Here’s what I’m doing that I think is making a big difference:
· Drinking 3L of water a day: I bought a 2L plastic container to measure how much I am drinking and fill it 1.5 times a day. I don’t go to bed until 3L are consumed. It fills me up between meals and it is HUGELY central to losing weight.
· Not eating after dinner: no more night time snacking. I am drinking coffee, Coke Zero, skinny lattes (35 calories) instead. Dinner gets packed into containers right away and I either freeze it if it’s a lot of put it in Nick and Liam’s lunches for the next day. No more pecking on dinner leftovers!
· Meal planning for the whole week and building my grocery list based only on what is needed—and keeping only to the items on my list once I get to the grocery store. No more coming home with random impulse buys, including cereal or crackers. If Nick wants to eat something outside the plan he can—but I’m not enabling anyone in our house by buying it.
· Smoothie for breakfast: to motivate the whole family into eating a really good breakfast, I bought a new smoothie blender—PC brand for $30 from Superstore. The blender container also functions as a to-go cup so it goes in the car with Nick or me every morning. We blend frozen chopped spinach, berries, Greek yogurt, ½ banana, ice and milk. Liam even likes it—I bought him a special Spiderman cup that he loves, and that’s one way I get him to eat dark green veggies every day.
· Eating every 3-4 hours
· Limiting carbs. I’m only eating brown rice and quinoa. I found macaroni noodles made from brown rice the other day and made mac and cheese, hiding a cup of pureed carrots in the cheese sauce too. I stopped eating bread, crackers, baked goods. I measure 1 cup of carbs at lunch and dinner and that’s it for carb servings in a day.
· I “cheat” on weekends. It’s planned out and purposeful. I can get away with 2 meals a week that go against all the rules around eating I've set for myself. After that, the scale is NOT my friend.
That’s the eating department update. As for being active, each week I am doing 2-3 boot camp classes, 1 spin class, and running 1-2 times (somewhere between 8 and 10K each time). I plan my mornings around working out—no exceptions. A few days ago I ran 8K in 50 minutes pushing Alex in the stroller. It’s not super fast but just 2 months ago I couldn't run longer than 5 minutes without needing to take a break. I've come to realize that I’m not going to be a faster runner or lose “baby fat” without pushing myself to the point of feeling uncomfortable—it’s got to hurt a bit for there to be progress. If I am not dripping sweat at the end of a workout I consider it a waste of my time.
When you live in Victoria you have no excuse to get outside and run! Here is my favorite run route, on the Galloping Goose Trail:
I feel better mentally. It’s too soon to look noticeably different, but what it does for peace of mind is worth all of this effort. I’m not beating myself up anymore because I know I’m doing everything I possibly can to be healthier and in better shape. Now, the goal is to keep going and not try to outsmart my own body by veering off my eating and working out plan and seeing what I can get away with.
I know now that this lifestyle is totally doable with 2 young kids. Really, anything is possible if you want it badly enough. There are no excuses!