Overview: At 9 weeks post-partum, I realized I was going back to work in 3 1/2 weeks and urgently needed to lose some more baby weight! I started going to the gym sporadically at 7 weeks post-partum and during one of my visits, I saw a "Healthy Eating Challenge" sign on the wall. Listen... dieting is sooooo hard for me because I am a super picky eater! It's near impossible for me to just cold turkey start eating everything healthy. So when I saw this 12 week challenge, I was down for it. I love a good list and countdown! And when Puff agreed to do it with me, I was super excited to see if we could do it!
Goals: I needed to lose 10 pounds to get back to my "pants should fit" weight, 13 pounds til my "pre-baby" weight, 15 pounds til my "preferred" weight, and 20 pounds til my "I wish I could always maintain this" weight. Our focus each week would be that week's challenge item. Of course, we would also attempt to make wise food decisions outside of that, and I would realistically hope to get to the gym twice each week. I was already doing crunches and planks at home each day too. Our hope was that after a week of doing each challenge, it would become more habit and we could try to keep at it!
Can't believe I'm about to post this grossness on the InterGoogle, but here are my before pics of the day I started this whole mess. (Down 40 pounds from the end of my pregnancy!)
Week 1 Challenge: Water Only!!! No soda, tea, juice, or alcohol.
Modifications: Puff was concerned about not getting any caffeine, so we agreed if he really needed it, he could use a Crystal Light packet.
Verdict: I have never needed a Coke in my life more than I did at the end of this week! Driving past a McDonald's was the biggest test of my will power in history. I was reminded that sometimes water at a restaurant tastes like they washed the dishes in it. But hey... I lost a pound!
Week 2 Challenge: No sweets!!! No cookies, candy, ice cream, cake, etc. Substitute fresh fruit instead.
Modifications: I decided not to beat myself up if I had to reach for a pineapple fruit cup instead of fresh fruit.
Verdict: It was easier than I expected it to be, and I was only really tempted one night to cheat. I did indulge in 2 sodas this week, since I was deprived the week prior. I had one cheat meal (at Olive Garden) but otherwise, I watched what I ate. And I lost ZERO pounds. Talk about a kick in the face. I thus concluded that giving up sweets is not helpful to a diet, so why bother? Puff was down 4 pounds at this point. And I hated him.
Week 3 Challenge: No chips/crackers!!! (This was the one that Puff was scared most about! He loves salty snacks!)
Verdict: This was harder for me than anticipated, but I lost TWO pounds by the end of the week. Don't worry, my parents were then in town for Labor Day (which meant eating out every meal for 3.5 days) and I gained those pounds back by the next Monday. Ugh! I did, however, notice that I didn't feel great after all of that previously normal eating. Which I guess is a good thing!
Week 4 Challenge: Don't skip meals & have protein for breakfast!!! (This was the week I started back to work!)
Verdict: I lost the two pounds I had gained back from the week before, PLUS one more! This week was actually an eye-opener. It showed me how much eating something as simple as a rice cake with peanut butter could hold me over until lunch way better than a Poptart ever could. I also started drinking Naked protein drinks on occasion. This seemed to be the one week that would carry on easily into my normal routine.
Week 5 Challenge: Eat your vegetables!!! (This was the one I was most scared about. I do NOT like veggies!)
Verdict: I say there were no modifications, but you've got to count lettuce as a serious veggie, because that's what happened this week. A whole lot of salads. And some celery. We also were at the beach for a few days this week, so we definitely didn't stick to any sort of real diet this week. Nor did I make it to the gym at all. Only bright side? I didn't gain anything, but I didn't lose anything either. With all those pina coladas, I'd say that's a victory.
Week 6 Challenge: Go 100% whole grain!!! If you must eat bread, pasta, rice, etc. this week, make sure the label reads "WHOLE GRAIN."
Modifications: A whole shit ton...
Verdict: I basically considered this a gluten free week, since I hadn't gone shopping to actually pick up anything made with whole grain. The first day was a bust. I was so hungry by the time dinner rolled around, that I caved to Bimmer's request for pizza and stuffed my face with some Little Caesar's. The second day wasn't any better...poptart for dinner. Life was just kicking me in the ass, so the last thing on my mind was worrying about a diet. Basically, the whole week was a bust. But I did lose a pound. The lesson is that a pan of brownies will ultimately help you lose a pound.
Alright... so we're at the halfway point. And how have we done so far???
(Here is where I would insert "after" photos but dammit, life has just gotten the better of me.)
I have lost 5 pounds in 6 weeks.
Would I have hoped for more? Sure. Am I OK with this since I'm technically moving in the right direction? Sure. Would I love to be back down to my pre-baby size by the end of the next 6 weeks? Hey... it's always good to have goals!