Friday, April 23, 2010

It's official -- I've lost 10 pounds

I first and foremost want to say that this was a lot of work and by no means an easy task.  I recently read an article from a celebrity mom who lost all her baby weight in the first four months and is posing in a bikini with a flat stomach.  Um, that's just not realistic.  I want to share a little of my journey and give some real insight on what worked for me.

August 2006 
I weighed 129 pounds at our wedding. I had gained some "love" weight during the year my husband and I met.

August 2007
I gave birth to my 8 pound 2 3/4 ounce daughter.  I had gained about 42 pounds (that's what I weighed the week before I gave birth).

I was 100 percent focused on being mom, but did lose the bulk of the baby weight in about 4 months.  But my shape was not back to normal, at all.  I tried to exercise, but my husband's busy job didn't give much extra time.

I had a couple of back injuries that laid me up.  We moved for the fourth time since our daughter was born.  I realized that as active as I was it was a slow active.  A lot of my day was watching and overseeing my daughter's play or standing still pushing her on the swing.  I was active but actually was gaining weight.

November - December 2009
We joined a health club that has drop-in child care.  Best thing we ever did.  We got rid of cable to pay for the monthly fee.  I weighed over 135 pounds.  I still didn't fall into the overweight category, but I wasn't too happy that I had lost so much stamina in the last couple years.  My goal was to be active and feel better, not necessarily lose weight.   During these first months of working out, I worked hard to do even 5 minutes on the elliptical machine.  I worked hard to make it around the track enough times to actually feel my heart rate pick up.  I worked hard to do one weight machine (at 20 pounds) to strengthen my still sore back.  I didn't lose any weight these first two months and we worked out at least three nights a week for close to an hour.  It didn't help that it was "eat lots of goodies" season, either.  But I did gain back some stamina.

January 2010
I'm not normally one to use a new year to be the time to set weight loss goals, but that's just the way it worked out.  I gave myself a goal of getting to 125 pounds.  I figured it would probably take about six months to get there.  I've never had to lose weight before so I didn't know how to do it.  During the month of January, I was at the health club at least three times a week and often twice a day.  I was up to 20 minutes on the elliptical mid-way through and was able to add some free weights to my routine.  I also bumped up the weight on the machine I used for my back.

Feb-March 2010
I approached working out as a part-time job.  I often worked out in the morning while my daughter did a class or just played in the child care center.  I started to add new machines and bumping up weights.  It was a very slow process because my body was so out of workout mode.  I was able to do 30 minutes or more on the elliptical machine and even found myself running a mile here and there on the track.  I still was working out at least three times a week for more than an hour.  It seems as soon as I got to one level of ability  that if I added something new that it helped keep my body to lose more. It was in March that I found out some interesting information about my health.  I eliminated peanuts, which I found I was allergic to and along the way eliminate soda (I actually eliminate caffeine a couple years ago).  Two foods that have changed my stamina, also.

April 2010
I'm still working out at least three times a week.  I weighed myself this week and I officially lost 10 pounds.  I don't feel like I lost that much because my shape isn't what it used to be (just yet).  But I am happy because I am waiting until June to buy new clothes and I think by then (if I keep at this pace) that I might lose a little more.

Lessons learned

  • It takes time.  These shows with people losing mass amounts of weight in weeks is just not realistic.  We have lives and other priorities.  
  • Make it a priority.  You have to stick with it.  It's hard to do.  It's very hard to do.  But if you want to lose weight or even just gain back some energy, you have to focus on it.
  • Adding something new helps.  I slowly added weights to my routine.  I change up my stretches, too. 
  • You have to change your diet.  That was really hard for me, but in hindsight it was no big deal.  
  • Celebrate the milestones.  If your goal is five pounds give yourself a reward.
  • BMI is bogus!

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