Personally, I am not friends with the gym. I'm just not. I can hike all day, go for a run outside, or do yoga for hours, but ask me to go to the gym, and you'll receive some major hemming and hawing. Luckily for me (but not so luckily for my body image) Aisley was on my side. "Oh, mom needs to go the gym? Looks like its time to spectacularly spit up everything I've eaten and then cry because I'm hungry. Going to spin class? Looks like I just fell asleep ON your boob, mom." I really did try to workout, but when your baby will allow no one else to watch her? Time to get creative. I was consistently between 135-140 pounds (eek. I'm like 5' 3" on a good day) when I plateaued out. I stayed there for ages. That was it. Goodbye, weight melting off, goodbye uterus shrinking, goodbye losing extra fluid. I had to actually lose weight now, I couldn't go to the gym, and I've always been leery of fads or drastic lifestyles. We really wanted to transition to an organic and paleo diet, but didn't want to dive into something we couldn't maintain. So what did I do? I made ONE change. One simple change to see how much weight that ONE change would cut. I would wait, and watch for the next plateau, and then make one more change.
1. Drinks and snacks. The first thing I did to reduce calorie (and CHEMICAL) intake was to cut out all processed drinks and snacks. All of them. All of the chips, candy, and cookies, along with soda, energy drinks, and pretty much all juice got nixed. We replaced chips with crunchy vegetables, and other snacks with nuts, seeds, trail mix, and fruit. I'll grab a real food Larabar over a snickers any day. They just taste BETTER(I'm looking at you, coconut cream pie and cashew cookie). We replaced juice with water(except for chia juice) energy drinks with regular coffee, and soda with coconut water and tea. Everyone thinks this is the hardest thing, but a small amount of discipline here lost me the most weight out of anything.
2. Desserts. We like ice cream. Who doesn't? I lost 5 lbs simply by switching out chemical-laden ice cream for coconut milk mixed with milk or pumpkin and honey. Slightly more prep work, but worth it. We haven't missed the sweets, and its been over 2 months. I finally did have a killer chocolate craving that was satiated by some honey and cacao chocolate chip cookies. They were bomb, and sugar content aside, still all-natural.
3. "Quick" Dinners-AKA anything prepackaged or pre-seasoned. This is the next thing we cut out. If we need something fast to eat, we now make a quick soup from Bob's Red Mill, stir fry up some veggies and chicken, throw together some black beans with a high-quality salsa, and we frequently use microwave pouches of quinoa that are perfect in a pinch.
For me, these 3 changes got me through 3 plateaus, and lost me 2 pounds per week. The coolest thing about clean eating is that it gives you what you need. My husband has eaten the same food as I have (but admittedly more of it) and actually gained a little much-needed weight. I can't imagine how well I would have done if I had been able to go to the gym in addition to this. So what now? I'm back to my prepregnancy weight, but I'd still like to lose another 10 lbs, if not 15. It still remains to be seen if this is just another plateau or if I will HAVE to work out to lose more weight. Admittedly, for now, we only follow these eating habits at home. If we're out, there's much more flex(seriously, a girl's gotta EAT). But for now, we're working to replace sauces and dressings with natural alternatives, replacing more and more dairy with non-dairy alternatives, and trying to reduce the amount of time we spend eating out of home.