a week or so. I am focusing on BALANCE.. not the all or nothing mindset with food that I have struggled with for so long in the past. Since incorporating these meals/treats back into my life I have found I crave them more if I’m being honest, but the difference is that I’ve truly learned balance. One cheat meal won’t make you fat, just like one good meal won’t make you healthy!
11. How do you keep motivated?
There are a million and one reasons, honestly. My health, my confidence, my future, my mental health.. The list goes on and on. Before I started this journey I remember seeing my reflection and crying. I was so unhappy with myself, and I will fight everyday to never go back to that dark place. It hasn’t just been a physical change, it’s helped me mentally as well. There are SO many reasons that I wanted to be healthier for MYSELF.. But there are also two boys that I knew deserved a healthier mom as well. A happier mom. A more energetic mom. I want to continue to set an example for my two boys of living a healthy lifestyle! I also post a ton of comparison photos.. My apologies if these are obnoxious but they truly remind me of how far I’ve come.
12. “Do you have any advice for me?”
Take pictures! I have found that documenting and comparing the changes has helped keep me motivated. Start an instagram account to keep yourself accountable. Take measurements. There are many ways to see “progress” happening, it’s not just about a number on a scale. A saying that has really helped keep me from giving up when I felt hopeless or that my goals were just so far out of reach was “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”
13. “Do you have any loose skin after losing weight?”
Yes, I do. It’s mostly on my stomach, but also have some on my thighs, arms, back etc. Some days I embrace it, and others I have a harder time with it. I don’t really “show” it in pictures, and get a lot of messages asking me how I have avoided having it. I haven’t. It’s there. I pretty much live in high waisted bottoms which helps, but it’s still there. I knew it was fairly inevitable when setting out on this journey (nearly 90lb gone!) and if the only real negative side to becoming healthier is some loose skin then so be it. I do plan to have surgery some day, but am just working on loving myself in the mean time!
14. “How do I start?”
The most crucial part of weight loss is remembering that everyone is different. Every BODY is different. Some will have success following certain plans, others like myself will find calorie counting easiest. [I no longer calorie count though, now that I’m more so maintaining my weight] Find what works for you! It might take some experimenting. Even starting with small changes can lead to huge results. One serving, instead of two. I HIGHLY recommend tracking your calories. Have a side salad instead of fries. Water instead of pop. Starting walking. Go from there! Healthier choices daily, can go SO far. Document your journey, even if it’s just for yourself. Find ways to exercise that you enjoy. Love to swim? SWIM! Interested in weights? Start lifting! Find a means of exercise that you can sustain over time. Become more active in whatever ways you can find enjoyment [Okay, you may not always like working out but you will feel better when it’s done!] Get bored? Change it up! I did a lot of cardio for a long time, got bored and now am focused on weights. Whatever works for you, any exercise is guiding you in the right direction! Everyone starts somewhere. Remember, it’s a journey.. not a race. You will get there if you keep working at it!
15. Is there any truth to the advertisements I see using your picture, that you lost weight using vinegar?
NOOOO! These scammers keep stealing my pictures to promote this BULLSHIT. I didn’t use any vinegar/pills to lose weight.
*PS: Super in advance but I will be hosting a dietbet in February! If you’re interested in joining, you can sign up here!!