I always considered myself to be a pretty healthy person for my entire life. When I was younger, I played sports & worked out at the gym 4 days a week. I ate very healthy and clean. I felt good about myself, always weighed a healthy weight, but then my weight slowly went up after I turned 30 with the onset of a new relationship, longer work hours, lifestyle, etc.
Before I got pregnant with Julianna, Brian and I ate pretty healthy, worked out and lived a relatively healthy lifestyle. We went for walks and even started running some nights on our walks. Once I became pregnant, I stopped most activity and I started eating A LOT of not-so-good-for-me food (no shocker since I felt great with my first pregnancy). After I had Julianna, I stopped caring about how much I weighed (since after all, I just had a baby!). I never really lost much of my pregnancy weight and then we decided to try to have another baby. So, I figured why bother losing weight? I'm going to just gain weight with another baby anyway. It was a horrible way to think, but it was my excuse to eat. Then I got pregnant with Tyler and felt so sick the entire time, which I'm sure you've heard me say here many times. (One thing to note; once I found out I was pregnant with Tyler, I did cut out most or all products with 'fake' sugar like aspartame, and have kept it out of my diet since then - all diet products scare me - I pray that all the years I used fake sugar and drank diet soda didn't harm me).
After I had Tyler, I made up for all the time I couldn't eat and spent the first few months of celebrating being able to eat again. I totally "emotionally ate" for the few months after Tyler was born when he was recovering from his open heart surgery (Click HERE for Tyler's story in case you missed it). What is a better fix for sad mom? Ice cream right? Ugh! I also went through an unimaginable tough emotional and mental time due to pre-menopause. I knew I was unhealthy and very overweight, but for several months, I wasn't emotionally ready to do anything about it. It's always a mental thing for me. None of my clothes fit me and I felt so terrible about myself. I knew I needed to do something but had to wait until I was 100% mentally ready to take this on. Knowing WHAT to do was never an issue (I've never believed in goofy fad diets like drinking celery juice for 2 weeks to lose weight!). For me, weight loss is totally mental mindset. Brian and I made unhealthy dinners almost every night and enjoyed big-calorie dinners regularly when we ate dinner out. We had Ben & Jerry's after the kids went to bed every night - ugh - talk about big fattening mistakes! Large portions did me in. I have never been a candy or fast food person. I just ate too much regular food all of the time.
Finally, towards the end of 2013, Brian and I had some very long discussions about 'being ready' to finally start being healthy and changing our lives. We needed to be good roll models for both of our children. We have always encouraged and given healthy & fresh foods to Julianna (not counting chicken nuggets lol). She eats very healthy, but we, as parents, need to set a much better (long term) roll model for healthy living for them.
One fabulous thing Brian and I already changed once we had Julianna, was to switch all 'fresh' foods to organic. We started buying organic chicken & beef, eggs, milk, fruit & veggies. I'm so glad we did that and focused on Julianna eating healthy foods. Let's get one thing straight, organic and fresh doesn't mean weight loss. The focus was there on organic, but I cared less about how much I ate daily (clearly!).
As of this past January, Brian and I made a conscience decision to make a change. We decided to eat ALL organic, pesticide-free, pure & healthy foods. We continue to buy organic 'fresh' foods, but now stepped it up to include everything else we buy (when possible). Our local food store does not offer the best organic selections, but we can usually find most things we need. I would love if we had a Whole Foods near us. The closest one is over a half hour away, and not convenient for shopping. In the summer, we plan on visiting our local farmer's market, as we do every summer.
We made the decision to cut out all or most processed foods from our diet immediately. Brian and I read all ingredients and try not to allow any foods with chemicals or artificial anything in the house. If organic is not an option when shopping, then I'll choose the 'cleanest' product I can get, i.e. I get the bakery to slice fresh whole wheat bread (that has 4 ingredients) instead of buying the packaged bread that has a ton of 'preservatives' in it. In the past, we never really bought sugary foods or candy for Julianna anyway, and luckily now she prefers fruit or carrots as a snack over to sugary treats (pat myself on the back for that!). We have never bought juice for her since day one and she doesn't even like it - she likes water. Tyler will be on the same track.
Our life goal now is to eat nutritious & pure food, make smart food choices, be healthy, be a good roll model and lose weight. We are also taking vitamins daily (which we never did before). Brian and I are trying to focus on adding more vegetarian meals to our diet and trying some new (healthy) recipes. We plan out most of our meals for the week and have managed to make everything we make taste great and it has been keeping us very satisfied. This change takes work and is working out better than we ever imagined, especially since we are both 100% committed. It's a marathon, not a sprint (cliche, I know!) and we look forward to the long haul. It's time for life change. It's been a LONG time coming. I can't change what I did for the past 5 years, but I can change the future.
I am down 21 pounds since January. Yay me. Oh and I still use real sugar in my coffee. Sugar in small amounts is not the enemy like the diet industry will have you believe!
Brian is down about 25 pounds. I am so proud of my husband and he looks great!
We are both using Weight watchers (online) for guidance. I need something to help me keep track of what I eat and be accountable. Weight watchers has worked for me in the past (many moons ago).
Oh and p.s. - I dropped my overall cholesterol down about 50 points to a very good number. My cholesterol was pretty high (totally self induced) last fall, and one of my personal goals was to lower it. I had my well visit with my doctor a few weeks ago, and discovered it had gone way down. Yay me again.
I still have a lot more to lose, but I am very satisfied with my results so far, and really looking forward to trying on clothes that haven't fit me in 5 or 6 (or more!) years. I am looking forward to boating season where I won't have to cover up and be ashamed of how I look.
One thing I hope to add to my life in the near future is exercising. I would love to have that back. That's one downfall right now with 2 small children, working full time and everything else that goes along with our crazy life right now. I will get more active once the nicer weather is here.
One thing at a time, right?
I'll share some of our recipes here next week. We have discovered some great food blogs!
Here is my inspiration (photo taken October 2013)