I spent all of my life being envied for my body. I was in excellent shape, proportioned nicely, athletically built, active and in my prime. I automatically assumed that when I was pregnant with my son, that my post-partum days would be filled with the weight magically melting off and my chiseled abs making their way back to the surface on their own accord. That was not so much the case.
When I found myself looking at a scale that read a number over 80 pounds more than I had ever seen, almost a year after having my son, I sunk into a horrid depression and knew I had to do something to get my body, and my self-esteem back.
My first course of action was my diet. At the time, I was a working mother, with 50 plus hours a week behind a desk, and the rest of my waking hours mothering my young son, cooking, cleaning, and getting my other responsibilities accomplished. It’s a well-known struggle to all mothers. I knew the best way to get myself back on track would be to hold myself accountable for what I was putting into my body, rather than guilting myself crazy for not making it to the gym once my son went to bed.
I cut out all soda, sugary beverages and *gasp* coffee with any sugar or creamer. It seemed harsh, but within a few weeks of maxing out on water every day, I saw definitive weightloss from sugar alone. It gave me the incentive to keep pushing towards my goals.
After I weaned myself off of my too many sodas a day habit, I realized that portions were key, and I could eat anything I wanted- in moderation. I made salad a big part of my meal plans. I aimed to have my biggest portion be something green- and it helped fill me up at the same time. I ate as many veggies as I possibly could and experimented with different styles of cooking- steaming, boiling, grilling, baking. I used all different herbs and spices for variety. I would bake broccoli and cauliflower with garlic and onions, sprinkled with hot sauce and maybe a sprinkle of breadcrumbs when I craved carbs. I’d make chicken breasts in the oven with lemons and stringbeans, all served with a giant green salad bursting with tomatoes and cucumbers and vinegar dressing.
The weight came off steadily, and I was happy. I made enough progress for others to notice, which helped boost my confidence, and the best part was the diet changes were easy enough that I didn’t feel deprived nor like I was starving come dinner time. Small portions, often, lots of water, walk around any chance you get (stroller trips to the mall to window shop are always good) and making sure you allow yourself a small treat once a week help keep you pushing forward to your weightloss goals, whatever they may be.
The journey hasn’t always been easy, but thinking back on where I was, to where I am now, my progress makes me proud of the accomplishment, and the little things count. Anyone can do it if the mind is put into it. Most will be surprised, as I was at how easy it is to quickly begin feeling better- inside and out.