1. You're re-losing some weight that you had previously lost but gained back with your latest pregnancy. (Congrats by the way, she's gorgeous!!) What do you think was the biggest contributing factor to your pregnancy weight gain (besides the obvious fact that you were pregnant)?
A little bit of back story here... With my first pregnancy, I started out weighing 227 lbs & gained 40 lbs. From a medical perspective, I should have only gained about 20-25 lbs. Owen was born in May of 2009 & it took me until March 2011 (after MANY failed attempts, MANY different "diets" & finally a weight loss competition) to get down to 162 lbs, losing 105 lbs. But by July 2011, by the time I got pregnant with Kacie Jayne, I was back up to 195 lbs & gained 60 lbs with that pregnancy.
I think the biggest factor contributing to the weight gain during the 2nd pregnancy was a false sense of security. I kept telling myself "Oh, I'll just lose this weight after the baby gets here, no big deal." I was constantly giving myself "passes" to eat more than I should've been eating, and foods that I should've been limiting. I was feeling confident because I'd "lost the weight before, so I could do it again". Had I been smarter, I would've realized that I was adding unnecessary extra work for myself. I (luckily) didn't get Gestational Diabetes, but I wasn't doing myself any favors by not being careful regarding the amount of weight I gained while pregnant.
2. What would you say is your over all feeling about having to lose the weight again? Frustration? Confidence? (You did it once you can do it again.)
At first I was in denial. I was giving myself a "pass"..."Well, I JUST had a baby, so I need to wait until I'm physically & emotionally ready." I lost a bit of weight right away (about 10 lbs) and that fueled the "false sense of security." I felt like, "Oh, this is going to be easy!" I started to eat a lot of junk ("Oh, well, I'm nursing, so I need extra calories to keep my milk up") & gained back everything I'd lost & then some.
By the time Kacie was about 2 months, I was hovering around 250 lbs. That's when the denial evaporated & I was left feeling depressed about my weight. I realized just how hard it was going to be to lose 105 lbs...again! I wasn't deluded anymore, but I wasn't really accepting the idea of having to do the work yet either. I made half-hearted attempts & lost & gained the same 5 lbs for the next 2 months or so.
In the competition, I had won a year membership to VO2 max. They were kind enough to put that membership on hold for me while I was pregnant. They reactivated it in May, but I was too embarrassed to use it. I didn't want all those "fit" people (the trainers & people who go to VO2 max) to see what I'd become, to see what I'd done to myself. I stayed that way (squandering my precious membership) until about mid-August when I finally sucked it up & started going again. The trainers (especially Jessica Elliot & one of the owners, Janine Walinski) were very kind & gracious & it made me wonder why I was so worried about it.
At first, I was very depressed at bootcamps. I remembered what it was like to do those exercises when I was smaller... It is a lot harder to do a burpee at 250 lbs than it is at 162 lbs. So I was (and still am somewhat) very discouraged with how difficult it was going to be to get there again.
However, I've accepted where I am, & I know how I'm going to get there. I now have the confidence to do what I need to do to get there. But it's taken me 6 months to get into that frame of mind.
3. Do you have any advice for pregnant women (I'm not pregnant by the way) about how to not gain too much weight over the course of their pregnancy?
The "right" amount of weight to gain is different for everyone & you can receive guidance from your physician to know what that number should be. But if you want to try to keep that number "in check", it just boils down to making more good choices than bad. Don't give yourself a "pass" like I did. Provide your body with the fuel it needs to grow a baby, let yourself have a few treats every now & then, but don't go overboard. The more weight you gain, the more likely you are to be uncomfortable.
4. What do you think is the most important "life lesson" that you are learning from this experience?
That you are the only one that is in control ...of your body, your mind ... No one else can do this for you... You have to want it for yourself, and want it enough to put the effort in.
5. Do you have plans for after you lose the weight to keep it off? If so, what are they?
I will keep plugging away (bootcamps, eventually Crossfit & eating Paleo) until I've reached my goal & then I'll keep doing Crossfit & eating Paleo for the rest of my life. I've realized that it's not just about a diet & doing some exercises to "get me there"... this is a lifestyle...one that I've chosen for myself, one that I'm happy with & makes me feel good about myself. I've heard "It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle" sooo many times in my life before, but never really understood that sentiment to be real until now.
6. On a day to day basis, what are your weight loss goals/practices?
On a daily basis, I focus on fueling my body with the proper nutrition. With Paleo, there are so many options for delicious meals. When someone first hears about what Paleo entails, they feel it's very restrictive. But once you start, you begin to realize there are actually a lot of choices & substitutions. And because the ratio of fat in your diet is higher, you actually feel a lot more satisfied than if you're counting & restricting calories on a traditional low fat/low calorie "diet". And ever day (except for one "rest" day) I try to do something active. Mostly it's bootcamps at VO2 max, but I also try to attend a weekly Hot Power Yoga class at Love Life Hot Yoga or workout at home.
Basically it's about making good choices for my body & mind, day in & day out.
7. What is your longest term weight loss goal (Like, where do you hope to end up by the end of your journey) and when do you hope to achieve your over all long term goal?
Realistically it will take me about 10 months to a year to get to my goal weight of 145 lbs. It could come faster than that, it could take longer. The important thing is that I know it will happen & I'm not anxious about it anymore. I feel like the last time I lost the weight, I was putting in the work to get to a certain number on the scale, and then once I reached that number, I went back to my old ways & hadn't really learned anything. I hadn't learned how to change my eating habits or exercise because it's good for my body. This time around, I have completely changed my "to the core" feelings about food (and have beaten my sugar addiction!) & exercise. I'm no longer depressed about the effort it will take to reach my goal.
My longest term goal would be to find a way to help other people reach their goals. I would love to share the things I've learned, whether it be on a small or large scale. Also, at some point in the future, I would like to become certified in some form of fitness instruction, whether it be Crossfit or Yoga...something.
8. Do you have negative thoughts when you're working out and if so, how do you deal with them?
I do have negative thoughts about myself while I'm working out...all the time. Almost every bootcamp I do involves something that is challenging for me to accomplish with my current body. For example, one of the things we do at bootcamp is a bear crawl. Basically, you're crawling across the studio on your hands & knees with your butt straight up in the air. This is very embarrassing for me, especially since as some of you may know, I do not have the smallest rear end.
BUT...I do it anyway. That's the point...this weight is not going to lose itself & unless I work at it, nothing will get accomplished. So I swallow my pride & put the work in.
I know that the body I currently have is temporary. I now have every confidence that it is possible & one day I will look like the person in my mind's eye. Not only will I look like someone who is fit & healthy, I will be fit & healthy. I will be strong & live with purpose.
10. You're super inspiring to me and a bunch of other people too. As someone who is achieving great things, what would you say to anyone who is struggling to achieve their goals, weight loss or otherwise?
Find your why. "Why do I want to do this?" If your are driven by something greater than you're desire to "do nothing" then you'll be sure to succeed. Look for motivation around you. People who have already succeeded. Search out sources of strength & guidance. You can accomplish what you set out to!