fit fridays: you’ve got to start somewhere

pregnancy shot The day before giving birth to Tyndale. January 10, 2014.

 

A new series!

I’m excited to be moving more, & losing the weight I gained during this last pregnancy. So most Fridays, as a part of my new series, Fit Fridays, I’ll share a little of my get fit journey.

A few things I want to make clear first.

I’m not anti-diet.
I don’t think diet has to be a dirty word. Fad diets, or unsustainable diets perhaps give the word diet a bad rap, but I don’t know a better word for deliberately reducing caloric intake in order to achieve weight loss.

Losing weight isn’t a negative thing either. Some people need/should lose weight for their health. And sure, the weight loss needs to be a part of a greater, overall lifestyle change (eating fewer calories, more nutrient dense foods, moving more, just overall self-care), but if you know me, when I’m talking diet, know that it’s going to be synonymous with lifestyle change, not a “quick-fix.”

I’m not anti-scale.
Before I got pregnant, I went months & months without stepping on a scale. I knew I was at a healthy weight (which in my mind is always a range, not an exact number), I was physically active, & my clothes continued to fit. I didn’t feel it necessary to step on a scale.

A scale is a tool. Sometime it can get in the way. For example, weighing yourself every day (in my opinion not helpful since weight can fluctuate several pounds from day to day depending on time of day, what you ate, etc.), or using it improperly (ie. to feed obsessive behavior &/or an eating disorder). But a scale can also be a very useful tool, one of the many, in reaching health goals. When I’m in weight loss mode, I weigh myself once a week, that’s it. It’s an extremely helpful tool in helping me know if what I’m doing is working.

There are certain measurements, such as BMI or weight or body fat percentage, that when taken on their own, only provide a slice of the picture. This is why I think it’s important to look at a number of factors when determining goals for weight loss. There needs to be some measurement, other than just “feeling good” or being able to fit into a certain jean size. I know that BMI isn’t perfect & the numbers on the scale don’t provide the whole picture (such as ratio of lean/fat body mass), which is why I don’t think it’s a good idea to just look at one measurement.

Not everyone is going to agree with me.
Some people may look at these pictures & say, wow, you look great! Why are you worrying about losing weight? Or, you just had a baby, you don’t need to lose weight. Others may think the exact opposite. Others may think I shouldn’t share my weight, or that I shouldn’t include pictures because it brings the focus on the external.

For me, especially since I had gestational diabetes with the last pregnancy, I’ve been advised by several of my health professionals that because of the G.D. I am at a greater risk of developing diabetes later in life. In order to work on prevention, there are two things they advised me to do: 1) exercise on a regular basis  & 2) return back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Eating a healthy diet was also included in these recommendations.

Maybe it’s because I live in Texas (where the general demographic tends to be on the heavier side), but I get compliments from people regularly about how good I look, how thin I am for just having had a baby. I don’t share this to brag. To be honest, at first I was always surprised. Like–seriously? I’m about 45 pounds over my normal weight. So why worry about losing the weight if everyone seems to think I look “great”?

Because…it’s not about looking a certain way. It’s about health, feeling good. Aside from recommendations from my doctor to lose the weight, & not being able to fit into any of my regular clothes, I don’t actually enjoy carrying around this extra weight. It’s more strenuous to move around–this becomes especially acute when I go running, or climb my stairs (especially when carrying a toddler or infant to boot!). I’ve never had joint pain or knee pain until now.

So, I’m going to lose weight, & I’m going to share my weight, & my weight loss.

I will share pictures from time to time (though, no worries, no bikini-shots–ever!), because I think these things, though limited in demonstrating the overall picture of my journey to becoming fit & healthy again, are helpful to some people.

Rest assured, I want to approach this in moderate, conscious, & mindful matter. I want to show that losing weight doesn’t have to be torture. It doesn’t have to be complicated. And it doesn’t have to lead to obsessive behavior or disordered eating.

Weight isn’t everything, being fit isn’t everything.

But achieving, & then maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced approach to eating & physical activity is important, & should be a priority for all of us. Not because of the aesthetic outcomes (which are a nice fringe benefit, I’ve got to admit), but because it has a great affect on our physical/mental/emotional health. It’s important.

Here are a few “before” pictures:

bring-joy-before-pictures

A few days after birth.

I weighed in at 204 lbs.–a BMI of 30.1, body fat percentage at 29% (determined using a skin fold measurement).

I’m not quite sure what my pre-pregnancy weight was, since I hadn’t weighed myself for months before I got pregnant, but my typical “happy” non-pregnant weight is somewhere between 140-150 lbs, which is a BMI range of 20-22. (I’m 5’9″.)

I’m guessing I weighed about 150ish when I got pregnant, which means I gained over 50 pounds of fat weight during this last pregnancy. Yikes!

before-pictures

Yesterday, just after some exercise. Nice rosy, post-workout “glow.” Gosh, I love working out.

In the 5 weeks since I took the first set of pictures, I’ve lost about 16 pounds. A lot of that was water weight I’m sure, but of course some of it fat.

I’m nursing & you may wonder if dieting/exercise affects breast milk or supply. I’m going on my fourth round of this post-baby weight loss routine & I’ve never had any issues with milk supply or nursing. I eat a nutrient dense diet & I make sure I’m getting adequate nutrients (protein, calcium, b-12, among others) which are especially important for us nursing mamas.

I’d like these Friday posts to be me sharing of course, but more of a discussion & sharing about things related to health, diet, exercise, & all the things in between. I hope you’ll feel inclined now & then to add your two cents.

♥♥

Coming up on next week’s Fit Friday…
I’ll be launching my Fit, Strong, Lean: The Diet ebook, which outlines the program that I’ve used (3 times, going on my 4th) to safely lose all my baby weight (& more) & get into incredible shape.  It includes all the details for how to lose the weight you need to achieve a healthy weight, including real-life, practical tips & insights I’ve gleaned from being a busy wife/mom & my 6 years experience as a fitness professional. I’m super excited to finally share it with you!

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Comments


  1. Alisa
    on March 13, 2014 at 12:09 am said:

    Nice job so far! I have put on about 40lbs this pregnancy and am looking forward to it all falling off once I resume my “better” plant based diet after baby comes. When I lost it all before, I was eating only nutrient dense food and not really any treats, and I did zumba a few times a week (I miss it so much–my pelvis during pregnancy does not like all the hip shaking). During this pregnancy I ate a lot of treats and white bread, etc. Thankfully I still eat beans and quinoa and green veggies quite a bit for protein/calcium but I can do a lot better. I will follow your journey for sure! And I’m gonna go check out your ebook.

  2. lfwfv
    on February 23, 2014 at 7:37 pm said:

    I love your balanced view of weight and dieting. All the best!

  3. Katie
    on February 23, 2014 at 6:47 pm said:

    You are so brave to be “real” out in the world wide web. I applaud you in your efforts and can’t wait to witness your journey to better health. Go Janae!!

  4. Melissa
    on February 22, 2014 at 2:52 pm said:

    Mega-props for doing this so close post-baby. I was afraid to push myself while nursing because I have hormone balance issues to begin with and didn’t want weight loss to hurt that. But, when nursing tapered off (on its own), I really enjoyed the holidays (yay for eating what I want and not having to worry about colicky effects!) and as of the first of the year have buckled down into a routine to get BACK on track to where I was pre-baby: gym and WW. Down 15 lbs so far. And yeah, the biggest motivation for me was that moment when I realized I wasn’t comfortable (while alone, and not because of “self-consciousness”) sitting. Not being able to go up and down the stairs with baby in tow is also a big issue!
    Congrats on “being yourself again” (well, except for your boobs, which have hardly been “yours” for years! haha).

  5. Sabrina
    on February 22, 2014 at 2:19 pm said:

    I am really excited for this series and your ebook. I have no doubt you’ll have another successful journey back to pre-baby health. This last year, I have become that yo-yo dieter I never thought I would be. I have lost a lot of the motivation to do what it takes to maintain my weight and health, so I’ll do a healthy lifestyle competition for a couple of months, see great results, and then fall right back off the bandwagon. My 30′s have not been as forgiving as my 20′s were as far as being able to cheat a little and not see the consequences. I have to be pretty conscientious now and I don’t like it. I haven’t adjusted to my 30 something metabolism. I am hoping watching your journey will be motivating for me. Thanks for all your great content!

  6. Kim Munoz
    on February 21, 2014 at 11:49 pm said:

    I’m super excited about this new series. I’m refocusing in on getting back to a healthy weight. It’s hard because of health issues but I got to try right. We will be walking to school every Friday if the weather stays nice. Those hills are killer ;)

    • Janae Wise
      on February 22, 2014 at 9:14 pm said:

      “I’m refocusing in on getting back to a healthy weight. It’s hard because of health issues but I got to try right.”
      Good for you! I can’t even begin to imagine what you’re going through with your health issues, but good for you for working at making your health a priority despite the uphill battle.

      “We will be walking to school every Friday if the weather stays nice. Those hills are killer ;)”
      I know–and you live a ways a way from the school, so you’re really getting a workout!

  7. Tiffany
    on February 21, 2014 at 11:27 pm said:

    You do look incredible!!! What an amazing body you have. I’m also excited for you to start feeling like your non-pregnant self again-I think it is SO important for a woman to look and feel the way that makes her feel best about herself mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I have definitely learned how huge of an impact physical health can have on those things. It goes way beyond aesthetics when HEALTH is the main motivation.
    I was nervous that when I finally got pregnant, I’d be overly worried about “getting fat”, but I am so happy to report that it was almost overnight that, a few days after the reality of my positive pregnancy test sunk in, I looked at my body and saw it as a beautiful, able one. The arms I had previously thought didn’t have tight enough triceps, and waist I’d thought was too thick were now part of a body that was healthy, natural and normal looking, not to mention a body that is now embarking on my most sought after journey. I simply cannot get over the miracle of my body growing a human life right now. It is so incredibly beautiful!!!

    • Janae Wise
      on February 22, 2014 at 9:23 pm said:

      Thanks Tiffany, you’re so sweet.

      I’m so excited for you. I know you’ve been super nauseated, that’s hard. But you have such a great attitude about it all. It IS a miracle.

      “I’d be overly worried about “getting fat”, but I am so happy to report that it was almost overnight that, a few days after the reality of my positive pregnancy test sunk in, I looked at my body and saw it as a beautiful, able one.”
      I have a similar experience each time. Once the reality of the pregnancy sinks in (ie. morning sickness), nothing else matters except nurturing myself (sleep, food) so I can grow that baby.

      You think you’re over the moon ecstatic now, just wait until that baby is in your arms. It’s unbelievable. I can’t wait to see what your little person is going to look like, gorgeous & perfect, I’m sure.
      ox

  8. Lucy
    on February 21, 2014 at 10:58 pm said:

    I’m obsessed with you…in a non-creepy way of course. :) For starters, I really feel like I get you. I’m also 5’9” with a similar happy-weight range. And losing weight after my pregnancies is very, very important to me. I feel like the moment my baby comes out is such a fresh start and jumping off point for me and I always feel very motivated to get the weight off as quickly as possible. However, I have had a harder time losing the weight from this last pregnancy of mine (mostly due to a knee injury), and sometimes it’s discouraging, but your attitude really motivates me. With my first 2 babies, I lost weight so quickly and easily, almost without trying, so now that my baby is almost a year old and I’m still not quite down to my pre-prego weight (I have 5-10 lbs to go), I feel like I really need to step it up. When you talk about how much you love exercising, it suddenly makes me want to stop doing whatever I’m doing and go exercise (and try to love it as much as you do)! I so look forward to your Friday Fitness posts and your e-book!

    • Janae Wise
      on February 22, 2014 at 9:27 pm said:

      It does sound like we have a lot in common! (I grew up in Washington, & do miss the the PNW)

      “I feel like the moment my baby comes out is such a fresh start and jumping off point for me and I always feel very motivated to get the weight off as quickly as possible.”
      Yup, I totally get this. Especially since I’ve typically had 40-50 pounds to lose AFTER I deliver the baby. Talk about motivation!

      “(I have 5-10 lbs to go)”
      Those last pounds are always the hardest, but don’t despair. Hopefully this new series will give you some insights & inspiration.

  9. Katrina
    on February 21, 2014 at 8:22 pm said:

    I’m SO excited for next Friday!!!!! :D

  10. Kelli
    on February 21, 2014 at 8:21 pm said:

    How fantastic! You certainly look great (and happy!) regardless of extra weight and how you might be feeling it…. although I know that how you feel it is the most important part. I’m so happy to follow your journey and read your e-book. In all honesty, I don’t think I can say that I’ve ever felt that I was in “incredible shape”. I remember a bikini photo when I was about 8, then hormones started to change before was 11 and that was the end of it. And now that I’m over 40 and still slightly overweight, I know this is the time to make the change and get into great shape!

    • Janae Wise
      on February 22, 2014 at 9:29 pm said:

      “And now that I’m over 40 and still slightly overweight, I know this is the time to make the change and get into great shape!”
      Never, ever too late to get in shape. :)

      And thank you for being so sweet.

  11. Gabby @ the veggie nook
    on February 21, 2014 at 7:51 pm said:

    So excited for your ebook girl!

  12. Joys
    on February 21, 2014 at 7:36 pm said:

    I’m excited for your ebook! You look beautiful all the time, your contentment shows all over your face:0)

  13. Marilyn
    on February 21, 2014 at 7:13 pm said:

    “It’s about health, feeling good.” > Your approach is so affirming, positive.

  14. stacy
    on February 21, 2014 at 5:16 pm said:

    Love this series! Can’t wait for the e-book and so glad to see you back in your happy place

    • Janae Wise
      on February 21, 2014 at 6:01 pm said:

      Thank you Stacy! It’s a fun time of life, that’s for sure.

      ox

  15. Jenny
    on February 21, 2014 at 4:39 pm said:

    I am very much looking forward to your success. Your determination is an indicator that it will happen! Best of luck to you. I too am wanting to lose a few pounds (not from pregnancy, lost those than gained some after a move and house renovation) so I welcome your advice and insight. And you DO look great for creating a brand new human! I agree, it isn’t about looks, it’s about health and how you feel. Go girl!

    • Janae Wise
      on February 21, 2014 at 6:03 pm said:

      Thank you Jenny! You are very sweet.

      “I too am wanting to lose a few pounds (not from pregnancy, lost those than gained some after a move and house renovation)”
      It’s funny how hard it is to lose just a few pounds–especially when you’re pretty close to your ideal weight anyway. The more weight I have to lose, the more motivated I am, & in many ways the easier it is to lose because I’m more committed.

      Thank you for your kind words.

  16. Emma
    on February 21, 2014 at 4:39 pm said:

    What a great attitude you have Janae! I love your sensible approach to this. I definitely don’t need to lose weight but am working on getting my fitness back too so am especially interested in following your journey :) Good luck with it x

    • Janae Wise
      on February 21, 2014 at 6:05 pm said:

      “but am working on getting my fitness back too so am especially interested in following your journey :)”
      One of the perks of getting out of shape, is getting back into it! It’s fun to feel yourself getting stronger. And, for me, I love the “high” of exercise–it’s always such a great stress reliever for me. I wish you luck too in getting back into the grove of things.

  17. April
    on February 21, 2014 at 2:23 pm said:

    I’m looking forward to seeing your journey! Thanks for sharing!

    • Janae Wise
      on February 21, 2014 at 6:07 pm said:

      Thanks April. It’s so fun to be able to really move again, despite getting winded easily & feeling like my legs are rubber ;)

  18. Spécialiste de l'éphémère
    on February 21, 2014 at 2:21 pm said:

    After I had my third baby, I wanted (needed!) to wear my normal jeans NOW!
    I am not a “diet person”. I eat healthy… I am vegetarian…
    The only way for me to accelerate the process was to cut out all sugars. So I did. It was easy… and 3 weeks after giving birth, I was back in my beloved jeans! Yeah!
    The “bad thing” is that I do not like sugary tastes anymore!
    I think “the good way”… is the way we want to do it.
    So… your way is the good way ;-)

    • Janae Wise
      on February 21, 2014 at 6:20 pm said:

      “After I had my third baby, I wanted (needed!) to wear my normal jeans NOW!”
      Haha, I absolutely understand this sentiment. It’s so nice not to be pregnant anymore, you just want to jump right back into your old clothes..& it’s a bit frustrating when you can’t.

      “The only way for me to accelerate the process was to cut out all sugars.”
      You are a stronger woman than me, my dear. I have a hard time cutting out sweets–love chocolate chip cookies too much ;)

  19. Thomas
    on February 21, 2014 at 2:19 pm said:

    I’ve always been awed by the miracle of the processes involved in bringing new life into the world. It’s amazing how the mothers body recovers from the ordeal. Best wishes to you with hopes for the very best outcome.

    • Janae Wise
      on February 21, 2014 at 6:18 pm said:

      You’re right, it is such a miracle, isn’t it? Thank you for your well wishes Thomas, you’re very kind.

  20. Erica { EricaDHouse.com }
    on February 21, 2014 at 1:39 pm said:

    I think you look beautiful – no matter what your size is! I’m looking forward to watching your weight loss journey. I’m sure you will be an inspiration to other new mothers working toward achieving similar goals. Yay for being healthy!

    • Janae Wise
      on February 21, 2014 at 6:16 pm said:

      If I could hug you, I would! You are so sweet. Thank you for being so thoughtful & encouraging.

      You know, YOU are my inspiration! You have a pretty awesome story yourself & you’re always inspiring me with your commitment to fitness & healthy choices.

      “I’m sure you will be an inspiration to other new mothers working toward achieving similar goals.”
      I hope I can be. If nothing else, I know what the struggle is like, & how difficult it can be at times. A lot of new moms often fall into the trap of–”why bother,” not because we’re lazy (far from it), but for a million other reasons (time, energy, money, etc.).

      As I mentioned to you before, I plan on running a half this summer, but I’m beginning to have cold feet. Not sure if I’m cut out for it, but we’ll see…

      Thanks again for your kindness Erica.

      ox

  21. Anna-Lena Stöwhase
    on February 21, 2014 at 1:36 pm said:

    Thank you for this post. I had my third baby in October and haven’t lost a pound (7 for the baby, and that’s it) althoug I am breastfeeding. I dont’t know my BMI but I certainly know that I’m obese. After I had my second child I was 80pounds thinner and I felt so much better. I can hardly walk as my feet hurt terribly and I hate the way I look but I just don’t know where to start. I can’t wait to read your e-book!

    • Janae Wise
      on February 21, 2014 at 6:11 pm said:

      Hi Anna!
      “I can hardly walk as my feet hurt terribly and I hate the way I look but I just don’t know where to start.”
      That must be frustrating! It can seem really overwhelming. It’s best to take the process day by day, step by step, good decision by good decision. I’ve learned it’s all about the daily “little” things–an extra helping of dessert or dinner adds up, just as a little bit of exercise each day adds up. Hang in there–there IS hope! Having lost, gained, lost, gained, lost, gained, & know losing again, I know that it IS possible.

      • Janae Wise
        on February 21, 2014 at 6:17 pm said:

        P.S. Also, congrats on your 3rd!!

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