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.