Happy New Year! I first shared how I discovered Trim Healthy Mama in June of 2018 when we began this blog. It seemed appropriate to share this again at the beginning of the year as many people begin healthier lifestyles.
When we first moved to North Carolina in 2006 I was lonely and missed my friends and family. I dealt with my issues with food and wine. By the summer of 2007, I was feeling frumpy. I still hadn’t lost all the weight from being pregnant with twins and had added some of what I’d lost back on. Can you still call it “baby weight” when they’re over four years old? LOL
Tackling weight loss
When the girls started back to preschool that fall, I started working out. Every day. For two hours a day. I’d drop them at preschool at 9, run to the local YMCA and put in 45 minutes on the elliptical machine and then weight train for another 45 minutes. I’d finish with 15 minutes of abs and core and then 15 minutes of stretching. Followed by a shower and hair/make-up then dash back to pick them up from preschool.
I began a “diet” because that’s what you’re supposed to do to lose weight, right? Counting and restricting every calorie I consumed and eating food that didn’t make me particularly excited about eating, (but hey, I could eat good stuff again once I had things under control, right?) I lost about 20 lbs and went from a size 10 to a size 2/4 and was feeling GOOD about myself.
Maintenance is hard, y’all!
Life with three kids can get busy, right? Who has two hours a day every day to work out, especially once you’re at goal weight/size? So I stopped getting to the gym every day and stopped counting and restricting calories. Within two years I wasn’t working out at all anymore. I had plenty of excuses: I was a room mom, the Book Fair Chair, the Mom Taxi, a PTSO board member, a small business owner, and, and… I bet you can guess where this is headed, right?
You see, I didn’t have a scale in the house because I didn’t really want to know what it would tell me. Come on, I KNEW what it was going to tell me. But without knowing the actual number I could keep being Cleopatra and live in the land of De-Nile… Yes, my clothes were getting tighter. I slowly had to buy larger sizes and more elastic waistbands. But it happened so gradually I didn’t really pay it much mind. My babies were now almost 13 so this extra weight was all MINE to own.
My rude awakening…
AnnMarie and I went shopping together for the bat mitzvah of a friend’s daughter. I wanted to cry when I looked at my legs in that 3-way mirror. My legs have always been one of my best features. They didn’t look slim at all. My legs were now thick. Honestly, I was kinda thick all over. It was really hard to find a dress that looked flattering. I chose black since it’s supposed to be slimming. Long sleeves to cover my arms, even though it was August.
A month later, I saw this photo (that’s me on the far left). Talk about a wake-up call! I was so angry with myself. So I ate some more. Because that would help, right? :eyeroll:
In the spring of 2016, I went to the doctor for a full physical. When I stepped on the scale the number was higher than when I was 9 months pregnant with my son. I had regained all the weight I’d lost PLUS an extra 10 pounds! I’m not sure why I was so surprised. At this point, I struggled to fit into clothes that were larger than I’d ever worn. Then my blood work came back and my cholesterol was 215 (borderline high), and my LDL:HDL ratios were opposite what they should be. My blood pressure was in the pre-hypertension range and high blood pressure is a BIG issue in my family. Plus I was in perimenopause.
It was time to make some changes.
BUT. I did not (and still do not) have time to get to the gym regularly. And dieting? Ugh.
About a week later a new client contacted me. His wife was a blogger and she was in the process of writing a book. They needed family photos for the website and headshots done for her book. Being the nosy person that I am, naturally, I stalked her blog and the post that she had published THAT MORNING was about a program called “Trim Healthy Mama.” I don’t believe in coincidences. I think things happen for a reason and I know that I was meant to see that post.
As soon as I finished her post, I hopped over to Amazon and bought the book, “Trim Healthy Mama Plan: The Easy Does it Approach to Vibrant Life.” I learned about something called “fuel separation.” There was science to back up this way of eating. It all made SO. MUCH. SENSE!!
Our body runs on two kinds of fuel: fats and carbs
Our body can only process so many carbs at a time. If you eat too many carbs during a meal (Hello, American diet!), your body turns those carbs into fat and stores them for later. Our body is lazy so it will always use the fuel (glucose) from carbs first because glucose is easier to burn.
Guess what happens if you eat fats and a bunch of carbs in the same meal? Yup. Your body stores all the extra carbs PLUS the fat you just ate as more fat. 🤦♀️This is why the American diet is leading to an epidemic of obesity!
The Food Pyramid is a Lie!
I remember learning to put meals together like this: meat/protein plus a starch (carbs) plus a veggie (maybe two), and don’t forget some dairy (carbs plus fat) and possibly a piece of fruit (carbs).
- spaghetti with meat sauce and garlic bread and a salad
- grilled cheese sandwiches with some raw veggies
- macaroni and cheese
- cheese and crackers
- bacon and eggs with toast
Meal Planning and Grace
This new way of putting meals together took some thinking and planning on my part. I had to re-think just about every meal that I ate on a regular basis. May 1st of 2016 was the day I changed the way I eat. I made mistakes and mixed fuels a lot at first. But after a few weeks, it began to feel natural.
I decided to do the plan without adding in exercise: I wanted to make sure any weight loss was only because of changing the way I was eating. My results may have happened faster if I had added exercise at the same time.
During the first year, I lost 22 lbs. At my physical in March 2017, my doctor couldn’t believe my results. My cholesterol was 185, my HDL/LDL ratio was healthy, and my blood pressure was normal at 118/70. This is me on my one year “Trimaversary.” I had ankles again!
Stalled, but not gaining
I stalled for most of my second year on the plan. But, I didn’t gain anything back. Last spring, the scale began moving down again. As of May 1st of 2018, my second trimaversary, I lost 25 lbs. and over 26 inches all while eating lots of amazing food.
As a Trim Healthy Mama, I don’t feel hungry or deprived. I have more energy than I did in my 20s. My sleep is better than it has been for years (even with hot flashes…). And my skin is smoother and clearer and younger-looking than it was 5 years ago. Here I am with my family in October of 2018 (that’s a size S t-shirt and size 2 shorts!).
I highly recommend the Trim Healthy Mama plan! It has truly changed my life. As I approach my third trimaversary, I am now planning to add some exercise back into my day. I’m excited to see what the next year holds!
Read about AnnMarie’s journey with THM here
Get my 10 Tips for Starting THM