Photography by Frances Juriansz Image by: Photography by Frances Juriansz
Lost: 30 pounds
Occupation: Stay-at-home mother, part-time veterinary assistant, Brampton, Ont.
Time period: 2 years
Weight loss: 210 to 175 pounds
Where she started
My pregnancies were difficult. I was on bed rest while carrying my firstborn, Dexter, from 20 weeks on. I put on about 30 pounds—and didn't lose it after his birth. Then, when I was pregnant with Elliot, I was afraid to exercise because my first pregnancy had been so difficult.
After I had Elliot in March 2012, I weighed about 210 pounds. Initially, I wasn't weighing myself, so I wasn't entirely sure of the number—and I didn't really want to know. Though I'm a tall person who carries weight well, I felt tired all of the time and wasn't happy with how I looked. I couldn't get down on the floor to play with my kids—I didn't have the stamina. I thought, You have to shape up.
There was no lightbulb moment. It was more about wanting to be active so I could be there for my boys (I lost my mom when I was 21).
How she did it
My first goal was to get under 200 pounds. I'd been going to the gym at least three days a week for about a month, and when I finally weighed myself for the first time, I was down to 193.
My next goal was to reach 185, and when I did, I thought, 165 would be nice, but I'd be happy with 175. Then, I got down to 175 pounds, and I've maintained that for the past 10 months.
The last five pounds were the hardest to lose. I became a little obsessive, weighing myself a couple of times a day and policing my food intake. Once I achieved my goal, though, the obsessiveness went away. I became less concerned about the number and more about how I felt. That said, there have been fluctuations during stressful times and the holiday season, but I've always been able to get back down to 175.
As part of my get-in-shape plan, my family joined the YMCA. In addition to improving my fitness and carving out a little “me” time, my husband wanted to get active and we both wanted the boys to socialize with other kids in the children's programs.
As I started to get into the mindset of actually trying to lose weight, I turned to personal trainers who helped me develop a cardio and weight-training routine, which I did three or four times a week. I also went to the Y with my family every Sunday. My husband and I would work out, then take the boys swimming. We really tried to embrace an active lifestyle.
There was nothing extraordinary about my diet. Instead of eating chips, I snacked on fruit and vegetables. A hard-core pop drinker, I limited my soda consumption to one can a day, a drastic reduction considering I typically drank three or four. I baked rather than fried my food, I ate smaller portions and I added more greens—such as peas, green beans and broccoli—to my plate. Because I was cooking more healthfully, my family ate more healthfully, too.
My junk-food addiction wasn't something I was willing to give up completely (it's my Achilles' heel). I didn't cut out McDonald's hamburgers, but instead of ordering a Quarter Pounder Meal, I'd opt for a kids' Happy Meal. No diet will be successful if you give up all the things you love.
The key to changing my eating habits was training my brain. I learned to eat until I was satisfied, not until I was full. When I wanted to have a snack before bedtime, I'd tell myself, No, you don't need it. You're bored, not hungry.
Where she is now
I've been able to maintain my weight because I continue to be active. I still go to the YMCA three or four times a week, doing a few days of strength training and devoting at least one day to cardio. I monitor what I eat, though I'm not as vigilant as I used to be. Every week, I review my diet and ask myself whether I overindulged. If the answer is yes, I know I'll have to be more careful the next week.
Accomplishing my weight-loss goal was a moment of pride. Losing weight is difficult, especially as your age climbs. The fact that I put my mind to it and I did it is really rewarding.
For more inspirational weight loss stories, check out how one mom lost 100 pounds.
|This content is vetted by medical experts
|This story was originally part of "How She Did It: No Small Change" in the July 2015 issue.
Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!