Wednesday, April 25, 2012

40 lbs later...


I have lost 40 lbs, a total of 25% of my previous weight!

I wanted to document my journey, mostly for posterity, but also for motivation after the next baby. Photos are at the end, so if that is the only thing you're interested in, just skip the details. :)

First, a little health history so you can appreciate where I started mentally and physically. I've struggled with weight my whole life. I was one of those: a chubby toddler and fat gradeschooler. I was a size 14 in sixth and seventh grade. That was definitely my fattest per height, but I've been all over the board since then. Twice thus far in my life I've gotten down to a size 6: once at the very end of my senior year of high school after a rigorous soccer season and again when we were engaged and I was training for a marathon (which I never completed, btw).

After getting married I gained weight pretty quickly. Definitely just the lifestyle change. I wasn't as active because school and my time with my new hubby made exercise a low priority. and I cooked and therefore ate a TON more than when I was single. Babies just made it harder because I gained a lot of weight with each. Of course, after Gwen I was able to get down to an average healthy weight, but still not as fit as I would have liked to have been. Certainly not 'skinny'. Pretty much our entire marriage I've weighed as much or more than Eric. (that is slightly sad for both of us, right? :)

After Caroline, it was impossible to exercise at home. Nap times weren't dependable and trying to work out with children grabbing your legs is just pointless. So when Caroline was 3 months old, we got a gym membership for me. It is a luxury we are truly grateful for, and I've definitely been making the most of it. From July to December I lost 20 lbs. Pretty slow going because despite what breast feeding experts say is possible to safely lose without decreasing milk supply, every body is different and mine would only allow me to lose 1/2 lb or less each week. I exercised hard, but pretty much didn't decrease my food intake at all. I did adjust it to try to be healthy with whole grains and lots of veggies and lean meats without lots of cream or butter. But I couldn't exactly 'cut back' more than that. The progress was slow but steady, and I did feel much better as my muscle tone and endurance picked up.

I gained 5 lbs over the holidays, like so many of us do, which is especially frustrating if you think that will take 10 weeks to get back off again. But in the middle of January we started transitioning Caroline to formula (for a number of reasons) and that opened up the option of losing weight more rapidly. So I kicked my workouts into high gear and adjusted my food intake and got pretty rapid results from the change. I started going to the gym 5 days a week. Because so many have asked me what I did, I'll break it down in detail: Monday core for 30 min, an hour of step aerobics. Tues dance jam for an hour. Wed an hour of barbell weight lifting and an hour of Zumba. Thursday recovery day. Fri an hour of dance. Sat an hour of 'mix' class with running-kickboxing-athletic drills all mixed in there. Food-wise, I cut calories significantly, decreased portion sizes, and then tried to make the calories really count. I reduced the carbs, increased the lean meat, and really increased the veggies. I had zero restrictions, just tried to discipline myself to a 'bite' of a tempting food. Between mid-January and mid-February I lost 10 lbs.

Then I had a slight plateau. When a friend invited me to join a healthy challenge for fun, I thought it was just the ticket to change up my routine again and get the rest off. Plus, I'm super competitive and that drives me to get things done even when cravings hit or I feel too tired to exercise. My workouts stayed the same, except the Friday dance class was cancelled and a fitness yoga took its place. I was worried about swapping a cardio class for a muscle class, but it turns out my body doesn't mind the change and I've continued to lose weight. So on this challenge of sugar only once a week and lots and lots of water among other things, I have lost another 15 lbs between March and April.

If you do the math, that is 40 lbs in 9 months and 2 weeks. Not too shabby, I'd say! I'm not quite finished because the healthy challenge still goes for another week, plus I feel like I still have more to lose and I'm actually in a mental and physical state when that is possible right now. So who knows, I might end up with a 50 lb loss before it is all said and done. :) and you know, it makes me feel AWESOME to know that I have lost 25% of my body weight! That is NOT something to take lightly! I am wearing my engagement clothes again, looking forward to a summer shopping spree, and feeling more stamina and energy than I've had in years! It is worth it to get healthy!

ready for the pictures? Here's the progression:
Before:


above photos June weight lost: 0



above photos September weight lost: 10 lbs



above photo early November weight lost: 15 lbs


above photo late December: weight lost 20 (or 15 if I had already gained the holiday 5 lbs back. Not sure. Didn't have a scale on vacation)




above photo Early February: weight lost: 22 lbs

above photo Early March: weight lost 26 lbs


After: Mid April: weight lost 40 lbs! :)

24 comments:

  1. Way to go Elisa you inspire me to get up and move. Love you lots and hope everything goes well for you in the end.

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  2. You ROCK! And clearly I need to get my exercise on...

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  3. You are amazing and you look amazing! Way to go!!

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  4. WOW, your amazing!!! YOu look wonderful. I am so glad you posted this, The modivation I need after this baby!! Thank you

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  5. What a great story! You definitely are demonstrating more self-discipline than I can generally muster. Keep it up!

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  6. Congrats! That's definitely something to be proud of. Especially that you did it the healthy, old fashioned way. I'm really looking forward to getting my body all the way back next year. I will be done having babies and it will be time to focus. I may be emailing you for advice, tips, motivation, etc. :) Great job Elisa!

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  7. Wow, you are awesome! I thought you were fit and healthy on your mission, never once thought that you were overweight, so was surprised by this. My husband is a very thin guy also, so I know what you mean about weighing the same as him. Don't they know the guy is supposed to weigh more? Sheesh. Anyway, you're such a hard worker and push yourself so much. What an inspiration!
    Kim (Huber) Brown

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  8. You look amazing! I am so proud of you! What an inspiration you are you me!!!! Way to go!!!!

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  9. Wow, That was/is so inspiring, thank you for sharing and posting the details. You look FANTASTIC! :)

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  10. Holey Smokes!!! I'm always so impressed with how well you accomplish your goals. Congrats!

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  11. Way to go, Elisa!!! WOW! You look great. What dedication, and inspiration. So glad you shared!

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  12. AWESOME!! you look GREAT! (I bet Eric Thinks so too!) so proud of you!! you did it!!

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  13. That is awesome! You look great!

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  14. Way to go, Elisa! Can I just say I'm hardly surprised to see YOU of all people succeeding? ;) You look awesome!

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  15. Well done!! You look beautiful, fit and happy! What a fabulous accomplishment!!!!

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  16. I think that the most fabulous thing about this story is that you decided what you wanted to do and then did it. Kudos for taking charge! I need to do that in a few areas as well. So thanks for inspiring me.
    And you're gorgeous (but that's not new). Congrats!

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  17. WOWSERS!! You are gorgeous as always Elisa, and you truly amaze me! I think you are beautiful in all of these pictures, and the pure happiness in your face in the last one is contagious. You are working incredibly hard in every facet of life to succeed, and I am positive you will receive countless blessings for all of these efforts. I really hope to see you soon!!

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  18. Feeling fit and fabulous is worth every second of work! Way to go! Good health is a blessing indeed.

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  19. I'm so glad you shared the details!! So excited for you, and so impressed. CONGRATS ELISA!!

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  20. wow what's an inspiration! thank you for sharing your story.

    http://herweightlossdiary.blogspot.com

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