monday musings link up #1: ...and then some

When I was pregnant with my son I gained 50 pounds.
Keep in mind that I was not underweight to begin with so this was well over the recommended weight gain for a woman that starts at a "normal" weight.

32 weeks, spring 2010.
With ONE baby.
Not twins.
But maybe we should back up a little bit. None of this will probably mean all that much if I don't post some numbers for ya so you can know what we're working with.

When I got married in 2007 I weighed 145 pounds. Being nearly 5'10", that put me at a respectable weight. I didn't have six pack abs and I definitely wasn't swimsuit model material, but I felt pretty good about the way that I looked.
I had been 145 pounds for years, I was able to basically eat whatever I wanted and stay at the same weight with spending minimal time in the gym and only running a few times a week. I didn't really have to try too hard.

Fall 2006
During our second year of marriage we went through a heartbreaking trial, one that I won't get into right now, but as a result of that I gained 10 pounds. I was unable to lose it before getting pregnant with my son.
You know, the pregnancy where I gained a whopping 50 pounds?
And hey, all you women who shed the pounds like crazy when you're exclusively nursing, good for you. That is awesome and you should take full advantage of that. My body was not that way.
At all.
After giving birth, my body clung to weight like it was a life raft, and I lost it so slowly that when I got pregnant with my daughter about 15 months later I hadn't lost the last 10 pounds. So for those of you keeping track I went into pregnancy numero dos weighing 165 pounds.
I hadn't changed much about what I ate, and hadn't really been good about being that active or keeping up an exercise routine, so I guess I only have myself to blame.

We were living in a beautiful area of San Antonio during my second pregnancy and I spent a lot of time outside with my little man, so I did a lot better during that pregnancy with staying active. I only gained 35 pounds, and sure, my belly was HUGE and my face was a little fuller, but I had the "ball" belly and felt so much cuter.
But I had still started out with those extra 10 pounds.

35 weeks, spring 2012.
Let's fast forward a little bit... I got pregnant with baby #3 I hadn't lost the last 10 pounds, AGAIN.
10 seems to be the magic number for me.
So, let's see where we're at. Started at 145 pounds, gained 10 before baby #1, that put me at 155, plus another 10 from baby #1, and we're at 165, and finally, the gift of 10 pounds from baby #2, totaling 175 pounds.
175 pounds going into my pregnancy with baby #3.
I did alright with the weight gain the third time, again gaining about 35 pounds, but again I was having a really hard time losing any weight. I lost about 15 pounds over the first couple months... and then nothing.
I'd hit a wall and I was getting really down about it.
And I know, I KNOW that you shouldn't let your weight or the numbers on the scale define you, but when you're constantly wearing the same three outfits because you really have nothing flattering or comfortable to wear, it really starts wearing on you.
And then, in May last year I got pretty sick for about four days and basically ate nothing.
And after that it's like something in my head finally clicked.  I had lost about 5 pounds and had very little appetite so I figured, this was it, this was the push I needed to finally change the way I approached food. I want to add here that I knew I needed to be careful and healthy, after all, I as still nursing.
I didn't want to try some fad, and I had no energy for a crazy workout regime. I didn't want to go on a diet, diets fail. As my good friends Lynn and Drew like to say, "it's a lifestyle, not a diet!".
So here is where I'll share my weight loss secret. The answer to the question that family and close friends have been asking me, "what have you been doing?"

And it's actually pretty simple, in theory.
1// I cut back on carbohydrates. I knew that carbs and I were bffs, but that it was a pretty destructive relationship. I also knew though, that it is not recommended that nursing mothers cut out carbs completely by doing something like, say, the Atkins diet. But I did cut way back; I'd order a burger and take off the top bun, I stopped serving rolls with dinner, I filled up on salad instead of pasta, no toast with my scrambled eggs, I loaded my pizza slice with tons of extra veggies so it would fill me up faster.
2//I stopped snacking. I didn't think that was a big problem for me until I really started paying attention. I'd go to the fridge or the pantry multiple times a day and just stand there and I realized that I wasn't even hungry. I was doing it out of habit. So instead, every time I opened the fridge I'd grab a drink: water, Crystal Lite, or diet soda (let's not get into the argument of how terrible soda is for you, I like it, you're never going to change my mind, so get over it). That got me out of the habit of thinking I needed to snack all the time.
3// I stopped eating dessert every night. After I was feeling better I realized that I had gotten into the habit of having something sweet for dessert pretty much every night. The kids would go to bed and I would spend a few episodes in front of the tv stuffing my face with cookies, or hot chocolate, or microwave cake, or ice cream, or whatever we happened to have. I have always loved sweets, but I had let it get out of hand. Once I really realized that, I was able to cut way back on which nights I had a sweet treat.

And there you have it, I was losing weight and there wasn't any magical potion or expensive workout video I needed to buy. I think you can really see the difference in these two pictures from Disneyland last year. When I look at my face, my arms, and my legs, I can't believe the difference between May and November.

May  2014
November 2014
The goal weight I had set for myself was 150 pounds. I wasn't expecting to get back to my wedding weight, and I know that having three kids in four years had put my body through the ringer, but I really wanted to try to get down to 150.
I'll never forget the feeling when I looked at the scale one morning and it said 144.6.

This skirt was in the giveaway pile for years, it had been my favorite skirt but I hadn't been able to wear it since before I had my first child. When I tried it on at the end of January and saw that it fit again, and comfortably, I think that's when it finally hit me; I was back to my wedding weight, I had lost all my baby weight... and then some.
Since I've lost the weight I've eased up a bit and I still have been able to keep my weight down. It does amaze me though, how much my attitude towards food has changed. It's been really surprising and really satisfying. My next focus is trying to get back into a routine of walking and running, but my energy level is still not where it use to be, running after three kids all day might have something to do with that. ;)

I want to add here at the end, I am not saying that how I lost my weight will work for everyone. I'm also not saying that doing a certain diet, or taking certain supplements, or doing a certain workout won't help you lose weight and be healthier. I am especially not saying that I think everyone should try to lose weight without exercising, I wish I had the energy to be walking and running like I once was and I am working really hard to get back there. I know that if I could get back in the habit of being active like I was 18+ months ago, I would feel so much better. I am trying, I am. I just wanted to share my story and answer the question that so many close to me have been asking.


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