Drinking water all day helps in digestion, flushing out toxins, and suppressing your appetite.
So basically it keeps your stomach from telling your brain that you should go bake 3 dozen White Chocolate Chip Muffins to go with your coffee at 11a.m.
Plus it keeps you going to the bathroom. Which is a good thing!
But you're smart, so I'll just stop there.
I have one of these handy dandy Camelbak water bottles that I keep refilling all day, which helps me a lot. They have them at Target and Walmart-go get one!
-I don't drink soda.
Or at least I rarely drink it. Like, maybe a couple times a year.
It's easy to think that when you're drinking something, it's not fattening...but Soda is like pure corn syrup mixed with some yummy addictive chemicals, so it's basically like having a dessert...that's eating your internal organs.
(So wouldn't you rather just have a brownie?)
If you're a daily soda drinker, just cutting that out of your diet alone, without doing nothing else to get healthy, will probably still make you lose weight.
But hey, it's your deal.
-I keep 100% Pure Cranberry Juice in the house that I love adding to my water for flavor and all those fabulous antioxidants. Also adding lemon to water is yummy, refreshing, and is ridiculously healthy for you in so many ways. Who knew!?
(You probably did.)
I'm not naturally a morning eater.
What's the point of breakfast when there's coffee?
Well once I found out that making yourself eat just a little bit in the morning gets your metabolism going which starts burning fat sooner, then I decided to suck it up and have a bowl of oatmeal or toast in the morning.
And THEN have my coffee.
A small price to pay for a big difference.
3.) I Put. Down. The Bread.
This one makes me cry.
I mean, really.. drinking water and eating breakfast is easy stuff.
But NOT having garlic bread for dinner?
NOT baking those 3 dozen muffins that I'll probably eat most of?
NOT making cookie dough EVERY SINGLE TIME I crave it at 9 o'clock at night?
(Which is approximately 4 times a week.)
This is the real battleground.
And I'll talk about that a little further down under Motivation.
But basically I try to keep it pretty low carb, by substituting veggies for things like bread and potatoes and chips.
Though I don't totally cut out carbs because I'm still active and breastfeeding and not a total masochist.
-I rarely ever eat potatoes anymore.
They're pretty fattening and I'm not passionate about them (like I am, for say..garlic bread) so they feel like a waste. Finding fattening foods that you regularly eat but that you don't even really enjoy all that much to cut out of your diet is always smart.
-I also use those 100 Calorie Sandwich Thins to make delicious burgers and chicken sandwiches with.
-I've stopped baking as much.
I love baking. Both as a hobby and out of reverence and loyalty to the other man in my life, Butter.
But I try to limit it so that I don't have to be removed from my house with a crane by the time I'm 30.
(Dear Butter, Please don't be mad. We just need to see other people. It's not you, it's me. Love, Fatty McFlabersons xoxo.)
4.) I don't binge.
This is another important, but not so fun, big one... Portion Control.
I don't think I'll ever understand why God made it so that I can't eat a whole Papa Murphy's Pizza by myself every night and still look like Angelina Jolie... but I am pretty certain this is the Thorn In The Flesh that Paul wrote about.
(For any other spot-on answers to theological mysteries, feel free to contact me.)
Either way, we all have to go with the flow of life's great hardships and this is one of them.
So I try to keep how much I eat during the day to a respectable, non-binge-related-eating-disorder, amount.
Here is pretty much what my diet looks like on a normal/good day:
Breakfast: Small Bowl of Oatmeal or Bran Cereal, or Whole Wheat Toast
Shot of Tequila (Kidding.)
More Water Lunch(after workout): Protein Smoothie, made with protein powder, almond milk, frozen strawberries, 2 bananas, and spinach.
More Water Snack: 1/4 cup of Almonds or Celery with Peanut Butter
Water Dinner: (Varies)
Some days I forget to eat anything until 3p.m., and some days I eat nothing but cookies all day long.
(the second one being more likely.)
I'm not die hard and rigid about it, but when I stick as close to this as possible, I see the best results.
Ok, well technically I'm sitting on the couch right now, writing this.
But since this last fall, I've been trying to stay good about Working Out 3-5 times a week, only for about 20-30 minutes each time.
I wrote about the Workout Video I've been using, and I'm still enjoying it so much.
I supplement it with some strength training, and I'm always happy with the outcome and that it doesn't take up my whole day.
I feel happier, more energetic, and just overall healthier when I work out at least a couple times a week.
Plus it keeps the heinous level of doughyness on my midsection at bay.
6.) I keep myself motivated.
Ok people, honestly, this is the hardest one.
Every person is different in what motivates them and the key is to find what works for yourself.
Some people count calories, some people write down everything they eat in a day, some people like someone else to keep them accountable... everyone is unique in what is helpful to them.
I've never been a super skinny kinda gal, so I feel like I've tried a million different ways over the years to lose weight/motivate myself, some which worked and more that didn't.
The biggest thing that I've found about myself, personally, is that I'm driven by POSITIVITY.
That sounds a little cheeseball-motivational-speaker-ish, but let me elaborate:
1.) Encouragement keeps me going.
This might be a 'Duh' kind of point.
But when my husband or close friends ever say even little things like 'You're lookin' good!' or they drop the magic 'skinny' word, not only do I tearfully confess my undying love and devotion to them on the spot, but I feel proud that my work is paying off and I'm inspired to keep going.
So at the beginning of all this, I asked Luke to tell me when he notices changes, even little ones, to help me stick to it. And it's been a great support system.
2.) I don't own a scale.
Numbers are just numbers, and not only can they be deceiving, but they can become really unhealthy to focus on.
I maybe weight myself once every few months, and I usually do it randomly when I go into a bathroom at a friend's house and use theirs or something. That way, I have an idea of where I'm at but I don't keep up with every pound that I lose or gain on a daily/weekly basis, which I find to be more discouraging than not.
I can tell a difference in myself in how I look and fit into my clothes, which is more important anyway.
3.) I splurge. And I don't hate myself for it.
Here's the thing...I love food. I really, truly do.
And I really don't ever want to live in a world that doesn't allow me to enjoy chocolate cake.
In the past, when I would go on health/weight loss "kicks", so to speak, and at some point I gave into temptation and had chocolate, or say half of a pizza (totally hypothetical), I would feel like I had just thrown away all of my hard work and just give up.
So I make sure to not let myself think that crap anymore.
I eat cake and pancakes and pizza (sometimes all in one day!), and I TOTALLY enjoy it.
But then the next day or week.. I get up and keep going.
I work out. I drink my smoothies. I have a kick-butt salad for dinner.
And then I do it all over again.
I make sure to fight discouragement from myself by not making this some 2-week "kick" that I cannot break under any circumstance or everything will fall apart.
So instead of being unhealthy most of the time with occasions of being healthy, it's the opposite.
I live a pretty healthy life now, and occasionally splurging is part of it. In Addition:
-I have found that Pinterest can be an awesome motivational tool!
Some days when my little munchkins are FINALLY napping (and at the same time!) after a whole morning of whining and pooping and them giving each other high-fives in the face, all I want to do is lay on the couch and watch the latest episodes of Nashville and not think about anything.
And heck, half the time-I DO do that!
But on the days when I know I need to push through and work out, sometimes perusing through the Health and Fitness section on Pinterest for a couple minutes gives me a jump start I need to get my butt off the the flippin' couch.
-I also follow some Weight Loss/Health Nut Bloggers!
One of the biggest inspirations through this whole process of mine has been a blogger namedMama Laughlin. She has such a fun and down-to-earth blog about her postpartum weight loss (losing like 60 pounds!), and reading her posts and following her on Instagram always gives me such incentive and drive to keep going.
SO positive. And SO encouraging.
Well people, like I said, not very groundbreaking stuff.
But being diligent with these few things have really payed off for me.
So far I'm 25 pounds lighter than I was this last October, and so thankful to be feeling comfortable in my clothes and my own skin again.
Well ok, right now my clothes and skin both have spit-up, urine, and applesauce on them... but other than that, I'm pretty comfortable.
Well I typical don't usually talk about this stuff (you know... my body. And any other crimes against humanity for that matter), but I decided to take the plunge and get real.
Because our weight is something most of us mere mortals have issues with at one point or another (if you don't..Congratulations! Oh, and you suck.), so why not be open and honest and gross about it with each other?
I'm already feeling the bonding happening.
..Mmm. That's nice.
Ok, so here it is:
Picture on the LEFT: Uhh...Kill me.
(Alright, but let's be honest, my mayonnaise-esque skin tone is the real travesty in this situation.)
(Unfortunately that hasn't changed much..)
Picture on the RIGHT: I took that yesterday morning.
I think I'd only had half a cup of coffee at that point, and I'm really not genuinely happy until I've had at least two.
So if my smile looks kind of fake... that's because it kind of is.
Plus I'm not wearing any makeup.
What Happened Between:
So at the time of the first picture, I had just given birth, after having spent the last 4 months of my pregnancy doing nothing but baking.
I spent my days watching every single episode of Grey's Anatomy and eating cookies.
That was my life.
So I gained A LOT of weight during my first pregnancy.
But then I had this gorgeous baby, and here were my problems:
1.) I was jonesing for carbs every hour because I was breastfeeding.
2.)The Magical Breastfeeding Diet Where You Can Eat Nothing But Ice Cream And Cheeseburgers And Still Lose Tons Of Weight NEVER kicked in for me.
3.) I sat on the couch all day. Just staring at my baby and crying.
SO... obviously it's a big mystery why I stayed the size of Shamu for so long.
But it was hard, as being overweight always is.
I hated going in to the bathroom because it meant I had to look at myself in the mirror.
NONE of my cute, pre-pregnancy clothes fit me.
I was engorged and sweaty and fat and hungry.
It was just crappy.
I think when Vienna was around 8 months old, I lost like 5-10 pounds.
Not much, but it was something.
BUT a month later I was pregnant again!
Hooray for Babies! But not for weight loss.
Thankfully, having a crazy mobile baby kept me relatively active and I only gained 30 pounds during the whole second pregnancy. Which was really good.
But by the end of those 9 months... I was just done.
I was done being huge.
Something clicked in me that made me so sick of being big that made me decide that as soon as I had this kid out of me, I was going to work my BUTT OFF to do something about it.
And I did!
By my 6 week post-birth doctor's appointment, in October, I had lost every last pound that I gained during the second pregnancy, and I was going to keep going to get rid of all of the extra weight I had gained during my first.
At the beginning of the year, when Luke and I sat down to write out our goals for 2013, I put down that I wanted to have lost 20 more pounds before my next pregnancy.
And I'm not pregnant yet (at least that I know of... huh.)...
...But I lost ALL OF THE WEIGHT!
I definitely have more to lose to be at my totally ideal weight, but I'm back to where I was before I got pregnant with Vienna.
There's probably a 40 pound difference between the two pictures above.
All of my old clothes fit me, and some are even big on me.
I'm comfortable again and looking in the mirror doesn't make me want to go throw myself in traffic.
I've worked hard for it.
For me. For my husband. For my kids.
And after 3 years, I finally feel good again.
Now go read PART 2 to talk about what I did and how I've changed my lifestyle...
So a few months ago I read on a blog that a gal and all of her sister-in-laws had a weekly tradition of making the same crockpot meal on a specific night and then they all kind of talk about it and review it.
I thought it was such a neat idea and since I'm a big, fat copy-cat, I decided to text my sister-in-law to see if it might be a fun thing for us to do together.
She said she was in, so we texted our other sister-in-laws and a close family friend, who were all game for trying this recipe club of sorts for crockpot meals a couple times a month.
At first, we picked Saturday as the day we would all do it...but that soon became kind of crazy to work around the schedules of 6 women. So now whenever a recipe is picked, we all just make it within the next two weeks, whenever each of us can.
SO much smarter.
But the name Crockpot Saturday kind of stuck and no other suggestions for a new name have been made.
Crackpots for Crockpots?
If you have any suggestions, let me know.
Until then, laziness shall prevail.
ANYwho! The first dish that I suggested we make was a Chicken Teriyaki that turned out to be absolutely ATROCIOUS.
I don't think I even served it to my family.
WAY TO GO, ME.
But the next dish (that I obviously did not pick) turned out awesome!
A big ol' pot roast with delicious ranch and onion flavor, shredded, and served with melted provolone on a toaster kaiser roll.
SO. With our bedroom renovation pretty much completed, I was feeling desperately in need of some non-hideous furniture to go in this pretty new room of ours. And maybe some that actually matched.
Oh, me and my ridiculous high standards.
And as what happens with a lot people who get married and don't have thousands of dollars sitting around to use on a American Furniture Warehouse spending-spree, we just have a miscellaneous collection of weird, random furnishings
And our bedroom pieces were really the best example of that, until I gave them a long overdue makeover.
With a few cans of spray paint of two different colors, a chocolate brown and a creamy off-white, they are as good as new!
..Ok well, kind of.
This one is mine, and has been quite a few different colors since I've owned it.
But it finally looks like it doesn't belong in a 6-year-old boy's room! Hooray!
For Luke's we had to buy a couple new knobs and some handles to replace the loud, brassy, 80's-tastic ones.
Much better, right?
This redo is probably my favorite.
We picked this puppy up at a garage sale last year for a dollar! ONE DOLLAR.
The top was broken, in the sense that all it needed was to be glued back on to the frame. But before we did that, we matched the top with the drawers, to give it a bit more distinction.
I love the way the design on the top drawer turned out, and what a pick-me-up the colors and the new knobs gave to such an outdated piece.
So what do you think? Aren't they so fun?
Now that these are done, I think I'm FINALLY emotionally, mentally, and spiritually ready to do the promised post on our bedroom remodel.
...but I might have to go pray about it first.
(Life Tip: blame sheer laziness of something spiritual whenever you possibly can.)
(ex. "Sorry I didn't text you back for 3 weeks. I've been meditating. In greek.")