Weight Loss Challenge

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

With our upcoming vacation to Myrtle Beach, I need to get serious about losing a few pounds. That is why I decided to put myself out there, on my blog, to hold myself accountable to lose these last few annoying pounds of pregnancy weight. I gained a total of 40 pounds while I was pregnant. Certainly a lot more than I wanted to but thankfully have lost pretty much all of it so far. I seemed to have hit a plateau once I went back to work at the end of March. I have bottomed out at 124 pounds. It's a decent number, the one I started with when I became pregnant with Jillian, but not one I am happy with. Before my infertility treatments and miscarriages, I used to weigh 115. I even weighed 112 the day I got married. I don't think I will ever see 112 again but I am certainly going to aim for 115. I really want to lose those last few pounds so I can feel comfortable while I am on vacation and MAYBE even attempt to put my bikini back on. We shall see, I plan on buying a tankini too just incase I chicken out. Here is how I look this morning at five and a half months post partum.





Not exactly bikini ready but I am getting there. Another reason for this post is that I want to show you that losing those last few pounds can be easy with a little bit of hard work and dedication. No pain no gain, right?

Now for the weight loss challenge I am proposing to myself. To lose 9-10 pounds before I hit the beach. This is what I weighed this morning, can you believe the camera actually added a pound?



First, I want to first share with you my weight loss history. In my late twenties, around the time that Jeff and I were only dating, I noticed that my clothes weren't fitting as well as they used to. I never worked out and ate what I wanted, when I wanted. At the time, I was living with my sister in an apartment, and we didn't even own a scale. So I decided the next time I was at Target, I would pick one up. I was curious to see what in the world I had weighed to cause my clothes not to fit! I had always been a comfortable 120 pounds and a size 6. Needless to say, I was a bit surprised when I brought that scale home and it said 128! I was horrified. So I decided to make some lifestyle changes. I knew nothing about eating healthy or working out. I was so not the athlete. I had tried aerobics classes before but barely made it through without wanting to die. But right there and then I decided that I needed to change my ways and quick. I bought the South Beach Diet book and signed up for the gym at work. I am very fortunate to work for such a large company that even has a gym for employee use. That has made working out easy and convenient. Pre-baby, I had no excuse why I couldn't run downstairs on my lunch hour and have a good work out. So after three weeks of eating only "Good" carbs according to the South Beach diet guru's and exercising 4-5times a week, I lost eight pounds. I was back to my comfortable 120. I was so proud of myself that I kept on working out and ate a somewhat healthy diet. I was actually starting to ENJOY my aerobics classes. I was bonding with my work peers and found myself becoming stronger. I was finally able to make it through a grueling aerobics class without having to leave for a few minutes to catch my breath. I stayed away from fast foods, sweets, and my ultimate weakness, potato chips. Besides those few exceptions, I pretty much ate whatever I wanted. After several months of this, I was down to 117 pounds and was a size 4. I pretty much kept this lifestyle up even after we got married. I was finally an athlete. I had muscle tone for the first time in my life and I actually had a cute butt! I loved having muscle tone and feeling good about myself. It only kept me motivated to keep it up. Working out consistently with aerobics and strength training totally reshaped my body. My weight for a few years consistently stayed around 112-117 pounds just by working out 3-5 days a week. I was maintaining my weight and I was happy. The moral of my story is that if a very uncoordinated and very nonathletic me could do it, anyone can!

Then the ugliness of miscarriage and infertility came into my life. That ugly vicious cycle of not working out because of the fear that I might be hurting my swollen ovaries, the stitches from my laproscopy, or if I was pregnant for those brief few weeks, the baby. After dealing with a three year struggle with infertility and miscarriages and not working out consistently, I was back up to weighing 124. So that is how I got to where I was when I finally became pregnant with Jillian.

I have barely worked out since I have given birth. An aerobics class here and there and my nightly walks around the neighborhood with Jillian have not made an impact at all. The reason why is clear. My muscle tone is gone and I am not burning any calories at a resting state from the lack of muscle tone. My evening walks around the neighborhood are not going to get me to where I want to be. I am still breast feeding but I think I have lost what I am going to with that. It's been good to me and has certainly helped lose the pregnancy weigh but I think I have maxed out it's benefits since I haven't lost any more weight since the end of March. Since I am still breast feeding, I am really not able to diet, just stay away from the obviously bad choices like fast food and sweets. Attempting the South Beach Diet again is definitely out of the question until I am done breast feeding. So I am going back to working out 3-5 days a week starting today. One of the most important lessons that I learned in my weight loss journey several years ago was aerobic activity alone did not help me lose that much weight. It was a combination of strength training and aerobic activity. My favorite aerobics class was High Impact Aerobics mixed with intervals of strength training. We would perform aerobics for four minutes, and then perform strength training for four minutes. This would be repeated through out the fifty minute class. Let's be honest, I can't go to a gym anymore like I used to with a new baby, and I have only been able to get to my gym at work once or twice a week with my part time schedule. So working out at home is where it is going to have to happen. The closest thing I have found to my favorite aerobics interval class is The Firm. The Firm is awesome. It's aerobics classes mixed with strength training intervals taught by these cute Southern girls. I believe the original FIRM is in a gym located in South Carolina. Several years ago I bought two different Firm workouts at Target. My favorite one came with a resistance bar and the infamous Fanny Lifter.

My Fanny Lifter:


Here is what I plan on using in my workouts. The Firm Fanny lifter, resistance bar, a set of 3 pound weights, and my Firm videos.


Our Den has easily been converted into my home gym. Throw in a TV, a VCR, and a DVD player and I am ready to go!!!!



Did you know that one pound = 3500 calories? I have a lot of calories to burn before I hit the beach but I am up to the challenge. I am getting excited just thinking about starting with The Firm program again. It's easy and it's fun. And most of all, it's not intimidating and can be done in the comfort of your own home. You can also relate to these women in the videos! I plan on giving an update on my progress every Tuesday, which is my day off. Well, I am off to work out now, hopefully I have also motivated a few of you to join me. I would love to hear about your weight loss and success stories too so please leave a comment! I think it's so important to share what has worked for you in the past and what hasn't. I have shared with you what worked for me and I plan on trying it again, hopefully I will have success this time around too!

22 comments:

  1. You go girl! You look fantastic, but no matter how many people tell you that, you have to feel it for yourself. I am starting my workout too. I have been successful with dieting, but now I need to step it up! Good luck!!!

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  2. Karen I now officially feel huge after reading this. Your weight today is close to my goal of 120pounds. I am only 5"3". How tall are you? I think you look amazing and very thin! Don't be too hard on yourself. Have you checked your BMI? I'm sure it's just perfect.

    Good luck! ~Melissa :)

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  3. Um, number one, you look amazing. Number two, you don't need to lose 10 pounds! BUT I do know that it's our own body and I do the same exact thing, even when people tell me I shouldn't. We should feel comfortable with our body! And it's never a bad thing to work out and eat healthy. Good luck but you definitely don't need it!! :)

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  4. I wish I looked like that now...and I have never been pregnant ;)

    Good job though and good luck to you :)

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  5. You can do anything you put your mind to and you've lost the weight before so I know you can do it again. I think you're beautiful but you need to think it as well. By the way, my stomach looks like hamburger meat, no lie.

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  6. You look really good for just having a baby. I am not sure how tall you are, but I WISH I was 124!
    Good luck with your weight loss endeavors!

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  7. good luck! I'm a regular reader and really like your blog :)

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  8. Girl, are you looking at the same pictures I am? You are perfect! 10 lbs? Really?

    No seriously, I completely understand and commend your goals. I have them too...

    You do look darn good though so don't be too hard on yourself! Others, including myself, would kill to be 124.

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  11. I think you look great Karen- if I looked liked that I would definitely be rocking a bikini! (though I know having a baby totally affects your body confidence and modesty!) I lost the weight pretty fast- but my tummy is plagued with stretch marks, so there will be no bikini for me, likely for the rest of my life. =(

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  12. Hi! Great "meeting" you! Your blog is so cute. I am in the same boat as you - I have these pesky 5 lbs. that will not go away! Of course, my son is 7/8 mos. older than your daughter. She's so cute too, by the way!

    As for your comment on my neighborhood - the economy has hurt us too here. We are supposed to have some commercial retail, and it hasn't been built yet. Luckily though, we do have all the other things :)

    Looking forward to reading your blog!

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  13. I chuckled at the camera adding a pound, lol.

    You look fantastic, but I know it's about how you FEEL inside, so keep up the good work and you'll hopefully soon be at your goal weight and feel better about yourself.

    You are BEAUTIFUL!!

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  14. Go GIRL! I have lost 30 lbs. and feel fantastic. I have had several people tell me I did not have to but I can now fit into a size 4. I feel like screaming!! YAHOO! I did it using Weight Watchers point system. I also walked, and walked and walked! You will do this and good for you for wanting to look great in a bikini. I can't do that cause I am almost 52 years old but my jeans and capris look awesome! Nancy from OHIO (STRONGSVILLE)

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  15. I think you look great already but I understand totally. I can't wait to work out. After having the baby 3 weeks ago I feel so flabby. Breast feeding is helping but I want to tone up too.

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  16. You look great now! But I understand wanting to lose that last little bit. I hit a plateau as well. It's so hard when you have a million things going on at once huh? Good luck!! You will be there in no time!

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  17. You can do it, Karen! I'm also doing an intense workout/diet program for 9 weeks through a local gym. It is a ton of work!

    Thanks for the nice comments on my photos! :o) I just have a Canon powershot point and shoot (elph)...I would LOVE a dSLR, but I am worried about the price of one even though I know I would love it! I have great light in my house which always makes photos look great!

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  18. Good luck Karen on your weight loss plan! I'm also in a diet program right now. Actually, eating a balanced diet, doing some exercise, and I take some diet pills named as resveratrol are my key to a healthy weight loss. I hope I can also achieve my target weight in short time.

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  19. Good luck! I think you are teeny already--your tummy is flatter than mine--and I haven't had a baby! However you know what feels/looks best on your body. I hope you acheive your goal. You might inspire me to work out! :-)

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  20. You are absolutely adorable! Your family is also! Hope you don't mind a new follower!!! :)

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  21. You are so tiny already! I've never seen those #'s on my scale. (well, maybe when I was 12!) Geez, what I would give just to weigh 150, haha!

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  22. Girl, I want my after picture to look like your before picture! You look GREAT! I did Weight Watchers after I had my baby and lost 30 pounds in about 2.5 months. And I didn't even work out!

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