I am figuring this out. Slowly and steadily. I am 30 pounds down from my pregnancy high and 14 pounds down from my six week appointment (when my weight had basically settled to where it would stay/go up, unless I put in some serious work).
I have always felt like I am someone who doesn’t lose much weight breast feeding, and I still think that I am to some extent, but I think I was also going about weight loss all wrong, for basically my whole life. I was counting calories, restricting and hardly working out enough. The biggest change I am needing to make for success is a shocking one. . . I need to be eating more. I am using myfitnesspal.com to keep track of what I am eating and as a guideline for calorie intake. My calorie allotment for the day is 1340, then I add in breastfeeding and that gives me an extra 500. Every time I workout (even just my mile long nap walk for Nolie every day) I enter that in and am given more calories. For the first several weeks (I have been doing this for seven weeks) I didn’t eat the exercise calories and often times ended my day with a couple hundred calories “left over”. I thought that this would speed up my weight loss and was OK with it as long as it didn’t impact my milk supply. My supply stayed high but I was only losing a tiny bit. I didn’t expect to lose much fast so this just seemed like the way my body was doing it- until these past two weeks.
For the last couple of weeks I have been eating more (quality )calories (good fats and grains for the most part, hello raw brownies! I big time love you!) and using up all of my exercise and nursing calories (for the most part) and the weight started to come off a bit faster.
I have always known that eating very little puts your metabolism into hibernation and that my metabolism needs all the help it can get! So when I started this journey I knew I needed to keep my calorie intake at the higher end of the number for losing weight, but I didn’t take into account that breastfeeding is a workout for my body too so I needed to be sure to eat those (once again, quality is key) calories as well.
Eating more has made an incredible difference in lots of facets. I am not going a “restrictive” route and thus not making myself crazy in keeping tabs too closely (FYI: it is dumb to try and figure out the amount of calories in a sample of quinoa salad at TJ’s, you will make yourself crazy). It has made me feel like a “splurge” here and there is just fine and a totally alright thing to do, just be sure to account for it and workout accordingly. And, finally, it has been working!
I am finding great recipes full of whole foods and healthy fats that don’t bust our budget. I am learning SO much more about portion control and I am finally getting into the groove of regular exercise. I have been doing Stroller Strides (I linked to the class in my town but there are classes all over the country!) fairly consistently and I really think that a lot my weight loss is thanks to that. I am feeling strong again. . . and it feels so good. I can do planks again, push-ups, and run without losing my breath in an instant. We are gong to sign up for a 5k soon! I started running again recently and it was so awesome that I was able to pop out the door and go for a two mile jog and feel totally fit. Stroller Strides has built up my endurance and made running so (so so so) much easier to get back into!
Slow and Steady this weight is coming off and I couldn’t be more happy! Also, I encourage anyone who is embarking on any sort of weightloss program to take progress pictures. I didn’t want to write this post because I didn’t feel like 14 pounds was a “big enough achievement” or like it “made any difference” so Charlie helped me to pull up some older pictures and a current one. . . and I was so surprised at how much of a difference I could see! Here’s hoping that the next 14 will make an even bigger difference!