Saturday, January 3, 2015

How I dropped the baby weight

With the new year rolling in and resolutions being made I thought I'd talk about my 2014 New Years resolution- to drop the baby weight!

That was my main goal for 2014. Raley was already 3 months old and I was still holding on to 20 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight - which was already about 10 pounds above my ideal weight. 


I hated the way I looked. 
I hated the way I felt.
I hated that I had to buy all new scrubs because I couldn't fit into my old ones.
I hated how my arms looked. I never wore tank tops. 
I especially hated how pregnancy left my belly looking. I wore only loose, baggy shirts that were a size too big. I loved when it was cold and I could wear sweaters and tights and boots.

I just was not comfortable in my own skin. 

It was about time I did something about it. They tell you if you're breastfeeding you'll drop the weight fast because baby is taking a lot of your calories. This was not true for me-AT ALL. So in January I started going to the gym a few times a week. They have a child care center which was really nice. Each time I went I felt like I was getting back into shape. I could run for longer and longer on the treadmill. I could feel myself getting stronger. But I was seeing ZERO results on the scale or in the mirror. 


My problem - I wasn't changing my eating habits. I'm a very picky person. I don't eat vegetables. I think they're gross. I don't like a lot of super healthy food. But I had to change something. 


So now people ask me "How did you lose the baby weight?" My answer - MY FITNESS PAL


My husband had been using this app for about a month and was already starting to lose some weight. He kept encouraging me to use it but I didn't want to put in the time to count calories. I thought it was a pain in the booty to have to log every single thing you eat. But finally I caved and in April I started using My Fitness Pal.

Here's how it works - you put in your current weight, your goal weight, and how many pounds you want to lose a week. The app calculates how many calories you need to take in per day in order to reach your goal. Then each day you enter in what you're eating for every meal. The app has just about anything you want already entered into the diary. If you drink a 20oz coke, you just search "20 oz coke" and it will bring up how many calories you took in and log it into your totals. You can do this with anything you eat or drink. They have menu items from just about any restaurant you want already saved into their database so it makes it easy to just search and log.  

You can even make your own meals - so if you make something homemade you can figure out on your own how many calories are in what you're making, log it, and it will save it for the next time you make this meal so you don't have to figure it out all over again!

You can also log your exercise and the app will calculate how many calories you burned and add it to your net calories. So if you burn 200 calories running, you have an extra 200 calories to play with.

It was hard (and a little annoying) at first to get used to logging every single thing I ate or drank in a day. The key was to plan what you were going to eat for the entire day ahead of time so you would know how to divide up your calories.I realized real quick where all my calories were coming from. I love to go to Chili's but just about everything on the menu has about 1000 calories in it. I love pasta. I love mexican food. I love soft drinks. But a 20oz Sundrop is almost 300 calories!

So I learned to start drinking more water so I wasn't drinking all of my calories. I learned where to cut back and where to splurge. I learned that you don't have to only eat vegetables in order to eat healthier. You just have to be smart about where you spend your calories. If I want to go to Rosie's for dinner, I would eat a lighter breakfast and lunch in order to save my calories for dinner.

In just 2 weeks I started seeing results on the scale. This made me want to continue to push forward on my "diet." Then in under a month I had lost 5 pounds. By then logging calories had just become part of my daily routine. 

I ended up losing the baby weight in about 2.5 months. But I wanted to keep going so I changed my goal weight and kept pushing on. In 4 months I had lost 25 pounds and was feeling more like myself. And this was ALL due to My Fitness Pal. (I wasn't working out much anymore due to my work schedule when I started my new job.) 

So when someone asks me how I lost the weight I tell them that I highly recommend using My Fitness Pal! It works! There are so many cool things you can do with the app and it's FREE! You just have to use it right. 

I wouldn't completely deprive myself of things that I really like (like sweets or mexican or Chili's chili con queso). I would just try to cut back in other places. And if I went over my calorie limit one day out of the week I wouldn't feel too guilty about it. You have to reward yourself for good work or it will be much harder to stick with it.

At the end of August I started seeing my weight loss slow way down even though I hadn't really changed anything. I was still eating the same amount of calories as I was before, I just wasn't losing the weight as fast. So I quit logging every day. But by then, since I had been doing it for almost 5 months. I had a good idea of what foods were good for you and what foods weren't. I still tried to eat healthy, I just wasn't logging everything. And surprisingly enough I still continued to lose weight. Much more slowly, but I was still dropping it.

A few tips for success:
- Be honest in what you're logging
- Log your weight loss under progress. If you see how much weight you're losing you're more likely to stick with it.
- Pick a "Weigh in day" each week and weigh yourself about 30 minutes after you get up that morning. Friday was our weigh in day
- Reward yourself! It's ok to splurge every now and then
- Plan your meals out ahead of time
- Try not to go under 1200 calories - taking in less than 1200 calories a day can slow your metabolism. You want to take in between 1200 and whatever your goal net intake is.

If you have any questions about how the app works or would like any other tips please feel free to ask! I could go on and on but this post would be way longer than it already is!

A million thanks goes out to my amazing husband for pushing me to join him in using My Fitness Pal. I am so proud of the success he has had - he's lost nearly 60 pounds and looks amazing! I love you David! Thanks for always being there for me!











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