Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm healthy and I know it...Part II

Thanks for all the sweet comments. I am honestly at a place where I am CONFIDENT I am taking care of my body exactly how I should, but it is nice to hear others who have gone through the same thing. :)

And we'll see where I'm at and exactly what my doctor has to say in 1 hour.

But now I'd like to talk specifically about some of the lifestyle changes I made and habits I picked up prior to when I was pregnant and how I'm incorporating those changes into my pregnancy.

First, let me just back up to fill in some details PRIOR to the last year and a half of my life.

Before: Eating and Fitness Habits

Eating Habits:

  • I grew up in a healthy household. A house where my mom made me eat fruits and vegetables before I could eat anything else. And my plate always had the proper portions from the food pyramid. However, I also grew up in a single-parent household - so because my mom worked, we would often eat what was quick: tuna casserole, boxed meals, canned goods (a.k.a. PROCESSED CRAP).  Oh, and can't forget that I inherited the family sweet tooth - I used to sneak candy and cookies at my grandma's house because we didn't usually have those things at my house. I still have that sweet tooth today. 
  • Then I went to college. Hello dorm and sorority meals: fatty, creamy, processed, sugary. I didn't realize it at the time, but I definitely gained the freshman 15. I slowly started to lose the weight without really trying over the next couple of years. Still eating a bunch of "mass-produced" items, tons of carbs, little fruits and veggies. 
  • I was forced to learn to cook when we got married. Turns out - I LOVE to cook...when I have the time.  Overall, Gabe and I have always eaten healthy: protein, dairy, whole grains, fresh veggies and fruits...and of course some dessert.  Our downfall has only really been eating out. 
  • Oh, and I can't forget when I went on Weight Watchers back in 2009. It worked so well. I don't think I worked out one single day. And I lost 10 lbs. in one month. I loved WW. I've always somewhat followed it since then. But, although it absolutely helps you lose weight - guaranteed - I have come to learn I also picked up poor habits from WW: diet everything (a.k.a. ARTIFICIAL CRAP), and becoming obsessed with a number. 

Fitness Habits: 
  • I was a very active kid. I shot out of the womb with tons of energy. Truly, my mom said I never EVER napped during the day. I just wanted to be awake, enjoy life and go-go-go. Funny how I'm still like that today. 
  • Although I was never really "athletic" in the traditional sense, I grew up dancing. In high school, I had a dance class every single night - this kept me active and in shape. 
  • Then I went to college. I think I worked out a total of 15 times in 4 years. Ugh. That makes me cringe
  • After I got married, I began to work out in spurts. When we lived in Dallas, I pretty much just walked my dogs. I don't think I ever set foot in a gym. When we moved to Rhode Island, I had a gym at work, so I started working out regularly. I worked out 3-5 times a week: running (short distances), elliptical, and kickboxing. I felt great, and I stopped looking at the scale so much. 
Overall: until the past few years, I've never been a regular worker-outer.

Mind and Body: 
  • I've never been a small, petite little thing. Never have, never will. I've got myself a booty, and I've had boobs for as long as I can remember. I think I started wearing a bra in 4th grade. Oh, and my hips don't lie. One big pile of curves, I am. Although I've recently learned to embrace what God's given me, I was absolutely MISERABLE growing up. I seriously hated my body. 
  • I've been obsessed with my weight for as long as I can remember. I can remember thinking I was "fat" in third grade. How sad is that? Again, it goes back to the whole, I've-never-been-really-little thing.  Part of this was because I danced with so many girls with "dance bodies"...something that I would physically not ever be able to have. 
  • In my adult life, I've always had this pesky 5-6 pound fluctuation. And I tend to carry weight in my hips and face. Awesome. But I am always gaining and losing, gaining and losing. I would usually just put myself on Weight Watchers about a month before I had a big event.
  • I've been a size 8 since middle school. I've seriously stayed this same size, even gaining and losing those 5 lbs., for about 15 years. Well...until recently. 

Today: The Secret to MY Skinny

So what's changed since we've moved back to Kansas about a year and a half ago?

Well, it's simple really.

And it's all been so unintentional.

I didn't really realize I was losing so much weight until EVERYONE started commenting. Seriously, I would see people at weddings, and they would just go on and on about how great I looked. Or, I would see people I saw fairly regularly and they would say, "Oh my goodness, how are you so skinny?!?!"

On the flip side, it got to a point where my mom and close friends were starting to worry because I just kept losing weight. And I was NOT trying.

I went to the doctor twice within a 6 month period. I had lost 10 pounds the first appt. Then another 9 pounds by the second appt. I WAS NOT TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT.

After determining from the doctor I was indeed healthy - I finally sat down and began to piece together what changes I had made over the past year...
  • I went off birth control. We were NOT trying to get pregnant. I simply had been on the pill since I was 15, and I wanted to get those hormones out of my body. I was ready to be done with it. Best decision I've ever made. I felt happier, healthier, and had more energy! **My doc said this probably contributed to about 5-10 pounds of my weight loss. HA! All these years, and I could have been skinny. ;)
  • We completely changed our eating habits. It all began randomly and gradually. Then, once I began to notice extremely positive changes, I became quite religious about it. These changes included:
1). Smaller portion sizes.
2). Eating throughout the day. I seriously eat all day long. And it has done wonders for my metabolism. 
3). Eating out significantly less.

For the last year and a half, we've done some serious cutting out of processed foods - e.g. no more Lean Cuisines, frozen meals, canned goods, pre-made stuff. Don't get me wrong though. I will open up a can of refried beans or order something from the deli. It's just trying not to eat AS processed as we once were.
We also started eating tons of fresh, organic fruits and veggies, cut out red meat, and eat ONLY whole grains - no refined sugar (e.g. white bread, pasta, etc.). We really only eat fish and organic chicken. Does this mean we NEVER eat a burger? Absolutely not. Do we never pick up grapes that aren't organic? Heavens no. But, we simply try to limit these things.

Has this lifestyle change affected our budget? Yes, some. With fruits and vegetables we at least try to pick up organic if it's in the Dirty Dozen. And does it take more time and preparation? Absolutely. But it is so worth it!

*I must confess, I am currently working on eliminating artificial sweeteners (e.g. Splenda, aspartame, etc.). This is a tough one because as I mentioned above, that's all I ate with Weight Watchers. We've recently made the switch to Stevia which is an all-natural sweetener with no calories. And I do still order Diet Cokes from time to time. Moderation is my best friend! :)

I could go on and on. And I'm honestly shocked if anyone is still reading. But I do have people ask me ALL the time.

Oh. I almost forgot. What were the final results from these life changes?
  • I lost 20 pounds.
  • I went from a size 8 for the last 15 years to a size 6. 
  • I sleep better. 
  • I have more energy. 
  • I feel HEALTHIER. 
  • I've kept the weight off. 
  • For the first time in my life, I am HAPPY with the way I look. 
And just for kicks, here are some before and after shots:

December 29, 2011


Jessica said...

Thanks for posting this! I'm 4 weeks postpartum and trying to lose the baby weight is all I think about!

Carolyn said...

Love this!!! It's all about being healthy with your body... that "crap" is so horrible for you! :) Thanks for the motivation!!

Britt @ The Adventures of Josh and Britt said...

Just found your blog through Keeping up with Kelly (love her) You look great and I'll definitely be following :)

Kendra said...

Wow. What an amazing transformation. And I'm not talking about physically. It sounds like mentally you have it together. Honestly I don't feel like I have time to wipe out all that stuff from our lives but I'm sure if I sat down and figured it out I would find the time. Thanks for the push...I'm going to at least try!

Lynelle said...

Hey Angela! I've been following your blog for a little while now, and it is so fun to see where life has taken you guys! I am very excited for your new adventure of parenthood. You look great! :)

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

I am going to repin that pin right now! I need to start eating more healthy foods and more organic! Way to go!