Friday, July 31, 2015

Body Talk: It's Not About the Dieting

At least, for me it's not.
Remember, every body is different! What works for me might not be what your body needs :)

I gained 55 pounds during my pregnancy. And, contrary to what some people told me, the weight did not "melt right off" just because I was exclusively breastfeeding. Less than half of it fell away naturally, and since then I've only been able to shave off a couple pounds more.

It has bothered me so much. I wanted to do something about it.

But I just didn't. Want. To. Diet.

I didn't want to deal with that. I have never dieted, and I never want to.

AND I'm awful about exercising when I'm not in a group setting (I miss my dance classes!) so that doesn't help the whole weight-loss thing.

As I mentioned in my last post, I finally decided to do a sugar detox right after the 4th of July. I was tired of being at a standstill with my weight loss, I wanted to feel more motivated to exercise, and I did not want to crave sugar constantly anymore.

A detox is a nice middle ground, right? I figured... it's not a full-blown diet! I can do that!

For those of you who are interested in the details of the detox (though that's not the main purpose of this post), it was 1 week long, and here's what I was allowed to eat:
  • veggies (non-starchy only)
  • fruits
  • nuts
  • eggs
  • chicken, fish, grass-fed meat

I stuck to it pretty religiously, other than adding in one serving of peanut butter per day starting on day 4 and one serving of Greek yogurt starting on day 5. And munching some gluten products on the last day.

The results were good...

I lost nearly 1/4th of my remaining pregnancy weight!

I felt a significant decrease in my desire for sugar!

Since I coupled the detox with more exercise (thank you, zumba at the rec center!) I also felt more fit!

AND... I succeeded in buttoning up my pre-pregnancy skinny jeans!!!!!!!

THAT was SUCH a great feeling.

It turns out that I'm not carrying as much weight in my hips/thighs as I thought.

It's aaaaaall in my upper body, as you can see despite the flowy-ish shirt I'm wearing.

I have a lot of back and tummy flab.

A lot.

And a detox alone can't fix that...

However, once the detox was over I started slipping back into my old eating habits.... and I discovered that my body started feeling worse.

Surprise, surprise. I know. (Yes, that was dripping in sarcasm.)

The thing is, I have never paid much attention to the relationship between my body and food until I did this detox. I never had to worry about it before! I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted without gaining a single pound! But clearly, that's not the case now. The detox helped me see how good my body can feel if I eat right, and it was quite the wake-up call.

I'm not good at listening to my body.

And I've discovered...

For me, it's not about dieting or detoxes.

It's about only eating when I'm hungry, not just because I'm bored or stressed.

It's about trusting that my body knows what I need to feel the healthiest.

It's about getting my body moving in a way that's fun.

It's about being active with the purpose of feeling great, not with the purpose of losing weight.

It's about eating an apple when my body is telling me it wants one instead of choosing the ginger snap cookies from Trader Joe's just because they taste good. (Curse you, Trader Joe's! Maybe it's a good thing we don't have one in Provo...)

It's about my new belief that if I eat the good, healthy things that my body tells me to eat (not worrying too much about quantity and calories) and stay active, the pounds will slowly disappear before I even realize what's happening.

^^^Pre-pregnancy pants, baby!!!

I think we make this whole "post-partum body" thing too stressful sometimes.

Why can't we just focus on helping our body feel good?

Feeling healthy and energized is more important than our dress size. I think that if I shift my focus towards doing my part to make my body feel awesome, the weight-loss that I desire will be a happy side-effect.

My new goal is to have fun while I'm being active, and to not feel bad about eating donuts or drinking the occasional soda as long as I'm listening to my body (because it does feel gross after I eat sugary things! I've just never noticed! HOW IS IT THAT I NEVER NOTICED?!?!?!)

On another note... getting a rec center pass was the best decision ever! I can't exercise by myself. I try, but I just can't keep it going. Attending classes at the rec center is ah-maze-ing and keeps me motivated.

Also, can I just say that... my baby girl is so cuuuuute! No, I'm not biased! I'm not! Just look at those ultra-blue eyes, those chubby thighs, those little toes... I just want to eat her up. SO. CUTE.

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