And because I like lists of things, I thought it might be fun to look at what I've been doing that has helped me to lose weight. Maybe it'll help me reach some new realizations, maybe it'll give someone else some ideas of things to try, or maybe it'll just entertain me for the short bit of time I have until Olivia realizes I've snuck out of the bedroom.
So here I give you my top ten!
1. Eating homemade foods. Seriously, this is the biggest one by far. Eating out made up for a lot of the pregnancy weight (well, that and a ridiculous amount of yummy cheese) and eating foods that I have prepared at home is helping me to drop those pounds. The stuff I cook is never as salty, greasy, sauce-covered, or outright enormous as the things that are usually found on plates at restaurants.
2. Using my brain while eating out. Those times when we do eat out, I make a huge effort to choose wisely. I often choose salads with yummy toppings, grilled chicken, and no salad dressing. I omit things - bacon bits are good but not really my friend. I work to make what's on the menu fit my needs instead of just ordering the first thing that makes me salivate.
3. Running. Oh my goodness, have I ever been happy to get back into running! I reap so many benefits from running. I burn calories. I'm inspired to make better eating choices. I get hugely encouraged by the quicker changes on the scale. I feel more completely me. I'm happy during the run to be running, after the run to be buzzy, and the next day to be full of energy as a result of working out. Have I mentioned that I love running?
4. Cleaner eating. One of the biggest shifts in mindsets for me has been to stop looking at crappy foods as a deserved treat. Eating foods that are good for me leave me feeling good in my body, a bigger reward by far.
5. Acknowledging emotions. Yeah, this one goes hand in hand with the previous one. Emotional eating is a lot easier to avoid when you actually deal with your emotions. Shocking, hey? This area is a work in progress but I'm human so I'm ok with that.
6. Oatmeal! I've learned to love the mush. Most mornings, the kids and I eat oatmeal for breakfast. We've all learned our favourite doctorings (I like honey, ground flax seeds, and chopped up strawberries if we have them). With that bowl of oatmeal in my belly I not only avoiding eating cold cereal but I often coast straight on through til lunch before I get hungry again.
7. Smarter lunches. I like sandwiches for lunch but they really don't do much for me in the "get some veggies in there and stay full for a while" category. I try to keep cooked rice or quinoa in the fridge so I can do a Kim-sized (ok, Kim and Olivia-sized) stir fry to toss on top. Much yum, no peanut butter.
8. Snacking on fruits and veggies. Eating a banana or a mango for a snack serves me a lot better than eating muffins or salty trail mix. I try to keep a bag of sugar peas in the fridge for evening munchings because they're sweet enough to taste like an indulgence.
9. Not bringing crap in the house. Really, you'd think this would be a no-brainer hey? If I buy the bag of yummy cookies, I may think I'm going to leave them for the kids but truly I know that I'm just going to take a few here and there until they're all firmly living in my thighs instead of making it anywhere near the kids' snack plates.
10. Keeping the momentum going. If I've had two or three good runs during the week and four or five days of clean eating, I'm a lot less likely to make bad choices. If I've had a few days of eating for the sake of eating and eating foods that don't serve me well, I make a conscious effort to get my ass back in gear. Once I'm back on track the coasting is much easier.
And so there you have a snapshot of what I've been doing and how it's been working for me. I've got quite a ways to go until I make it to my goal weight, but I'm going to focus only on the success I've achieved so far. Well, that and all the running I plan to do this summer. Have I mentioned that I love running?