I am so freaking excited to be able to be writing this post -- and not even TWO months into the new year!
Yes, I did it!! I lost those pesky last 5 lbs that I couldn't get rid of in 2011!!
It was a major combination of diet and exercise and actually sticking to the plan, i.e. NOT CHEATING. But, I did it. And now, I am officially LIGHTER than I was when I got pregnant with my firstborn son back in February, 2007. And, let me tell you, this feels GREAT!
My body is way different than it was five years ago. Although I may be lighter pound-wise, I still feel majorly jiggly in places I definitely did not pre-childbirth. Most of that is in my stomach. But, if that is the price I have to pay for two beautiful, healthy and wonderful children -- then I guess I will take it! Besides, days of wearing two pieces are *mostly* behind me, and I sure as heck don't walk around wearing cropped tops or sports bras -- that is just not my style. I'll just have to do some extra toning to get those spots back into shape (since reconstructive surgery is not on my list of fun things to do).
Have you ever wondered what five pounds of fat looks like -- let me forewarn you, it's REALLY GROSS:
See! Told you -- pretty nasty, eh?
To be honest, I could probably stand to lose about five more pounds. But, I am happy and confident with my body as it is right now....and I can't even tell you the last time I felt that way! My pants are all loose on me! There is no more searching in the morning for what 'will fit me'...instead I can just pick from my clothes what I 'feel like wearing'....it is so liberating and saves me SO MUCH TIME in the morning!! I don't get that muffin top over the top of my pants when I sit behind the wheel of my car anymore! I have more energy and am making smarter choices when it comes to food choices again. I can go to the store and try on a size 4 or 6 and they FIT...no more 'doing the dance' to get the pants up! That, in and of itself, feels like a MAJOR victory to me.
I also got more TONED. My legs and butt (as a result of the running and interval training) feel rock hard (and Max can probably confirm this for you if there are any doubts, LOL). I do need to work harder on my abs and upper body since these tend to be the weakest. I think I will focus more on these during the upcoming months.
The biggest eye opener to me during this entire process was my portion size and how many calories I was actually ingesting. I started tracking EVERYTHING that went into my mouth using Livestrong. I highly recommend this website -- they have a lot of pre-loaded foods in there and you can even create your own recipes so you can track better. It gives you some good guidelines as far as macro-nutrients go for what you should be shooting for. I went with the 40% carb, 30% protein, 30% fat guideline that a friend and personal trainer recommended. I definitely felt fuller longer. The first week of trying to eat only 1400 calories was rough. I know some people eat even less than that on a daily basis, but I was shooting for loss of ~1 lb/week, so I could have a little higher range. It really got me into the mindset of eating ~300-400 calorie meals three times a day and ~100 calorie snack three times a day. When you spread your food out like that, you never really get a chance to be hungry. AND, when your food choices are healthy and lean proteins and healthy fats (nuts, avocados, etc), it takes a lot longer for your body to digest the food and you really do feel fuller faster.
Some of my favorite go to meals were: Greek yogurt with fresh fruit, hard-boiled eggs, couscous, and the Havana Salad I shared with you earlier. I didn't deprive myself of sweets or beer/wine either, I just made sure I had enough calories at the end of the day to indulge in a modest amount. That way I never truly felt deprived of anything.
As far as exercise, I do 3-4 days of hard cardio (running or interval training for a minimum of 3 miles at a time...I alternate between running and the intervals) - shooting for about 400-500 calories burned. Then I try to 1-2 days of strength or stretching and have one day of rest. Strength might be doing my 'Biggest Loser' workout on the Xbox 360 -- it does have SOME cardio benefits, but it just doesn't feel the same as running 3 miles to me -- and I feel that I benefited more from the strength and resistance exercises that it included. And yoga...I LOVE yoga (just not the Biggest Loser version of yoga...theirs is LAME). Yoga is so wonderful because it forces you to slow down, relax and BREATHE. As a plus, the boys love doing yoga with me and I can count it as fun mommy time. :)
So, there you have it! I'm so happy to be able to cross this one off my list -- and so EARLY in the year too! How are YOU doing on your 2012 goals? Any successes yet? Any of your goals have to be re-worked? Let me know in the comments...I'd love to hear from you too!