I may not have a huge blog following but I still take a lot of pride in keeping everything I say here as true to ME. I am honest (sometimes to a fault) and very open about all areas of my life. This post has taken me awhile to write. I just keep putting it off because it’s hard for me to talk about the way I’ve viewed myself, physically, since having Tess.
When I had Kye I wasn’t bothered at all by the baby weight. I just had a baby! It took 9 months to gain the weight, what’s the rush? I didn’t overly stress it. Heck, I even wore maternity clothes long into my postpartum days. I gained a lot of weight while pregnant with him and lost it all without too much effort. When I was pregnant with Britt I was more cautious about my eating habits and didn’t gain nearly as much weight (I gained the least with her out of all the pregnancies so far). I LOVED how I looked while pregnant with her. Pregnancy looked good and FELT good on me and the postpartum phase also wasn’t too bad. I lost the weight pretty easily and also discovered Advocare when I was 7 months postpartum and it helped me lose the remaining weight that my body naturally holds while I’m nursing (you can see that experience here!).
When I got pregnant with Tess I thought I’d have another feel good look good pregnancy and it was very disappointing to me when that wasn’t the case. I didn’t like how I looked while pregnant with her (It’s a lot of the reason I thought she was a boy! I just looked SO much like I did while pregnant with Kye!) and I was frustrated that my healthier lifestyle wasn’t resulting in a less weight gaining pregnancy. My pregnancy experience with Britt made my own standards higher for what I expected to be during pregnancy as well as during postpartum. It didn’t help that my sister in law was pregnant at the same time as me with her first baby and is 3 years younger than I am. She lost all of her weight within six weeks from giving birth. When I took Carter’s newborn pics…she was in her pre-pregnancy jeans. It’s wrong to compare to others, but it’s also kinda impossible not to.
Even though I gained less weight with Tess’s pregnancy than I did with Kye’s, I’ve had THE hardest time losing it from all three. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m older (boo) or that my body has done this dance three times now. Or that I’m nursing and my body always holds weight while nursing (yes, I know “breastfeeding is supposed to make you lose weight” welllll it doesn’t for me!) and this time maybe it’s just holding more weight than it has before. I don’t know. But from the start I was frustrated. Frustrated with my body for not behaving like I expected it to. Frustrated with my pregnancy with Britt that I looked too dang good and that I wasn’t looking the same way I had then! Frustrated that I was living the healthiest lifestyle of all three pregnancies yet it wasn’t helping. Just very, very frustrated.
And that frustrated turned into insecurity. Which is not a feeling I’m used to having. I’ve always had a pretty realistic view of myself physically. I’ve never thought I’m a “10” or anything but I don’t think I’m an “ugly duckling” either. I’ve never had insecurities. I’ve always been pretty confident. And feeling insecure about this weight has really affected the person I am as a whole. It has poured over into other areas of my life than just weight. And I hate it. I want to be myself again…and a big part of being me is getting that confidence back.
I have had a LOT of response to my post about losing the baby weight with Advocare. I get asked often about how long postpartum someone should wait to do my “modified 24 day challenge.” Now that I’ve lived it…I can give a more clear answer. I did the modified challenge 7 weeks postpartum. It was way too soon. Yes, I had some GREAT results. I lost over 18 inches in 24 days! That’s LEGIT! But, I wasn’t happy with the “after pictures.” I still wasn’t ME and I still wasn’t confident and it was worse feeling to have put forth so much effort and energy than it would have been if I hadn’t done so much so soon.
Zach and I decided to do the 24 Day Challenge again in January. This time I was 5 months postpartum. I still used the products that are safe while nursing and I still did my “modified” version (you can see the list of products here). I took it more seriously than I have EVER taken anything. I never, not once, “cheated.” I worked out on the elliptical 4-5 times a week. I chugged water. I ate healthier than I have in MY LIFE. I was committed and dedicated. And I got results!
I am a VERY routine eater and I’m pretty picky. I actually LOVE the Advocare Meal Replacement Shakes (chocolate is AMAZING). So for breakfast each morning I’d drink a shake (it’s the PERFECT way to start the day!). For my snack I’d eat an apple or a hard boiled egg or sometimes both. Then for lunch I drank another meal replacement shake. (side note: this isn’t something Advocare suggests doing, I just did it on my own). When I make the shake for lunch though I added stuff to it. I personally don’t like much fruit or vegetables but the shake flavor masks stuff so well that I make a killer smoothie with it as my lunch!
In my lunch smoothie I blend: 1 cup water, ½ frozen banana, ½ cup blueberries, 1/4 cup frozen kale or frozen spinach, spoonful of peanut butter, couple tablespoons of steel cut oats, spoonful of coconut oil, chocolate meal replacement shake, some ice cubes, and sometimes some other frozen fruit (frozen strawberries or apples).
I drink the smoothie and eat a cup full of purple grapes with half a small tub of yogurt. I LOVE it and it’s so filling! Then for my afternoon snack (after my Spark/Rehydrate combo!) I eat some carrot sticks (sometimes with peanut butter) then I just eat a healthy dinner of whatever my family is eating (I always eat the “good for me” stuff first on my plate to fill up on that) and then I eat either an Advocare snack bar or one of my awesome lactation cookies for my night snack 🙂
Another thing I changed up this go-round was with my Catalyst. I started taking 3 first thing in the morning and another 3 with my afternoon Spark. I think it REALLY helped me lose those inches!!!
Something I tried for the first time during this “challenge” was PB2
. I’d heard AMAZING things about it so I found some at Publix and gave it a try. I put a spoonful of it in my lunch smoothie instead of peanut butter. I couldn’t taste a difference and it’s a way healthier alternative! I can’t tell much a difference between the chocolate and regular but they are both good!
What my lunch smoothie looks like all blended up (How did I survive before my Magic Bullet?)
Since I am nursing I wanted to make sure my supply stayed strong (which I’ve never had any sort of dip in my supply while using my dr approved Advocare products!) so I also ate these awesome lactation cookies most nights as my snack!
By Day 4 I was already down three pounds! I have NEVER lost weight during the cleanse portion (the fiber drink makes me bloated at first). I was very mindful of drinking water and made sure to be completely done eating before 9 each night (I ate my snack as soon as the kids were in bed, prior to working out). Zach noticed my face getting thinner pretty early on. I really think the water drinking helps BIG time with that!
At the end of the 24 days I was feeling MUCH more like myself. I took so long to post this because I still wasn’t (and am still not) 100% where I want to be. I’m closer than I was before and that’s what I have to keep reminding myself! It’s HARD to keep going because results take time and patience and they take COMMITMENT. I fully believe I will be back to Emily and be where I want to be and I’ve come to a place where I am a LOT happier in my skin and that’s what matters most 🙂
In 24 days I lost 6.8 pounds and over 10 inches!!!
This is a comparison from when I did the first “challenge” back in Sept at 7 weeks postpartum I’ve now lost about 30 inches overall!
While I was pregnant with Tess I made a random purchase. I bought some jeans that I knew I wouldn’t be able to wear for awhile. They were on sale at Gap and I had a coupon and a gift card so I ended up getting $70 jeans for only $20. I couldn’t pass up the good deal and I decided that they would be my “goal jeans.” They are a size 6 which is my “normal Emily” size.
Y’all. I about CRIED when I first tried to put them on. This pregnancy I gained a lot in my thighs. I’ve never had a “thigh gap” or anything (I didn’t even know that was a thing people wanted!) and I’ve always been a “thunder thigh” type girl but my thighs after this baby were MASSIVE. I didn’t realize it until I went to put on the goal jeans and BAM. I couldn’t even get them up over my thighs. When we did our pre-challenge measurements my thighs were the same size as Zach’s. Ugh it was depressing!
I kept them hanging in my closet as motivation and pulled them back out to do my before pics for this challenge. And I could get them over the thighs! Yay for progress! Even more exciting was that by the end of the 24 days I could button them!!!! Not like I’d actually wear them in public yet…but I’m closer!!!
(It’s not easy for me to post these pics so please be nice!)
At this point I’m feeling a lot better about myself and am starting a Diet Bet this month! Have y’all heard of it? I actually just learned about it a couple days ago when a friend posted a link to it and decided to join. I have 30 days to lose 4% of my weight and I get back the money I put in plus get a split of the winnings! Sounds like a great motivator to me…maybe I’ll get a really cute top to wear with those goal jeans 🙂 You can still join the Diet Bet I’m in here!
I am going to continue using all the Advocare products that my dr approved to be safe while breastfeeding and do my modified version of the 24 Day Challenge. I feel confident that I will lose that 4% and that I will have some more great after pics to share with y’all as I continue to work on my goals of losing this baby weight!
If you are looking to lose weight, get healthy, or even earn extra income I cannot recommend Advocare more! I am SO thankful I started using the products. I seriously love them and especially LOVE getting them at the discount I get each month! When you join the membership you get all the products at 20% off as well as a free box of Spark and Slam! It pays for itself so fast and my only regret is that I didn’t join the membership prior to placing my first order way back in July of 2012! It’s not only been so amazing for my health and weight loss (and Zach’s too…after our challenge together he’s back down to his goal weight and looking great!) but it’s also been a GREAT source of extra income for our family! I’ve known several friends who have been able to quit their jobs and stay home with their babies thanks to the income opportunity that Advocare provides.
If you have ANY questions about anything I do or about Advocare in general feel free to send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂 You can also learn more about Advocare and see all my personal experiences with it here!
While I may not be 100% where I want to be yet, I’m thankful that I’m making progress and that I’m feeling more confident. I hate that I ever let that insecurity creep into my life and I am hopeful that I can have a better attitude and outlook the next time I’m pregnant! I need to remember to be PATIENT and to not expect my body to behave a certain way. Yes, we are in control of our health and wellness, but when you’re pregnant you really can’t control how your body will respond. Not during pregnancy and not after it either! It’s been a lesson I really had to learn and one that I’m hoping will help my self esteem the next time I’m pregnant!