Friday, December 7, 2012

Losing the Baby Weight, Update #3

It has now been over a month since the last Losing the Baby Weight update.  I'm happy to report that not only have I reached my goal weight, I'm actually two pounds below it.  I have lost 20 pounds by eating healthy and jogging. No fad diets or extreme exercising for me! My ultimate goal wasn't just to lose 20 pounds; it was to make a lifestyle change. Sure, a strict diet or doing intense workouts probably would have helped me lose the weight quicker, but those things have always been impossible for me to maintain for more than a few months.  Eventually I would tire of it, and the pounds would slowly trickle back on.

I knew from the beginning that my "diet" would have to be easy to maintain, so that I could keep it up and stay motivated.  As I have mentioned in my prior Weight Loss posts, I have a food diary to keep me accountable, I watch my portion size and calories, I limit my carb-intake (but not crazily so), I focus on eating healthy foods, and I try to do at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five times a week.  Some people may think that my weight loss was mostly successful due to jogging. While I definitely believe it helped, it was actually watching what I ate that made the most difference.  My husband followed my diet plan too, but didn't have time to exercise at all, and he has lost 25 pounds and counting.

The best part of my diet is that I can honestly say that I have eaten good these past few months. I have enjoyed dessert every single day, I eat three solid meals and a few snacks so I'm never hungry, and the food I have been making has been some of the best I have ever made: diet or no-diet.  My point is: you do not have to suffer to lose weight! Although, in all honesty, it did take me about a week for my stomach to get used to accurate portion sizes. Eating snacks and not skipping meals helped me adapt really quick to smaller servings though.  Eating throughout the day can definitely prevent you from overeating later.

I plan on making a blog post entitled "My Healthy Food Commandments", that will explain my "diet" in more detail, if you are interested.  I hesitate to use the word "diet" though, because of the negative connotations associated with the word.  Just hearing the word "diet" makes me want to run out and gorge on chocolate chip cookies.

So here I am; 20 pounds lighter than I was three months ago.  Not only am I happier with how I look, I feel better too. Chasing after my active toddler has become so much easier; I actually have enough energy to keep up with her now! More importantly, I'm proud to have become a good role model for her, by showing her that eating healthy can be fun and tasty, and that exercising can make you feel good and fit. Yet in this weight-obsessed society we live in, I also want to make sure my daughter does not obsess over a number on a scale. Therefore, my goal is no longer a weight loss number.  My goal is to just be healthy and happy; a goal I feel like I have achieved, a goal I will focus on maintaining for me and my family. I don't want my daughter to grow up watching me live off of Slim Fast shakes followed by four hour workouts just as much as I don't want her watching me live off McDonald's followed by four hours of television. Modeling healthy eating and exercise is literally one of the most important things you can do for your child:  it adds years onto both of your lives.  And who doesn't want to share a long, healthy life with your family?  After all, isn't that everyone's life goal?

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