Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Put down that cookie...and that doesn't mean in your mouth!

It was July 26, 2004. I was getting married in a little less than a year and, taking a moment to break away from Kindergarten teacher busy-ness, I realized that I'd packed on fifty pounds since graduating from college the year before. It was on this day that I began the Weight Watcher's Online program and ended up losing the fifty pounds that lazyness and a Taco Bell in three different directions can't help but lead to. My wedding dress had to be taken in twice and I learned not to gorge myself on six breadsticks at Olive Garden. Though I still maintain that there are circumstances which require that immense consumption of garlicky goodness.

The sense of accomplishment that I felt after losing the weight was incredible. It wasn't only at the culmination of my weight loss journey, either, that I felt such a sense of achievement - it was during. Being active, being pro-active, raised my self-esteem higher than it had ever been before. I actually never lacked self-esteem and still felt beautiful when I was heavier, but there was something bogging me down, making me feel stagnant and still. The accomplishment in losing weight isn't the slimmer figure: it's conquering what seems impossible. Mustering up my willpower, which I'd before believed myself pretty much averse to, and sticking with a program, putting a goal over a craving, was what gave me an immense sense of self-worth and achievement. It's for this reason that weight loss is successful. When you're doing it for an end result only you WILL fail. When you embark upon it as a lifestyle change both physically and mentally, you can attain your goals.

I've lost the baby weight plus another eleven pounds all in three months since Alice was born. In fact, I was back to pre-pregnancy weight about six weeks after her birth...and that was with only two week's effort (exercise and eating right) on my part. Here's a simple break-down of what has worked for me:

Eating 2000 calories a day: Weight Watcher's Online program was a $40 set-up fee and $14.95 a month when I joined back in 2004. I'm not sure about today's current prices, but I do still recommend WW and find them to be an incredible program. However, I lost twenty pounds before we found out that we were pregnant with Alice (just about the last of the Rose baby weight) and did it with counting my calories. At the time I was extended breastfeeding a toddler, so I combo'd 1500 daily calories with 200 for nursing and was eating 1700 calories a day. Now, since I'm exclusively nursing an infant, I added 500 calories to bring my daily total to 2000. You can easily calculate how many calories you need to eat a day to maintain or lose weight at www.thedailyplate.com/. It's a fantastic resource! You cannot adjust it for breastfeeding, but the rule of thumb is about 500 additional calories for an infant and about 200 for a toddler.

Track those calories throughout the day: Do not, I repeat, do not keep mental post-its, ladies! They tend to get lost in the wastebin of brain. At least mine do... I keep track of my calories in my daily planner (right next to 'call the newspaper for delivery' and 'get mail'...). My trick is to begin with the total for the day and subtract breakfast, lunch and dinner right away. So, I have 2000 calories - 270 calories (two Special K waffles and a glass of orange juice for breakfast) - 270 (garlic chicken lean pocket...yum!...for lunch) - 530 (bolognese spaghetti and italian bread for dinner). Pre-planning your meals is important with regard to properly and easily tracking your calories, but I find the predictability helpful and rewarding. Rewarding not only because it helps me to stay easily on track, but also because what you have left over - 930 calories in this example - are your "play" cals for the day! I use these up in having coffee, snacks, treats, etc. I also make sure to use them up in veggies and fruits. Cantalope is my favorite fruit at 60 calories a cup, and broccoli is virtually nothing.

Be active: If you're someone who likes to take long walks in the morning alone, do it. Like to push your kiddos around town in a stroller? Get moving, sister! Have a gym that you visit regularly? Make it a point to get there. Fan of Denise Austen 90's work-out videos? Put on that leotard and get leg-liftin', lady! Don't know anyone who used to do those in college or anything (whistling and slowly walking the other way...). I go to the gym three days a week for 20-30 minutes at a time. As a very busy mom of a toddler and an infant, there are just times when I rush back after 20 minutes because I know that Alice will be freaking out, despite the efforts of her loving father who always supports me going to the gym and in everything that I do. I typically do twenty minutes on the elliptical and then ten minutes on the treadmill. I bring our iPod Touch with free books loaded on it (it's a free app...LitReader, I think?) and am currently reading Tolstoy's Anna Karenina while getting my sweat on. Makes the minutes fly by. I'm not naturally a lover of working out, but ever since being so blessed to have moved to our development our clubhouse gym has given this mama a breathe of fresh air and relaxation by letting me get out of the house for a bit and still being close (1 minute away in fact) if there's an emergency (read: suddenly hungry babe!).

My biggest weight-loss advice is to remember that it won't work unless your entire day is focused. You can't begin to maintain the mental fortitude required to complete a mission at which you've failed over and over again previously unless you are dedicated to excellency in all that you do. Balance your day, keep organized in everything from housework to paying bills to your calorie-counting. That doesn't mean the entire spring-cleaning of your house in an afternoon or creating a color-coded filing system for household expenses, but rather putting that coat lying on the sofa back into the closet instead of telling yourself that you'll do it later and getting the mail so that you can pay your electric bill on time even though it's pouring rain and you have to drive to the post office. Living responsibly, focused and efficiently can prevent you from being irresponsible, distracted and wasteful when it comes to your health.

Though I've obviously had two babies during this time, I'm proof that you can succeed...if my chocolate lovin' self can replace handfuls of M&Ms with a nutrigrain bar and not order a large coffee coolata from Dunkin Donuts (see, my beloved iced coffee wasn't always my first choice!) then you can too!

2007



2009 - this weekend :o)


57 comments:

  1. That hand down the neckline photo is so funny. I have a few freinds that have children with similar tendencies! Great job with the weight!
    I recently took a 'before' picture myself. We'll see...

    ReplyDelete
  2. i'm so skeptical about counting calories, it seems overwhelming. But I understand your thought process about getting organized in all areas of life and taking one step at a time to accomplish a task. You may just win me over yet with your experience, my ears are tweaked to hear more.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My biggest obstacle is depression :( I do well until I get depressed and then I put on weight no matter what I eat or do. Not to mention the fact that I don't want to eat right when I'm depressed.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I recently lost 48 pounds without counting calories! I simply eat an unlimited amount of fruit and veggies and nuts and little of everything else!:) Works GREAT!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the kick in the pants...I have been too lazy for too long...I agree the goal needs to be a change of lifestyle and getting healthy not just to weigh a certain amount! Good stuff - keep it coming.

    ReplyDelete
  6. you inspired me when you posted about loosing weight before you became pg with Libby and now you are inspiring me again. Thank you! I love these posts :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the 'kick in the pants' mentioned above. I'm currently over my delivery weight for my first son and I'm not even remotely pregnant. I did, in fact, lose it ALL after the first and fit into my sweet size 10 wedding dress. My goal is to fit back into that dress. I want to have it remade into a party dress with the hope that one day we'll get invited to a party. :) My main reason for losing weight is because I'm so tired all the time!! And sleepy...and I need my energy back. We're going to start homeschooling again and I have to be on top of my game. I'm going to try to ideas and see if they can help. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Your paragraph beginning with "my biggest weight..." is brilliant, and just the affirmation I needed today. Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am doing Weight Watchers and love it. I did it last year and lost 20 lbs. before I quit. Now I am back on again. It is so true about writing down what you eat. Those calories add up quick! Thanks for sharing your success. You look great!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I had to laugh at Grace's hand in the first photo...my girls do the same thing!! Must be comforting to a breast fed baby?? Our baby just did it to a girlfriend of mine this Sunday at church! My g-friend freaked out a bit, since her boys weren't breastfed she wasn't used to it! LOL!!
    And I must say you look FABULOUS! Stunning really. :)
    Now, I know people are going to hate me for saying this, but it is a problem just in the opposite direction, but I have a hard time keeping weight ON. I have always been thin, but by the time my babies stop nursing I am gaunt and thin as a rail! People think I have an eating disorder and let me assure you I LOVE FOOD!! I don't know what the deal is. I know it must partly be due to a super fast metabolism, and I think that if I were to count calories I would come up far short for a nursing mother. While I love food, I tend to get busy and sometimes forget to eat...I know crazy! Also, I drink way to much coffee and get full. I think I will start tracking my calories just to see where I am at. Thanks for the post Kelly!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Good for you kellie! If you feel strong and healthy for the Lord and able to better serve him at your weight now then Praise the Lord! You look beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing your many helpful tips!!!

    I hope this is okay but I wanted to share a link to a series of free downloads of valuable teaching for Young ladies and woman by Carolyn Mohaney. They have been so blessed to my heart I just had to share! ;) There is one entitled "True Beauty" (Scroll down once you get to the page of free downloads). In this session Mrs. Mohaney adresses the many issues, struggles woman have faced over centuries regarding beauty and body image. Her thoughts on beauty/weight and this culture that obesses over beauty/weight are faithful to His word. She also adresses how God views this issue and the true beauty He wants us to cultivate and how our heavenly father wants us to think about our own bodies he has given us. Here's the link, just paste to browser. It's an MP3 dowload Hope it works for you and anyone interested. Thank you for letting me share & God bless!!

    http://www.sovereigngracestore.com/category.aspx?categoryID=435

    ~Joy

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Kelly,

    You look fabulous, girl.

    I lost weight with each of my pregnancies due to hyperemesis (severe morning sickness) and breatfeeding. I gained weight each time I weaned.

    I think one of the biggest mistakes we mommas make is finishing off our children's meals to avoid waste. It goes from waste to waist;-)

    hugs,

    Kate

    ReplyDelete
  13. Yes Yes Yes! You look fantastic and you are inspiring! I need to lose about 30 lbs and could stand to lose up to 50. Right now it seems to be a struggle to just maintain the weight I have already!

    Thanks for the good tips though - it's a priority for me this summer (when I will be back to being mostly a SAHM and can focus on ME a little more).

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great job! I totally agree with counting calories. Can you tell me what your calorie count was during your pregnancies? I'm trying to keep mine now at 2000 and I'm 33 weeks pregnant with baby no. 4. Did you count during your pregnancies? Again, great job and I can't wait to hear more!
    Melissa

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great job! I totally agree with counting calories. Can you tell me what your calorie count was during your pregnancies? I'm trying to keep mine now at 2000 and I'm 33 weeks pregnant with baby no. 4. Did you count during your pregnancies? Again, great job and I can't wait to hear more!
    Melissa

    ReplyDelete
  16. You look great Kelly! Awesome job! I myself have been wanting to do better at taking care of my body. I don't necessarily need to loose too much weight, but mostly I'd like to tone my body. I just need to get on a plan! Thanks for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am sooo ready to get going once I have this baby. I have gained (like I knew I would) TONS of weight (okay...not a ton...but 60 pounds) this pregnancy, and my body is in pain!! Haha! I really have a self-control problem...remember your comment about the six breadsticks at Olive Garden...oh yeah, that's so me... (I started reading Anna Karenina a few months ago, and stopped in the early middle...)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Kelly you look great. I am glad you posted this. I have lost my motivation and now you have gotten me back into it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great post. You look fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Both pictures are so pretty! But the after picture definetly shows how happy you are with the new you! Also- I LOVE your dress in it! That's adorable!!!

    I am waiting with baited breath for your 150 calorie dinner by the way!!!MUST KNOW!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am doing WW now and it is a great program!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks for sharing. I have had great success with WW too. After the birth of our second child I did the online version to kick start and it worked. I am still nursing at 18 months which helps. I have not been this weight since high school and you are right its not totally about being "thin" its about the accomplishment. I always think...if I could do it ANYONE could.
    ps I love the pic of Grace and her hand, that has been a common seen with my kiddos - it made me laugh!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Not to sound negitive but if your hormones aren't working right the effort to lose weight is more diffucult. The Thyroid plays a big part in that. I have been struggling w/this for awhile and try to find vitamins instead of a doctors med can be a struggle also.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hiya! Ok this has nothing to do with this post (which I love by the way!) But I was wondering if you'd ever been to http://proverbs14verse1.blogspot.com/ (A wise woman builds her home) Her blog reminds me of you because it's so feminine and lovely! Thought you might be interested if you'd never seen it. Congrats on losing all of that weight... you (and your little ones) are gorgeous!! :o)

    ReplyDelete
  25. How cute are you???!!!! You look great.

    ReplyDelete
  26. You look SO wonderful!!! I just love your outfit there- the black tights are gorgeous. Makes me wish for some cooler weather! You do look amazing; great health tips too.

    ReplyDelete
  27. How cute are you???!!!! You look great.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I am sooo ready to get going once I have this baby. I have gained (like I knew I would) TONS of weight (okay...not a ton...but 60 pounds) this pregnancy, and my body is in pain!! Haha! I really have a self-control problem...remember your comment about the six breadsticks at Olive Garden...oh yeah, that's so me... (I started reading Anna Karenina a few months ago, and stopped in the early middle...)

    ReplyDelete
  29. My biggest obstacle is depression :( I do well until I get depressed and then I put on weight no matter what I eat or do. Not to mention the fact that I don't want to eat right when I'm depressed.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Both pictures are so pretty! But the after picture definetly shows how happy you are with the new you! Also- I LOVE your dress in it! That's adorable!!!

    I am waiting with baited breath for your 150 calorie dinner by the way!!!MUST KNOW!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Your paragraph beginning with "my biggest weight..." is brilliant, and just the affirmation I needed today. Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I had to laugh at Grace's hand in the first photo...my girls do the same thing!! Must be comforting to a breast fed baby?? Our baby just did it to a girlfriend of mine this Sunday at church! My g-friend freaked out a bit, since her boys weren't breastfed she wasn't used to it! LOL!!
    And I must say you look FABULOUS! Stunning really. :)
    Now, I know people are going to hate me for saying this, but it is a problem just in the opposite direction, but I have a hard time keeping weight ON. I have always been thin, but by the time my babies stop nursing I am gaunt and thin as a rail! People think I have an eating disorder and let me assure you I LOVE FOOD!! I don't know what the deal is. I know it must partly be due to a super fast metabolism, and I think that if I were to count calories I would come up far short for a nursing mother. While I love food, I tend to get busy and sometimes forget to eat...I know crazy! Also, I drink way to much coffee and get full. I think I will start tracking my calories just to see where I am at. Thanks for the post Kelly!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I recently lost 48 pounds without counting calories! I simply eat an unlimited amount of fruit and veggies and nuts and little of everything else!:) Works GREAT!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Good for you kellie! If you feel strong and healthy for the Lord and able to better serve him at your weight now then Praise the Lord! You look beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing your many helpful tips!!!

    I hope this is okay but I wanted to share a link to a series of free downloads of valuable teaching for Young ladies and woman by Carolyn Mohaney. They have been so blessed to my heart I just had to share! ;) There is one entitled "True Beauty" (Scroll down once you get to the page of free downloads). In this session Mrs. Mohaney adresses the many issues, struggles woman have faced over centuries regarding beauty and body image. Her thoughts on beauty/weight and this culture that obesses over beauty/weight are faithful to His word. She also adresses how God views this issue and the true beauty He wants us to cultivate and how our heavenly father wants us to think about our own bodies he has given us. Here's the link, just paste to browser. It's an MP3 dowload Hope it works for you and anyone interested. Thank you for letting me share & God bless!!

    http://www.sovereigngracestore.com/category.aspx?categoryID=435

    ~Joy

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hiya! Ok this has nothing to do with this post (which I love by the way!) But I was wondering if you'd ever been to http://proverbs14verse1.blogspot.com/ (A wise woman builds her home) Her blog reminds me of you because it's so feminine and lovely! Thought you might be interested if you'd never seen it. Congrats on losing all of that weight... you (and your little ones) are gorgeous!! :o)

    ReplyDelete
  36. You look great Kelly! Awesome job! I myself have been wanting to do better at taking care of my body. I don't necessarily need to loose too much weight, but mostly I'd like to tone my body. I just need to get on a plan! Thanks for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Great job! I totally agree with counting calories. Can you tell me what your calorie count was during your pregnancies? I'm trying to keep mine now at 2000 and I'm 33 weeks pregnant with baby no. 4. Did you count during your pregnancies? Again, great job and I can't wait to hear more!
    Melissa

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thanks for sharing. I have had great success with WW too. After the birth of our second child I did the online version to kick start and it worked. I am still nursing at 18 months which helps. I have not been this weight since high school and you are right its not totally about being "thin" its about the accomplishment. I always think...if I could do it ANYONE could.
    ps I love the pic of Grace and her hand, that has been a common seen with my kiddos - it made me laugh!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I am doing Weight Watchers and love it. I did it last year and lost 20 lbs. before I quit. Now I am back on again. It is so true about writing down what you eat. Those calories add up quick! Thanks for sharing your success. You look great!

    ReplyDelete
  40. i'm so skeptical about counting calories, it seems overwhelming. But I understand your thought process about getting organized in all areas of life and taking one step at a time to accomplish a task. You may just win me over yet with your experience, my ears are tweaked to hear more.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Great post. You look fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
  42. you inspired me when you posted about loosing weight before you became pg with Libby and now you are inspiring me again. Thank you! I love these posts :)

    ReplyDelete
  43. Yes Yes Yes! You look fantastic and you are inspiring! I need to lose about 30 lbs and could stand to lose up to 50. Right now it seems to be a struggle to just maintain the weight I have already!

    Thanks for the good tips though - it's a priority for me this summer (when I will be back to being mostly a SAHM and can focus on ME a little more).

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thanks for the 'kick in the pants' mentioned above. I'm currently over my delivery weight for my first son and I'm not even remotely pregnant. I did, in fact, lose it ALL after the first and fit into my sweet size 10 wedding dress. My goal is to fit back into that dress. I want to have it remade into a party dress with the hope that one day we'll get invited to a party. :) My main reason for losing weight is because I'm so tired all the time!! And sleepy...and I need my energy back. We're going to start homeschooling again and I have to be on top of my game. I'm going to try to ideas and see if they can help. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thanks for the kick in the pants...I have been too lazy for too long...I agree the goal needs to be a change of lifestyle and getting healthy not just to weigh a certain amount! Good stuff - keep it coming.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I am doing WW now and it is a great program!!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Great job! I totally agree with counting calories. Can you tell me what your calorie count was during your pregnancies? I'm trying to keep mine now at 2000 and I'm 33 weeks pregnant with baby no. 4. Did you count during your pregnancies? Again, great job and I can't wait to hear more!
    Melissa

    ReplyDelete
  48. You really look great! I just had baby #4 and my oldest is 6yrs old. I have always lost the baby weight before getting pregnant again.
    Bella is 3 months and I really need to find the motivation to lose 30lbs! I am looking forward to more posts on your success!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Kelly you look great. I am glad you posted this. I have lost my motivation and now you have gotten me back into it.

    ReplyDelete
  50. You look SO wonderful!!! I just love your outfit there- the black tights are gorgeous. Makes me wish for some cooler weather! You do look amazing; great health tips too.

    ReplyDelete
  51. That hand down the neckline photo is so funny. I have a few freinds that have children with similar tendencies! Great job with the weight!
    I recently took a 'before' picture myself. We'll see...

    ReplyDelete
  52. Not to sound negitive but if your hormones aren't working right the effort to lose weight is more diffucult. The Thyroid plays a big part in that. I have been struggling w/this for awhile and try to find vitamins instead of a doctors med can be a struggle also.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hi Kelly,

    You look fabulous, girl.

    I lost weight with each of my pregnancies due to hyperemesis (severe morning sickness) and breatfeeding. I gained weight each time I weaned.

    I think one of the biggest mistakes we mommas make is finishing off our children's meals to avoid waste. It goes from waste to waist;-)

    hugs,

    Kate

    ReplyDelete