Happy 2018! It’s that time of year when we make all those major life changes that may be a bit difficult (dieting, exercising, quitting smoking etc) but we know we will benefit from it in the long run, only to slip back into our bad habits in approximately 2 weeks from now. And now you are either rolling your eyes pretending you have no idea what I’m talking about or smiling proudly because you know you’re going to make a solid month before you cave.
This year my resolution is to be healthier. After having two pregnancies less that a year apart and gaining 100+lbs in total the idea of getting back in shape seem hopeless. So much so that I didn’t dare try. Not trying meant that I can hold on the to idea that maybe I could lose the weight if I tried, I was too afraid to try because trying and failing meant I was going to be a size 16 forever. We all want to lose weight fast and looking at celeb transformations on social media can give you unrealistic expectations and hopes for your weight loss goals.
It was really hard to go from a size 4 to 16. Firstly I was a 00 for as long as I could remember, so I was already a bit uncomfortable with the idea of being a size 4. But meeting my husband, moving to France and eating a ton of pastry did have a significant impact on my waist line. It wasn’t just about being a size 4, I think at this point I was mostly bothered because all my favourite clothes did not fit me well anymore. My butt got bigger so now my mini skirts and short dresses did not cover all of my derrière, my tank tops would roll up, and my jeans would squeeze the life out of my bladder which was not fun. I remember during my first pregnancy my favourite jeans ripped, it survive a while, it was a hip pants to it was below my stomach and it was really stretchy so it was not uncomfortable. I think I cried that night. I know, gaining weight during a pregnancy is normal and but this was the pants I wore on my 14th birthday which was the last time I spent my birthday with my dad and most of my family, and yes I wore this pair of jeans for 8+ years and it had a lot of sentimental value. I think this was the moment where I sort of gave up on the idea of possible getting back in shape which in retrospect was a bit dramatic since I was probably only 150 LBS at the time.
After I had Mia I was 170lbs, with diet changes I was able to get down to 155 lbs before I got pregnant with Leo. At the end of my second pregnancy, I was 2015lbs. I think I gained another 10lbs the first three months after having Leo because those cravings while breastfeeding are worse than pregnancy cravings. It didn’t help that everyone thought “Omg, you’re breastfeeding, that should make it easier to lose the baby weight!” By this point I had lost myself completely, I had stopped taking care of myself (not like I had the time with a 1 year old and a new born), I isolated myself from family and friends (because I had always been slim, everyone thought I would brush off the fat jokes but they really hurt), I no longer saw myself in the mirror, I did not recognize my life (being a stay at home mom was certainly not the dream while triple majoring in college), and most importantly I saw no way to taking back control of my life. This continued for a few months until I went on vacation and I didn’t want to leave the hotel room. Like seriously?! I was in my happy place (Puerto Rico) and I didn’t want to see or enjoy it. This was my wake up call. I couldn’t make dramatic changes because I still had a 1 year old and a new born but I started with small changes.
Here’s how attempted to accomplish what seemed impossible:
Step one: Know what is in your power to change
The most frustrating part about taking on a big task is knowing what you need to do but not being able to. Being a stay at home mom with a newborn that needed to be breastfed every 2-3 hours and a toddler that was turning the house over as fast as I was tidying, my family all living out of state or in a different country, and a husband working 12 hours a day, I needed to figured what I steps were feasible for me to take to loose weight. I could not hit the gym and spend 1 hr a day at the gym, but I could chase my 1 year old around the apt a bit to tire her out and do squats while I picked up a zillion toys of the floor. I could change my diet to eat healthier. I cut out all soda and juice, but coffee my guilty pleasure I could not say goodbye to and that was fine. If you are going to be miserable on your diet, that diet is bound to fail. While I cooked the same food I made diet friendly changes: less fatty cuts of meat, no added sugars, no preservatives, I added veggies in most dishes, etc. Also I learnt that very often we confuse thirst with hunger so every time I felt hungry, I drank a cup of Water and waited 10 minutes before I decided what to eat. You want to pick your meals when you are a bit less hungry. Eventually I was able to steadily keep my calorie intake between 1300-1500 each day!
Step two: accepting that it takes time to accomplish your goal
After 3 months I had lost approximately 15lbs. Which is great, 5lbs a month is a very health rate at which to loose weight, but I was still 200lbs. This was frustrating. It was difficult to be please with my results while I was still far from my goal. I fell off the wagon for a bit and gained another 5lbs but then I found courage to push forward towards my goal. If I wasn’t getting the results I wanted fast enough maybe I should make more positive changes rather than give up, when you are losing weight and not size it’s really easy to think you are not losing weight and begin to feel hopeless. I removed coffee creamers from my diet, and replaced 2 cups of coffee with green tea. I must admit that I starting drinking green tea for the weight loss benefit, before this I was repulsed that the idea of tea. Now I laugh at the younger me when I recall the countless times my parents yelled at me to finish my tea. In my defense hot tea in the Caribbean without AC isn’t a fun thing. Now I love tea. After two weeks I had acquired the taste, I researched more about the benefits of different types of tea and most importantly, I was seeing and feeling the difference. The flavonoids and caffeine in green tea can help elevate metabolic rate and increase fat oxidation. Also, as time went on I slowly found myself preferring more natural foods, less fatty/greasy, not as sweet, etc. After a month on green tea I had naturally stopped eating fast food and I was making more salads. I craved natural raw ingredients. This was a change I made without thinking, I need to deprive myself of X to lose weight. I started drinking my coffee without milk and 1/3 the amount of sugar I previously used, and I stopped eating all candies except pastries and chocolate. In 3 months, I lost 30lbs. I was beyond amazing. Now I was down to 170 and I was also down from a size 16 to 10.
Step 3: It’s okay to fall off the wagon
Losing 30 lbs is amazing, totally worth celebrating and treating yourself to some things you missed over the last few months. But maybe your should treat yourself and enjoy for a week and not a month. I was so happy and busy enjoying my progress that I gained another 7.5 lbs. At this point I really wanted to punch myself in the face, I looked at myself in the mirror and thought do you have any idea how difficult it was to loose that 7.5 lbs? What were you thinking?
Angry and disappointed in myself I decided to fight a little harder, I went back on my diet, and I joined the GYM, I may not make it to gym every week, sometimes I go once a month but hey something is better than nothing. It’s been over 1 year and I am down to 150lbs. I did fall off the wagon on my vacation in Trinidad and I haven’t made any efforts since with the holidays, being sick and my Euro vacation but today I received my order for Green Tea from Zhena Gypsy Tea and I am ready to lost that last 20 lbs!
It may have taken a lot longer than I planned but that’s not a reason to give up. I have a closet full of cute dresses that I have not worn in 4 years and they are waiting for me. And no they are not out of fashion, my taste is timeless lol.
This new year I am not setting new goals or resolutions. I am going to work harder to accomplish the goals that I had already set in the past.
What are your New Year Resolutions for 2018?