Loosing 30- My Journey to Get Back to Fit & Healthy
So, DISCLAIMER- this is not going to be a super cheerful positive post per usual. Right now I am sitting in a fuzzy bathroom with nothing on under contemplating eating an entire plate of tortilla chips, cheese and salsa. How far I have fallen... lol
I am no health guru. I despise waking up early and I have a seriously hard time staying committed to a diet. You see, with me everything is 0 OR 100. Either I am eating like 300 calories a day just to keep my eyes open or I am inhaling a giant steak with an appetizer and 3 sugary cocktails, there is no in between with me. I have literally lost 50lbs at least 3x in my adult life and most of those attempts came through extreme exercise, lack of eating and diet pills when I was younger. You see, loosing weight also felt like CONTROL to me. If I could get into a "groove," I could control myself while watching the pounds just fall off. I recall loosing 8lbs in one week before simply by not eating anything but dry spinach, oatmeal and water- no exercise required.
Though I felt like I knew the "secret" to shredding the weight. I knew I couldn't do it like that this time around. I am older now, I have a different lifestyle now, I care about my HEALTH now, both mentally and physically. I am a better woman now and I refuse to torture myself. I have EVOLVED.
Lets back up a bit... It is no secret that I had plastic surgery two years ago in the Dominican Republic and I do not regret my decision at all. I never was fat or had a bad body, I just felt pretty shapeless prior to my surgery. After surgery, I went through a time of deep depression due to my role on Black Ink. While I liked the way I looked on the outside, I was very sick on the inside. I was having Lupus flareups like every month ( prior to surgery I was ok) and my weight had dropped down incredibly low. During that time, it wasn't that I wasn't eating because trust, I was eating at some of the best NY steakhouses almost every night.. I simply was just UNHAPPY.
After getting pregnant with Nova and moving to Georgia with Richard, I was also pretty stressed given all of the new changes. I didn't begin "showing" with Nova until around 6 months and even then I carried her pretty small. Throughout my pregnancy, I only gained about 28lbs. Luckily I did not crave crazy, unhealthy foods and I kept my weight gain pretty steady and under control.
After Nova's birth, I was the happiest I had been in a long time and I truly felt transformed and at peace. My "snapback" was pretty apparent on the outside so I didn't give myself anytime to really heal because I looked "healed". Since I looked great, I thought I was 100% "back to normal"- even though I wasn't. In reality, it takes about 12 months for a woman's body to return back to "normal" post pregnancy. Normal isn't just about what number appears on the scale, but hormonally as well.
I went back to work literally 2 weeks after giving birth to Nova. Most of all of you know that I do work a 9-5 gig as a Director of a non-profit agency in addition to managing my blog, being a mom and a wife. With an hour and 30 min drive each way, I found myself constantly stopping off to fast food places on the way to work because I was literally starving by the time I came into the office. Fried food, sugary coffees and junk kept me going in the mornings and by 4pm- I was ready to indulge again. It became so bad, the people working at the fast food places that I would frequent started to expect my arrival and know my name (talk about embarrassing).
Going back to work was hard on me. The drive everyday was (and IS) draining and my workload was pretty intense due to months of me being out of the office due to pregnancy complications. In Georgia, they do not offer short term disability like they do in California SO unless you have a bunch of vacation/sick time saved up- your maternity lave is unpaid. Having a leadership role in the organization allowed me lots of flexibility including working from home somedays, but it was not the same as working in the office. Like most women, I felt a sense of expectation to be 100% upon my return. When I needed to simply sit my ass down and recover with my baby, I felt the need to be ON constantly. I constantly felt like my employees were judging me for not being 100% with it and I felt like I was letting a bunch of people down by not preforming at the level that I am accustomed to.
Within about 3 months, I had gained about 12-15lbs I think, idk hell- maybe 20. While it would be easy to say "I don't know how this happened," I do. Going back to work was hard on me and the effects began to show themselves in my weight and my energy level. When I would get home from work, I felt no desire to workout. After a long commute, all I wanted to do was drink wine, REST and visit with my kids and my husband.
I had the sentence "buy gym membership" on my to-do list for 2 months straight. I knew that chicken biscuits and fried food was doing nothing GOOD for me, but I couldn't stop. I think this is the true meaning of emotional eating. Those people who assume that just because someone has gone through Lipo a Tummy Tuck or a BBL "automatically" snapback or "can't" gain weight are WRONG and so IGNORANT. Gaining weight is EASIER after you have had surgery. Weight will appear in places that you NEVER had weight in before and it will be HARD to loose the weight. If you are looking to get plastic surgery, please please consult with a Veteran first. A lot of women will not share plastic surgery details or make it seem "easy" and its not by any means.
Finally, I cracked. I was trying to put on a pair of jeans 3 weeks ago and literally had to jump up and down while sweating to get them on. Yes, I have a giant ass but the size of my ass had grown out of control. Stepping on the scale, I new I wanted to loose 40lbs to be at my personal best. Loosing 40lbs would put me in my "dream" weight, yet I knew that I would be totally satisfied with 30- I just wanted to be HEALTHY.
My first day back in the gym was ROUGH. I was shocked how out of shape I was. I feel like as soon as I walked into the gym I started sweating. From there, quieting the "noise" in my head was the only way I was going to get through 45 minutes to intense cardio. Cardio is the best method for me right now. I need to build up my stamina and frankly just loose weight and weights can often intimidate me.
After I finished my first workout, I was super proud of myself for sticking in it and not giving up even though I felt like a sweaty piggy. The day after, I hobbled my sore (yes, I was sore) self back to the gym at the same time and I have been pretty focused ever since.
The toll the gym has taken on my hair has been ROUGH. Let me say that I adore good blowout and I used to visit the Dominican salon 1x a week for a deep conditioning treatment and a dope roller set that usually lasted me the week or longer (if Richard doesn't sweat my edges out:)). Since my hair is naturally curly AND I naturally sweat like a crazy person in the gym, a blowout style AINT POPPIN. Not only did I immediately sweat my hair out within 3 minutes on the treadmill, my hair smelled bad the day after and I am NOT cool with that.
Yes, I can rock a wash and go (and I do it all the time), but I have not really found protective styles or great products that can still keep my hair looking (and smelling) fresh all the time. I do not like a lot of maintenance on my hair and I also refuse to wear a wig during the Summer time so I guess the curls are going to have to work for work. While I would LOVE to rock a cute, braided style- I worry about the look of it in my corporate role. I know a bunch of my naturalistas are going to hate me for admitting that- but its TRUE.
Another thing that is killing me with my gym routine is time. I have been going to the gym in the evening and its hard. I have an hour and 30 minute commute home in the evening and when I get home- I just want to relax. After dinner and getting the kids off to bed I have to fight to get myself motivated to leave the house and drive to the gym. Everything I read online tells me to switch my gym routine to the mornings before work and let me just say ITS HARD AF. I have never been a morning person. Getting up in the morning kills me no matter how much rest I get. It is on my manifestation list to make it happen sometime soon.
Food wise, I have cut out MOST meat and ALL red meat. In our household, we eat lot of meat and red meat is no exception. In this journey, I am sticking to eating fish only and I am really enjoying how much lighter I feel already.
Another major change I have made with my diet is curbing what time I eat dinner every night. Now, I try to eat dinner by 6:30 or 7:00pm to give my body time to actually digest my food so I do not go to bed feeling full. By also eliminating diary (I'm trying my best), I am feeling less bloated and my skin has cleared up too.
Some of my favorite recipes have been shrimp ceviche, blackened salmon, crispy/ baked talipia and fish tacos. Its funny how when you actually have to put meat from your diet you will get way more creative with your dinner recipes.
For lunch, I usually pack a kale salad and I make my own dressing. While salads can get a bit boring everyday, I try to mix them up by trying different salad kits and flavors. The major advice I can give on salad is to cut out ALL creamy dressings. No ranch, blue cheese or thousand island dressings are allowed when you are dieting because they can contain as much calories as a double cheeseburger.
One thing I am majorly struggling with is WATER INTAKE. Did you know that you are supposed to drink half of our body weight in oz's of water per day? Lets just say for me, that is a lot of water. To be honest, some days I can only get by with drinking maybe 2 cups of water which is horrible. Idk, I get really busy and distracted all of the time and its hard to gulp down a lot of water for me when I am on the go. Water isn't that appeasing to me and I need to IMPROVE on my hydration asap because it is a critical part of any health journey.
So far, I have working out about 45 minutes to an hour 3x a week. Beginning next week I would like to increase that to at least 4-5x per week. In the gym, I stick with mostly cardio (interval training) and I always make sure I have my music pre-listed before I even step foot in the gym. Good music helps me get my motivation together.
As far as diet pills, I am still on the fence with them. While I never had bad experiences with diet pills, I know that they can have different side effects the older you get. I have taken the Bella Barbies Slim ER Kit before and I loved all of the energy it gave me. I will do a review for you guys if I do decide to move forward with getting it.
Through the last 2 weeks of my journey, I have lost about 4lbs and I hope I am making progress. I did have one slip up (a grilled chicken sandwich) and I immediately felt like crap for it. My biggest challenge will be cutting out all alcohol (I love a glass of wine) and meat of course. Last week was dedicated to ditching the meat, this week my focus will be on ditching the booze.
This is just a journey back to healthy, not a journey back to size. I am totally comfortable that my "new normal" may mean that my weight is 10lbs higher than I like or that my waist is a few inches wider than it originally was. I truly feel like this journey is a path back to the best version of me, whatever that looks like. When I think about the themes that really stick out for me in all of this- BALANCE is the number one thing I think of.
I want to feel balance in every avenue of my life. As women, we ALL balance so much and it is so easy to let ourselves fall by the waste side. Through taking care of everything and everybody else we loose ourselves and then feel discouraged when we are trying to get us back. I do not want to look at myself ever again and wonder how I got to the place I am at. I never want to feel ashamed to take photos or appear in videos simply because I disapprove of the woman staring back at me.
This weight gain (though annoying) doesn't make me feel discouraged, this journey is making me feel EMPOWERED.
I hope you will all come along to witness the magic.