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.