Hey, y’all! I am so excited to be sharing here on Memoirs of Megan. My name is Rhonda and I’m here from my blog, Hepburn and Houndstooth. I’m the mom of three boys and wife to a sexy, geeky husband. I’m a crunchy, martini-loving, nerdy, working mom. Today, I bring a topic to the table that I’m passionately geeky about – health and wellness.
I never worried much about fitness and eating right when I was younger. I was naturally thin and did a lot of physical activities. It simply wasn’t anything I had to think about. For awhile in college, I dated a health freak and his habits rubbed off on me. I became quite fit for a year or so. Midway through my college experience, my weight began fluctuating. For a few weeks, I’d go to clubs a lot, hang out at the frat houses, and eat a lot of crap. My weight would increase quite a bit and I would pack on quite the beer belly. I would inevitably start feeling badly about myself and would go on a strict all-salad and water diet and my weight would plummet. Repeat. I took nutrition classes in college and knew how to eat properly. I just didn’t bother.
Years of yo-yo dieting caught up with me when I got pregnant with my oldest son. I gained lots of weight, just over the “healthy” range. I lost only about half of it in the couple of years after his birth. Then, got pregnant again. Same story. Then… yep, same story again with baby #3. With each pregnancy, I packed on a few more pounds that never went away. That’s how I found myself searching for a lifestyle change. As we have all heard, a lifestyle change is what’s required to really keep off weight. It tends to come off more slowly that way, but the changes stick. The problem is, so few people can find a lifestyle change they can really follow without thinking about it.
My husband started losing a lot of weight by following a Paleo diet and working out daily. I haven’t been able to fit in daily workouts yet, and I’m not interested in full-on Paleo. Instead, when he decided to go ahead and eliminate grains from his diet, I scaled back on mine quite a bit. I instantly became less bloated. We pretty much live off lean meats and lots and lots of veggies. It feel better than ever and the weight is coming off – though very slowly.
Rather than get into a play-by-play account of how I settled into a lifestyle I enjoy, I would like to share my tips for looking and feeling great without thinking about it much.
- Drink tons of water. We all know to do this, but most of us don’t know how much we should drink in order to aid in weight loss. One guideline I’ve read in several sources says to drink half your weight in ounces of water. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you would drink 100 ounces of water per day. This equation has me drinking about 75 ounces per day. That is a lot of water. What works best for me is to not put too much stock in that. Instead, I have a huge cup at work that I fill from the water cooler over and over. I just constantly sip. At home, I don’t drink nearly enough water. I’m just too busy. Just make sure you always have water handy to drink and carry it with you everywhere. If you get tired of the taste, try infusing with fruit!
- Eat. Real. Food. If you follow me on instagram (@arrgee) or twitter, you will see me say this a lot. This really just means to stay away from processed foods. Eat fresh fruits and veggies and lots of protein in the form of meat, eggs, or beans. That is the basis of Paleo and basically mirrors the way I try to do other things in life (such as cloth diaper my baby instead of chemical-laden diapers). This means we use real butter and sugar in our house as well. I am not perfect and do treat myself, which brings me to the next tip…
- Indulge. I find that if I completely deprive myself, I will find myself at the end of a bad day knocking back a six-pack while devouring a bag of chocolate bars. Instead, I give myself mini-treats whenever I crave them. A scoop of ice cream here, a glass of wine there. It keeps me satisfied and I hop right back into eating the good stuff after.
- Experiment. I can guarantee you will get bored if you eat the same thing over and over. Try new recipes, experiment with herbs and spices. We eat baked tilapia several times a week, but it doesn’t get old. We sprinkle it with different stuff and have found some fun combinations. This may mean going outside your comfort zone. I never considered myself a fish person and on a whim, we tried the tilapia. Now I’m hooked.
- Move. While diet is the most important component of weight loss, you will plateau if you aren’t exercising. I suggest starting out with working on diet, but while being active. Just get up and do something. Play outside with the kids, deep clean the closets, walk around the zoo. Once you get the diet dialed in, you can start a workout routine.
- Remember the kids. Don’t underestimate what your example does to your kids. My picky 6-year-old has watched us try new things and has started doing the same. He no longer hyperventilates at the sight of a green vegetable. He will give it a shot. Also, if you don’t buy the processed stuff, your kids don’t have it to eat. We are weaning our boys off chicken nuggets and fries, very slowly. We just finished our last bag of nuggets and have switched to sweet potato fries. I will now be pre-making frozen nuggets from scratch. Our kids are all six and under and are learning healthy habits we hope stay with them for life.
I hope my story and tips help motivate you to make changes in your lifestyle. It’s not just about losing weight – it’s about being healthy!
I hope to see you over on my blog, where I post recipes, update on my weight loss progress, and write about everything else under the sun!