Since just about everyone is trying to lose weight in January, I thought it would be helpful to get some tips from a real person whose lost over 50 lbs and kept it off, despite her hectic schedule. So today’s guest post comes from Yvonne Condes, a busy wife, mom, baker, writer, and blogger…to name a few. Check her out on YvonneinLA (where she almost always has cool giveaways).
1. What made you decide to lose weight, once and for all? I didn’t feel good. My hips, ankles, and knees hurt from not exercising and I couldn’t stand it anymore. I’m not a dieter so exercise was my only option.
2. Did you struggle to lose “baby weight” after one or both of your pregnancies? I was on bedrest during both of my pregnancies, the first one from very early on. My only outing was to the doctor’s office and I knew 10 different ways to get there via a pastry shop. I had a lot of weight to lose. My kids are 18 months apart so I had one, lost a little weight, then got pregnant again and gained even more weight.
The hardest physical part after having kids is the weight distribution. My body is different now and it’s harder to lose weight in some areas, especially around my middle.
3. What challenges stood between you and weight loss as a mom, that weren’t an issue before? There was a lot of time to kill when they were babies. One of our activities was walking to the coffee shop. We had just moved to Los Angeles and I discovered the Coffee Bean and their delightful powder drinks. I would get a Café Vanilla every day. I mentioned to a friend that I couldn’t lose the baby weight and she told me the amount of calories I was drinking every day. Once I stopped ordering coffee drinks, I dropped 10 pounds pretty quickly.
Another way I found to cut calories was to stop finishing my kid’s meals. If they ate half a muffin or half a plate of macaroni and cheese, I would always finish it. But after a while I took a step back and looked at all I was taking in. I would eat my lunch or dinner plus the rest of theirs and that was hundreds of calories. For a while I wouldn’t eat my dinner until after they were in bed, but that presented another challenge. Eating a full meal with a glass of wine at 8 pm wasn’t doing me any favors. And I was so hungry by that point I would eat more.
4. Did you follow a specific weight loss plan or just make small lifestyle changes that added up? I’m not a dieter (I was on Weight Watchers for 5 minutes), but I knew I had to do something. I knew the only way I could lose the weight was to train for an event so I would be forced to exercise several days a week. I signed up for the LA Marathon and its training group the LA Roadrunners when my youngest son was about a year old. It was great at the beginning. I lost a lot of weight, but near the end I had gained a bit of it back.
For me, when I’m exercising and thinking about being healthy it makes me want to eat healthier. I don’t want to eat things that are bad for me. And when I’m training, I don’t usually have more than a half glass of wine, which really helps with the calories. More than a half and I’m tired on my run the next day.
5. How have you been able to maintain your weight loss, and what keeps you motivated to stay at this weight? The thing that helped me lose that last 10 to 15 pounds (was 15, now 10 after the holidays) was training for a sprint triathlon. The training tones your whole body and it’s not as extreme as marathon training so you don’t get as hungry. I’m definitely motivated to stay at this weight because I want to fit into my jeans!
6. Does anything about having kids make losing or maintaining weight easier? Yes, finally. Sometimes we’re running around so much I forget to eat. And now that they’re older, 5 and 6, we can do more outside activities like hiking and biking. Sometimes I’ll run at the beach and they’ll ride their scooters or bikes alongside of me or if we’re home, we’ll play Wii Fit or Xbox Kinect.
7. What advice or tips do you have for busy moms who are trying to live a healthier lifestyle? Make time for yourself. I find it difficult to stop and do something for myself, but with marathon or triathlon training, it’s more like a necessity than a luxury. When I think of it that way I can justify it in my mind that I NEED to go running on Wednesday. If I don’t I won’t be able to complete the long run on Saturday.