Well, it’s happened—it might be about six or seven months later than originally planned, but it happened–
I’m down to my pre-pregnancy weight!
As a matter of fact, I’m actually over a pound lower than it, which means I’m only 5 pounds away from my goal weight. Can I get a woot woot?!
It’s totally true what they say about the last ten pounds being the hardest (and technically, I still have my five pounds to go on top of that!). The first 4 months postpartum, the weight loss was predictable and steady, which was encouraging. But then my autoimmune disease diagnosis and subsequent prescriptions threw my weight loss all out of whack, and it was all I could do to just maintain the weight loss I’d already worked so hard for.
Once going off the medication that was affecting my ability to lose weight, I thought that my problems with losing the rest would all disappear, but it wasn’t so. In fact, as my doctor bluntly put it, the steroid that I’d had to go on had probably, in effect, literally “aged” my metabolism so that I basically was like a menopausal woman.
BUT, not one to give up easily, I started religiously tracking calories (my time-and-again proven weight loss secret), upped my running, and actually started sticking to a strength training plan. Surprisingly, the running had the least effect on my weight loss (probably because my body’s just so used to it and has all the muscle memory from the long races I’d completed before), and the combination of the calorie tracking and strength training were the definite keys to finally nudging the scale back down again.
Here are my current stats, at just 5 pounds away from goal weight:
Weight: 140 (technically 139.8, but I’ll round, ha ha)
My currently daily calorie count is 1600-1700 calories (although if I work out, I will sometimes “eat back” some of those calories burned), and here’s what I’m doing for exercise:
Monday: strength workout, walk with Raven (if possible)
Tuesday: hip hop aerobics class
Wednesday: strength workout, walk with Raven (if possible)
Thursday: shorter run (2 – 3 miles)
Friday: strength workout, walk with Raven (if possible)
Saturday: longer run (5+ miles)
Sunday: rest day
When I’m done with teaching, I plan to add an additional run (probably on Monday) of 2-3 miles and up the mileage on my Thursday run to 3-4 miles. As I get closer to the half marathon I’m doing in August, my mileage on all runs will likely gradually increase.
Even though it’s been tough having to be so careful with eating and exercise over the past 13 months, I feel much more like this is a “lifestyle” I can actually sustain. Because I didn’t drastically cut down my calories to 1200 or something like that, I don’t feel deprived, so I’m far less likely to cheat. And because I’m not eating gluten, more of my foods naturally have more bang for their buck as far as calories and nutrition content are concerned.
My other secret? Eating Hershey’s kisses every day. No, but really–after many years of trying my best to clean up my diet, I’ve figured out that I’m really not one of those people that can just cut something out of my diet for a period of time and then not binge when said “fast” is over. There have been so many times I’ve gone on “sugar fasts,” but they never really helped long-term with my cravings for chocolate or baked goods. The gluten ordeal took care of the baked goods problem for the most part (since I haven’t ventured *too* far into gluten-free baking yet), and every day, depending on how many calories I’ve eaten for other meals, I allow myself between one and two servings of Hershey’s kisses a day.
Seriously, for me, it works. I know it wouldn’t work for everybody, but it keeps me from feeling deprived, which means that I’m willing to basically eat like this forever.
It’s been so exciting this past month to finally see some progress again, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that if I can continue to keep up the rate of weight loss I’ve been having, I’ll be at my goal weight just after summer starts.