Getting Into Shape... Hopefully

My healthy, delicious, "diet" friendly breakfast this morning.
My baby is 6.5 weeks old, and I decided I want to start getting into shape.
Yes, I know round is a shape. :-D
But I weigh more than I'd like to. A lot more than I'd like to. No, I won't share the exact number...
And yes, I know that I need to take care of myself nutritionally, and that I shouldn't detox or do any drastic dietary changes while nursing, especially not while nursing 2 kids.
But at the same time, I don't want to be gaining weight like I have been since I gave birth, and ideally would like to shed those pounds, and if possible the weight I gained during pregnancy...

Now why am I posting it here?

Because I am doing it in a hopefully frugal way. And because I know that when I post my goals somewhere publicly, it encourages me to stick to it and not slack off after a day or two.

So, here's my plan. It's intended to not deprive myself nutritionally one bit, to not leave me hungry, but still to hopefully lose weight and get into shape.

First off, I am trying to drink more. I know I do not drink enough, especially now that it's hotter out, especially because I'm nursing not just one, but two kids. And often people misinterpret thirst and hunger. So hopefully by just upping my fluid intake, I won't constantly be looking for food...

Secondly, I am going to be plating all my food. I know this sounds stupid, but you really eat with your eyes as much as you eat with your stomach. And since I know from experience that when you eat a full plate of food you feel more full than if you ate "half a container" of the same food, I won't take short cuts and eat out of containers like I sometimes do, but I will put it nicely on a plate and eat it from there, so my mind will be as sated as my stomach.

Thirdly, I am trying to be more mindful of my eating. Sitting down to eat at a table, concentrating on what I am eating (or as much as I can while I have kids around), enjoying every morsel of it, and not do anything else while eating, like watching a movie, sitting at the computer, or reading a book. Just chewing slowly, paying attention to when I am full, and stopping there.

Fourth, I am keeping track of what I am eating throughout the day, and adding it into a tracker at MyFitnessPal. I am not 100% I am going to follow what it says there, because it doesn't take into account tandem nursing, and whether your body is absorbing foods differently because of being low carb and higher protein/fat, etc... I don't know if I will be eating as many carbs as it says to, or as few fats as it says to, but I do want to have a general idea of how many carbs, fats, and calories I am eating in a day. I am also tracking, when I am eating, the reason that I am eating. Am I eating because I am hungry? Bored? Craving something? In a bad mood? Because of social reasons? Because I don't want to waste? Etc... Hopefully, if I can see what is causing me to eat at different times of the day, I can work to address those times when I am eating and am not actually hungry...

Fifth, I am going to try to eat more healthily, not going for junk quite so much. I have been eating junk a lot since I gave birth, because I felt so deprived of so many things when pregnant because even slight "cheating" made me feel nauseous, so now that I can eat many things I couldn't before, I sometimes pig out even though I shouldn't.
I am trying to find ways to eat the types of things that appeal to me (right now, generally sweet and/or salty) without being unhealthy about it. Like a certain carrot recipe (which I'll share tomorrow) I have been making often and it fills my craving for sweet, without being devoid of nutrition. And veggies with salt also are filling that desire for salty.
And as for meals- I am going to try to eat more veggies and fewer grains and carbs. Definitely not cutting them out entirely or going Paleo or GAPS, but I will try to eat more produce and proteins and fill up a little less on grains.
To keep this cheaper, I have started to go to the farmer's market where I pick up produce from the "reduced rack stand" for a fraction of the cost of the regular produce sold locally, and cheaper than most produce on sale.
I'll be posting pics of my meals on my Facebook page...
I am not promising to cut out all unhealthy foods. No. But I do want to start eating less of them. Cutting them out entirely makes me feel deprived and it backfires. But eating less, and savoring what I do eat- like sucking on a square or two of chocolate instead of devouring a whole bar in one go is definitely doable.

Sixth, I am going to try to time my eating better. I want to start off the day with a big, healthy, nutritious breakfast, then eat a few smaller meals throughout the day, instead of giant lunches and suppers and snacks... And I also want to try to stop eating by 9 pm. Don't know if that'll work, but it's a goal.

Seventh, I am going to try to get more sleep. Not sleeping enough affects your metabolism, which in turn, causes you to either not lose weight, or gain weight. This will be hard because I do like staying up late, but it's something I will try to do anyhow.

Eighth, I will be starting to power walk. I found two local friends that want to power walk with me. So my goal, to start with, is to power walk 30 minutes, 3-4 times a week. And then maybe increase the frequency, or add a workout at home. But that's where I want to start. Exercise not only burns calories, it also increases your metabolism so you burn more calories even when not exercising.

So... Those are my goals.

I may post updates periodically about it. I may not. But I needed to share.

I think what I'm doing is sound from a nutritional perspective, won't cost too much money, is still taking care of my body and won't hurt my milk supply, but is still doable.

P.S. You may notice that I am not going on a diet. I don't believe in diets. I think they aren't sustainable. What I am doing is trying to make lifestyle changes. That is more sustainable than diets.

I don't have a scale, so I won't be doing weekly weigh ins or anything. This is just about feeling good and looking good, and staying healthy. Not about what the numbers on a scale say.

Are you currently trying to lose weight? What are you doing to try to lose weight? Are you doing anything on my list? Which things? Do you have any suggestions to add to my list?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. It is funny how easy it is to lose weight, if you can keep the lifestyle change. I dropped almost 40 pounds just not eating take out and eating more vegetarian. Chips are my biggest down fall and I can't eat fruits or veges raw due to my LP but I can at least try to eat better. I eat a sandwich instead of chips and that is much better for me.

    Great post!

    1. Thank you! I hope it comes as easily to me as it did to you.

  2. For the record, in my fitness pal, you can set up breast feeding as a workout with a set number of calories you burn per day doing it. It is approximate but it helped me when trying to lose the baby weight...

    1. How do you do that? I don't see the option to set up amount of calories burned, only choosing an exercise...

    2. Do a search for breastfeeding just like if you search for a food. It will come up negative calories and you can add it in that way. Lost 25 pounds last year using MyFitnesspal. Good luck!

  3. It's hard for a foodie like me to lose weight. I can do it because i have done it before. But i was very motivated before because i was going to be in a wedding. Lol. I just stopped nursing my toddler 2 months so i thought i would lose weight easier after i stopped but nothing so far. I did lose 10 lbs already, just having a hard time losing the last 10. I am going to follow your lead and focus on eating healthier and drink more water. By the way i love your blog, anytime i lose my frugal way i like to come back and remind myself why i need to keep on. Sometimes i get in a spending/shopping mode but now its time to return to saving money and stop spending money on things i dont "need".

    1. Oh yes, it is hard to lose weight when you love food, love good food, etc... Thank you! Happy to inspire!

    2. its under snack

  4. I totally second your idea to stay hydrated - especially important while nursing. My big thing is Chocolate. But I also really value eating healthy. I let myself eat chocolate or sweets several times every day. But I try to only eat a small amount of sweets by always eating something healthy first. I find it much easier to really savor those one or two squares of chocolate if I make sure I am not thirsty or hungry first. My baby is 7 months and I am excited to start taking regular walks too. As always thanks for the inspiration! :)

    1. Happy to inspire. I am currently out of chocolate in the house...

  5. Yes I'm currently trying to lose weight. I was underweight last year, and now I'm overweight. 15- 20 pounds would be a good range for me.

    I've been trying to walk most days at lunch for about 45 minutes (unless I'm blogging).

    My diet is actually fairly good, but I do sneak in too much I think (a few bites here, a few bites there), licking that frosting spoon for the cake I made for the know the deal.

    I drink a ton of water, always have.

    I also need to get my thyroid checked (I have an autoimmune thyroid disease for which I take medication. I feel like it's a bit low at the moment (dry fingertips is usually my clue) and that might have something to do with it.

    The breakfast looks great! I love red bell peppers.

    1. Oh yes, I know the deal of too much healthy food...

      Breakfast actually was cukes and tomatoes with olive oil and lemon, sauted/steamed carrots, and liver with fried onions. No peppers.

    2. Miss Frugal Do you have a blog and what is it

    3. Hi anon, it's simpleeasyfrugal at blogspot.

  6. Thank you. I'll try to update when I can or when I have what to share.

  7. I love the healthy ways you're working on losing weight and feeling better! I am using an app called My Diet Diary, where I record the food I eat and how many glasses of water I drink. It tells me how many calories I can have a day if I want to cut weight and keeps track of the carbs/fat/protein I an ingesting. It is not 100% accurate but it helped me be a lot more mindful of what I put into my body. I thought I ate little until I realized just cause I was having fewer meals, it did not mean they were low in calories! Also, if you want free, fun workout, I recommend Blogilates on YT. Great for those days you can't/don't feel like going out of the house but still want to exercise. Looking forward to seeing your progress

  8. I find losing weight is a constant battle. The only time I have lost weight easily is while I was pregnant. I gained while feeding as well. It is a life long battle for some of us. I now use what we call an entree plate which is smaller than the plate used for a main meal.

  9. A Reader From BeitarMay 8, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    Good luck with the weight loss plan. It sounds smart, balanced, and sustainable.

    Just to chime in with my own experience, for me super low carb is key.
    I used to gain weight despite eating a reasonable diet.
    Turns out my hormones were out of whack and I had insulin resistance.
    The doc said to go on a low glycemic index diet, which I did. The way I eat now is pretty much Paleo-Primal, but with dairy.
    The weight melted off easily for the first time in my life, and other issues improved as well.
    For me the weight gain was a symptom of my body being out of whack. Avoiding carbs helped get things back in balance, which allowed me to lose weight.
    For me, personally, practically eliminating carbs (even healthful ones) seems to be critical to my overall wellbeing. When I "cheat" I usually get a nausea-headache reaction within 15 minutes.
    The downside is that the food I eat is expensive and requires more prep time. Even cutting a salad takes longer than making a sandwich, and I can't stretch food by serving it with carbs.

    That's just me, though. I'm not saying that everyone should be doing this.

    But for all those people out there who are mystified by why they gain weight even when they eat reasonably healthful food in reasonable quantities, they should know that switching to a lower/very low carb diet might do the trick for them.

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