It took a really, really, really long time and a lot of tight pants before I realized my eating habits were out of control and my exercise habits nonexistent. Post pregnancy, I decided to eat everything I wanted because during pregnancy, all I did was puke. Soon after I “lost” the baby weight—which wasn’t much—I put weight back on in the form of brownies, ice cream and Snickers. Sometimes Three Musketeers. All of which sound really good right now.
Once I decided I was no longer comfortable in my clothes or in my skin, I took the plunge and found a cheap membership at an all women’s gym near my mother-in-law’s/childcare provider’s house. That was around January 2012.
I tried to work out on the elliptical machine at least 2-3 times a week, but I kept eating whatever I wanted and my workout regimen was hardly consistent. Surely weight would fall off like it did in college, right?
Yeah not so much.
I started to feel guilty for working out in the evenings or on the weekends because, let’s face it, I’m a working mom and already, my son is with someone else the majority of the time so I don’t deserve me time. I shouldn’t spend an extra hour a day without him. I shouldn’t spend my weekends at kickboxing or cycling classes when I could be taking my son to the park or the pool or just hanging out in the living room playing trains.
So I made excuse after excuse. And before I knew it, I saw a number on the scale I had never seen before in my life and my work pants wouldn’t button.
In July, Tracy turned me on to myfitnesspal.com and it has revolutionized my outlook on food intake and exercise. I began tracking every calorie I ate and working out every day. I wanted to fit in my work pants and only had one month to do so. I let the guilt go, stopped buying candy bars in the grocery store check out line, and set a goal to give myfitnesspal at least a month to show me results.
In two months, I have lost 11 lbs. I’m back in my size 6 pants and I feel better, not just physically, but mentally, as well. I couldn’t title it this way because I figured some more traditional moms might shy away from reading, but I’m going to be blunt: Working out makes me less of a bitch.
When I work out after work each day before I pick up my son, I get one beautiful half hour to myself. I rock the elliptical, sweat, and read books on my Kindle.
Anyway, once I reached my first goal of losing 5 lbs, I upped my calorie intake slowly, making sure I was still making healthy food choices. I continued to cook from my Taste of Home Guilt-Free cookbook, and my husband even jumped on board to help me. After losing 10 lbs, I went ahead and upped my calorie intake again, to a more sustainable number. Tracy will tell you that losing weight is not about going on a crash diet—though I will admit that I ate 1,300 calories or under the first few weeks of my personal change to fit back in my pants—but instead, it’s about making a lifestyle change
I have made a lifestyle change. Weight Watchers desserts and fruit instead of ice cream out of the carton. Baked eggplant instead of fried. Eating out only once a week. Major positive changes.
You see, I never realized before that the dessert at my favorite restaurant was 1,020 calories. Holy hell. For an average person, that’s more than half your daily calorie intake. I never realized before that the fatigue I felt after work would subside if I pushed myself, got on the exercise equipment, and let the adrenaline flow. I never realized before that if I felt better about myself, I would in turn be a better wife, a better mother, a better teacher. I’m less anxious. Less irritable. I look healthy. I feel healthy. I am healthy. And thus, my family will be healthy. And my students will have a more pleasant teacher. Everyone wins!