I was determined while I was pregnant the last time that I wouldn't gain any more weight than I had to. Of course, it helped that I got a bad case of heartburn during that pregnancy and had to eat smaller, more frequent meals. This kept me from overeating. I started listening to Jonathan Roche's blogtalk radio show, which is free on iTunes and www.blogtalkradio.com/noexcusesweightloss . From him, I learned some simple changes that could help me lose weight. Most importantly, I learned that any movement can count as exercise. This was a huge concept for me because I was always too exhausted to "exercise" during pregnancy. Now that I could count mopping or shopping or taking out the trash as exercise, I was "exercising" more often.
I gained thirty pounds during my pregnancy, but six weeks after I had my nine-pound baby, I weighed ten pounds less than I did before I got pregnant. (No, I'm not recommending having another child as a weight-loss method.) Around this time, my insurance sent my husband and me a letter about a free health coaching program. Since it was free, I signed up immediately. I figured I could use all the help I could get to lose the rest of my baby weight. Having a health coach helped me stay motivated to complete my goals.
One of the things I discovered about weight loss is that it has a lot to do with attitude. Back before I started losing weight, I would think things like, "After I lose all this weight, I'll buy myself some new jeans." My new attitude became, "I want to look great now--no matter what I weigh." I didn't spend a lot of money on clothes, but I did put more effort into how I looked every day and I did buy myself jeans that fit well. I also decided I was never going to diet again. Whatever changes I was making I was going to make for the rest of my life. I also accepted that sometimes I was going to make mistakes. If I ate too much one day that didn't mean I should give up and eat even more.
One of my favorite quotes is by Karen Lamb: "A year from now you will wish you started today." I often thought about how I would feel in a year if I quit eating dessert every night and just ate it once a week. I made myself a list of all the reasons I wanted to lose weight, and as I lost weight, I found more and more reasons to add to my list. For example, I love having enough energy to run with my kids, shopping for a smaller size, and not having to worry about heartburn anymore. I also got a great deal on my new life insurance policy.
I've lost about twenty-eight pounds and have a few pounds left before I reach my goal weight. I weigh myself once a week, do cardio intervals three days a week, and strength train two days a week. I actually spend less time exercising than I did back before I started losing weight but, because of the intervals, I'm in better shape. I have slowly taught myself better health habits over the past 2 years like drinking water and eating vegetables. I am still a work in progress. My goal right now is to not eat anything after 8 pm at night.