Friday, April 8, 2011

The Struggle to Downsize

I really hate to make excuses for myself BUT how in the world am I supposed to do it?

I have been "planning" to kick my weight-loss/healthy eating/get fit quest into high gear for a long time now. I am about 12 months overdue to shed the 40+ pounds of "baby" weight that came into my life around the same time The Baby did.

I find this whole process very tricky. First of all, as my sister pointed out to me, it is a challenge to simultaneously grow your children and shrink yourself. I am not a big fan of making different food for the kids at dinner time. Since Sweet Hubby is at work until way past bedtime, I am a one-woman show each night, and multiple meals are not in my repertoire. I have a hard enough time making sure at least one meal is balanced. And by balanced, I mean, hopefully contains at least one component that did not come out of a box or can.

Trying to incorporate some kind of "lifestyle change" (because you are not supposed to call it a diet, right?!) selections into a weekly menu that the kids will actually eat is tough. I also don't want to deprive them of the necessary calories and good fats that their little bodies need to grow big and strong.

And from a philosophical standpoint, I don't want to call constant attention to the fact that I need to lose weight in front of my kids. I want them to grow up with a healthy body image, so I hate to let them see me focus so much time and energy on what I eat. That seems like a recipe for potential eating disorder disasters down the road.

Sure, I can tell them that I "just want to be healthy" and I am making sure my body has healthy fuel, not junk. Blah. Blah. Blah. But at the end of the day, I am measuring my Cheerios and counting my pretzels for crying out loud. Surely that will stick in their little minds.

Then there is the small matter of how much more expensive my grocery bill is when I am "following the herd plan". It turns out that those bright and colorful fresh foods (as opposed to those in the bright and colorful boxes) cost a whole lot more. You don't find a lot of coupons for kale or cauliflower.

But the fact remains, that Mommy 2.0 needs to reboot before the whole system crashes. I need more energy. I need to fit in my clothes again. And most of all, I need to have a healthy body for my kiddos. To set a good example, and to make sure I am going to be there for them when they need me, for a long, long time.

So I am ready for any and ALL of your tips, tricks and tactics for making weight loss attainable, despite the challenges that we mommies face (not enough time, not enough money, not enough self control). How do you do it?

P.S. Weight Watchers ™ is my plan of choice, mostly because I cannot live without eating pizza (real pizza). End of story.


  1. It's HARD! It really is. It's time-consuming, frustrating, and expensive. I don't have many suggestions other than add long walks (with hill if possible) to the daily activity log. Another good reminder is to NOT eat when we're not hungry. Start out with a smaller plate/portion and eat it slowly (another challenge in the kid-directed dinner frenzy). When you've finished, re-consider second helpings. No matter how good it tastes or looks, ask yourself, "am I still hungry?" If you're not actually hungry, don't eat more!
    Oh, and there's my cauliflower trick - replace rice and pasta with cauliflower. Not a difficult task when incorporating into a family meal, just steam/boil some frozen cauliflower with the rest of the meal.
    Try being good all week and then allowing yourself a cheat meal or a special desert. I gotta admit, once you start eating healthier, it helps you want to make healthier choices overall. Mind games! ;)

  2. I struggled with this last summer. I really needed to lose 40 pounds but nothing seemed to be working for me. Finally, I decided to start walking. I found a park and committed to walking everyday. After a few weeks, I felt great even though I hadn't lost any weight. I set a goal to walk 100 miles in a month (I know that's ridiculously high but I used to be a runner so it worked for me. My mom and sister did 30 and 50, respectively). Once I started walking, I made better food choices without really trying that hard. It took awhile for me to notice any weight loss, but once it started coming kept coming and quickly. By the end of the second month I had lost 25 pounds.

    And I still ate pizza!

  3. I too need this. I struggle constantly. As soon as I start doing well, we end up at the hospital, eating crap. Perhaps you can help inspire me.

  4. Can I post on here or do you need to register?

  5. Oh sweet. Hey Sis, it's you wittle brutha. I have a few suggestions for you. They're realistic, attainable suggestions, too. Not some craziness I'm going to spew about Crossfit and how everyone should join my cult.

    Anyway, have you thought about adopting more "Asian-style" eating habits? I hate to have you think I'm saying this only because I'm dating an Asian, but in all honesty, their way of eating is a helluva lot more simple and healthy than ours. My first suggestion would be to throw out every last starch in your cabinets and buy a rice cooker. Don't only use it for an occasional meal, but keep that bad boy plugged in and use it for lunch and dinner.

    The beauty of it is twofold: first, there's so many combinations of simple ingredients - cut-up chicken breasts, ground beef, vegetables - that you can heat up in about 15 minutes, along with a multitude of sauces that you can combine rice with to come up with so many different types of meals. The second benefit is that if you get into the habit, half your meal is always already cooked - the rice. Just turn that puppy on and look away. Easy prep, easy cooking, easy clean up.

    The downside to this, if you make it a habit, is that yes, you and your kids will be eating a lot of rice. But honestly, think about it: what's wrong with that? It's the healthiest, most easy to digest starch out there. Even go with brown rice if you want, but really, rice is rice. It's second to eating lettuce every meal.

    Anyway, this is just a suggestion, but really it's a lifestyle / cultural suggestion as well as a "meal" suggestion. It would take a good deal of adaption but I think it would be worth it, not only for you but for Bella and Autumn too, to ween them off the breads and pastas at an early age.

    And just think of all the recipes you could trade with Ria! :D

  6. A couple summers ago, I was on a kick of making my own pizza dough. It's amazingly easy and way better than fast food stuff. It's amazing grilled. Fig, bleu cheese, and spinach was one of the best ones.

    I do the farmers' market for veg in the summer and try to stick to seasonal greens (easier said than done in the Northeast). Fall/winter, I make bean soup to have on hand and spring/summer, it's salads.

    Good luck. Losing weight is so tough. I'm going to be miserable when I stop nursing and have to actually think about what I eat. I'm looking at you, Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs.

  7. I hear you!!! I am the worst when it comes to the "d" word. My biggest downfall is snacking. Being home all day with all the goodies on hand is just too tempting for me. I have never been great at dieting, but I do find that as long as I get to the gym or even a run around the block, I don't feel so bad about indulging. Also, recently, I have almonds have been great for me. They are a great snack when I need something to munch on and are packed with protein, so they keep me full. Finally, I a HUGE choco-holic, and that is not something I am willing to change :) I like to keep the mini's of my favorite candy on hand, so that I can have one after the baby goes to bed. Good Luck!!!

  8. I've heard it said "that nothing tastes as good as being thin feels!" Now if only I could adapt that idea we'd be golden. Love you just the way you are, DIL!!!

  9. Story of my life... only I didn't birth a child from my body to gain my 7,000 excess pounds. I'm not here to share any tricks (because I'm a diet and exercise FAILURE) but I am here to show support. I know how rough a road this can be. Thinking of you.


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