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Losing it

Losing weight has been a constant theme of my life, pretty much as far back as I can remember. By the time I was 12, people would reassure me: I still hadn’t lost my “baby fat.” But it wasn’t baby fat. I was just at the very beginning of a struggle that would last for years. That soft chin would eventually turn into a bona-fide double. All through high school and college, I periodically tried to get in shape. But nothing stuck. Even fitting into a wedding dress wasn’t enough motivation to get me to change my habits.

After I had my second baby, my husband bought us a package of “duet” classes at a local Pilates studio. Who knows why, but this stuck. Like most things, Eli and I enjoyed working out together. Pilates classes gave way to a gym membership which gave way to joining Weight Watchers. Next thing I knew, I was wearing a size 4 and running half marathons. I mean, there was a lot of hard work in the middle there, but in the end, I just did it, changing one bad habit at a time.

And then I got pregnant again.

This pregnancy was different from the others. I was determined to stay in great shape. I ate very reasonably well and exercised like a fiend. I have pictures of me, 41 weeks pregnant, doing pushups.

I had the baby and after the dust cleared, I had just 15 pounds to lose to get back to my goal weight (right in the middle of the healthy BMI range for my height). 15 pounds? A piece of (fat free) cake.

But it wasn’t. The bad habits came back, one at a time. My son is about to turn 3, and I still haven’t made a dent in those last 15 pounds (baby fat?). And, in fact, over the last couple of months, the scale started to climb a little bit. I was exercising plenty, but my diet was a mess. And then I had my epiphany.

Are you ready?

I was breaking my neck to get to the gym every morning to exercise, but I wasn’t taking the time to pack my lunch and snacks for the day. Instead, I was getting take-out, snacking on cookies, or not eating enough during the day and coming home starving and eating all night. Guess what? When I pack my food, I save myself 1000 calories or more every day. I could never burn that many calories in 15 extra minutes at the gym.

So I’m still exercising, but I’m also making it a priority to pack lunch (and snacks). This is only week one, but I’m feeling, for the first time in more than three years, like I’m back on track.

2 comments

  1. Woohoo…keep it up!!

  2. i find that packing a lunch and plenty of healthy snacks like nuts and fruit help a lot, too. it’s amazing how all those scones and lattes add up. i even pack my own tea so i’m not tempted by all the pastries at the cafe. and you’re so right about eating all night if you don’t eat enough during the day.

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