The Skinny on Getting Skinny

I’ve never been a stick-thin model type person. I think the smallest I ever was was a size three. And that was waaaaay back in Junior High when I was finally able to fit my ridiculously short legs and oversized rear into a pair of jeans from the Junior’s Department. Even those didn’t last long. I jumped from a size three to a five and was a size seven and then back to a three/four when I got pregnant with Noah.

I’ve always been relatively “average” when it comes to size.

Size 7/8 jeans, Medium Size shirt, 7.5 in shoes. Everything about my size was average.

When I met Josh I weighed around 114. The smallest I have ever been in my life. I was competing in pageants and was wearing a size four. I was working at the hospital on second shift, so I spent about 8-12 hours a day on my feet running around like a crazy person. I usually grabbed a sandwich for dinner and that was it. My calorie intake was low, my energy level fluctuated and I barely slept.

Not exactly the recipe for good health.

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When I got pregnant I gained about 36 pounds. The day he was born, I weighed in at 156. I remember groaning at the number and how huge I felt. But, I walked out of the hospital about 28 pounds lighter and was back in my size seven jeans within six weeks.

Fast forward four years later. I weighed 130-132 when we moved to Kodiak. After almost two years out here, I put on 15 pounds. Then added another 40 pounds to that when I got pregnant with Jonah. And this time the weight didn’t come off as easily.

It’s been an uphill battle for me losing weight after pregnancy. Having always been a size 7/8, it was a tough pill to swallow when I had to either keep wearing maternity jeans or buy a size 16. My height and body shape does not look flattering at all in a size 16. I’ve dropped nearly three sizes since then, but I’ve had to work really hard to get there.

With Noah, it seemed to just fall off. Granted I was 21 at the time, we were living in Florida where the weather is sunny and pleasant all year round, and I took my sweet new baby out walking four miles at the local park every day (Yes. Four miles. That’s how far it was around the trail two times. Took me 45 minutes).

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Now, here we are in the last frontier where a “good” day weather wise is 45 degrees and you just hope the sun stays out from behind the clouds long enough to get the groceries out of the car without freezing. We eat a lot of comfort foods out here (meat and potatoes, soup, breads….stuff to keep warm during the winter). And we have adopted some pretty crummy eating habits since we left Florida.

We used to buy fresh fruits and veggies weekly at the Produce Stand less than five minutes from our apartment.

Now? We snag something from the hot-n-ready area of the Safeway when we go grab groceries.  Not to mention that “fresh” fruits and veggies are hauled across the country, thrown on a plane or a barge and delivered out here past their quality fresh date. So, when we do get fruit, you may get a few days out of it (if you’re lucky) before it gets old and wrinkly and starts to mold.

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The other day the husband and I both just reached out breaking point. I’ve been trying to eat better and lose weight since November, but it’s hard when no one else in the house is on board and has no reason to count calories and watch what they eat. But, the husband decided it was time for him to step back and reevaluate his eating habits as well. So, we made the joint decision to start out by cutting red meat and processed foods out of our diet completely. That’s a big step for the two of us because we are big meat eaters. Being from the south, we are used to our meat & potatoes type dinners pretty frequently.

We’ve been on this about a week now, but we both already feel 100 times better. The first two days I felt a bit “off.” I didn’t drink my coffee in an attempt to cure my caffeine addiction and help curb my need for Dr. Pepper later in the day. I’m sure eventually I’ll start drinking coffee again in the morning, but in moderation. I need to get a handle on my need for a caffeine fix, first.  Surprisingly, there were only two days of caffeine deprived headaches.

I’ve started going to bed at a decent hour at night. Typically, I stay up until midnight or later to work or write. But, I’m opting right now to just do as much work as I can during the daytime and go to bed and get some decent sleep at night. I’ve been in bed by 10:00 every night for the last two weeks.

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I’ve completely cut out junk food. No candy. No cookies. No cakes or pie. No chocolate. The only thing sweet that we keep is Nutella (which I’ve just recently come to love). We stocked up on Granola, Fresh Fruits, Skim Milk (for smoothies) and Special K cereals and snacks.

I’m using My Fitness Pal to track my calorie intake and weight loss and so far, I’ve lost about 2 pounds. I had a little crisis on Facebook the other day when the scale went UP instead of down. But, I increased my calorie intake by 250 and the numbers have gone down again (turns out I was eating too few calories).

I know a lot of people hop on the weight loss bandwagon and then fall off again when they get to the weight they are wanting to reach. But, we’ve really made a lifestyle change around here.

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While I want to lose the weight and be back in my normal size jeans, I’m really more hell-bent on losing the weight and keeping it off for my own health. Obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and a slew of other weight related health issues run in my family. My mom has struggled with her weight for as long as I can remember and I don’t want to find myself in the same situation 20 years from now. I want to be healthy and fit for my husband and for my boys. Healthy and active so that I can go and enjoy my kids when they’re out at the park running around and having fun.

I want to be able to run beside them without feeling winded. I want to be able to keep up with their energy (at least, for the most part…). I want to still be in good shape when my grandchildren are born way down the road. I want to be able to enjoy them. And I want to instill a healthy lifestyle and eating habits in my boys so that they grow up fit and active.

I’m really beginning to believe that that’s one of the best gifts I can give my kids…a healthy ME and equip them to be the healthiest THEY can be.

What are some of your favorite get fit activities or recipes? Share them with me! We’re looking for as many yummy new recipes as we can find!

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  1. says

    Oh honey, you know that I know all about this. For healthy recipes go to skinnytaste.com. Everything of hers I’ve tried is good, and she uses real food, nothing processed. My favorite exercise is Zumba. I’m pretty sure you can get that on DVDs and I know even some of the game systems have a “game” of it that you can use to work out. Good luck!
    Jennifer recently posted..Teaching Kids to Say Thank YouMy Profile

  2. says

    The only thing I don’t like about My Fitness Pal is that it gives you much too low of a calorie target. I like to get my calorie targets elsewhere and change my MFP calorie goals accordingly.

    I’m in such a funk right now because I’ve finally managed to fit running into my schedule. I did one run and then I got sick. Now I’m dealing with this bad cold that makes it hard to breathe in the best of times. Ugh. I just want to run and feel better in my body like I did after Cameron was born!
    Laura recently posted..Tasting ItalyMy Profile

    • says

      Laura,

      the SAME thing happened to me! I started the Couch25K program on my iPhone and got into a running program and then it started to snow. CRAP! I couldn’t run. Then, as soon as I joined the Y to run on the treadmill, I got sick. Then my kids got sick (and my hubs was deployed) . . . I felt like I was fighting a losing battle for sure! But now that Spring is finally getting up here to New England, I have more options for activity – it’s not JUST the gym anymore :)

      It’s so great to see moms supporting other moms in our quests to live healthfully! Thanks for that tip about My Fitness Pal. I’ll have to check out that app!
      Amy W. recently posted..Mamatography Week 15My Profile

  3. says

    Best of luck on your weight loss journey! I am also overweight according to my BMI, so I’m trying to cut out processed foods as well. I have done a good job at cutting out soda since my husband bought our SodasStream drink carbonator. . . now, I have fizzy drinks that are WAY fewer calories to enjoy as a treat! I am just now finishing my nutrition class for my Public Health degree, and the one thing that really stuck out to me in my learning is that when it comes down to it, balancing nutrient intake (meeting your requirements) and making sure your calorie intake is appropriate is STILL the “best way” to get lean and healthy, in addition to an active lifestyle. With all the new diets and crazes, it’s easy to get lost in “tips and tricks” and forget that what really matters is what we’re putting INTO our bodies in the first place!

    Good for you for focusing on your health! I have had the same experience, bouncing back quite well after baby #1 and having a harder time after Baby #2. . . if we keep a positive goal of lean and healthy, I’m sure we’ll get there, Courtney! :)
    Amy W. recently posted..Mamatography Week 15My Profile

  4. says

    I’ve been meaning to write a post about my Whole30 journey but haven’t made the time to sit down and write yet. Whole30 has been pretty awesome for me. There’s no eating dairy, processed anything, sugar, legumes, oats or gluten. Today is day 18, I’ve lost 7 pounds and inches off my waist. My skin is clearer, and I just feel better. I’ve decided that the only thing ill be adding back in to my diet once the Whole30 is over are oats.
    Good for you for getting healthy! That’s awesome! You won’t regret it!

  5. says

    It is SO, so easy to get out of control with your “diet” and the food you eat with the way food is presented to us these days. I know full well. Good for the both of you for realizing you needed to make a change. And yes, being healthy for you and your family is paramount! xo
    Elaine A. recently posted..KindnessMy Profile

  6. says

    I dropped the baby weight and more with my first, without any effort, in less than a year.

    This time around, not so much. I admit, I haven’t made an effort to lose any weight. I’m back to pre-pregnancy weight, but the weight has moved around to places I never saw them before (the pooch, hello). I think it’s great that you’re making a lifestyle change!
    Alison recently posted..StickyMy Profile

  7. says

    Hi Courtney! :-) I can’t believe this is my first time here since meeting on FB! I love your blog – the photos, your faith, etc.

    I have gained a great deal of weight over the years, from anti-depressants, pregnancies, and fatigue that comes from weight gain (a vicious cycle). It’s hard in France because everyone is so thin here. I also struggle with coffee addiction and I know I’m better off drinking green tea, but I just love the bitter coffee taste (and the jump). I have a couple of French vegetable soup and salad recipes on my blog if you’re interested. But it’s true that most of the recipes come with cream!
    Lady Jennie recently posted..Life in the Trenches – Chapter 15My Profile

  8. says

    Good for you!!! Eating healthy is such a struggle for me. With work and two little kids, I’m lucky if I get to eat breakfast or lunch at all. Forget trying to make a healthy meal. lol. And the same thing happened with my pregnancies. The weight just fell off after Bennett, but after Easton — I have an extra 8ish pounds that are clinging on for dear life. PLUS some pre-baby weight I was never fond of to begin with. I’m trying to work out a little more, though. Hoping it will help me tone up a bit!
    Mandy@ a sorta fairytale recently posted..March of Dimes – Help me support the babies!My Profile

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