Almost four months ago, I insisted it was time to get rid of the baby weight. My goals were 18 to 20 pounds and two pants sizes by July 4 – that’s roughly one pound a week from when I started.
- I’ve currently lost 18 to 19 pounds.
- Lost 1.5 pants sizes (2 in a few brands, 1 in more).
- I’ve officially lost all the “baby” weight gained but never lost during three pregnancies over four years.
Each week I get to pull out clothes from the back of the closet and be surprised that they fit for the first time in four to five years. It’s been so much fun! It felt amazing going to a wedding and feeling comfortable in the dress I was wearing a couple of weeks ago.
As I mentioned before, this is all accomplished by simply counting calories with MyFitnessPal.com – eating about 1300 calories per day.
The two hurdles I expected to face were the amount of travel I had planned and our insane eating out rituals.
This was my biggest weakness. I think I could be several pounds further along if I hadn’t been away from home 21 days in the last four months.
The week spent in Arkansas was the worst – eating out every meal was a pretty big set back and hard getting back on track. The week of vacation was a little better. We at least ate at the condo for breakfast and lunch most days, but desserts started adding up.
I have been pleasantly surprised at how easy it’s been to eat out while on a diet. Note that I said “diet” and not “eating healthy”. I’ve only been watching calories. Those haven’t necessarily been healthy calories.
Some of my go-to fast food meals:
- Chinese: chicken fried rice (1 cup) = avg. 300 calories
- Moe’s Southwest Grill (or similar): Naked chicken burrito = <500 calories
- Zaxby’s: five chicken fingers = 430 calories
- Chick-fil-A: 12 count chicken nuggets = 400 calories
- Sonic at breakfast: small tot and junior breakfast burrito = 390 calories
- Sonic dinner: small tot and two chicken strips = 330 calories
- Taco Bell: crunchy tacos = 170 calories each; bean burrito = 310 calories
- Krystal breakfast: one sausage, egg, and cheese on bun = 200 calories
- Medium Dr. Pepper, split in half with Diet Dr. Pepper (half the calories, most of the taste) = 80 calories
New items on the grocery list that I didn’t buy often before:
- Whole wheat saltine crackers (to go with peanut butter or tuna)
- Nature’s Own Whole Wheat Rounds (I don’t eat a sandwich on anything else; good fiber and whole grain)
- More eggs and Colby jack cheese (Egg sandwiches have become good anytime of day)
- Mozzarella or Colby jack cheese sticks
- Rice crispy treats (90 calories) and dark chocolate (few days go by without a piece or two of dark chocolate to fulfill the need for sweets at 20 calories per piece)
- Special treat: frozen yogurt (100-130 calories per serving)
Things I’ve cut out more than others:
- Bread – I rarely get sandwiches out and limit to one piece of restaurant bread
- French fries (in exchange for mashed potatoes or another veggie)
- Italian food – I can find something low calorie and still really good (often fried, even) at most restaurants except at Italian restaurants. I haven’t figured out a way to make fettuccini alfredo or macaroni and cheese low calorie.
- Red meat (and some pork)– I’ve still eaten a few burgers and steaks, but I trade both beef and pork for turkey as often as possible and especially skip the bread if making burgers at home.
I really thought I would notice a bigger difference in myself. Don’t get me wrong; I have more energy and I’m wearing different clothes. But 18 pounds is a lot, so I kind of thought I would see myself differently looking in the mirror and definitely thought I would lose a full 2 sizes. I think there’s probably a very valuable lesson about self-image here. :-)
Now that I know I can do this, I’m recalibrating my goals for the next few months. It’s now time to get rid of the weight gained the first few years of marriage.
Weight still to lose: 15 pounds
Sizes: 2 more pants sizes
Rate: 1+ lbs per week
Exercise: More physical activity (compared to the near nothing I’m doing now - aside from keeping up with three kids)
Date: Oct. 7, my second 29th birthday (13 weeks)
I’d love to turn 30 at the weight I was in college. Then I’ll be officially finished with this project!
It’s been incredibly helpful that my sisters and mother are on this journey with me. I’ve actually been the least successful. They are rock stars (20+ lbs each). I couldn’t be prouder (or happier that I jumped on the wagon at the right time).