Have I really not talked about this yet?? Surprising, since I have absolutely no filter. But I think I have just been so busy the last few weeks! And I also really wonder who cares. When someone else loses weight, those of us still struggling to lose are genuinely excited for them, but sometimes it just makes you frustrated. (Perhaps it is a tiny bit similar to an infertile woman hearing another pregnancy announcement? Certainly nowhere near as painful, but sometimes hard to hear.)
I have wanted to lose the weight for a year and struggled with three kids, a move, and making tons of other excuses. I was able to maintain my weight, but I can't lose weight unless I am focused and intentional about it. The weight I needed to lose wasn't baby weight - I only gained 21 lbs with Roman and lost it right away. It was the weight I gained while dealing with my mom's pancreatic cancer diagnosis and caring for her until her death 8 months later. She didn't have an appetite, but I definitely ate my way through my feelings that year!
So, for anyone who is either really bored, hungry, or gives a damn, here is my weight loss story *so far*!! I have at least 15 more pounds to go before I am in a healthy range for a normal person. 20 more pounds and I'm at wedding weight. Not really my goal, but it would be cool to see.
Jason bought me a gym membership for Christmas and I have been dedicated since the first of the year. I only attend the classes that are offered since the instructors push me WAY harder than I would ever do on my own!! I have been able to get to the gym 3-4 mornings a week (usually 4) since January and I feel like a new woman. Once, during a workout with a substitute trainer, I swore I gave birth. I didn't, obviously, but I worked so hard that it felt like labor all over again.
Here is the kicker: I haven't modified my diet at all. I don't think about calories. I don't bother counting or weighing anything. When I'm hungry, I eat. On Sundays, I splurge. I drink wine. Lots of wine. I haven't changed a thing about my diet in the last 2 years. And I still dropped the weight!
One thing that used to happen to us is that Jason and I would decide to start working out again, we would make it 3-4 days and then get sick. Every.Single.Time. We weren't eating enough nourishing foods to keep our immune system boosted during vigorous workouts. But the worst part about dieting is the dizziness and crankiness from being hungry. As a mom of three small children, there is no way I could survive "dieting". When I am hungry, there is just no way I can function. And it is in the best interest of all the loved ones in my life that I not go hungry...So I just eat lots of great foods to keep me functioning all day and workout hard.
And I still have to prepare food for the rest of my family. I can't prepare two separate meals and not eat what is on their plates. Especially if there is bacon on their plates...
I should specify that I am still nursing a ton. So I get extra calories per day. But I feel like when you are nursing, you are so hungry 24/7 that this isn't really a "win".
My only philosophy is:
I didn't cut out any food groups. I'm not paleo or primal, or low-carb anything. Just focused on eating real foods. However, yesterday was a Sunday in Lent so I had chocolate and ice cream. Though both were "processed" - I can't seriously eat real food 24/7. That's just unrealistic. You gotta live a little!! I follow an 80/20 rule. And not perfectly :)
I recognize that a gym membership is expensive. I'm so fortunate that Jason splurged to buy it this year for me. I tried my best to workout at home but I usually get distracted by all the things I have to do. I needed to be out of my "office" in order to focus on a workout. After seeing the change in my general demeanor, energy and lifestyle in the last 3 months, I no longer see a gym membership as a "luxury". It is a necessity and I will try my best to budget it in yearly.
If you are interested in what we eat daily, here it is! (Plus a couple of my favorite recipes)
Before the gym: Smoothies: homemade yogurt, frozen strawberries and bananas
After the gym: Soaked Oatmeal or Soaked buttermilk pancakes, Sourdough Pancakes or our new favorite: Soaked Dutch Baby! *Recipe below*
- I add lots of butter, some vanilla extract and salt, a little maple syrup or muscovado sugar to my oatmeal
Eggs fried in lots of grass-fed butter and my homemade sourdough bread toasted with butter and jelly. Pastured bacon or sausage from our farmer if we have it.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or grilled cheese.
Cheese/Crackers/Nuts and Raisins
Sometimes we will have migas, sausage/egg/cheese mini quiche's or something fancy if my kitchen is clean.
Apple, Banana, Orange or Grapefruit, Sweet Potato with coconut oil, Nuts
- Last night we had this: Jolean Cheese Potato and Smoked Sausage Casserole with a real food makeover and raw veggies with homemade ranch dip (I used my homemade yogurt). I'm soooo happy there are leftovers because it was AMAZING!!! (We used the smoked sausage from the deer Jason shot earlier this year. The meat was cut with a wild hog caught on his parents ranch.)
- Friday we had green bean casserole (with caramelized onions) and mac'n'cheese quinoa. I had just made about 2 cups of homemade mozzarella that day so I used one cup per recipe. When something calls for cheese, I tend to be a little heavy-handed :)
- The other day we had Alaskan salmon (found it at Sam's Club!!) baked in garlic butter, mashed potatoes with (yup) more butter, and sauteed broccoli (my absolute favorite broccoli recipe!!).
- We had burgers and baked french fries a couple nights ago. I could live on those french fries.
- Tomorrow is Beef, Broccoli and Rice Casserole. And at some point this week I will be making Roasted Cauliflower with Bacon and Garlic. Probably as a side to a salisbury steak or something.
If I'm still hungry after dinner, I'll munch on banana chips, nuts, chips/salsa/sour cream, sourdough with butter and jelly or a banana and peanut butter.
I seriously don't worry about the quantity of food I'm eating. The only thing I can overeat are those dang banana chips. SO GOOD!! But everything else is impossible to overeat on. You are satisfied, full and energized throughout the day.
Now here is my favorite recipe. I make it at least once a week!!
Soaked Dutch Baby Pancake
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup raw milk
2 pinches cinnamon (make sure it is real cinnamon and not cassia bark!)
2 pinches salt
pure maple syrup for topping.
The night before, combine 1 cup raw milk and 1 cup whole wheat flour in a glass or ceramic bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm place to sit overnight.
In the morning, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put 4 tablespoons of butter or coconut oil in a cast iron skillet and put it in the oven to melt while you mix the batter.
Use an immersion blender to blend 4 eggs into the milk/flour mixture (or beat vigorously). Toss in a couple pinches of cinnamon and a couple pinches of pink himalayan sea salt. Pour batter into cast iron skillet (if the butter browned a bit, don't worry!!) and bake at 425 for 12 minutes. Cut like a pie and serve with maple syrup.
I LOVE this recipe because you don't have to stand there and do batches of pancakes. You can just bake it while you get ready for the day. And it is SO good!!
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