Saturday, June 19, 2010


By: Shelsy

Pardon my enthusiasm, everyone, but I'm very excited. Today is the day I finally reached my weight loss goal! You're probably thinking, "okay, big deal. Why do  I care?" Well, you  probably don't. :-) But it's significant enough for me, that I wanted to share.

When I got pregnant with Amber, I didn't own a scale. So I have no idea how much I weighed pre-pregnancy. By the time I was six weeks along, I was already showing, and weighed 190. So my best guess is that I weighed somewhere between 180 and 185 pre-pregnancy. During my pregnancy I got a Wii Fit, when I learned that according to my Body Mass Index (BMI), I was considered obese (well, I was pregnant). I also learned that the ideal weight, for a woman of my height, is 140.2 (a BMI of 22.00). I think the last time I weighed 140 was in high school, or middle school maybe. That was a bit more disheartening.

At my heaviest (the day before Amber was born) I weighed 220 pounds. The weight came off quickly for the first month or so. The birth itself shed 15 pounds and I continued to drop somewhat steadily. Then I started "working out" around 6 or 7 weeks postpartum.

Now, I'm not big on exercise, so when I say "working out," I mean walking to the end of the street and back. Or 10 minutes of yoga, or something. At least in the beginning. I was in bad shape. Over time, though, as I began to see results I started working out a little more. I eventually came up with a routine that incorporated yoga, belly dance, Wii Fit, and even Dance Dance Revolution. For the last few months I've been pretty much sticking to yoga.

Now, I'm also not big on diet. At all. Which was probably the reason I got so heavy in the first place. I do not believe in counting calories, or reducing fat intake (quite the opposite, actually). But shortly after having Amber we started to move toward more of a "real foods" diet full of whole, unprocessed foods and healthy fats. We made these changes for our general health, not for the purpose of weight loss. These are some of the changes we made:

-Eliminate dairy. When Amber was about a month old we started to notice that she was getting stomach aches when I ate dairy. So I cut it out. We then did some more research about dairy and decided to cut it out of our diets permanently. I believe this is the single biggest factor in helping me lose weight. We used to eat a ton of dairy, and I rarely miss it.

-Eliminate processed foods. We stopped buying most pre-packaged foods and prefer to buy as much as possible in its whole food form. We buy a lot of fruits and veggies, and we make an effort to buy organic for at least the dirty dozen when we can. We make a lot more things from scratch. It's fun, and I'm happy to get all those extra chemicals and fillers out of my life.

-Cut out as much refined sugar and flour as possible. We use whole wheat flour almost exclusively. We also stopped buying white sugar and now only use demerara cane sugar, raw local honey, molasses, or pure maple syrup.

-Eat mostly vegetarian. This is mostly financial, because meat is expensive. When we do eat meat, it's usually chicken or shrimp, but we get other stuff in there sometimes. It's my dream to someday buy only grass-fed beef and free-range antibiotic free chickens and eggs from a local farmer, but...not for awhile yet. :-)

-Cook at home. Again, this is mostly financial, because we would love to eat out. But we can rarely afford it, and it's a little harder with Amber in the mix. But we're much better off making it an occasional thing anyway.

The last thing that had a big impact on my weight loss was breastfeeding. I think it played a large role especially in the first few months. It's still helping, I'm sure, but not to the extent that it did in the beginning.

Now, for some stats. From my heaviest (220) I lost a total of 80 pounds (I weighed in today at 140.0). I've lost three inches off of my waist since January when I started measuring. I'm not sure how  many pant sizes I dropped, because I don't currently have any pants that actually fit me, but I'm guessing I'll fit in at least an 8 now, and I used to be in 14s.

I weigh less now than I have in probably 10 years, and it's awesome. I feel like I have a whole new body. I DO have a whole new body. :-) I'm proportioned a lot differently than I used to be, due to pregnancy. And I have lots of stretch marks and loose skin, but that's alright. I'm happy! :-)

So to all my pregnant friends out there, have hope! It's possible to have your pre-pregnancy body back (or better!). It only took me about six months to get to my pre-pregnancy weight, and only 14 1/2 months to get all the way down to my ideal weight. Not too bad. :-)

Here's what I looked like almost two months after Amber was born. 

And this is now!

These are the best-fitting jeans I own. I got them just before Christmas.