Lose Weight Without Spending One Extra Penny

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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 on with the post!

My youngest baby was born on September 9th, 2014. I was back up to 215 pounds. It was just one pound under my highest documented weight. I was sick. 3 years ago, I had worked so hard to lose 40 pounds. Granted, I have had 2 babies since that post was put up, but each time I started a pregnancy, I started with the best intentions and then ended up about 215 pounds after giving birth.
Now that I know there will be no more babies, I have been more determined than ever to lose the weight and keep it off. But, I had 2 major problems:
  • My gym closed down. No more “New You Fitness.” No more 24 hour opportunities to go work out.
  • We were broke. With 2 more babies, and 6 other growing kids, we have a total of 10 mouths to feed. That makes for a large grocery bill every month – plus diapers, wipes, clothes, and every other expense that comes with having a large family.

I wanted to lose weight, but I had to do it completely on my own. I couldn’t afford Shakeology, It Works!, or any other “magic” potion I could buy.

That’s where sheer determination kicked in.

In March of 2015, I had to stop nursing Sawyer, so I could totally focus on weight loss. I was down to 201.8 pounds. Still over 200, and I hated everything about my appearance.

Here’s what I did to help lose weight:

  1. Cut portion sizes. Tremendously. I stopped using a regular dinner plate, and I switched back to only using a salad plate for my dinner. And absolutely NO SECONDS. Once I finished what was on my plate, that was it.
    plate sizes
  2. I increased my exercise. I started walking again, and made sure I walked at least 30 minutes every single day. Some days I walk on the wii fit, other days it’s the treadmill, but I try to walk outside as much as I possibly can. If I have the opportunity to walk more than 30 minutes, I take it. There have been many, many times, (on my husband’s days off!), that I will walk 5 – 7 miles in the morning. Those are the days I feel the best.
  3. I invested in a Fitbit One. There are several reasons why I love the One.:
    – I had the Flex first, but it doesn’t count your steps unless your arm is swinging. That doesn’t help me when many of my steps come while pushing 3 kids in a shopping cart through the grocery store. The One clips to my pants, or I can drop it in my pocket or even in my bra if I’m in a dress for church. Way more options!
    – I started participating in Fitbit Challenges. I am a super competitive person, and the challenges force me to meet my step goal for the day, and sometimes even cream the competition!
    – The One is a great motivator to take more steps and meet my walking goals for the day. The more walking I do, the more weight I lose!
  4. I stopped drinking so much water. Now, this one usually stumps people. They push drinking gallons of water every day to help you lose weight. However, I have discovered that my body actually retains water. If I drink to much of it, I can’t lose weight. I drink enough to keep from getting thirsty, but I’m no longer drinking it by the gallon. (This may be something you want to talk to your doctor about first!) And, yes, in case you’re wondering, I still only drink water, I just don’t drink a lot of it anymore. Still no soda, no sweet tea, just water with lemon in it.
  5. I will NOT eat after 7pm. This can be difficult, because I feel like family dinners are so important, and my husband doesn’t usually get home until late. So, the kids and I will eat dinner together, and then I will sit down at the table with hubby while he eats, and just talk to him about his day. It’s really, really hard to keep from eating all over again with him, but I won’t. I’m not active at night, so I don’t want to put calories into my body that are just going to sit there.
  6. I revamped my life in Christ. I truly believe that in order to become a new person on the outside, you have to become one on the inside. You must first be someone so truly devoted to your Savior that you become “hungry” for Him instead of the junk hiding in your pantry. I recently started a 4 week weight loss/spiritual growth study called #GodBeforeGoodies. It’s designed to grow your life in Christ while helping you shrink your body. 😉 If the group goes well, I’ll be sharing the study here on the blog. I truly believe that if we want to lose weight, it has to be a total life change. But, that life change must first start in your heart. It has worked for me!

I have people tell me all the time that if I just “drink these shakes” or “try this crazy wrap thing,” but they don’t understand that I cannot afford to spend any extra money. Yes, it might be a great value for some, but $150 for a month of shakes is a lot of money when you have 9 other mouths to feed besides your own. I need to be able to lose weight without spending a dime – and I’ve done just that! I still eat exactly what my family eats, I just eat smaller portions. I haven’t drastically changed my diet and started adding in expensive organic food. I just don’t snack like I used to, I eat way smaller portions at meals, and I don’t eat at night.

I’m not at my goal – yet, but yesterday, I actually got into my goal dress! This dress has been hanging in my closet for 13 years. The last time I wore it was on our honeymoon in 2002! For 13 years, I have hung onto this dress, praying I would make it back into this dress someday. It took me a long, long time, but after 7 babies, a hysterectomy, and lots of ups and downs, I finally got back into this dress:

goal dress

I still have 20 pounds to go, but I KNOW I can do it! I just have to keep the same determination I’ve had for the past 6 months.

Before I close, I want to say one more thing: If you ARE a fan of Shakeology, It Works!, Plexus, or whatever else is on the market, and it has worked for you, THAT’S GREAT! Keep it up! I’m just saying that I can’t afford it, and I have to do something that won’t cost me any money. If you CAN afford it, more power to you! You rock it.

I hope these tips help you. If you have more tips you’d like to share here, I’d love to hear them!

Getting Started on #MyJennyCraig – Let’s Do This! #Sponsored #WeightLoss

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Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Jenny Craig. I received a free program and one month of free food in exchange for my honest opinions, thoughts, and results. I have not been compensated for this post in any other way.

Today, I’m starting on the Jenny Craig Program. I am really, really excited about it! I’ve got between 40 and 50 pounds left to lose to be at my final goal, and I’ve got until February to do it. I can’t wait to see how Jenny Craig helps kick start my weight loss.

To start things off, I’ve got to weigh in. I will tell you, I’ve been doing some things on my own to try to lose weight, but I seem to get more discouraged by the day. I’m just not seeing the results I was hoping for this time around. I’m a lot farther along than I was when I started in March, but still not where I was hoping to be by now.

Anyway – here’s the tough part: My weigh in.

View it directly on YouTube here.

Sigh. 186.1. Still about 10 pounds more than I was before I got pregnant with Carly, and still about 50 pounds from where I’d really like to be.

Now, here’s the harder part: Sharing my “Before” picture – taken today, as I prepare to start #MyJennyCraig Journey.

Day 1 on Jenny Craig

Oh, it hurts to see how bad I look in pictures and on video. When I married my husband almost 11 years ago, I was just a tiny little thing. I think I swallowed her. Twice.

Yes, I know I’ve have seven kids, and I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world. But with each child, there was more weight, more stretching, and more work to get it back off. I’ve just let it go too long. It’s time to get on the right track and save my life. I need to be healthy. I want to be beautiful, yes, but more importantly, I want to instill good habits in my children so that they’re not battling the bulge one day.

That’s why I’m so excited about the Jenny Craig program! They’ve already sent me my first 2 weeks of food, and I can’t believe how much there is! Another thing I can’t believe? How great it tastes! I’ve already eaten breakfast, my morning snack, and lunch, and they were all so yummy! The portion sizes don’t leave me feeling hungry, either. I just need to get used to eating so much during the day now. Head on over to the Jenny Craig website and check out all of their delicious food options. Then, look around some more and read how the program works. Maybe you could get started on your own Jenny Craig journey too!

The people from Jenny Craig are all so friendly, too. I’ve had several people call me and welcome me to the program, one helped me pick out all my food, and my consultant, Tina, explained how everything works. Tina is kind, and so upbeat. I’m going to enjoy talking to her over the next few weeks.

I’ll be tracking my progress with the #MyJennyCraig program here on the blog, on twitter (with the hashtag #MyJennyCraig and #AngieWeighsIn), on my Facebook page,   on pinterest, and you can also track my weekly weigh ins every Friday on Fitbit.

I’m hoping for a GREAT “after” picture when my month with Jenny Craig is up. Hope you’ll stay tuned!

The Fast Metabolism Diet {Review, Sponsored} #FastMetabolismDiet

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When you first pick up the book The Fast Metabolism Diet by Haylie Pomroy, and turn it over to read what the book is all about, you may just be surprised:

Did I Eat Today?
A revolutionary new way to think about the word DIET

Interesting, right? The book is about so much more than just dieting to lose weight. It’s about changing lives by fighting obesity, curing chronic illnesses, and healing a broken metabolism.

The Fast Metabolism DietThe program is 28 days long. I tried it, and overall, I am pleased with my results.

The book cover says you can lose up to 20 pounds in 28 days while on this program.

With every fiber of my being, I wanted to lose 20 pounds in 4 weeks. I followed the diet step by step, and the first week, I gained a pound.

I cried. I wanted to give up, but after a pep talk from SheSpeaks and the author, I decided to keep going. Week 2, I lost 2 pounds. Week 3 down another pound. And week 4, down one more pound. Total weight lost: 4 pounds in 4 weeks. Not fabulous, but not horrible either.

Now, I will note that as a breastfeeding mom, I have to keep my calorie intake between 1,500 and 1,800 daily calories. (That’s from my own physician – please speak with your own doctor before starting a diet program, especially if you are breastfeeding.) I was told that I should only lose an average of 1 – 2 pounds per week. So, according to that, the diet worked for me! It took a week to wake my metabolism up, but after that, I’ve consistently lost at least one pound per week.

I will tell you that at first, the diet confused me. (Which is probably why I did so terribly the first week on the program.) So, I went back and read the book again – this time taking notes as I went. I highlighted important statements, recipes, and meal plans. That really seemed to help, and I was excited to see that I had lost 2 pounds the next week.

I also believe that if I could have kept my calorie intake lower, I may have done better on the diet. But, I won’t be able to give that a try until I’m done breastfeeding. And I’m praying that doesn’t happen for at least another 9 months.

Also, I never, ever felt hungry when I was on this diet – as I have in the past on other diets. I really feel this is an excellent program and a wonderful option for someone who is looking to change their lifestyle and live a healthier life.

You can bet I will be trying the Fast Metabolism Diet again. There are many aspects of the program that I will continue to use while I’m nursing. And if I haven’t reached my goal weight by the time Carly is weaned, I will jump back into the program full force.

I think this book is a must read for anyone who wants to lose weight, and I encourage you to check it out and learn more information by accessing the following resources:

If you try the Fast Metabolism Diet, please let me know your results! I’d love to hear from someone who lost 10 pounds or more! I *know* it can be done, and I’d love to see my readers have great success with this.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for She Speaks and The Fast Metabolism Diet. Opinions expressed are 100% my own and are based on my own experiences with the book/program.

The Weight Loss Journey Begins Again

As most of my loyal readers know, last year, I lost 40 pounds. Then, in June, I found out I was pregnant with baby #7.

I tried SO hard not to gain a ton of weight with the pregnancy. Unfortunately, it seemed the harder I tried to eat right and exercise, the more weight I put on.

I ended up at 214 pounds at the time I went in to deliver Carly. Just 2 pounds less than I was before I started my weight loss journey last year! YIKES!

I didn’t stress about it too much, though. I knew I had taken it off once before and that I could do it again. After talking with my doctor, I agreed to hold off until Carly was 6 weeks old before I really focused on weight loss.

Well, she was 6 weeks old last Friday. On Saturday, I had my daughter Ashley take my starting picture, and I stepped on the scale.

Here’s my starting picture:

Starting my weight loss journey

Ugh. It horrifies me to post that picture, but let me tell you – it is GREAT motivation to get my butt back in shape.

My goal is to soon get on a weight loss program that is safe for breastfeeding moms, and I will be talking to my doctor about that in the next week or so. In the meantime, however, I will be working slowly but surely at losing weight the right way. I had a problem with low milk supply after Gage was born, so I need to be careful not to do anything that could affect my milk supply for Carly. I really, really want to make it a full year of nursing her.

That being said, we are going on a cruise next February. I have a dress that I bought years ago, and it is my goal to be able to fit back into that dress before we go on the cruise. So, I have approximately 11 months from the time the picture above was taken to lose about 65 pounds.

I will weigh in once a week on my Fitbit scale. You can follow my progress on my Fitbit profile. I will also tweet my weight once a week using the hashtag #angieweighsin – so be sure to follow me on twitter. And, there will be blog updates. I’m just not sure how often yet. (Any input?)

If you’d like to join me on this journey, let me know, and we can start a weekly linky to post our progress. There’s nothing more motivating than posting your progress for all the world to see! 😉

I know I can do this, and I covet your support until that very last pound is GONE. I hope you’ll offer your tips and encouragement here on the blog.

Ok, ready…. Here we go!!!

The DietBet Challenge is ON! My Official Weigh-in.

I’m a little behind posting this. Things have been kind of crazy around here.

On Saturday, I started a new DietBet weight loss challenge. This time, I competing against 6 ladies. At the end of the challenge, we will see who the winner{s?} is{are?}, and prizes will be awarded.

I am really excited about this challenge, for lots of reasons: First, I do better when I’m competing. It keeps me from eating things I know I shouldn’t, and it motivates me to exercise and push myself just a little harder. Secondly, I am already doing so well at reaching my goals, and I think this is the “push” I need to keep going.

I am also really excited about sharing this experience with some very special people in my life! Last time I did the DietBet challenge, I didn’t really know the girls I was competing against. This time, however, I know most of these girls on a personal level. I’ve known one girl since we were about 3 years old. We went to school together – from preschool all the way through 5th grade. {I moved to Chicago the summer between my 5th and 6th grade year.} We got back in contact in 2002 completely by accident… I ran into her mom at the little cake shop that made our wedding cake. It turned out her daughter was getting married about a month before I was. We were able to go to each others’ weddings. We lost touch again, and through the power of Facebook, we got back in touch. We’ve both struggled with our weight, so we’ve been cheering each other on for a few months now.

I’m also competing against a friend from a church I went to in Ohio, a friend I go to church with now, my best friend’s mom, and 2 other fabulous ladies I’ve just recently had the chance to meet. I am STOKED! Although, this may not be such a good thing. I may get so busy cheering them on that I might just forget and eat a box of donuts or something. 🙂 I’m sure they wouldn’t mind that at all.

Ok, ok. Time to get to the hardest part of this post. The video of my official weigh in. It’s a little different than my official weigh-in in January when I tipped the scales at 213 pounds. I’ve definitely lost some weight since then… but getting on a scale in front of anyone just isn’t easy.

And before you watch this video, let me just tell you that I had just finished playing 3 hours of volleyball. So, my hair is in a ponytail, and I’m pretty sure I sweated all my makeup off. But, that’s the real me… scary, I know.

Ok, here’s the video:

Crazy. 183.8. That’s down almost exactly 30 pounds since January, which is great, but I know I can do better. I really think this challenge will speed things up again. At least I’m hoping that’s what it does.

Now, here are my “Before” pictures for this challenge. {Be sure to check out my Before & After pictures from the last challenge. It made such a difference, I’m hoping to do it again!}

Yep, I still have a loooooong way to go. But I know I can do it!

I hope you’ll stick with us for the next 4 weeks. You can follow our DietBet Challenge by clicking here: DietBet Challenge – May 2012. Be sure to leave me some love on my profile page. I’m going to need it!

Also, I am still looking for a few more sponsors for the challenge. If you have a business and want lots of exposure, contact me today!

Let the games begin!