Over the past 5 years, I have attempted to lose and/or maintain weight in a sustainable and healthy way. After we got married, I packed on some serious lbs working at Cracker Barrel, no thanks to the free biscuits and unlimited, very sweet, sweet tea. By the time we were moving to Mexico, I was ready to lose those lbs and found it to be pretty easy. I cut soft drinks, quit eating anything after supper, and limited my sugar intake significantly. We ate McDonalds and Chili’s and I made lots of blackened chicken pasta and meatloaf and potatoes, but that didn’t seem to matter. It was hot, for sure, and I probably sweated off a couple lbs as well. But losing weight before I had a baby was a piece of cake, literally, instead of two.
Then I got pregnant with Kyle. I was determined to not gain too much weight during my pregnancy. However, my determination wore thin the last two months, and I found myself very, very, very hungry. Kyle was born and I knew I had a good 15 pounds to lose before I would be back into my old clothes. I was breastfeeding and I knew that was supposed to help me drop some pounds easily. I also started eating more light meals. It’s hard to remember how my sugar intake was, I have a sweet tooth like a lion I can barely control. About 9 or 10 months after Kyle was born, when I sort of felt like I had life figured out again while trying to deal with a needy infant, I started trying to work out. I tried running, I tried working out to exercise videos 3X a week, I tried push ups and crunches…. I tried everything. The weight went no where. Just before I found out I was pregnant with Ellee, I decided I would run the mile around my parents’ hilly neighborhood 5 days a week for 5 weeks and then weigh in. I only made it about 4 weeks before I got so sick with my pregnancy and couldn’t really do much of anything. But the weight? It hadn’t moved. I breastfed Kyle for the 19 months between his birth and discovering my pregnancy with Ellee, and it didn’t do a thing for my weight loss, or lack thereof.
Through the three months that I was so sick with Ellee, I lost a total of 17 pounds. It wasn’t a good way to drop weight and I decided then I’d rather be squishy and happy than thin and miserable. Between the time I got better at 19 weeks and the day Ellee was born, I managed to get back up to just above where I had started. After Ellee was born, I was at an ideal weight, I thought. But my body had other plans. Certainly it decided to pack on any and everything I gave it over the course of Ellee’s first year. Breast feeding again lent no assistance, despite the fact that Ellee wouldn’t take a bite of solid food for a full eight months. I tried to start P90X the beginning of the year but quickly found out that my body wasn’t having that, either. My milk supply vanished and I had to give up P90X on week two.
So there you have it, a very frustrated me for the past nearly four years where weight was concerned. It has been my goal to not allow myself to put on weight with each baby and find myself with the seemingly impossible task of losing any significant poundage years down the road. So, upon our return from the US in April, I knew I had to get serious about my food intake. Working out wasn’t the solution, apparently, so dieting would have to be instead. But I don’t like the idea of dieting because when the diet is over, I figure the weight will just come back. Life changes had to be made and I knew that meant cutting sugar. I know myself very well, however, and I know I can’t and won’t cut sugar for the rest of my life. Thus I started Fatter Day. Serious, healthy, tons of veggies during the week and one day, Saturdays, where I allow myself a cupcake, a piece bacon and a biscuit, a coke and a Reese’s peanut butter cup. Yes, all of the above. And it is working, slowly but surely, it’s working.
The concept behind this new plan was that the longer I “dieted”, the more my body would settle into a new calorie intake and thus reduce my metabolism. However, by dumping in a load of calories one day a week, not only does it help me keep my resolve, it sort of tricks my body into continuing to burn calories even though I’m eating healthily during the week. It takes discipline and it has been slow going, but there has been progress. And it is encouraging to make progress after years of feeling like all my efforts weren’t helping. I like that I feel good about what I am eating all week, but I also don’t regret eating chocolate cake with chocolate icing on Saturdays. And most of all, it feels good to have control over my sweet addiction, to know I’m giving my body what it really needs, and helping my kids see that there is a decent way to maintain a healthy weight.
I am not posting this to hear, “you look great!” in the comments. People will say that to someone because it’s the nice thing to say, regardless of if it is true or not. I’m posting it because I know how frustrating it is to try and try and get no where. I’ve found something that works for me and if you are where I was, maybe it’ll work for you, too. Eight pounds down… a couple more to go, hopefully. Here’s to Fatter Day!