Yesterday was a bittersweet day for me – it was the last day of the Mamavation Campaign in which I was participating.
I lost 32.2 pounds as a Mamavation Mom and I want to share the secrets of my weight loss with you.
1. Proper nutrition goes a very long way. I don’t mean weight loss shakes, supplements, pills, fad diets, fasts, juice-only, cabbage-only, unmaintainable crash diet weirdness. I mean proper nutrition. If your waist measures more than 35 inches, I would highly recommend that you try the low glycemic index diet. This is what dietitians set up for diabetics so that they can keep their blood sugar balanced. And it works. This is the diet that I followed, and it included breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 3 snacks. I was not hungry – in fact, I felt like I was eating all the time. The food choices that I was taught were good choices – healthy fats like almond butter or sunflower seeds paired with a cup of raw veggies for a snack. YUM!
2. Plan for success – the snack example I gave above does not come out of a vending machine. If you want to be successful in your weight loss, you must plan. Plan your foods, plan your workouts, schedule it – I had to put some of the work I did in my campaign on my calendar. Sure, by the end the reminders were mostly just annoying, but that’s because I had developed a habit for myself. Start with planning and you will finish with results. Instead of skipping a meal or hitting the drive thru, pre-package your own foods. Peel, cut, and measure out a cup of raw carrots. Portion out 2 tablespoons of a healthy fat (like sunflower seeds, almond butter, 12 almonds, etc). For a snack, grab one of each and you’re set. For lunch and dinner, I have a salad. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend that you check out Salad-in-a-Jar.com. Seriously, she shows you how to make a salad and keep it fresh for a week. This is a must-have resource.
3. Challenge yourself – Step beyond what you think you can do. So often we tell ourselves that we can’t do one thing or we’re not good enough to do another. Cut out the self-doubt. For example, I’ve been an almost-life-long non-runner. I decided to give it a whirl after I applied because one of the responsibilities of a Mamavation Mom is to run a 5k after her campaign. And you know what? The first couple weeks were not my favorite. But I kept pushing myself and challenging myself and eventually I ran a mile without stopping. It was the most awesome feeling ever. Seriously, I totally get running now. I always hated push ups, and I did really bad girly push ups for a long time. By the end of the third week of the campaign, I was able to do 15 push ups on toes. I didn’t start there, but I kept challenging myself to do just one more. And I did. (Of course, make sure what you’re doing isn’t going to harm you – check with your doctor first, etc.)
4. Find or build your support network – After my first son was born, I suffered from PPD and my midwife told me that the best thing I could do for myself both with the PPD and with parenting is to build a support network. Not only does a support network help you up when you feel down, it also spurs you on, keeps you accountable, and makes you want to be a better person so that you can bring your best to support the others in your network. The same goes with your weight loss journey. You will be better at it if you’re supporting others through it. You’ll feel their support and it will inspire and encourage you. For me, I rely on the Mamavation community for support, and you’re totally welcome to as well!
5. Trust in the process – You didn’t gain the weight overnight, you’re not going to lose it overnight either. While a pill that swears you can do absolutely nothing different in your life and you will lose weight sounds enticing, it’s never going to give you the confidence and empowerment that learning about feeding yourself well and exercising your body to become fitter, leaner, and healthier will. And the magic may not even take the weight off at all. Learn how to take care of yourself so that you won’t have to constantly find the next best thing – you’ll be able to maintain your healthy lifestyle. So my best advice to you would be to trust in the process – eat well, move, and trust that taking the best care of yourself will result in that rockin’ body you’re dreaming about. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it takes time. But you will learn so much about yourself that it is well worth the effort.