How I Lost 30 Pounds on Whole30

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I have two beautiful boys now, but my journey to motherhood wasn’t the easiest.

It took a couple years of trying before I got pregnant the first time. I had been diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and needed to take a couple different medications. For as long as I could remember, my weight had fluctuated, but in that time when I was trying to get pregnant, I really started to gain weight due to hormones and my lack of control when it came to eating. I figured I was HOPEFULLY going to be pregnant soon and gaining weight anyway, so I might as well not worry about what I was eating.

Ugh. If I would have know then what I know now.

I suffered a miscarriage before getting pregnant with my first son. After I got pregnant after the miscarriage, already in an emotional state, I was at my 8 weeks doctor’s appointment, when the nurse said my weight out loud, in front of my husband. She said I was one pound shy of their threshold for sending mothers in for early gestational diabetes testing. I was horrified, and couldn’t believe I had gotten to that weight.

And as pregnancy goes, I continued to gain weight. I gained close to 50 more pounds before my son was born, and at the end was swollen so badly I couldn’t find shoes that fit. I look back at pictures now, and I swear even my nose was swollen. I didn’t take care of myself, and it showed and I felt it.

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38 weeks pregnant with my first son – everything was swollen and I felt terrible.

It was so hard to lose the weight after my son was born. I was nursing, but that didn’t seem to make a difference. I was still eating like crap and feeling like crap. I lost some weight, but it took a long time, and I was still not where I wanted to be. I succumbed to the fact that my pants were just a bigger size than they used to be. Chalked it up to being a mom.

I was about 10 pounds lighter than before when I got pregnant with my 2nd son. But I still wasn’t happy with my weight. A few weeks into my 2nd trimester, a friend asked me if I’d be interested in joining her for a “Whole30“. She explained that it was no grains, dairy, soy, sugar, legumes – basically nothing processed. You also couldn’t have alcohol, but being pregnant, that was the least of my worries. I figured I might as well try it. I spoke with my doctor who told me that he was absolutely supportive of it. He also told me if I never eat high fructose corn syrup again, that would be ideal.

So I joined her Facebook support group. My husband agreed to do it with me. We ate (mostly) whole foods for a month. And in those 30 days, so great things started happening.

  • I LOST 5 pounds (while pregnant!)
  • My energy levels were through the roof (while pregnant!)
  • I could feel a shift in my body – things didn’t ache like they had previously
  • I was less swollen all over
  • I was no longer craving sugar
  • And I felt like I could keep going eating mostly Whole30 compliant meals

My first Whole30 wasn’t perfect. But it was a start. And I learned so much about label reading and nutrition, and how to make better choices about what I was eating and what I was feeding my family. I continued eating mostly Whole30, living by the 80/20 rule, and the weight gain throughout the rest of my pregnancy was slow and manageable.

By the end of my pregnancy, people kept saying they couldn’t believe I was almost due. I didn’t look or feel huge. I felt great. I could still fit into many of my pre-pregancy clothes comfortably. I knew I had turned a corner and was looking forward to doing a full Whole30 again after the baby was born.

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38 weeks pregnant with my second son. I felt so much better after I started eating whole foods!

And only 2 months after my baby was born, I started another Whole30. I started dropping weight like crazy. I was still nursing, so I had to modify just a little (I ate snacks and would occasionally have oatmeal or other carbs) but for the most part I was very compliant. And once again, I felt great.

After that Whole30, literally none of my clothes fit me. I needed to go buy all new pants – and not just one size smaller than I was used to….TWO, sometimes THREE sizes smaller. I am now at the lowest weight I can remember in a very long time, and I’ve kept it off for several months now. I would like to lose about 10 more pounds, but I am not obsessive about it.

After Easter and a few weeks of really falling off the Whole30 wagon and indulging too much, I haven’t gained weight back, but I don’t feel very well. So I’m starting a new Whole30 today.

Follow me on Instagram for my daily meal posts, and check back here for updates and tips about Whole30. (Hint: I had shredded pork in a salad for lunch, and a bunless hamburger for supper)

“Diets” have never really worked for me. But eating using the principles of Whole30 has actually not been hard. And it’s only 30 days. Will you join me? Put any questions you have about Whole30 in the comments and I’ll try to help answer them. Having a support group was the biggest motivator for me, so I hope I can help others, too!

 

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Real Talk: Getting Trolled/Mommy Wars

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Once a month, I write a blog post for the Cedar Rapids Moms Blog. I love connecting with local moms, and have made some wonderful friendships by being a writer with them. You can see all the posts I’ve written for CRMB here. I’ve really learned a lot and have definitely seen an improvement in my writing.

I always enjoy when I get comments on my posts. For one, it confirms for me that people (besides my parents) actually read my writing. Two, it’s always been something complimentary or validating, and who doesn’t like a choir of people saying “Right on! I agree!”?

My latest post was titled “Four Hours with my Kids: A Working Mom’s Reality,” and I talked about the challenges of being a full-time working mom. Namely – only getting to spend limited time with my kids before and after work during the week. In it, I was honest, and said I enjoy working, but sometimes I feel guilty not wanting to be a stay at home mom.

When I saw I had received a comment on my post, I was excited to see what someone had written. Not thinking that my post might be controversial AT ALL, I eagerly read the response. It said:

“Sorry but you feel guilty, because someone else is raising your children! Being with your kids 4hours (sic) a day is not giving them what they need. You are thinking about yourself, that’s why you feel guilty. You are fooling yourself, trust me every child wants to be with their mom. Make a sacrifice for a few years until they are in school, you will never get that time back!” -Sandy

Whoa – talk about a gut punch. I didn’t even see it coming. Someone quickly came to the defense of all working moms and responded:

“Wow Sandy – you must have been one that was able to stay at home with your kids. Lucky you (note sarcasm). I myself am a working mom – because I want to and my husband is self-employed. Quite frankly, I don’t feel guilty about leaving my kids at daycare. I know they are learning more there than they ever would at home with me. Most importantly, they get to learn how to play and interact with other children – they aren’t stuck in the same four walls with me every day. My thought for you – if you can’t say something nice, don’t say it at all. Hopefully your kids learned that when they were home with you…” -Lea Ann

Neither comment was very nice. And they both just further promoted what we know as “Mommy Wars.” Breastfeeding vs. formula feeding, SAHM vs. working mom, public vs. private school – and the list goes on.

I know “trolling” happens on blog posts and social media all the time. It’s hard to please everyone, nor should that be the goal. I didn’t take the post personally, and I don’t necessarily agree with everything Lea Ann voiced in her rebuttal, either. I have lots of friends who are SAHM’s and they love it and are wonderful at it.

But, we’re all moms. We all want what is best for our children, and what is best for our personal situations. Promoting or participating in “Mommy Wars” does no good – it just further divides us. I never expect that everyone will agree with my choices 100%. I can only support my fellow moms and write from my heart.

In my heart – being a working mom is me. And I’m proud of that. To quote from the post:

“I pray that they’re seeing first-hand that women can have a successful career and a family, and give them both her all. That they’re getting what they need from me, my husband, and the village that is helping us raise them.”

Let’s stop the mommy wars and band together to join team mom. Lord knows there are plenty of other conflicts and disagreements out in the world today….and I can’t think of a better team to promote love and understanding and support.

Leo’s 1st Birthday Par-Tee

After searching Pinterest for 1st birthday party ideas, I settled on a golf themed party for baby Leo. It was taking place in the middle of summer, in our back yard, and our family loves to play golf. So we planned a 1st birthday PAR-TEE, complete with his very first set of golf clubs!

 

2-tiered cake and smash cake: Countertop Cakes

Embroidered birthday shirt: Etsy

Menu:

Golf Clubs (Brats and Hotdogs)

Putt-ato Salad

Par Pasta Salad

Chip Shots (Chips)

Watermelon Slices

Range Balls (Popcorn Puffs)

Donut Hole-in-Ones (Donut holes)

Arnold Palmers

 

2013 in Review

2013 was an AMAZING year! This week, I’ve seen some of my favorite bloggers writing their year in review, and I really liked that idea. 2013 was full of weddings, and parties, changes and trips, and overall it was a wonderful year! So without further adieu, here are some of my favorite moments from 2013!

  • In February I started my new blog, Our Little Ivory Tower! I wrote 47 posts in 2013, and I’m excited to see how I can grow my blog in 2014. I absolutely love having a writing outlet and a way to keep in touch with my family and friends. It has also been a great way for me to document my life and it serves as a “live” scrapbook.
  • In March my sissy moved to Colorado, which was incredibly sad, but also so exciting for her! She got a promotion working for Victoria Secret, and shortly after moving she got ANOTHER promotion and was given her OWN STORE to manage. She is doing an awesome job and loving being out in Denver!

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  • Also in March, G & I did some fundraising for the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight. So many of our family and friends helped by donating and we were able to raise $250 for the local organization to help send veterans to Washington D.C. to see the WWII Memorial.
  • In April my bestie Megan invited me to be her +1 for a work trip she earned to Austin, TX! All expenses paid, we spend a long weekend exploring Austin with an awesome group of people, as well as a couple days at an amazing resort. We were pampered, ate like queens, and had an awesome #palsweekend overall. The trip was definitely a top highlight of 2013!

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  • At the end of April, I helped to host my dear friend Tiffany’s bachelorette party in Des Moines, which was a blast with old and new friends.

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  • In May I celebrated another bachelorette, my roommate from college Katie, in Nashville! It was my first time to ‘Music City’ and I loved every minute of it. We danced to country music, bought cowboy boots, and drank till the sun came up. It was another amazing girlfriends trip!

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  • In June I got to stand up as a bridesmaid in Tiffany and Nick’s wedding. It was one of the most fun bridal parties I’ve ever been a part of and the wedding was beautiful and classy and SO much fun.

Malcom Wedding

  • In July G & I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary! He posted this on Facebook which absolutely melted my heart 🙂 He’s not a big “sharer” on Facebook, so that made it all the more special. It’s good to be me, too!

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Anniversary

  • Also in July, I was a bridesmaid in Katie and Sean’s wedding in the Quad Cities. It was a gorgeous wedding and incredibly special and truly a wedding I will never forget.

Laird Sisters

  • In August we attended my 10 year class reunion. I rode in our class float, watched old class videos from elementary and high school days, and enjoyed catching up with my classmates, some of whom I hadn’t seen in 10 years!

Class of 2003

  • In September we went out to Colorado with my parents to visit Marlee and Andrew. We went to a Reds/Rockies game, hiking in the mountains, exploring Denver and Boulder, and had a lot of family fun time.

Mountains Family

  • Also in September, we traveled to Missouri for our friends Stephanie and Horacio’s wedding. So many of our friends who G grew up with were there, and we had a great time dancing the night away and catching up with old friends.

Wedding fun

  • In October I got to go to Las Vegas for work to exhibit at the NBWA Tradeshow. Not only was it beautiful weather while we were there, I learned a lot and even had some time to explore the city.

Las Vegas

  • In November I participated in NaBloPoMo and blogged {almost} every day in the month of November. We also spent Thanksgiving in Fort Dodge with the Ivorys, and went to G’s cousin’s wedding.

Ivorys

  • In December my sister got engaged!!! Her fiance Andrew took her up into the mountains for a relaxing weekend, and ended it by putting a beautiful ring on her finger. We are looking forward to the wedding planning to come in 2014, and a wedding in 2015! I’m so excited for them and excited for Andrew to become a part of our family.

Future Newbergs

  • Also in December, I decorated for Christmas  and we went to Chicago to celebrate the holiday with my mom’s side of the family. We also got together in Cedar Falls with G’s family to open presents and enjoy a really fun lunch at a Japanese steakhouse.

Christmas Tree

As you can see, 2013 was a really exciting and eventful year. We’re expecting another fun and and crazy year in 2014, and I can’t wait to share it all with you again. My goal for 2013 is to take one picture everyday to document the year {thanks for the idea, Mix and Match Mama!}, and to take time to enjoy my family and friends, because life is too short to not be around those you love.

Tonight G & I are going to ring in the New Year together by going out for a fancy dinner at 350 First and possibly to a movie, then probably home to watch the ball drop on TV. I’m really looking forward to it! Tomorrow we will spend Jan 1 relaxing and watching the Iowa Hawkeyes play LSU in the Outback Bowl! GOOOOO HAWKS!

I hope you all have a safe and happy new year, and look forward to seeing you all in 2014!

FATerday Thanksmas! NaBloPoMo Day 9

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Merry Thanksmas and Happy Christgiving! (Thanks Jeffy for those!) Check out that dinner plate!!! Today, this wasn’t a Saturday, it was a flat out FATERDAY! We had an amazing dinner tonight and even got to open some presents. Pretty excited about my new stuff from Loft, Victoria’s Secret, and Bath & Body Works! Having family members who have jobs in retail is preeeeetty great! I am stuffed and trying to make room to have a pumpkin bar or some apple crisp for dessert. Deep breathes and time for some thanksgiving eatin’ pants….

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Phoebe: Joey! Those are my maternity pants!
Joey: No, no! These are my Thanksgiving pants!!!!

Earlier today we watched the Hawkeyes kick Purdue’s butt and become bowl eligible {whoo hoo!}, and got to see our favorites Jeff and Betty! We also went shopping in Dysart, which has become quite the local destination with lots of little boutiques and small gift stores. I was so impressed by how many cute shops they had to offer. I even picked up this adorable Christmas decoration! I think it will fit in great with my kitchen decor, and a bought few other little odds and ends.

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Tomorrow my sissy heads back to Colorado, and we go back to CR. Boooo! It’s amazing how quickly the weekend goes, especially when you’re with your nearest and dearest. We’re only in week two of November and I have so much to be thankful for.

I can’t wrap up today without wishing my favorite blogger and DIYer, and Zeta sister Brittney  a happy, happy 30th birthday! The Hawks were kind enough to give ya a birthday win! Britt, I hope you celebrated at the beach with your adorable family and had a great day!!!

So, what did you do this weekend? Fellow NaBloPoMoers how are you doing??

TGIF! – NaBloPoMo Day 8

I’m so excited it’s Friday because I have been looking forward to this weekend since we left Colorado in September! My sissy is home to celebrate the holidays! I know, I know…..we’re a little early! But my sis is a Victoria Secret rock star in Colorado and this is her last weekend free before the holiday shopping madness begins. (Helllllllo Black Friday–it’s almost here!)

At first we were planning to all out “do Christmas“. But then we decided we would just do a little Thanksgiving and a little Christmas this weekend, then mail the rest of our gifts in December. So that was good because I was WAY BEHIND and did not have my shopping completely done. And getting perfect, thoughtful gifts takes time, friends!

So I’m blogging on my lunch hour from my phone (isn’t technology amazing??) so I can just enjoy my family tonight and not have to worry about my daily post,  and after work we’ll hop in the car and head up to Traer for a family-fun weekend {and likely lots and lots of wine!} Tomorrow my mama is making turkey and potatoes and stuffing and all our other holiday favorites and we will enjoy a weekend of hanging out, EATING TOO MUCH, and relaxing before the ACTUAL holiday season begins. The holidays are about being with the people you love and that’s exactly what I get to do this weekend!!! So Happy pre-Thanksgiving, and Merry early Christmas!!

What are your plans for this weekend?? Any other early holiday-ers???