How I lost 28 lbs in 6 months.
After I gave birth to my son last year, my body changed so much I didn’t recognize myself. I was almost 20 lbs heavier than I was pre-pregnancy and 30 lbs heavier than I was on my wedding day 5 years ago.
I felt so self conscious about my extra weight, the new stretch marks and the belly pouch. When I was pregnant I always envisioned a snap back to my previous body within 3 months of giving birth, but of course that didn’t happen. I had to keep reminding myself that I just gave birth to a whole human and my body did such an incredible thing and it is ok if it looked and felt different after the ordeal.
Set the goals
In January of this year 2020 when my son was almost 10 months old, I decided to embark on a ﬁtness journey. It started off as purely weightloss goals but then it changed more into a ﬁtness/self love/feel good journey as time went by. In this post I will be sharing the weightloss aspect and what worked for me to lose the weight. In a later post I will cover the other aspects of my ﬁtness journey besides just the weightloss.
My original weightloss goal was to lose about 20 lbs and be back to my pre-pregnancy weight by the time my son turned a year old in two and a half months. I had a long road ahead of me and it was intimidating at first but I knew I just had to make that first step.
Low carb dieting
Before I started my diet, I researched different types of diets including intermittent fasting, keto diet, paleo diet, Atkins diet etc. I chose to go on a low carb diet and cut out all juice, soda, bread, pasta, rice, sugar and ﬂour for a whole two months. I ate mainly foods with protein, good fat and ﬁbre in them.
So what did I eat for those 2 months? I usually ate scrambled eggs with a cup of tea for breakfast. For lunch, I ate salads I made myself or bought at work and I alternated between baked chicken and ﬁsh as my protein of choice. For dinner it varied between baked fish and scrambled eggs most days. If I felt super snack-ish between meals, I ate a portion of peanuts. I also occasionally ate fried plantains and beans for lunch to switch things up.
It was a tremendous sacriﬁce cutting back on carbs but it yielded results. In those 2 months alone I shed a whole 18 pounds from just cutting back on carbs. I had ﬁnally hit my pre-pregnancy weight just in time for my son’s ﬁrst birthday and I couldn’t be happier. I had reached my initial goal.
After reaching my initial goal, I felt like I needed to continue on the weightloss journey. Why stop at my pre-pregnancy weight? Why not aim for my pre-marriage weight? It meant I had to lose just over 10 more lbs.
It was not sustainable to continue such a low carb diet for so long and so I reintroduced carbs into my diet. I still abstained from juice, sugar, bread and soda of course. I now allowed myself to eat carbs like rice and pasta but in smaller portions. I switched my diet from a low carb diet to a more portion controlled diet. I avoided fast food, sugar and snacking as much as possible and I also ate my dinner earlier in the evening to avoid a late night dinner before bed.
I continued to lose weight by eating healthier and controlling my portions. I lost an extra 5lbs over the next 2 months and I felt awesome and motivated to continue with this more sustainable diet. I had more energy and I felt better about myself.
As the months progressed, I fell in love with working out. I loved the energy I felt during my workout. I loved the slight ache of my muscle the next day letting me know I pushed myself hard enough. I even slept better on the days I worked out which was a great bonus.
As my warm up, I aimed to go on 4-6km walks 3 to 5 times per week and most weeks I hit my target with ease. Going for walks outside had the added beneﬁt of the fresh air which was quite soothing to me. I even took my son along with me in his stroller sometimes and he absolutely loved it.
Everyday I made sure to do at least 15 mins of exercise which included a bit of quick cardio followed by a leg, core or full body workout for 10-20 mins. My daily workout consisted of High intensity body-weight workouts that I found on the Nike Training Club app or on YouTube on the Chloe Ting or Madﬁt channels just to name a few. If I was feeling too tired to do a high intensity workout, I did a dance workout instead. The music alone gave me the added energy I needed. The Yoga by Adrienne 30 day yoga challenge on YouTube was also incorporated into my workout for a few weeks.
The dreaded plateau
5 months into my weightloss journey, I had lost a total of 25 lbs…. 5 lbs away from my new goal. But then I hit that dreaded plateau and no matter how much I exercised and no matter how much I dieted I seemed stuck at that 25 lb mark. I became a bit discouraged and demotivated and at times I told myself 25lbs is good enough and no need to keep pushing myself. Maybe I should just quit.
After a week of eating lots of crap and not exercising, I realised I didn’t feel good about myself after resorting back to my old unhealthy lifestyle. That’s when I realised that my ﬁtness journey should not just be about weightloss and the number on the scale… it should be about being healthy, living a clean lifestyle and being ﬁt. That was the turning point in my ﬁtness journey.
It was at that moment I changed my goals from just being obsessed with losing the weight. It became more important to me to just live a generally healthier lifestyle. I made it a point to eat cleaner and healthier and not just diet temporarily. I reduced my consumption of fast food, snacks, soda and sugar and ate more home cooked foods and whole foods.
I also made it a point to remain committed to exercising almost everyday even if it is just a 4km walk or a 10 min cardio or HIT workout that day. I looked forward to my daily exercise to get my heart rate up and get my muscles moving. I couldn’t complain about my increased endurance and strength with the regular exercising.
With these changes I felt ﬁtter, I looked better, I felt happier about myself, my skin looked clearer, my stress levels reduced and as a added bonus I even lost 3 more pounds during that 6th month to make it a total of 28 pounds lost.
These lifestyle changes were the best thing to happen to me this year and I’m glad I embarked on this ﬁtness journey. I plan to continue this ﬁtness journey for as long as I possibly can. I want my son as he grows up to also be a part of this journey with me and learn to live a healthier lifestyle.
For those who are starting on a ﬁtness/weightloss/healthy lifestyle journey, the advice I have for you is
-Set your goal
-Work towards that goal
-Remind yourself why you set that goal
-Don’t give up
and last but not least…