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Does anyone remember Bodies In Motion with Gilad Janklowicz? I do. When I was 12, my dad and I would record his workouts on the VHS and workout together every day after I got home from school. I keenly remember my rebellion while I sat on the couch during the commercial breaks. I was also a dancer and received my B.F.A. in dance. There was never a time I wasn’t active and incredibly aware of my weight and my body. There were moments in my teens and 20’s when I would gain a few pounds here and there, but it was nothing a tall glass of water and a good poop couldn’t fix. Losing weight was easy then, until it wasn’t.
The birth of the kids.
At 32 I had my first baby. A girl. She was and is awesome. I didn’t gain too much weight with that pregnancy, but still had about 15 pounds to lose after she was born. At the time I worked in Malibu and took to hiking in the mountains everyday at lunch (bougie, I know). I also tracked what I ate with Weight Watchers and lost the weight in about 3 months. I kept it off, too.
At 35 I had baby number 2. A boy. He was and is awesome. This pregnancy was a bit different. I was 185 pounds before he was born (a 50 pound weight gain) and had about 30 pounds to lose when my “baby weight” was done falling off. At that time I was working in Maryland. This job was nowhere near a mountain. This time I took to running and went back to tracking my points with Weight Watchers. I lost about 25 of the 30 pounds I had to lose…and then life went batshit crazy.
A life of madness.
At 37, for some crazy reason, my husband and I decided to hit an early mid-life crisis…at the same time. I was stuck in the mom rut so, like most moms, I decided to start a blog and a photography business. My husband, being so much more original than I, decided to start cycling. So, while my husband was out wearing funny suspender leggings and pretending to be Yens Voigt, I was at home blogging my life, building a portfolio and taking care of two kids.
Looking back. I started my personal blog in 2012. My son was 2 and my daughter was 5. I started building the photography business in 2013. During this time, my husband started increasing the miles and training, because he thought he could win something? I don’t know, but I was hoping that I could eventually quit my job and become a full time photographer.
Here comes the weight.
At about the 2014 mark, I started to put on a little weight. I remember being so embarrassed and upset when I turned 40 because I was in the 140’s. By 2015, I was in the 150’s. By 2016, I was in the high 170’s. It’s entirely possible that I hit 180, but I just stopped weighing myself. I knew my clothes were tight and getting tighter, so there was no reason to further torture myself with the scale to see exactly how high my weight had gone. The reality was I had no idea what was happening. I was swinging from my full time job, to being a mother, to being a wife, to desperately trying to be something other than just a mother and a wife with a full time job. As it turns out, that escape that I thought I needed, was in fact the catalyst that brought on my weight gain. I was a wreck. Something had to give. My health depended on it.
Moving in the right direction.
At the end of 2017 I said goodbye to the photography business and the personal blog. That blog was a hot mess anyway, and while I was definitely gaining traction with the business, I made the decision to let it go. I also had a conversation with my husband about his cycling obsession. He was putting in more miles on the road than he did with the family, and when he wasn’t out riding, he was obsessing about how to better his next ride. Fortunately, changes were made…by both of us.
When I stepped on the scale and saw that my weight was in the 170’s, I cried. What the actual fuck? What seemed like a massive bloat attack (because, of course I gain this overnight) was actually a very slow five-year weight gain. (It’s entirely possible that I was in the 180’s, but at my heaviest, I refused to weigh myself.)
At 43 I didn’t have another baby, but I had 50 pounds to lose. I tried drinking a tall glass of water, but the scale didn’t move. I tried a big poop, and nothing. The old tricks no longer worked. I tried Weight Watchers again, but I just couldn’t bring myself to prep another week of breakfast, lunch, and dinner and track another point. My mind and body were saturated with life, and adding one more thing to my already packed daily schedule just would not work. It was frustrating.
In April 2018 my husband surprised me and bought the Peloton. It was a turning point. With the start of a new job, and a much longer commute, I lost the time I had to get in a good workout when I got home. Waking up at 5:00am is my new norm.
While I was feeling better and stronger, it probably comes as a big surprise that the scale never moved. Not an effing ounce. I was surprised. I mean calories in v calories out, right? And I was burning a shit-ton of calories. I went from doing nothing to doing something. Isn’t the mere fact that I started sweating again enough to jump-start a 50-pound weight loss? I was hoping the addition of some pretty rigorous exercise would help get things moving again, but it did not.
Begin Intermittent Fasting.
In June 2018 I read about Intermittent Fasting (IF) on the Peloton Moms FB Page. It seemed that lots of women had the same issue that I was having and were looking for solutions to get the scale moving in the down direction. I had never heard of IF before, so I started doing a little research.
My first go at IF was pretty successful. I started a 16:8 plan (fast for 16 hours with an 8-hour eating window) and felt pretty good. Coupled with my Peloton rides, I lost about 15 pounds in 4 months. The idea of delaying when you eat with a specific eating window was so much more approachable than tracking every little thing that went into my body. The best part? I didn’t have to watch what I ate. I only had to watch it when I ate. Even though my IFing has been on and off since June 2018, my consistency was still better than not. I was able to maintain my 15-pound weight loss with IF through October 2019, but I still had 35 pounds to lose.
Reading the right books.
In October 2019 I bought the Obesity Code, by Dr. Jason Fung and Delay, Don’t Deny, By Gin Stephens. It was the kick I needed to get my weight moving in the downward trajectory again. Gin calls IF “The health plan with the side effect of weight loss”. My side effect of switching up my window (I switched from a 16:8 schedule to an 18:6) and clean fasting resulted in an additional 15 pound weight loss. Before you ask, yes, I work out in a completed fasted state. I replaced my pre-workout drink with black coffee. Working out in the fasted state took a bit to get used to, but honestly, my workouts are so much better now than they were before.
Simple changes created positive results.
It’s now January 2020 and I still have about 20 pounds to lose, but honestly, I feel great. I’m still fasting on a daily basis (with some off days), and am still working out on my Peloton. My husband switched from road riding to mountain biking, and is so much more chill than before.
My new process is so freaking easy. No more tracking. No more obsessing. Keeping shit simple is my new motto.
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