Some of you may recall that about two months ago I started a little cash wager with my husband (OK, let’s be real, it was a straight up bribe) to finally lose this baby weight (really toddler weight now…ugh!).
It may not have looked like it, thanks to good fat hiding genes, but I had 30 pounds to lose! It sounds like a lot and honestly it felt super overwhelming and unattainable, but I wanted to give you a little update on how it’s going.
First of all, I’ve lost 14 pounds! Totally exciting. Here’s what I’ve been doing to get there (I’m totally not a doctor or nutritionist, so please don’t take this all as gospel, I’m just sharing what’s worked for me personally):
1. Calorie counting – I actually haven’t been doing this as much lately, because I’ve kind of gotten to know what all my usuals are, so I kind of just ballpark it in my head, but this was definitely super helpful at the beginning.
2. Cutting out carbs - I didn’t cut out carbs completely, but I was seriously eating some SUPER carb-heavy meals and cutting out a side of bread here or rice there (I don’t even really like rice anyway) was really no big deal. I save my carby/bread consumption for special occasions.
3. Reforming my eating out habits – We don’t eat out super often, but usually once during the weekend, and even that was enough to derail my healthy eating habits. For me, eating out is a special treat, so I’m not willing to order something boring. What I have been doing is trying to set aside half of the meal ahead of time so I don’t overeat. I also use eating out as a motivator for choosing healthier options during the week in order to keep things balanced.
4. Hitting the gym - I’ve had a gym membership for at least 6 months now, but didn’t start going regularly until I started this challenge. Pre-challenge I was going 1-2 times a week (usually only one) and when I went I would half-ass some Zumba. Don’t get me wrong…Zumba is a great workout, but it is not the end all, be all of exercise. I needed to change things up. Now I Zumba twice a week and the 3 times a week I do cardio machines + strength training (abs + butt + sometimes weights which I need to do more often). The key for me was finding a dedicated friend to go with. I have a friend who goes to the gym super faithfully and we often have a hard time finding time to hang out, so our gym time has become a fun time to chat and be productive at the same time. A win-win.
5. Weighing myself daily – I know people say not to focus on the scale or a number, but to that I must disagree. I can hide my weight like nobody’s business. I have friends who were pretty surprised to find out how much I weighed when I started this challenge, because I didn’t look it. My body is proportioned to where even I can’t always tell I’ve gained weight until I’ve put on 20 pounds and notice my face looks a little chubby in photos – true story. Weighing myself daily helps me keep on track and keeps me accountable for what I’m doing. If I have a cheater day and eat junk and then see that I gained two pounds the next day, it’s a reminder to try again the next day so I don’t throw away all of my hard work. Obviously the scale will fluxuate due to period bloating or muscle gain so I don’t freak out too much or anything, but in general I find it really helpful for me.
6. Smoothies – Since my daughter decided she hates veggies in any other form but smoothies, I’ve taken to making them for both of us every morning and it’s been a HUGE help. It’s a good way for me to make sure I’m getting all of my fuel in the morning and is a great way to ensure healthy eating during the day. Often I’ll make a double batch so I’ll have a healthy lunch option as well – great when I’m too busy to make something for lunch and am feeling tempted to just grab something convenient (i.e. often not-so-healthy).
So, there you have it. A little update. Any suggestions for other things to try?
Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble. More from Lauren: