I’m so very excited to bring you a post from my best friend today! She has an amazing and inspiring weight-loss story after having her three boys. Read on to find out how she lost all that baby weight and pick up some great pointers that will help you get there too!
Hello, I’m Jenny! (Jen to many who know me, but Jenny to those who know me best. So since this is Laura’s blog, Jenny I shall be!) I’ve been best friends with Laura for 20 years, and she’s asked me to do a little guest post about my health and fitness journey.
I recently lost 80 pounds. EIGHT- ZERO! Just a few years ago, I would have never imagined being a weight where it would be healthy to lose 80 pounds, but you never can predict where life will take you. And I certainly had no idea what was in store!
So what caused me to gain 80 pounds in the first place? Well, I had three baby boys in one ridiculously chaotic fourteen month time period! In January 2011 I gave birth to twins (spontaneous pregnancy and they’re identical–because everyone always wants to know!) and in March 2012 I had my singleton (Laura’s Godson)!
My twin pregnancy was full of complications. Early on I was advised to limit my activity to walking only, and soon enough I was put on bedrest because of many problems with myself and the babies. Thankfully, we avoided major issues, and they were home and healthy after a little NICU stay.
My life then became very hectic and exhausting. Sleep? Forget that! Eating well? Ha, that’s funny! Exercise? When? Fast forward to the twins being a few months old, and at a point where I was finally getting into a better rhythm with caring for two babies and managing everything, and… surprise! Pregnancy #2 with baby #3! (Yes, it was a surprise, not many people with 5 month old twins plan that!)
My body went through a lot in such a short period of time and it left me 80 pounds heavier and very out of shape. I was a once competitive athlete (school, travel and college softball) and now I could barely make it up the stairs without getting winded. I no longer felt anything like myself. I remember going into a clothing store that had just opened locally, trying to get some non-maternity clothes to hold me over for a while, and they didn’t even make pants in a size that could fit me.
Now, I’m not the type of person that can just bounce back from all that weight easily. I heard endless comments about how chasing after three babies would help me lose the weight. That was not nearly enough to get me there. I was going to have to make a conscious effort and work my butt off to get there.
So I had to ease my way back into exercising and I had to be creative with how to fit it into my schedule with three babies to care for! I started with little elliptical and treadmill workouts whenever I could fit them in. Often times it was broken up–10 minutes during a morning nap time, 20 minutes after they went to bed. In the beginning I couldn’t run close to half a mile without stopping to walk, but I kept at it and continued to slowly increase my running time and distance as I could. I kept hand weights by my washer and dryer to remind myself to sneak in a few reps while I was doing laundry. And with three babies, there was a lot of laundry! If my twins were asleep and my littlest guy was awake and happy I could fit in a short workout video. In the beginning, scattered and short workouts were all I could manage with the mayhem of three babies.
Once my littlest guy was big enough, I invested in the best piece of “equipment” for getting in shape while keeping my boys happy–a triple jogging stroller. It’s an absolute beast at 65 pounds WITHOUT any kids in it! If the weather was nice, I could fit in at least one decent walk per day with them. And bonus–they often relaxed or fell asleep,and I got some fresh air plus a change of scenery from my house, which resembled a Babies-R-Us after being hit by an earthquake.
It wasn’t until my youngest was over a year old that I could get it together enough to join a gym. A gym with childcare–best thing ever! At that point I was finally able to get a few decent sized workouts in per week.
As I was working out, I was also becoming more aware of what I was eating. Or even what I was not eating. With the boys it was easy to go until dinner without feeding myself, which just made me want to eat everything I saw later on. So, I started to buy healthier cereals and fruit for breakfast, because that’s really all I have time for. And lunches are often a wrap or a salad.
Now, I am not one for restricting diets or spending too much energy thinking about food choices. I am a bacon cheeseburger, french fries and beer girl at heart! Honestly, I just try to eat as healthy as my life realistically allows. Dinners in my house have to be easy, because I just don’t have the time. Most nights that I cook we have some kind of lean meat and veggies. LOTS of veggies!
If I can’t get a dinner made because the boys were wrestling, breaking things, fighting, sick, refusing naps, etc. it’s no biggie and we order delivery. It happens. Often. And if I want some ice cream, cookies, pizza or a bacon cheeseburger, I eat it. And there’s most definitely wine after bedtime! But because we eat mostly healthy foods and make mostly healthy choices, I see nothing wrong with these. And I’ve actually found that the better I eat, the fewer desires I have for unhealthy foods.
So I continued to gradually increase my workouts and eat mostly healthy food, and the weight continued to come off. Every once in a while it would plateau a little and that acted as a reminder to change something up with my routine, like upping my cardio, adding in different types of cardio, increasing the weight lifting and starting to jog (not just walk) with my mammoth beastly triple jogging stroller.
Overall, my weight loss journey took about a year and a half. I went from not being able to find pants that could fit to getting back into pre-babies sized jeans. From not being able to run half a mile to achieving a goal to run 100 miles in one month! Most of my body is now actually even better toned than it was pre-babies! (My stomach may never be quite the same after those twins though, but that’s okay, I’m not about to take bikini selfies anyway!) And most of all, I now feel healthy and strong, and I know this lifestyle will help me keep up with these boys as they grow and get wilder!
Leave a comment to congratulate Jenny on all her hard work!
Looking for more weight-loss inspiration? Check out Angela’s guest post from November.