Today’s WooHoo story is shared by my good friend, Andrea. She is a writer at heart, so I will let her introduce herself to you all.
Hi! I’m Andrea and you can find me sporadically blogging over at my What Should I Wear? blog. When I’m not blogging, I’m a 33 year old stay at home mom to 2 super cute girls! They are the peanut butter to my jelly! I’m so blessed to spend my days with them. I’m also the very lucky wife to my studly husband of 11 years, Steve. He’s my best friend, and can’t believe how lucky we are to still be in love after all these years.
My weight loss journey began like many others: after having kids. I got pregnant in September of 2006 with our first pregnancy, which we unfortunately miscarried. After that stress, I had a small gum surgery that required me to eat soft foods for a couple weeks (hello, mac and cheese!), and I went straight from that into the holiday season.
I certainly did not have “diet” in my vocabulary at the time, so when I got pregnant again in December of 2006, I just enjoyed every bite. I was completely addicted to McDonald’s double cheeseburgers and Little Debbie Fudge Rounds! Honestly, they were like manna from heaven. They tasted better to me than you can imagine, better than anything I’d ever eaten before, or since! So, naturally, I ate them constantly. No joke, there were days when I ate double cheeseburgers for all three meals of the day. It was heaven. I decided that I had 40 weeks when “Fat”= “Cute”, so I wanted to enjoy every second of it while I could. I gained 53 pounds. Lovely.
After I gave birth to my oldest, I dropped most of the weight using Weight Watchers. There came a point however, that I knew I would be getting pregnant again, so hey! Why bother losing it all just to regain it all? Right? RIGHT??? I thought so.
So that’s what I did. I stopped trying to lose weight when I got to 155 pounds, and I got right up close to 200 (without going over! Bob Barker would be proud!) during my pregnancy with my second daughter. This time I had been overweight for so long, that I got tired of it VERY quickly. I started working hard to get the weight off as soon as I stopped breastfeeding, which was very early the second time around. These are the details on how I got back into shape, and have managed to maintain it almost 3 years later.
FtoH: What was your starting weight?
Andrea: After having my youngest baby, I weighed 188. I got down to 162 pretty easily, just by losing weight that comes with giving birth. I was 162 when I decided I’d been overweight for longer than I could handle and got serious about losing all my baby weight.
FtoH: What was your goal weight?
Andrea: Realistically I set my goal at 135. I wanted to get to 125, though, just to see if I could. I did, but I got back up to 135. I’m planning to get down to at least 130 before bikini season hits!
FtoH: What eating plan did you use (for example: Weight Watchers, Atkins, Self Made-Up, etc)?
Andrea: I just counted calories. I did WW after having my first baby, but I just counted calories the second time around. I set a daily limit of 1200 calories, and I used MyFitnessPal (website and iPhone app) to track all the calories I ate/burned in a day.
FtoH: What exercise plan did you use?
Andrea: When I first started losing weight, I used workout videos (mostly Ellen Barrett’s pilates/yoga videos). I run now in order to maintain my weight.
FtoH: Did you go to a gym? Did you have a personal trainer?
Andrea: I go to a gym to run on days when I don’t have childcare. I mostly just use the treadmill, but I use weights if I have enough time to do both. I’ve never used a personal trainer.
FtoH: How much time a day did you spend working out?
Andrea: At least half an hour, but I like to get in an hour.
FtoH: Now that you are maintaining, has any of that changed (food and/or exercise)?
Andrea: I am not as strict now. I still use that calorie guideline, but I don’t follow it so closely.
FtoH: Do you have anything you’d like to recommend (a product, website, workout dvd, etc)?
Andrea: I can’t recommend Ellen Barrett enough. She’s a great instructor, and her videos have proven to be very enjoyable for me, along with being very effective. I also highly recommend MyFitnessPal. Having the app in hand all the time makes calorie tracking very convenient, and they have a pretty extensive database of foods already in their catalog. If you can’t find a specific food, inputting a recipe/food isn’t difficult.
FtoH: Anything else you would like to say?
Andrea: Weight loss is very much a mind over matter problem for me. I’ve come to realize that your body is capable of WAY more than you’re probably giving it credit for, and you just have to get your mind right. Focus on small goals, and focus on (non-food) rewards (such as knowing that bikini season is right around the corner!). Also, accountability is crucial. If someone else knows you are supposed to be working out, it’s motivating. It’s much easier to let yourself down than it is to disappoint a friend or a family member. If that person is a cheerleader for you, even better! I have a great group of friends who really encouraged me along the way, and I can’t express how valuable their support was, and continues to be!