Monday, October 10, 2016

...The Rest of the Story: My Weight Loss Journey Pt. 1

I recently completed a 12-week diet and exercise program and shared my before and after pics on social media. I have received a lot of questions and private messages asking me for more details on the program so I thought I would elaborate here vs a 47 page long post on Facebook!

I started Body Beast in July of 2016, but I have to flashback to September of 2015 to give you, as Paul Harvey would say, "...the rest of the story".

I was 9 months pregnant and due any day with my fourth and final baby.  Throughout my pregnancy, I had been mentally planning that after this baby was born, I was going to finally do it.  I was going to lose the baby weight for good and finally rid my closet of the upper tier of my wardrobe.  No more maternity clothes, postpartum clothes, fat clothes, average clothes, skinny clothes (this category was pretty sparse because it had been so long since they fit that they were all out of style!).  I was just going to have one size of clothing and they were all going to fit!  I had been eyeballing the "Capsule Wardrobe" concept on Pinterest and related blogs and really wanted to put it into practice in my own closet.  I had also been seeking out blog posts with titles like "How I Got my Pre-Baby Body Back" and looking at postpartum weight loss journey photos for inspiration.

Everything you read says, "take pictures along the way", and that this visual documentation of your progress is the key to your success.  The thought of taking before pictures would normally induce a sense of dread, but at 39 weeks pregnant, the idea of taking a before photo didn't bother me.  I loved being pregnant and oddly enough had the best self-image when my stomach protruded out like a torpedo. 
So on Sept 7th, a mere 31 hours before I would deliver my little bundle, I pulled on the pair of spandex shorts and a sports bra that I would wear for every picture along the journey and asked my hubby to snap some photos for me.  Here's the thing people.  When you put on something that is at least 3 sizes too small, the end result is not pretty.  I had never understood the stigma that some associate with clothing sizes, where they refuse to buy the next size up and force themselves into the smaller size.  Yes, I hated having to buy the bigger size, but I'd rather have a higher number hiding beneath my waistband than a muffin top erupting over the top!  However, when it comes to before and after pictures, seeing how your body looks at different sizes in the same clothing is kind of the whole point.... but that still didn't make seeing this real-life Play-doh factory any easier!

So fast forward a few days, and my sweet little 6 pound 6 1/2 oz baby girl is now out in the world!  One would think you would lose at least the weight of the baby, after all I lost 16 pounds with my previous baby and she was only 7 and a half pounds!  But alas, this was not the case.  Three days postpartum (PP) and a mere 3.4 lbs down, I donned the same shorts and sports bra and took another photo.  Oof!  Mama's got some work to do!

I came home to a kitchen table covered in pink treats and goodies, homemade caramel rolls, prepared meals, and plenty of snacks to munch on, courtesy of my amazing friends and family!  I allowed myself to indulge over the weekend but vowed to start fresh on my new venture Monday morning.  Because who can be bothered to start a diet on any other day of the week, right?!  I stepped on the scale 1 month PP and was down 15.2 lbs from my full term weight.  Ok, that's a little better.  Now to take the photo.  Hmmmm.... not looking like a lot of progress outside of the swollen postpartum belly deflating a little.  Well, I better get a membership to the gym so once I get the all clear from the doc I can work out. 

Late October and November, I put forth effort on the diet and exercise fronts and even hit the mid-150's (below pre-pregnancy weight!).  But as is often the case, the Thanksgiving holiday bled into the Christmas season and I over-indulged and lost sight of my goals.  I didn't take any photos because I had mentally given up on 2015 and vowed to do better in the New Year.

The New Year came and along with it an annual weight loss competition.  This 8 week competition was set to begin on Monday, January 4th - because again, why would you ever start on a different day.  I started the competition back up at 164 lbs, just a few ounces away from my 1 month PP weight (insert sad face emoji) but apparently money is good motivational tool for me.  With a $350 first prize on the horizon, I was bound and determined to earn it and weighed in at 141.4 on Feb 29th.  I didn't take a final photo, but maintained the weight loss through (mostly) healthy eating and (somewhat) regular exercise until July 2016.   

Left: January 2016; Middle: Feb 2016; Right July 2016

My friend, who is a Beachbody coach, had gifted me a program called Body Beast and it had been collecting dust on the shelf since my failed attempt at starting it in the Spring.  I pulled it out, paged through the guidebook, and noted that it was a 12 week program.  After pulling up my calendar I confirmed that if I started on July 11th (can you take a guess at what day of the week that might have been?!), that I would complete the program on October 3rd, right before my 30th birthday!  I committed to following the exercise program and the accompanying meal plan and started my 12 week journey!

Check back for the 2nd part of this post to learn more about the program and its results!!

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