Hello hello my friends. Welcome back for the second part to my postpartum weight loss journey.
I got a lot of feedback on Part I and I am so happy so many of you found it helpful and inspiring. If you missed it, you can read it HERE. I think those tips are so imperative to making a lasting change and I feel like there is so much I could write on all of that, but I need to keep it succinct here haha. Later, later though.
Here in section number two, I want to talk about the specific steps I implemented for the month of March which resulted in a 7 pound drop for me. Before I get into those though, I want to be clear that I am merely just sharing what worked for me. I think it is so important to do your own research, talk to your doctors, get some basic labs and vital signs done. Learn a bit about yourself because what works for me, may not work for you. My hope, is that through this information you can find one piece that is helpful and makes sense for you and your lifestyle.
Alright, let’s dive in.
Right before the month of March, I had a moment where I was like, okay, I am done. I can’t keep living like this and I was feeling so much negativity towards myself. I needed to make some serious changes and I think it was this motivation that really helped to spark me into action. I knew for me, restriction was not the answer and I knew that I did not want to follow any “diet.” I really wanted to alter my relationship with food and I knew a diet was not going to help me do that. I also knew that a diet was not going be a longterm solution. It may help me to lose 5 pounds, but I wanted lifestyle changes, so I stuck with what I knew…
The first step was upping my workouts. At this point I was cleared to begin HIIT exercises by my physical therapists, and I knew the exact program I wanted to start…in the past I had a lot of success in toning with the Sweat app. I really feel like this app is everything I need it to be – 30 minute workouts, limited equipment, works my whole body, and is super affordable at only $20/month. Plus, I had actually seen change from their programs in the past, as I mentioned. I like specifically their HIIT program by Kayla Itsines, but I think you should whatever program works best for you. So, I started doing HIIT 3 times a week, but I didn’t stop there. Part of this program, is to do 3-4 low intensity steady state workouts, as well. These are optional, but from the beginning I started doing these, essentially attempting to workout 6 times a week. If you want to know more specifics about my current exercise program, you can read it HERE. That post is from March of 2022, so it get’s really granular on all the types of exercises I like to do.
Regardless, I think exercise is super important. Muscle burns more calories than fat, it boosts metabolism, it makes you look and feel better about your body, it helps to prevent osteoporosis in women, it helps with my anxiety and stress…the benefits are endless and I have noticed a significant impact on my mood after starting this.
The second step was intermittent fasting. I knew about intermittent fasting prior to implementing it in March and had actually done it in the past, but when I was breastfeeding and struggling with milk supply, it was not an option (which is why weaning was discussed in Part I). My past experiences with it, however, was not for weightless. It was actually to help encourage my digestive system to rest, increase mental clarity, etc. So, after speaking with one of my besties and she encouraged it for weight loss, I asked her to explain a little more..here is what she told me: Since I struggled with calorie restriction throughout a 24 hour day, she explained that by fasting, I am essentially restricting calories, without intentionally doing so. By limiting the amount of time you can eat, you subconsciously decrease the amount of calories you consume. Think about it, if I can eat from the time I wake up to the time I go to sleep, I have 12-16 hours to consume food. Whereas this way, I only have 8 hours. That is 4, if not half the amount of time I would have normally (assuming you follow the 8/16 fasting concept).
Where this really made the impact for me was in the evenings. I tend to be a mindless eater, so through following this process, I ended up cutting a lot of calories I was consuming after dinner, while watching TV. For someone who struggles with restrictive eating, this made sense for me. Fasting is not only good for my health overall (it has TONS of health benefits), it also inadvertently helped me with my relationship with food. I personally us eat 8/16 fasting concept and given my lifestyle I adjusted my eating window to be from noon to 8. I think the earlier in the evening you can stop eating, the better, but this is what works for us right now with Arabella.
In all honesty, these were the two things I focused on for the month of March – increasing workouts and intermittent fasting. That’s it. Because of the work I did the previous months, I didn’t have to do much else. I was already focusing on listening to my cravings and cycle and I had tackled my hormonal issues. This strong groundwork, laid the perfect foundation for lifestyle changes that are simple, easy to implement and can easily be done for the rest of my life.
While fasting does restrict my calories, I do not notice that I am hungrier or need more food. In fact, I actually feel like I am less hungry and have less cravings because I am consuming less processed and sugary heavy foods that don’t fill me up. However, I LISTEN TO MY BODY. If I am hungry, I eat. Or, if I am with family or friends, I will eat as well. This is part of changing that relationship with food I mentioned before and is what is so imperative in establishing a healthy and positive relationship with food. I fast because I enjoy the benefits from it, but there are many days where I am hungry, so I will eat. You have to listen to your body because it is when we deny it that we create