Weight Loss Tips and Tricks – 20 Pieces of Advice from a Big Loser

Mind Over Matter

Certain things were crucial as a new mother for me to lose weight and keep it off and I’m going to summarize what these tips and tricks are below. Keep in mind this is what worked for me and not all of the things that work for one person will work for somebody else. But if you stick to some of these suggestions, I guarantee you will have some degree of success whether you are a new mom or just someone trying to lose some weight. You can do this!!!

The List!!

1. Make a schedule of your workouts on your calendar or on a planner at the beginning of every week. You have to be extremely organized as a new mom to seriously get any workouts in. As in detailed enough to plan your workouts during your little one’s morning or afternoon naps depending on when you will be at home. Also – as a new mom you are doing fantastic if you get 2 to 3 workouts in a week that are 30 minutes long. That my friends, is all the time you realistically have sometimes. As your baby gets older the naps become a little longer and more scheduled so you can better plan your workouts.

2. Don’t beat yourself up! You are only human!!

3. Pick small milestones so you don’t get overwhelmed. For example, 5 pounds at a time of weight loss is much less daunting to focus on then 50 pounds. Baby steps!!

4. Celebrate milestones publicly. Post on social media an don’t feel guilty. You are an inspiration to others who want to make lifestyle changes. Your posts make a difference in other peoples lives!! Plus social media posting adds a new degree of accountability.

5. Take pictures along the way so you can compare your progress. Very motivating even though it feels ridiculous!

6. Get rid of clothes that are too big as you lose weight. Buy clothes that fit! People can’t see that you lost weight when you hide in big baggy clothes. Wearing clothes that fit will definitely spark positive feedback that will continue to motivate you on your weight loss journey.

7. Juicing is your friend. But I don’t recommend juice cleanses that last longer than 3 days (4 days at the most). Otherwise you will be too tired to workout and you are likely to burn out. I also recommend taking at least two weeks between doing cleanses, although I’ve done them with as little as a week in between. Its just too hard to remain accountable and you feel like you are sacrificing family bonding moments (dinners) if you do them too frequently. I will be doing an extensive series of posts on juicing over the next few weeks so stay tuned!

8. When not juicing, protein is your friend. I highly recommend a protein shake EVERY day. My favorite is Shakeology by Beachbody but there are several others out there. Contact me if you are interested in hearing more about Shakeology.

9. Exercise videos are your friend!!! You can quickly do your workout right next to your baby (in the same room!) while your little one naps. I think the best workout videos out there are made by Beachbody (P90X, Insanity, Piyo, Cize, etc). I  have been doing Slim in 6 because I had two knee surgeries within the last year and have to do something extremely low impact to workout. Below is the demo for the new CIZE dance workout from Beachbody which I can’t wait to try when my knees are a little stronger 🙂

10. Baby jog strollers are your friend. My little one can easily go up to 90 minutes without any issues and usually takes a nap somewhere along the way. I just pack a diaper change and a bottle for the road and we’re off.

11. Make use of the gym’s daycare. At my gym I can leave my little one up to two hours and they actually have a separate baby room. I’ve never left him that long but its nice to know the option is there. Honestly, the times I’ve used this service seem like heaven. Its my only baby free time of the day!

12. There are many great teas out there these days and I personally find they have a nice calming effect when I’m stressed that keeps me from pigging out. My favorite is mint tea but the number of teas available is infinite.

13. Stress can make it impossible to lose weight even if you do everything else right. You have to find effective ways to destress whether its doing some type of arts and crafts project, reading a book, or taking a nice hot bath with expensive bath bombs. I’ve also noticed “stress weight” tends to linger on my tummy which is where I most want to get rid of the weight.

14. A smart watch is very helpful. I love my Fitbit. Its fun to challenge myself and others to see if I can get more steps than the day before or more steps than a friend. I’ve noticed that somedays with all my mommy errands I easily hit 10,000 steps without even working out!

15. Make sure you have exciting music to listen to if you are working out on exercise equipment or walking or running. A good playlist will motivate you to workout harder and longer. I personally love the FitRadio App which is $2.99/month and I get many options!

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16. Reward your progress. I usually reward 5 or 10 pound weight losses with a juice cleanse but you can also treat yourself to new clothes that fit.

17. Its okay to have cheat foods here and there. I’ve found its best to go for high quality over quantity when you do this. For example, expensive macaroons or fancy dark chocolates are much more satisfying than a big piece of cake with icing. Savor the flavor.

18. Weekly weigh ins are essential even if you don’t want to. Why? Accountability. You can also see your progress over time.

19. Change things up or you’ll plateau. Change your workouts here and there. Change your meals up. Keep things fresh and exciting.

20. Meal prep is very important for working moms. You can buy all kinds of meal prep containers and books now to help you with this. But basically you can prep all your breakfasts and lunches and even dinners if you need to and prepackage them the weekend before. Fun but time intensive. But if you work I highly recommend!

How to Finally Get the Baby Weight Off – 10 Day Series Discussing What REALLY Worked For Me in My 47 Lb Weight Loss Journey

beforeafter.jpgThe next 10 posts are going to focus on topics that I think  were key to my 47 lb baby weight loss journey. I will be sharing all of my BEST SECRETS!! And I am so excited to share everything with you because I know this 10 blog series is going to make a big difference in your life because these are things that already worked for me!! To kick this series off I am sharing my weight gain and weight loss  story. I am hoping my story will get you motivated and pumped to finally begin your weight loss journey or if you are stuck only needing to lose the last few pounds that it will provide you with the motivation to kick it up a notch. Good luck and enjoy your journey!

MY 47 POUND STORY

Right around the time I found out I was pregnant, my left knee was bothering me yet again and I was 100% sure I needed surgery. So workout options during my pregnancy were limited to swimming, aqua jogging, the elliptical machine or lifting weights. I was frequently nauseated all the way up to the very end so while I tried to get at least two workouts a week in, that was not always possible. I recall many times I jumped off my elliptical machine to go barf in the sink. It seemed that cardio workouts made me feel sicker. Needless to say, pre-pregnancy I worked out four or five days a week so just between feeling sick and my knee going out I was working out way less than usual.

The other problem was that throughout my pregnancy I craved carbs all the time and eating crackers, rice, and pasta were one of the only things that temporarily seemed to decrease my nausea. In my third trimester I gained 10 pounds from one weekly visit to the next and my doctor suddenly admonished me saying I needed to watch my weight or I would gain 70 pounds. I left the office in tears. I hadn’t done anything different that week than any other week so why had I gained 10 pounds!? And truly for the most part I really wasn’t eating that unhealthily. I was just listening to my body. If eating carbs made me feel better than maybe that’s what my baby wanted!!

Big belly

The day of reckoning was finally here. I was induced because I developed preeclampsia at the end of my third trimester (perhaps that’s why I gained so much weight so fast there at the end). They weighed me as part of my check in and I cringed seeing 187 pounds on the scale. My weight normally fluctuates between 135 and 145 pounds depending on how much I run. My running days are over by the way but that’s another story for another time.

I gave birth to a beautiful but large baby boy weighing 8lbs10oz on May 6th around 5:00pm.  I remember being shocked at how big he was the first time I saw him. I didn’t think he was going to be that big! I felt a little relief at that thinking at least 9 pounds of my weight was instantly gone but how long and how difficult were the other 38 pounds going to be to lose? This was three times the amount of weight I had ever tried to lose before! The task felt daunting. Impossible. Maybe since I was a mom of one and a stepmom of two now I could just accept that a little extra flab was normal. But I was an athlete. Could I really be okay with that???

Luke Birth

Before leaving the hospital I looked at my body in the mirror. I still had a tummy but it was much smaller. I can do this I thought. And I knew I would. Because week to week, month to month, I was going to gradually get to buy new clothes and see the numbers fly off the scale. It was going to be fun. And if I didn’t lose all the weight I knew in my heart I would be okay with it. Holding this beautiful precious baby boy I knew that there were much more important things in life than me. But taking good care of myself so that I could take good care of my kids was very important. I wanted to be able to keep up with them while they ran around and played.

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So now on to the good stuff….how did I lose all that weight!!?? I’m still amazed I actually did it. Usually, my go to secret is running but I couldn’t run! Due to medications I have to take I was also unable to breast feed. I’ve heard contradicting information on breastfeeding – it seems some women lose weight very quickly just from breastfeeding alone while others find that it makes them ravenous so they can’t lose weight.

For the initial month and a half (6 weeks to first initial doctor appointment) I decided to take it easy and focus on the little one. I was extremely sleep deprived from waking up every hour of the night so I don’t think I would have had energy to workout if I wanted to. And I definitely could care less about dieting when I was that tired and grumpy. I did notice that almost immediately I was no longer nauseated. And every week I was less and less swollen (my hands and feet were incredibly swollen from preeclampsia when I gave birth). I was wearing a whole size and half larger shoe than normal. In those first six weeks I went from a 36D bra that was bursting at the seems to a 36C. At the end of six weeks I still couldn’t get my wedding rings back on my finger. I went down a half size in shoes. I was amazed that I was still only fitting into pregnancy clothes. I was antsy to get out and do something.

And then….my good knee decided to crap out!!! A piece of cartilage broke lose and it locked up so I couldn’t walk at all without excruciating pain. So I had to have surgery immediately. I felt pretty sorry for myself and I was getting really antsy to workout again but I couldn’t. So instead – I juiced. I have been a big believer in juicing for a couple of years now. And since I wasn’t breastfeeding I didn’t need to worry about my calorie intake. I started off with a 3-day juice cleanse since it had been awhile since I lost weight and I lost 5 pounds immediately. I was super excited. This was the most weight I’d ever lost on a 3-day juice cleanse. I was hooked. Throughout the rest of my weight loss journey I routinely did 3-day juice cleanses every 2 to 3 weeks. Sometimes I ordered them and other times I made the juices at home with my juicer. There are pros and cons to both.

juice

Finally after about a month from my surgery I could workout…but I was still limited by my other knee. The first thing I did was aqua jog in our home pool when the little man was taking a nap. Somedays that would be 20 minutes, but other days I could get 45 minutes or even an hour in. And this is excellent rehab for knees. Trust me – I know!! I was also limited in taking the little one for stroller walks throughout the summer because it gets so darn hot in Texas! Any chance I had though, we went on a walk in the jog stroller. I had to use a mosquito net to keep mosquitoes away from him. We only went on walks early in the morning, or if a storm had come through and temporarily made it cooler outside. Once the fall came and it cooled off however, we went on a regular walk while my stepdaughter rode her bicycle. I’d let her play at a playground half way through and then we’d head home.

Once my son was three months old I decided it might be okay to take him to the daycare at my gym. My gym is very nice – it reminds me of a country club. The daycare has three separate areas – a big kid section, a young kid section, and a baby room. Often the baby room is empty or has only one or two babies in it. I felt confident that it was safe for my son. I still haven’t left him longer than an hour though! I feel guilty even taking an hour for myself!! Need to work on that. At the gym – I rotated elliptical workouts, spinning on a spin bike, and using weights.

At first it was hard to get much of a routine going…but by the time Luke was 5 months I had lost all but 10 pounds of my baby weight and I was routinely working out 2 to 3 times a week. Getting a schedule is key to trying to fit workouts in with a newborn and older kids because you have to know when any chance of a free moment to fit a workout in will be or it won’t happen. I continued with my juicing…completely in love with it. I noticed however, that sometimes I wasn’t losing but a pound while other times I wouldn’t lose weight but I would go down a size in clothes. By 5 months I was no longer wearing any of my pregnancy clothes. But I was still wearing a size large and I couldn’t fit into any of my pre pregnancy clothes yet. I packed up all the pregnancy clothes and felt sad. Other than the little bit of weight left on my tummy those were the last signs that he had ever lived for 9 months in my body. I almost wished we could go back and do it all over again. Weird right!!

I lost another 5 pounds by 6 months and decided to finish off the weight loss adventure with a 5 day juice fast. I lost my final 5 pounds!!! So at 6 months and 1 week after giving birth I was back to 140 pounds!!! Yay! What was really weird though was that it took another two months before I was really able to fit into all my clothes again. Even though I’d lost the weight, certain parts of my body still hadn’t finished changing back. My boobs and feet actually never got as small as they were pre pregnancy. My hips however, did! Between months 6 and 8 they got narrower and I went from a size 12 jeans/shorts to a size 4/6. This was so weird to me!! But I’ll take it.

So for New Years Eve I decided I would show off my post baby body (about 8 months post giving birth). I finally was able to wear most of my dresses by then. I felt beautiful and was very proud but I also felt sad. My Lukey pooch was all gone. It would never be there again. I never imagined that I would actually miss my baby weight a little bit!!! But looking back it was really an easy journey to lose the weight. It came off quicker and easier than any weight I’ve ever tried to lose before. I think never being able to finish my food at meals because Luke was fussy and I had to take care of him helped. I think seeing the weight fall off so easily and getting to change sizes so frequently helped keep me motivated. I didn’t feel pressure to lose the weight because I felt like I had an excuse for at least a year to stay pudgy if I needed to – so that helped. I also had a loving husband and step kids and sister that never really mentioned my weight even when I was losing it. That almost made it seem more just my thing and it was okay even if I never got any skinnier than where I was at. No one seemed to expect me to lose it all. Would I do it again? Well – Luke is definitely worth it! It was a small price to pay for such a beautiful little life. Of course I would. Do I think anyone can lose weight? Yes I really do! You just have to believe in yourself and not put too much pressure on yourself.

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