Eleven months post-partum

Eleven months post-partum and I have reached my size goal!

I noticed my clothes were no longer fitting. Not even the "skinny pants" I had stored away a few years ago when I was at my smallest after having Emily. I had an event to go to so I went up to The Gap to do some shopping. I decided to try on the "Sexy Bootcut" jeans I loved so much about 6 months ago that I was wearing a size 10 in. I could tell the 10 wasn't going to fit, it was too big, so I was feeling pretty wonderful, carrying a size 8 into the dressing room. When I could get them on without unbuttoning them I got a little freaked out. I was certain they had sized them incorrectly. But then, the salesclerk brought me a size 6 and those were too loose! I was in a bit of disbelief at this point but asked for the size 4. I actually held my breath when trying them on as I was certain they wouldn't fit. But they did. And they fit well. To be sure because I'm a huge skeptic, I tried on three other styles of jeans and khaki pants and all fit in a size 4. I also tried on Xsmall and small shirts, what a difference from the larges I have been buying. I left about $600 broke but the happiest I have been in about 5 years!

I still can't believe that in two months I have gone from a size 10 to a size 4. And all because I over-hauled my way of eating and traded 5 days of cardio for 5 days of cardio with resistance training, core work, stretching, and foam-rolling!

Here are my measurements, the proof is in the pudding, y'all:

So, what exactly did I do and how can you get started?

First, I stopped going to the gym to run/walk on the treadmill and the ellyptical machines for 45 minutes 3-4 times a week. Instead, I do my Jillian Michael's 30-day Shred DVD at home on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This program is great because it combines stretching and cardio with weight-training and core exercises. I also go to the gym to take my 45 minute step aerobics class followed by a 30 minute core body works weight-training and foam rolling class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Saturdays I take an advanced step aerobics class and practice yoga before going to bed. I rest on Sundays. I spent the first two weeks on Level one of The 30-day Shred and the last two weeks of this month on level two. I'm doing Level three the next two weeks and may repeat level one the following two weeks. I have Jillian's other two DVDs that I may rotate in as well. It's amazing how many inches I've lost, how much lean-muscle mass I've put on, and how defined my arms, abs and legs are. The Personal Trainer I had a consult with said this is truly the only way to go and to keep doing what I'm doing.

Eating plan
I reached out to my Tweeps for some advice from those who are fit and/or are on their own journey to get fit and was pointed towards The McDougall Program by my friend Sarah, over at Through the Picture Window. The basics of this program is to cut back on animal proteins (meat, poultry, fish, game, eggs, fats, all dairy products) to a more healthy, more appropriate amount and to focus on obtaining the majority of your daily proteins from whole grains and vegetables. It's actually not a diet at all, it's common sense. It's the way all Americans should be eating as we, on average, consume 6-10x the amount of protein our bodies need every day, eat an absurd amount of fatty, processed food, and rarely eat the recommended daily servings of fresh fruits and vegetables. Not to mention our portions are out of control. I have been guilty of all the above for several years now myself!

In addition to continuing to keep a daily food journal online to ensure I am within my daily allotment of calories but more importantly that I am eating the correct amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, I have been following The McDougall Program.

* I have slowly removed most dairy products (yogurt, cheese, cream, milk) from my diet, only allowing myself 1-2 glasses of fat-free milk a day and only a few pinches of cheese with meals (like enchiladas, lasagna, a cheeseburger, etc.). I was eating 4-6oz of cheese every day and had no idea! I actually don't cook much with creams or cheeses and have never liked yogurt, smoothies or cottage cheese so removing these things was the easiest part.

* I only eat egg whites when I do have eggs (like scrambled eggs for breakfast) and I only have 4 egg whites 2x per week. This helps to reduce saturated fat and cholesterol from animal proteins. If I don't have scrambled egg whites for breakfast, I some times have a hard-boiled egg white on a salad or as a snack with some fruit.

* I have gone to an almost completely gluten-free way of eating grains like breads & pastas, focusing on quinoa-, spinach-, and whole wheat-based products. I only eat brown rice if I have rice with dinner. I only eat whole wheat couscous, barley, and quinoa for my daily whole grain servings. I don't eat sugary cereals even if high in whole grains. I don't eat sandwich breads, buns, tortillas, wraps, nor English muffins except on rare occasions. I bake, grill or roast corn on the cob and sweet potatoes as well as baked potatoes to have throughout the week. I also like plain popped corn for snacks. If we are out at a restaurant, I'll have just a few chips. If we cook fajitas at home, I'll have one tortilla and it's always corn. I will also have a cupcake, brownie, or even some cake at birthday parties but it's a very small serving and only on occasion.

* I only eat lean meats (boneless, skinless chicken breast, ground turkey breast, pork loin), fish & shellfish each day not to exceed five (5) ounces total for each day. I have been breaking it up into 2oz with either lunch or mid-day snack and 3oz with dinner, just to make meal planning easier. I still cook & eat all the things I have here on my blog, I just modify my portion (one slice of pizza or a 1/2 cup portion of Chinese take-out) and ensure I have vegetables and/or fruit along side it to make sure I've had all the food I need each day. And yes, I have had a few bites of steak or a few bites of chicken-fried steak but only a small serving to enjoy myself.

* I consume 2 cups of leafy green vegetables (kale sauteed into an egg white frittata, spinach sauteed and mixed into lasagna) and 2 cups of steamed, grilled, or roasted vegetables (tomatoes, peas, zucchini/squash, mushrooms, carrots, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, onions, bell peppers, and green beans just to name a few) every day as well. I have them along side or mixed into Quinoa, brown rice or Cous cous, mixed into home-made marinara for a pasta primavera dish, blended into soups, or even raw as a snack.

* I consume 1-2 cups of berries or 1 cup of fresh fruit (pineapple, apple, pear, orange, canteloupe, grapes to name a few) every day. I mix berries with quinoa breakfast porridge and in my oatmeal, I have fruit in my spinach salads, and I have fruit as a snack.

* I don't cook with much oil and rarely have more than 1 tablespoon of salad dressing.

* I don't drink sodas, juices, or coffee but I never drank them before so eliminating these from my life was an easy change.

And that's about it! At least, this is all I can manage to get out in writing. There are so many more little details and examples, which I'm sure you can read about yourself should you be interested in this program.

I have also made some other life changes; I make sure to take time for myself with friends and my husband as often as I can and I'm getting 9+ hours of sleep every night. I have never been more centered, at peace, and happy with my appearance and I still have a little work left to do! While I'm thrilled with my inch loss, I would like to lose about 6-8lbs more and tone up more but I know that will come in time. I'm just so excited to have finally committed to a change in my lifestyle and see immediately results because of it!


  1. Wow, you are doing great! I can't believe how many sizes you've gone down. I've started eating a sweet potato in replacement of bread or pasta sometimes- so if Celia and Chris are having lentil sloppy joes or a veggie burger on buns I put the filling on a potato instead. Turns out I like it more that way anyway. 30 Day Shred is a great workout. I always hate Jillian while I'm doing it- ha! Have you done her 6-week six pack dvd? I really like that one.

  2. congrats on reaching your goal!! Sounds like you've made some real positive cahnges, great work!!

  3. Whoa, mama! You are doing an amazing job! You should post some before and after pics.


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