The last time I was weighed at my midwife's office before our eighth child was born, the scale read 204 pounds. I know some of you blessedly tall girls are thinking, "So?", but I'm a shorty at 5'3", and 204 pounds was not a healthy situation. I can blame back-to-back pregnancies, but I still knew that I was going to have to do something about it and fast.
Because of Mighty Joe's illness, I didn't get around to adding an exercise routine into my day until an entire year after he was born. What I have learned over the past almost-40 years is that I have to do what works for me. There are thousands of paths to weight loss available, but the bottom line is that I won't exercise if I hate it. I hate running. That's out.
I began changing my diet by replacing breakfast and lunch with an Isagenix shake. I would not recommend this to everyone; it's pricey and if you need to get a better handle on nutrition, drinking a meal-replacement won't help you long term. But Isagenix did kick-start my weight loss, and I lost 25 pounds in just a few months.
I did love the ease of shakes enough to keep at it, but I switched to Juice Plus for several reasons, not the least of which was... um... the inability to "go" with Isagenix. That's enough about that :) There is absolutely NO reason you have to do this, too. I'm just telling you what works for me.
We eat generally healthy: whole grains, lots of fresh veggies, homemade food.
And so then there's exercise. Running's out. So is swimming six months out of the year. A gym is not a reality, both because I rarely leave my house as it is, and the cost would drive me batty. But I spent the years between age 5 and age 20 in a ballet studio or performing live theater, which often meant musicals and tap dancing, too. I love to dance, I like aerobic exercise, and I like routines. Thanks to my incredibly hard-bodied mom-of-three childhood friend Jonelle, I was introduced to Slim in Six and the Beach Body line of exercise DVDs.
This has been the answer for me. Slim in Six is my favorite series, but I do use a couple of other Beach Body DVDs just to add variety (Yoga Booty Ballet, fast forwarding through the goofy spiritual junk and Turbo Jam, which makes me feel like I'm releasing any aggression I might have hidden deep down :D ). I like the Pilates Body Band workout from time to time, too.
What works for me won't necessarily be the answer for you. The key is to figure out what works for you, when you can add it in to your day, and then do it. I work out during our afternoon quiet hour or at night. That's what works for me. And listen- there is a season for everything. This past weekend my husband was gone for four days and I only worked out once while he was gone. The long days of managing all eight of my kiddos without a break at night was physically wearing. If you have a husband who is deployed or you can rarely get a break, this may not be your season for serious exercise. Can you be content to take walks with the kids or dance in the kitchen?
If I can encourage you young moms just starting out- keep on top of the weight loss and fitness. If you're hoping to have a lot of children, you will need stamina and energy like you can't believe. I had our firstborn when I was just 22 and our lastborn at 37. There was massive difference between the first pregnancy and the ninth.
I'm 142 pounds right now. I have ten more pounds I'd like to lose to be at a weight I know I can realistically maintain. But I don't plan for 204 pounds to ever be a reality again.