Weighing in: Practicing moderation in eating

Knowledge is powerful, but only when we are strong.

I love to read labels, and can recite the calories, protein, fiber, and sugar contents of many foods, along with the recommended serving size. I've spent time telling you about moderation when it comes to portion sizes.

I know the recommended lengths and intensities of exercise, and how many calories I burn walking for 30 minutes pushing a stroller. I've even blogged about the importance of exercise.

I know how many calories I should be eating each day.

I even know the recommended weight for my frame and height. And unfortunately, I wasn't in it. Wait -- why did I say "unfortunately"? After all, I get to choose what I eat.

Oh, yeah... the missing component: self control. Discipline. What, you mean reading about weight loss won't take the pounds off? I have to cut back on my... food intake?

Okay, time for a little background. :)

I had never really had much concern about my weight for the first 20 years of my life. I wasn't raised on health food and rarely exercised as a child, but being homeschooled and living on a farm provided room to move around, hard work to do, and lots of fresh garden food.

I got married when I was 20, and we lived in a small (<700 sq.ft.) apartment. While I definitely kept busy as a homemaker, most of my work was indoor activities... and I was still adjusting to cooking for 2 (not 8+!).

I was also more "on my own" than ever before, meaning that I had a lot of freedom when it came to eating. If I wanted to make a bag of microwave popcorn and eat it, I could. Any time of day. We had a microwave back then, and no little children to ask "Mommy, what are you doing?! Hey, I want some too!!"

On our wedding day, I was a normal weight for my body/height. When we finally purchased a bathroom scale 12 months later, I had gained 20 pounds. No wonder my clothes was tight and I felt chubby!

Seeing such a high number on the scales was a depressing shock, and I immediately started eating better. I eliminated all desserts, all fast food, and started walking every day. I lost those 20 pounds in a matter of several months, and felt great!

And almost right away, we found out that we were expecting our first child. They say that women tend to keep 10 pounds of baby weight with each child they have? Well, that was me. I gained 37 pounds when I was pregnant, and kept 10.

Nursing made me hungry, and I took advantage of the fact that I could eat a lot of food without gaining weight. I also told myself that nursing moms needed a lot of calories, and that I could lose those last 10 pounds after Yehoshua was weaned. After all, I knew exactly what to do to lose weight because I'd done it before!

Before Yehoshua was weaned, I was pregnant again. Since I started out 10 pounds heavier than the first time around, I only gained 27 pounds. (I actually don't try to limit my weight gain during pregnancy. Pregnancy is about the only time in recent years that I have felt as though I was pretty and not fat -- because pregnant women are supposed to be heavier! Smile Just one of the things I love about pregnancy... the extra sense of self-worth.)

Anyway, I ended up keeping an extra 10 pounds after having my second baby. I used every excuse imaginable to not exercise regularly and to not watch portion sizes. I didn't like being 20 pounds over my ideal weight, but I also didn't (and don't) enjoy denying my flesh.

Then, relief: I was pregnant again! I instantly went from feeling "fat" to feeling "cute and pregnant"! Hmmm. :)

After Ruth was born, I got within 7 pounds of my pre-3rd-pregnancy weight. Then the weight stopped coming off... but I kept eating. I started actually gaining weight (while exclusively breastfeeding -- so you can imagine how much food I was consuming!!!).

I didn't want to step on the scale because it was too depressing. I weighed as much as I did when I was 9 months pregnant with Yehoshua! I was okay with the idea of being a chubby mommy, and besides -- everyone looked at Ruth, not at me. I could just hold her in my arms and become invisible...

However, none of my clothes fit me very well. Most of the excess weight was in my stomach, which is very unhealthy - besides making me look 3-4 months pregnant. I would look in the mirror and think, "Next time I get pregnant, I'll be able to take pregnancy pictures the first month!" Embarassed I was no longer at the top of the"healthy weight" scale -- I was considered overweight.


Thankfully, my husband helped pull me out of "feeling depressed and ignoring my weight while eating more to help me feel better" and in early July, I started making some changes.

Since that time (about 3 months now), I've lost more than 15 pounds through watching what I eat and exercising. I still have about 15 pounds to go, but I already feel much better than I did before. I think I've lost at least 6 inches around my waist (like I said, the weight was all collecting there!) and a lot of my clothes that was too tight is now fitting me. Yay! :)

So here's what I did to get started.

1. I used an online calculator to determine how many calories I needed to consume each day. Since I'm breastfeeding, I added 300-500 calories to that number.

2. Each day, I keep track of how many calories I am consuming. This sounded tedious to me, but I was determined to know how much I was eating in order to lose weight while eating healthfully.

Counting calories is actually easier than I expected and really opened my eyes to the huge portions I had been eating! It's also helpful when I have consumed the full amount of calories for the day but am still hungry before bed -- to tell myself that I don't NEED to eat more.

It's also nice because even when the scales sometimes jumps up a number or two, I know I couldn't possibly have actually gained weight because I wasn't over-eating.

3. Once a week, I weigh myself and write that number down on a list. It's encouraging to see how far I've come! At the beginning, the thought of losing a pound a week for 30 weeks is just overwhelming! I did sort of set an initial goal of 20 pounds and a secondary goal of 10 pounds.

Also, the first week I lost 4 pounds (for some reason, that seems to happen the first week... probably all that undigested food that was constantly sitting inside me!) which was an incredible motivator!

4. Since I had been having difficulty with self-control (the reason I needed to lose 30 pounds!), the best thing for me was to avoid desserts and junk food. I know it's okay to have a bite or two, but for me, "a bite or two" almost always turned into a whole lot more than that. So for now, I'm pretty much cutting out the desserts and junk food. I've made a few exceptions, but in general this is what works the best for me!

5. Since I now have a calorie "budget", spending my calories wisely is really important. If I want to feel satisfied and healthy, then I need to use my calories on good food. Some of the things we like:

Bananas -- a quick, filling, 100-calorie snack
Other fruit -- whatever's on sale or in season
Lots of veggies -- I've been making at least 2 with each meal
Less of the main dish -- double the fruits and veggies!
Soup -- healthy veggie-based soups are great!
Water (I always have drank lots) and caffeine-free teas
Anything with lots of protein and fiber -- whole wheat bread, scrambled eggs, a cheese stick, etc...

6. I also exercise at least several times a week. Often, I walk with the children to a nearby park (about 15 minutes away) and while that's not aerobic exercise, it's still exercise and we're all getting some! :)

Other times, I ride our recumbent bike while watching a DVD -- though this requires Joshua or someone else to babysit while I'm exercising. (My children wake up early!! I'd need to get up before 5am to exercise while they're asleep, but I can't get to bed early enough for that...)

7. I always eat breakfast, but I try to skip the evening snacks. If I really must snack, I try to eat a banana or something similar. If I'm a little hungry at bedtime, I try to just go to bed.

By the way, I think it is pretty sad that so many people are literally starving in this world and yet it takes so much effort on my part not to over-indulge. I feel very spoiled and selfish writing about this topic! Yet, I know there are others who have similar struggles, so I hope that my ramblings are motivating and encouraging.

8. While we haven't changed what we eat for meals (aside from mothing too sweet or junky!), I've re-arranged my portions so that I'm eating twice as many veggies as usual, but only half of what I would normally take of the main dish. And if I'm feeling full half-way through my huge plate of food, I simply stop and save the rest for a few hours later when I'm actually feeling hungry again!

Before starting this diet/lifestyle change, I had difficulties with low blood sugar. Frequently, a couple hours after eating, I would start to feel weak (not really tummy-growling hungry, just weak) from low blood sugar. Initially I was concerned that eating fewer calories would exacerbate the issue, but it's actually dramatically improved. Hmmm.

So, that's where I'm at! I've pretty much adjusted to consuming about 2,000 calories a day instead of the 3500 I had been eating. It's still difficult at times to maintain self-control, but I'm encouraged when I get dressed or look in the mirror, because I'm on my way back to feeling great again! Actually, I already do feel great! :)

I've hinted about my weight loss endeavors, but was reluctant to write about it until I had actually made my plans a reality -- since I am known to make great plans and never follow through. Tongue out

Oh, one more thing -- lots of people recommend Spark People, a free fitness website. I did sign up there (actually, at their pregnant/breastfeeding companion website where they directed me as I was applying), but really am not able to use the computer to keep track of everything. It's easier for me to note things on paper! But the website had some great checklists for keeping track of calories, glasses of water, etc... so if you're into that sort of thing, check it out! :)

I'd love to hear your weight loss stories and tips! Are any of you on this journey with me right now? :)

Comments

I so needed to read this. I loved what you wrote at the very top: "Knowledge is powerful, but only when we are strong." That immediately struck a chord with me. I am on a journey to lose baby weight, and weight gained out of lack of exercise/having unstructured time at home pre-baby/and just bad habits. Sometimes I get so stuck reading about losing weight and researching different things but not actually making the changes! Thank you for being so transparent. I have huge problems following things through and being disciplined too. Thank God for His gift of supportive husbands :-)
This post was so encouraging, thankyou for having the courage to write about this. I am off to check out your links and re-read your helpful thoughts on what's working for you.

Moderation is my problem. I make healthy meals, I exercise daily, I know what is good and bad and what I should or should not be eating...but then there it is a piece of cake...and I can't just have one piece b/c it's soooo good. So there goes my resolve.

Like you - I have found that it's best to keep a written diary - nothing fancy - just scribbling on a paper - of the food I eat - everything...every little snack. B/c it all adds up quickly.

Tammy,

I just want to tell you I enjoy your blog so much! I nursed all three babies and never lost weight with them. I discovered a wonderful bible study online that is free. I just want to share it with you and you can check it out for yourself. The weight loss(212 down to 175 so far) is just gravy on top compared to the closeness I have been enjoying with my Lord! It is Setting Captives Free: The Lord's Table and their website is settingcaptivesfree.com. Maybe your other readers would enjoy it as well. Thanks for the wonderful tips and recipes - we love your bread and now have a clothesline that we use daily!

Blessings,
Jamie

Thanks for writing about this. It helps to know that I'm not alone in my struggles! I'm not overweight, but I'm near the high end of what is healthy for my height/frame and could easily be overweight if I didn't work hard at it. I don't really know what I'm trying to say- just that it feels good not to be alone in this, so your "rambling", I think you called them, were helpful, at least to me!!! I've been making some changes- writing down what I eat REALLY helps! And I'm going to work harder on not snacking before bed. I stay up too late and I guess if I eat dinner around 6 and stay up past 11, it's normal to feel hungry by then....

I think it helps to have someone to walk the journey with you - literally! I lost all my baby fat the first time around, 'cause my sister-in-law lived just down the road and we kept each other accountable by walking together each morning and doing calisthenics at least 3 times a week. I know I'm going to miss her after this next pregnancy! But your post gave me some good ideas and inspiration - thanks for being transparent, Tammy!

This was a really motivating post. I've recently started to try to lose my baby weight (of course, my baby is 3 years old now!). You wrote this beautifully and I look forward to looking at the websites you posted.

"By the way, I think it is pretty sad that so many people are literally starving in this world and yet it takes so much effort on my part not to over-indulge. I feel very spoiled and selfish writing about this topic!"

I've often had the same thoughts. I guess I should feel grateful that this is my biggest problem.

Thank you for your sincerity and willingness to share. I struggle with either not thinking about calories, or thinking way too much about them! Thanks for modeling balance and moderation-- and, most of all, how to think rightly in Christ to give glory to Him in whatever we do, think, or eat. Blessings to you.

I too gained 10 pounds with each of my 5 pregnancies that didnt come off. I have been saying I need to finally get this area of my life under control. I like using the website www.fitday.com to count my calories.

Thank you so much for writing this. It is nice to read that someone else is struggling the same way I am. Thanks for listing what steps you've taken to change things. It gives me inspiration to change things a little at a time. And to finally get rid of the 10 lbs left over from Baby #3 (who is now almost a year old). Thank you again for sharing your struggles.

Beth

"Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become."

I loved this post. I have always had a problem with weight. It goes up and down. I too gained 20 pds when I got married. We got married in Aug on my 22nd birthday exactly...by Dec I was 20 pds heavier and it didn't stop there. I lost some when we were ttc. Right now I am five pds lighter than when I got pregnant with my daughter. But, I am still not at a healthy weight according to what I should weigh. I tend to eat for comfort and I know that has to stop. We have did some changes here over the last month. So your post was so well written and motivational for me. Thank you for all the helpful tips to apply. Sticking with something is my problem:(

http://justanothermodestmom.blogspot.com/

Thanks for sharing your journey, Tammy. You're not alone. You're doing a vital, beautiful thing for yourself and your family.

Hi Tammy,

My weight started becoming an issue at around 19 years of age; right around when I got married.

I'm currently not overweight (I did gain a much needed 15 lbs. recently - everyone thought I was too thin), but have to really work at keeping the weight off. I usually juice veggies for dinner if I'm having it alone, along with a banana or something, but if I'm cooking for my kiddo, I'll have some of what he's having - my famous Spicy Chicken & Rice -- his favorite! (He could eat it for every meal!)

The MAIN thing that really keeps the weight off is EXERCISE! I use my treadmill 3-5 days a week and am going to shoot for 7 days a week. That will allow me to splurge a bit more...:O)

Have a great weekend!

Read your post while munching on my favorite mommy break snack: chocolate!

Did you write this post or me? =) I feel like your story is EXACTLY like mine. No weight troubles until marriage and the whole pregnancy thing. 10 pounds hung on after kid #1 and then before I could lose it I was pregnant again. 5 pounds hung on after that and before I could lose it I was preggo again! Now that my third is 6 weeks old I'm horrified to find myself 20# heavier than I was when we married. I've been trying to walk more and eat less in a desperate attempt to lose but it's hard since nursing makes me hungry and makes me feel like I have a "right" to eat huge portions. I thought about blogging about this subject but was too embarrassed to admit to all of my friends and relatives, who read my blog how hefty I've gotten!

Thank you SO SO MUCH for writing this and giving out some sites that can help me get back on track and feel healthier. I was greatly encouraged by your post and hope you continue to mention it and mention low-fat recipes you've found. I think for those of us who LOVE to cook, sometimes it's hard not to LOVE to eat too!
God bless you!
Mrs. Jo
www.thekingsmissus.blogspot.com

Thanks Tammy,

I needed a little motivation. My fifth baby is about 8 months old now and I am about 50lbs more than I was before my first. I hate it! I feel horrid and this last pregnancy was tough because of the weight. We plan on having more children and I have got to get this under control. I must start walking Today! What do you do to motivate yourself just to get out the door?

Hi Tammy,
I have enjoyed your posts before on exercise and healthy eating. Thanks for motivating me once again. I remember telling my husband about your post on exercise last year when you shared that you often didn't feel like getting out to walk with the kids but you just made yourself rain or shine. Anyway, it was certainly motivation to me since I only had one child at the time.
Since then I have had twin boys. And, I can relate to what you were saying about thinking the nursing would let me eat as much as I want. The pregnancy went very well, and I really didn't have much extra to lose. I kept telling my husband that I was looking forward to nursing twins b/c I could eat as much as I wanted (I know, that is terrible--I love to bake, cook and eat). Even with nursing twins, I managed to put on a few pounds after the pregnancy.
I realized that method of eating wasn't going to keep me healthy for long! Since then (my twins are 5 months now and still nursing), I've found several things helpful: eat less carbs (those are addictive for me--especially homemade cookies), keep a food and exercise diary and be accountable to someone for a while (my mom and I e-mailed each day for about three weeks to get back on track--it made me think before I went for another cookie or an extra scoop of ice cream), and exercise (of course!). :-)
Now that things have cooled off a bit here in Texas where I live, I have consistently been able to walk with my three boys at least 4-5 days a week. I push our toddler and one twin in the stroller and wear one in the Snugli. It makes all of us happier. The boys like getting out in the fresh morning air, and the exercise gives me more energy.
Can I ask you a question? How do you keep track of calories when you are not eating very many packaged foods? I've wanted to track mine more carefully, but I'm not sure how to track my own cooking unless it happens to be a recipe that has the nutrition information.
Anyway, thanks again for your post. I need encouragement to keep going.
Rachel <><

Rachel,
I found a couple of websites helpful in counting calories. calorieking dot com and my caloriecounter dot com
I just lost 25 pounds is the last 3 months.
Here how...
eat less, move more
you have to burn more than you consume that is all there is to it. I am not saying it was even close to easy. It was very hard, but it was my time. I have 3 children. The youngest being 4 years. I just had to hit my rock bottom and go for it. Good luck and stick with it!!! Here's a way I look at it. The next 3 months are going to go anyway, what are you going to do about it(your weight,that is).

I have never been concerned about too much weight, but I was just the opposite... I would put on 30 kg(66 pounds) for a pregnancie and loose everything too quickly ... I had great plans of breast feading but got down to 47 kg (100 pounds) after feeding babie for 9 month ... the second one he was 6 month when I reached that stage and for the triplets I never breast fed but got down to my usual 50kg(110 pounds) for 1m73(5foot7) immediatly.

So it was a great sadness for me not being able to feed my babies for a year or more!
Life isn't fair!

Well, Tammy, if you gain 10 with every pregnancy, and I've been pregnant FIVE times... LoL!! That would explain a few things. ((I figured it out without the wives tale, though.))

I was 5'9, 127lbs from the time I was 16 until I had my first child at 26. From there I just sorta gained... and gained... and hit 200 with this last pregnancy (and I had to wait until January to do anything, since I had my baby on Halloween last year and as soon as I came off restrictions, I had surgery and had to recover from that).

I've lost 35 pounds so far, and have a LONG way to go, or at least that's what it feels like. I've done a LOT of reading on it, and the only way to lose a significant amount of weight is to run. You can lose walking and biking and doing aerobics (I've done them all along thru the eight years of baby-making), but it's true - major weight-loss requires running. So this spring, I started. We have a 1/4 mile long dirt drive (exactly - we measured it), and making it just down ONE way about killed me at first - had no idea I was that out of shape! But my goal was to run in a 5K this year, so out I went. Not every day, and not for very long, but I ran. And I did my first 5K in June and am doing another one in two weeks!

About the tummy - I'm a 'core' heavy person, too, and this bothers me. I have thin arms and legs, but it's the belly and bottom that are soooo hard to lose! And every article I've ever read says you HAVE to do tummy crunches (sit-ups). In fact, an article in a pregnancy magazine said "10 ways to a Tighter Tummy"... and all ten were variations on a sit-up! Well, sit ups aren't my bag - I have a herniated disk and it flares up under pressure.

But I found two things that really work: 'bicycle sit ups" (lie on your back and bring your left knee to your right elbow, then left elbow to your right knee). It's a WHOLE workout of its own!

And then we went camping this summer. I was sitting at a picnic table, scrapbooking during naps, and needed to stretch, so I hooked my feet under the opposite bench and leaned way, way, WAY back until I was parallel to the table... and WHA, did that work those tummy muscles! I was astonished!

Well, now every night after supper we drive to the campground (it's 7 minutes from our house) and walk (at a STEADY pace) the park twice - we discovered that walking the rows of campers once thru is exactly a mile, so we do two. And I love smelling the campfires, smiling at people, and checking out trailers. My kids love collecting sticks and stones, and pushing the stroller (and 3yr old brings his little bike to keep up). When we get to the boat launch my kids always want to walk the fishing pier, so while they do that the first round, I do heel lifts (work the backs of my legs) and the second round, I find a free picnic table and do my new crunches. Then while husband loads the kids, I do my run. It's working out wonderfully.

One last thing - I read an article that people who keep a food log (write down EVERYTHING that goes in their mouth) lose twice as much as people who don't - they're more conscientious. This really works, too!

I'm from 200 down to 164 so far (just this year), and am aiming for 147. It's not 127 anorexic that I was before, but it sounds reasonable. Good luck to you, too!

Great job Tammy!
I've lost 30lbs this summer by focusing on eating foods closer to their natural form, (eating more fiber) and eliminating high fructose corn syrup and MSG. I also walk several times a week and am nursing 2 little ones.

For me, the turning point came when I stopped beating myself up and just decided to do better from now on.

I'm kind of doing similar things but not formally. Makes all the difference to me to simply not be on a diet but just "use moderation'
I'm now only 4 pounds from pre last baby weight!
And then only 20 more to go if i feel like it.
Tereza

I saw a tip on FlyLady about a way to help yourself avoid overeating at meals. Since it takes a little while for your brain to register a full stomach, after you finish eating, if you still think you are hungry, don't get seconds just yet -- set the timer for 15 minutes and drink a glass of water while you wait. If you still feel hungry when the timer goes off, eat a little bit more. I wasn't too sure about that one but I tried it tonight at supper, and I ended up eating about 20% less food than I normally would have if I had not waited before getting seconds. It really works!

I need to lose a few pounds (maybe 10 or so, 20 pounds at the most or I'll look too skinny according to my DH). I was 135 when I married at 18 and I hit my highest point at around 150ish, I can't remember if that was before or after I had the second baby. I've been able to nurse the second baby (I didn't make it past 2 weeks with the first baby so I praise God for helping me this time around, Baby is almost 10mo. and breastfed all this time!). I'm pretty close to my pre-1st-pregnancy weight of about 147, I think (I haven't weighed in months, but that's where I was last time). Now if I can just lose that 12 extra pounds or so I gained when I had a husband to cook for finally! :-)

I just got some beautiful new clothes from Coldwater Creek (on clearance sale), and I am at the top of the Medium size... if I gain any more weight at all my pretty new clothes won't fit! So I am going to start doing the 15 minute wait whenever I feel like overeating. I am a foodie, I love to cook/bake and eat, and with the nursing hunger added to a good old-fashioned case of comfort-eating... well, it's hard not to overeat.

And yes, we are SO lucky to have this problem. I do feel guilty sometimes that we have such an overabundance of food that we need to be careful of it.

Thanks for being so open about this, Tammy! I have been struggling to get the extra weight off after my three kids (same situation where I hadn't gotten the baby weight off before getting pregnant again!). Also, I never lost weight--and even gained--while nursing, so it's nice to hear that someone else has that experience, too.

I ended up joining Weight Watchers several months ago (I am an online member, so I don't have to find the time to go out for meetings) and it has helped tremendously. I just don't have the self-discipline to do it on my own.

Trying to exercise more, too... that's hard! I have found exercise DVDs to be really helpful because, again, it lets me keep an eye on the kids here at home.

I am coming to really like (and aspire to) the verse in Proverbs 31 that mentions "she makes her arms strong"!

The soup looks great! Is there a recipe for it?

Yes! :) It's Veggie Bean Soup with Spinach... a very filling and healthy favorite of mine. :)

Your post inspired me to start keeping a food diary. I started writing down everything I ate the other day, and keeping track of the calories in everything. It really made me think about what I was eating. I have to say I have eaten less, but better, than I have in the last 12 months. My baby is almost a year, and we are starting the weaning process, so I know I don't have long to get this eating thing under control before I REALLY start packing on the pounds (I, too, gained while nursing). Now the next thing I need to work on is finding time to get out and exercise. Thanks for sharing your experiences with all of us!

Beth

"Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become."

I've found that a hot cup of tea feel sort of warm and filling, like food but without the calories. I've generally been a little underweight for my height, so this is more something I stumbled across by accident than a deliberate effort to lose weight. I found that I'd drink a cup of tea sometimes when I was hungry at work, because it was more convenient than finding food, and then I'd forget to eat something later. Since you love tea, maybe this is a good reason to have it a little more often? :-)

Good for you!! I have also been watching what I eat, although I have not been as faithful the past month or so. But I have managed to lose about 10lb so far. (I have about 15 more to lose...) I have gotten out of walking everyday like I was doing. After reading your post, I really need to make time for it. You are right, house work will still be there, but the moment for the walk, won't be. :) Thanks for the encouragment! ~Tanya - mama to 5 :)

Great job! Just a suggestion -- in the evening, after supper if you're hungry, then eat only protein, not carbs, of any kind. Because you're usually winding down and not as active toward bedtime, so you don't need the carbs. For about 100 calories, you can do a protein shake, made with water; cheese stick; hardboiled egg or two, if you only eat the whites; small handful of raw almonds. This will help take the edge off the hunger, but will stabilize your blood sugar throughout the night. This has worked wonders for me. Just thought I'd suggest it for you, too. :)

I just wanted to say thank you so very much! This is something I have struggled with for years. At 43 and weighing just over 200, I am now well into the obese catergory. Supposively at 5'2" my weight is to be 125 or less. At my thinest, I weighted 128 lbs, had a 23" waist (yes you read correctly), and wore a size 6. I did aerobics twice daily five times a week, rode 10 miles a day on the bike, and ate 1500 calories or less. After 6 months, I said enough! God made me with curves and it became obvious I would never get rid of them. At my most comfortable I was between 140 and 145. I looked good, had energy, and felt good. Since that time I've had three children and now live in a climate where I cannot exercise outside for 6 to 7 months out of each year. However, God convicted me! In the past two monthes I've lost the first 10 lbs. I still have a good 60 pounds to go but am so looking forward to being closer to pre-children weight.

I will most definitely keep you in prayer as I know first hand how helpful it can be!!!

Thank you! I am right there with you. I appreciate your candidness and actually, it was quite convicting to me. You put into writing what I have been thinking about for months now, but putting off doing anything about partly due to not knowing where to start and partly just because truthfully I enjoy eating. Which just proves my self-indulgence.

I am quite tall so can "hide" a lot of weight before it shows. Not a good thing when I lack self-discipline. After my last child, I have been quite discouraged with not being able to "shed" the weight. BUT I know I can do it with some extra work. I did it once between my 2nd and 3rd children so it IS possible!

I especially appreciate your helpful links - that helps me know where to start! I am bookmarking this post for the links and for the motivation when I falter in my commitment to look and feel my best for my family.

I am starting TODAY and by Spring hope to emerge from my cocoon a much more beautiful creature! ;)
Thank you!

I am proud of your hard work and sharing it with us all! My only weight loss times have been after having kids. All of the things you mentioned are the KEY! They all have to be inline and working together. I am big on portion sizes too. I started a site $5 Dinners, www.5dollardinners.com, that's about frugal dinners and meal plans. It's not a weight loss site, perse, but I cook all natural, preservative free, "raw" meals. Come on by for some recipe ideas!
Keep it up!
Erin, the $5 Dinner Mom

I am a new mom (my daughter is 5 months old) and I understand exactly what you have went through. It has been 5 months and I am still holding onto 10 stubborn pounds from my pregnancy and it is frustrating at times. I'm breatfeeding too and I ALWAYS feel hungry.
I have been walking at least a mile everyday on the treadmill and it seems to be helping. I think my biggest setback to me losing the weight is portion sizes because i like to feel full after i eat and when i don't get full sometimes i keep eating. I always drink water before i eat to try and help fill me up.

I find that I am a grazer.
I tend to want to snack all day long. What has been working for me lately? Taking better care of my teeth! I found that, if I brush my teeth, I don't want to dirty them again by eating or even drinking something sweet or sugary. So, I have been brushing my teeth when I feel the snack craving coming on. It usually puts off my eating until the next meal. Also, I have consciously stopped eating my kid's leftovers. My son is a picky eater and, I found that a lot of my calorie intake was from eating what he wouldn't for fear of "wasting" food. I'm down 12 pounds so far!

I'm a really big pig when it comes to food and it's so hard for me to control and resist myself from eating a lot. But thanks to this I learned a lot of tips and I'm hoping to lose weight sooner or later because now I know how to manage my diet and exercise habits. Thanks a lot for the great help.

Most of the comments have centered around new mothers gaing (not not losing) weight during fertile years. However, Ladies, as someone who is post-menapausal I would like to offer a friendly warning that you really need to be at your "ideal" weight by the time you start the hormonal changes because it really gets tough after that. And, excess weight on older bones and joints, around an aging heart and other vital organs not only limit your quality of life but also leads to serious health issues. When we are young we think of our looks, how our clothes fit, and that is a great motivator to lose weight, but perhaps we don't think as much about the long-term affects to our health.

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