How I Lost 40 Pounds in 6 Months

Before I get too far into this post, let me just say 2 things:

  1. I am not a doctor and do not profess to be a medical professional of any kind. Before beginning any diet or exercise program, please speak with your primary care physician about what is right for you.
  2. I cannot promise this will work for you. I wish I could. Unfortunately, every person is different, and what may work for one may not work for another.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the post!

First, we’ll back up about 7 – 8 months. I was at my heaviest weight. I was miserable. In fact, I was dealing with a lot of chronic pain. I was in and out of my doctor’s office trying to figure out what steps to take next.

I wasn’t eating right. I was completely addicted to soda… Pepsi to be more specific. It was like my own version of alcoholism. I would drink a minimum of 16 cans of Pepsi PER DAY. I was depressed, and it was all because I was feeling fat and ugly.

People would say things like, “Oh, you look good for having 6 kids.” I HATED hearing that. I knew they were lying. I didn’t look good, and I certainly didn’t feel “good.” {I know that’s not proper grammar, but you get what I mean.}

In December, the wonderful people at DietBet contacted me and asked me if I would compete against several other mom bloggers for the chance at a $5,000 pot, and we would have to give some of that money to charity.

That was exactly the kick in the pants I needed. I am an incredibly competitive person, and knowing that I could play for a charity like St. Jude and have the opportunity to give them up to $5,000, well, let’s just say that I was all in.

The competition started in early January. I weighed in at a ghastly 213 pounds. I hadn’t been on a scale in months, and I had no idea that it had gotten so out of control. In that first DietBet challenge, I lost 17 pounds. I smashed the competition, {although according to DietBet rules, we all “won”}, and I gave all my winnings to St. Jude’s.

Now, here we are in June. It’s been 6 months since I started that first DietBet challenge, and I am down 40 pounds.

Take a look at my before and after shots: {Click the picture to see it larger.}

40 pounds in 6 months
Pretty dramatic difference, isn’t it? I can’t believe the difference in my face and upper body. And my BUTT. Oh my gosh. Every time I have gotten pregnant, I have carried my kids in my butt and hips. My butt was huge. I was in a size 16 pants in January. Now, I can squeeze my behind into any pair of size 10s, and most size 8s. I’ve come a long way.

But I still have a long way to go. My goal is to lose another 40 pounds or so and get down to 130 – 135 pounds. THEN I want people to tell me that I look good for having 6 kids. I might actually start to believe them.

I have people asking me every day what I’ve been doing to lose the weight. So, I thought I’d share my tips with you. I hope they help encourage you get on a path to healthier living.

  • I’ve focused on Spiritual growth. I realize that I can do nothing on my own. But, through Christ, I can do anything. {Philippians 4:13} Early in January, I discovered Job 23:12b that says, “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” I made that my life verse for this weight loss challenge. Whenever I want something sweet, I remind myself of those words, and I pick up my Bible. I know it sounds crazy, but it has truly worked for me. I have made my Spiritual life and my relationship with Jesus my top priority, and I have benefited in so many ways because of it.
  • I’ve reduced portion sizes. Drastically. I still eat exactly what my family eats, but I put my servings on a kid-sized plate instead of a large plate. And when I’ve eaten what’s on my plate, that’s it. No seconds.
  • I opt for Fat-Free, Low-Fat, and Reduced calorie as often as I can. We have one shelf in our pantry dedicated to my snacks and such. The kids know those items are off limits to them. Any time I buy salad dressing, it’s fat free. I also only use fat-free Feta cheese on salads.
  • I eat every 2 – 3 hours during the day.It starts with breakfast at 8, snack at 10, lunch at noon, snack at 3, and dinner at 6. My portions are small, yes, but this absolutely keeps me from getting hungry at all during the day. Some of my favorite snacks include:
    • Fruit Nuggets – these are found in the Fruit Snacks section. They contain 0g of fat and only 50 calories per pack. LOVE them.
    • Snackwell’s Devil’s Food Cookie Cakes – This is how I get my chocolate fix. Each cookie only has 50 calories and NO fat.
    • Fat Free Fig Newtons – In two cookies, there are only 90 calories and no fat. {Note: Nabisco has large packs that you can toss in your purse, but the two cookies in those packs contain 200 calories. I buy the tray of cookies and just toss Ziploc baggies that contain 2 cookies in my purse.}
    • Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop – I honestly can’t finish an entire serving myself. But, one serving only contains 100 calories and only 2g of fat.
    • Snack Pack Chocolate Fat Free Pudding – Another chocolate fix. Only 90 calories and zero fat.
    • Fruit – Berries, Bananas, Oranges. Sometimes I even get creative and mix several fruits in a blender with ice and little Truvia to sweeten it, and make a smoothie. Mmmm.
  • I completely gave up soda. As you can imagine, this was quite a challenge for me. But I honestly believe it was the BEST decision I ever could have made. Now, the ONLY thing I will drink is water. I will not even allow myself a sip of soda or Sweet Tea {another weakness!}, because I know it would take nothing for me to fall back into old habits.
  • I Exercise Daily. I started slowly. After all, until January, the most exercise I got was going to the grocery store with all 6 kids. I have a treadmill, and when I first started, my goal was to burn 200 calories per day. I started by walking at 2.5 MPH, and then slowly increased that number weekly. My March, I was burning 300 calories/day, and now I burn 400 calories on the treadmill everyday. Toward the end of April, I started using the Total Gym as well. Now I do 400 calories on the treadmill {which takes about an hour}, and then I do 30 – 45 minutes on the Total Gym.  I also park my car farther away at the store, and force myself to walk that extra bit as often as I can. Just getting up and moving will make a huge difference. You don’t have to walk fast. My treadmill only goes up to 4 MPH, but I have literally walked my butt off the past 6 months. And, to answer any questions, YES. I exercise 7 days a week. I won’t allow myself to take a day of rest, because I’ll want to rest all the time.

It takes a complete lifestyle change in order to lose weight and get healthy. You have to be willing to give up some of your favorite things. Am I saying that you have to give them up forever? Of course not. But isn’t it worth it to give it up for a short time so that you can become the person that you want to be?

I also want to mention that since January when I made this lifestyle change, I have not had one single pain that I was dealing with last year. I feel about a million times better than I have in years. For me, these changes were life-changing and possibly life-saving.

For the past few days, I have been learning about another lifestyle transformation program, and I am prayerfully considering trying it out and seeing how it works for me at getting those last 40 pounds off. Depending on how the program works for me, hopefully I will be sharing more about it with you all soon.

However, until that happens, I will continue on the path I laid out above. I will work hard, eat right, and praise Jesus for every pound that comes off.

If you have any questions or just want to talk about weight loss, I hope you’ll leave a comment on this post.