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The Struggle:

I have often struggled with my weight, but after baby # 5, the struggle reached a whole new level.

At 9 months pregnant I weighed 177lbs. A few weeks after Aboudi was born, I weighed 176. When he turned 2, I weighed 175lbs.

At this rate, I should be back to a healthy weight in about 30 years.

For my previous 4 babies, I had managed to lose the baby weight within 1-2 years max. But for some reason, this time I could not get the scale below 170 no matter what I tried. I went to the gym, drank green smoothies and skim milk, cut my calories, and walked as much as I could. I was always on the go, zipping from here to there, upstairs, downstairs. Yet the scale (or my bulging jean buttons) wouldn’t budge.

I blame the kids. Ok, I guess it’s not entirely their fault (or at all for that matter). But whoever or whatever’s fault it was it sucked. Big time.

The worst thing was how I felt. I was always bloated, sluggish, and my joints hurt. I felt so unhealthy, and that is a nasty feeling to have 24/7.

Spring 2018 was a turning point. After neglecting my health for years, I completely burnt out and had a bad health scare. Soon after, I decided to make major lifestyle changes and overhaul my deplorable habits. As I worked toward healing myself, something amazing happened. Without intentionally trying to lose weight, my pants no longer felt like they were about to burst at the seams.

I called this, Part 1 of my Weight loss Journey.

The Journey – Part 1:

In retrospect, these are the 3 biggest changes I made that seemed to contribute to my initial weight loss.

  1. Getting more quality sleep
  2. Mindful eating. 
  3. Going out for a brisk 30-45 minute walk every morning

Despite finally achieving some degree of weight loss, I was still far from a healthy weight. I was stuck in another rut as my progress plateaued.

A few months ago, I got that final kick in the butt I needed. I opened my Instagram feed and saw a before and after photo of a family friend I hadn’t seen in a while. She had lost 30 pounds and looked AMAZING!

I honestly don’t know what it was about that photo, but that did it for me. I made a promise to myself that I would do whatever it took to lose the unhealthy weight and regain my confidence. I reached out to my family friend and asked her to tell me her story. Armed with that new information, I embarked on part 2 of my Weight loss Journey 

The Journey – Part 2:

Here are the main diet and lifestyle changes I made immediately:

  1. Intermittent fasting: Eating healthy foods between 11am-7pm-ish:
    • I restrict myself to water or unsweetened herbal teas at any other time.
  2. Eliminating 99% of simple carbs:
    • Anything white and highly refined including pasta, bread, rice and sugar.
  3. Increase protein and good fat intake drastically:
    • There is no way I am starving myself. I eat eggs, avocados, chicken breasts, salmon, cheese and milk. Yum.
  4. Drinking at minimum 8-10 glasses of water a day:
    • Infused water has been a lifesaver!
  5. Replacing some meals with fresh raw vegetable juice:
    • Greenhouse juices have been a lifesaver.
  6. Eating the same thing on a daily basis:
    • Every breakfast and lunch I eat eggs with sliced avocado. For dinner I rotate between grilled salmon or chicken breast. I do this because meal planning and cooking additional dishes is just too hard for me.
  7. Drinking a glass of water or vegetable juice when hunger strikes:
    • I only eat if I am still hungry 20 minutes later.
  8. Eating only when hungry aka mindful eating:
    • Stop finishing the kid’s food
    • Stop nibbling at the kid’s snacks
    • Not allowing my emotions to dictate my food intake

Just 2 weeks into Part 2 of my weightless journey, multiple friends and family members mentioned that they saw a big difference. Hallelujah! 

About a month in, I found a scale at my mom’s house. I had not checked my weight in a long time because several months ago my children thought it was a great idea to bring our digital scale into the shower- with the water running. Suffice to say, that was the death of our scale. 

I hesitantly stepped on. I had lost 15 pounds!  

Final Thoughts:

After over a year of experimentation, this is what worked best for me, but may not be the right thing for you and your body. These are simply ideas you can use, but by no means are they the only way. Experiment with different methods and do what works for you. 

I won’t lie. Trading those warm buttered French baguettes for a handful of nuts or a sugar-free skim milk latté have been crazy hard for me. But the benefits have been worth it. I feel so much healthier, lighter on my feet and have tons more energy. Even my skin has benefited. 

Even though I have not reached my final weight goal yet, I am well over halfway there and have no doubt that I will succeed. 

It can be brutally tough be to keep at it when you are dead exhausted every day.  When my day would finally be over around 10pm, that cheese sandwich, sugary latte and cake used to call my name.

But please don’t sacrifice your body and confidence. Put yourself first. I promise it will be worth it in the end. 

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