I’ve always been hardcore about being a bride. I wasn’t one of those who had every detailed of my wedding day planned from the age of three, but I LOVED every second of being engaged. I love the whole planning process. I loved being a BRIDE. I believe that your wedding day should be the happiest day of your life (mine wasn’t…but that’s for another blog entry…) and that you should get to feel like a PRINCESS for a day. My personal goal was to have my best-looking day EVER. It’s one day that you’ll remember for a lifetime. I wanted everyone’s eyes on ME and I wanted to feel beautiful.
In order to achieve my desired look I worked out for the first time in my LIFE. I ran on the treadmill. I also dieted for the first time EVER too (I was 21 when we got engaged). I decided to use Slim Fast as my diet of choice. It was an easy plan to follow. I found an off-brand of Slim Fast at Walmart and drank a shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, then ate whatever I wanted for dinner. I got down to 119 lb and wore a size 2 for my big day!!!
I LOVED the way I looked on my wedding day and truly felt the prettiest I have ever felt!
And I enjoyed being confident on our honeymoon as well!!!
Once we said “I do” I said goodbye to the dieting. I quickly put back on weight. I got pregnant with Kye on our one year wedding anniversary and was 132 lb…13 pounds over my wedding weight. As I mentioned in my last post…I didn’t do Slim Fast to lose the baby weight with Kye. I did Weight Watchers and was super happy with my results so I didn’t feel the need to go the Slim Fast route.
After having Brittlynn, the weight just wasn’t coming off. Sure, the scale wasn’t too bad but my BODY wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I know most of you are probably reading this and thinking: “WORK OUT YOU IDIOT!” Haha. I just really, really hate working out. I hate sweating in general. But I also hated how I was looking…especially how I was FEELING about myself.
Rachael told me about MyFitnessPal so I downloaded the app on my phone and quit Weight Watchers. MyFitnessPal is basically a free version of Weight Watchers but it tracks calories and doesn’t have a points system. Plus it’s cool how it can scan items instead of having to look everything up all of the time. The only downside of it is that it doesn’t have a way to tell it you’re a nursing mother. So I just added breastfeeding as a daily exercise and manually typed in that it burned 500 calories (“they” say you need to take in about 500 calories extra a day when nursing).
I decided to try Slim Fast to help me, hopefully, lose the rest of the baby weight after having Brittlynn. Even though it’s been over 5 years since I last drank those pre-made shakes…I still wanna vomit thinking about them. Like I’m gagging right now. So I bought the powder to make my own shakes. I also bought some of the meal and snack bars. Making my own shakes was honestly YUMMY. I did the same routine I did back when I was trying to look good for the wedding. I made a shake for breakfast. Made another shake for lunch. Then just ate whatever for dinner. I tracked it all on MyFitnessPal and basically did the same thing I did while using Weight Watchers…instead of saving up points for my nightly ice cream fix, I saved up my calories for it 😉
I also worked out. We bought an inexpensive elliptical (this one! from Walmart and it works GREAT). I did it about 20 min a night a couple times a week. I also started swimming laps. I’d lay out during naps to get hot so I’d get in the pool to cool off then swim for 10-20 min. I’m not gonna lie…I didn’t make some BIG drastic life change where I started working out regularly. Because I didn’t. But I did work out more often. So it was somewhat of an improvement.
Even though the working out part was motivating, overall the whole “diet plan” was awful. I told Zach that the reason they call it Slim Fast is because you are pretty much fasting in order to get slim. It was miserable. I was STARVING all the time. I woke up and went to sleep with a headache. I was taking Tylenol alllll the time. I was also living on the toilet (tmi but it was #3 on the reg). Did I lose weight? Yes. I did. But I felt terrible and the MINUTE I stopped doing it (when we went to St Augustine actually) I gained all the weight right back. And even though the SCALE told me I was losing weight…I honestly didn’t look ANY different. My clothes still didn’t fit and, for me, that was my main goal. Who cares about a number if you look and feel like garbage ya know????
Before starting back on Slim Fast I did a little bit of research to see if it was safe while nursing. A lot of people on message boards and stuff said they did it and the Slim Fast website said to consult your doctor…but it didn’t say not to do it so I figured it was probably fine. I mean I’m a milk making MACHINE and have always over produced so I wasn’t that concerned with it.
When we went to Britt’s 6 month check-up (blog post is coming soon so this is kinda a spoiler) we found out that she’s dropped in her percentiles of growth. By like a pretty significant amount. I freaked. How could this happen to MY kid?!?! Me…the milk making machine…not producing enough? I noticed when I pumped I was only getting 4 oz each feeding. I never felt engorged in the mornings anymore. My supply was going down 🙁 Not good. I quickly realized it was probably my diet. Slim Fast while nursing? NOT a good idea in my opinion!!!!
While Weight Watchers can be a lifestyle change, Slim Fast can’t. It’s not realistic to think you can (or will) drink shakes and not eat food forever. On MyFitnessPal it shows not just your calorie intake but it also breaks down the nutrition of your diet. Like I mentioned before, my diet has never been very healthy. I started tracking what I ate prior to starting Slim Fast and I was always in-taking WAY too much sodium and was never getting my full amounts of vitamins and nutrients every day. I mean I ate Cinnamon Toast Crunch with milk every morning, Cinnamon graham crackers loaded with peanut butter and another glass of milk for lunch, whatever we ate as a fam for dinner, and ice cream at 10 at night. Duh I wasn’t healthy. I NEVER ate fruits. And the only veggies I ate were typically either butter beans, green beans, or corn with dinner. It’s pathetic, yet true, when I started the Slim Fast diet my nutrition actually went up. Drinking those shakes was healthier than my normal diet…and have you ever read the ingredients of Slim Fast??? It’s basically crap! The first listed ingredient is sugar so you KNOW it’s not good for you. Yet it was still “healthier” than the foods I typically ate!
Once we went to Britt’s 6 month visit I decided to quit the Slim Fast. I was ruining my milk supply and it wasn’t even working!!! Why torture myself for no results while risking hurting my baby?!?! Ummm no thanks!!!
Here I was almost 8 months postpartum (Britt’s 6 month visit was actually when she was 7 months old…) and still felt terrible about the way I looked. I was at almost DOUBLE the length of time it took me to lose all my baby weight with Kye and I had more to lose with him too! I was at a loss for what to do and just kinda figured I’d stop worrying about it (hello! milk supply is my #1 priority!!!). I’d just ride it out with the size 8s, bella band, and tummy slimmer until I quit nursing. Then I’d figure out how to go from there. I kept saying (like a broken record) that maybe this is it. Maybe I can’t go back to looking like ME. Maybe I just needed to accept the way my body was and invest in some new clothes that actually fit me. Zach kept reminding me (probably wayyy more than he wanted to have to haha) that I WOULD go back to being myself after I was done nursing. That I said all the same things after having Kye and that I looked great even if I didn’t feel like it!
I am not saying Slim Fast is a horrible diet plan. It worked GREAT for me when I was a bride…but I was down to pretty much starve myself if that’s what it took to look good for that day haha. Some people may love Slim Fast. I just personally cannot recommend it. Not if you’re nursing. Not if you’re wanting a long-term change. Not if you’re wanting to be healthy and feel good.
I promise this story does have a happy ending…and that’s coming up next 😉