Confessions of A (former) Couch Potato

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couch potato

Most of my teen years were filled with visits to the gym. I say visits because even though I had a membership I wasn’t a gym regular. Honestly I made my mom spend (waste) so much money with my dreams of being a gym regular. I used to be the type of person that would dream of the “perfect body” and how cool I would look in my new gym clothes.

Apparently that wasn’t enough to actually make me fulfill my dreams of the “perfect body”. You know what I loved the best? Sitting on my couch watching a movie while I stuffed my face with Oreos and popcorn. The few times I made it to the gym, it would be more of a social event. I did it because my best friend would be there and we could go out for a burger after we worked out.

Yes, you read that right, a burger.

So I eventually gave up. Which meant that the only exercise I did was getting up from the couch to get more snacks when I was home from school.

Fast forward to my early twenties, I did want to get in better shape. I was at least 30 pounds overweight, and you know my wedding date was approaching. So I decided to enroll in a gym again. But – I did not work out. I made no effort. I ended up losing a little weight before my wedding date and shortly after my wedding, I found out I was pregnant.

So the gym dreams were gone again.

After my first child was born, I miraculously lost weight solely because of the power of breastfeeding. My food intake and the quality of it didn’t change. So after my son was done with breastfeeding, the little weight I lost came back.

Things were a little different after my second baby. I lost more weight during breastfeeding. Even though I was consuming a lot of crappy food. But at the end, I gained some of the weight back. This time around I decided that I will not sit and wait to gain all the pounds back. I will do something, but what? These are the 5 things I did.

1. I changed my mind set

If you are like me, you are the type of person that has tried many ways before to lose weight and it didn’t work. If you start your new journey thinking that way, your chances of failure are higher. So take a chance on yourself and do your best. Whatever the outcome is, make sure you gave it your best.

2. I plan my meals

I used to be the type of person who would get whatever I wanted at the store. Especially before I had kids. Well since I became a SAHM, I have to make a list of items needed. So before I go to the store, I plan my meals for all 7 days of the week and I shop for what I need. Occasionally you will see a package of Oreos or salt and vinegar chips on my shopping cart. Those are my bad habits that are hard to gave up.

3. I stopped counting calories

It worked at the beginning, but then it got old. It made my journey boring and stressful. I felt like the calorie counting was making things hard for me and I felt judged by the silly app on my phone so I deleted it. If calorie counting works for you, that’s awesome. I know many people are fine with it. I believe in portion control. When I say portion control I don’t mean a stick of celery and a piece of chicken. Our bodies need carbs, protein and fats. I try to choose them wisely. Also I’m not giving up carbs. Sorry not sorry!.

4. I learned to give myself grace

I used to be very critical of myself. If I “failed” at not doing my work out or not logging a meal in a silly app, I would get frustrated with myself. As you read above I still buy junk food here and there. I also love going out to eat. This journey is not meant to be perfect, it’s meant to be as real as you are. So don’t sweat the little “mistakes”.

5. There is no such thing as the “best” exercise

I have tried different workouts. Honestly, I like changing things after a while because it can get boring. So I encourage you to try as many things as you can. I gave up on the gym because I just don’t care for it (also I don’t have to make eye contact with people and I can wear my old shirt with holes while I’m covered with sweat at home). It is also cheaper to find free workouts online or get dvds from the library.

As you can see, the last thing on my list was the workout part. What I was getting wrong from the beginning was that for me, change didn’t start at the gym.

It started when I changed my mind set.

I accomplished more things that way. I still love sitting in front of my TV having a Netflix marathon while I enjoy a little Ben &Jerry’s ice cream (okay, maybe half the tub). This time around I don’t feel guilty about it because I have made better options for myself during the day.

It’s all about balance, ladies.

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Back in 2009, before I had kids (left). My mom and I a week ago (right)

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