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Weight Loss

I've been asked a lot lately what I've been doing to lose weight, so I thought I would share info on our blog to help anyone out that is interested. I don't usually talk about myself like this, so this is awkward for me. But if it motivated someone else to get up and get healthy, then it's worth it.

Let's start off with a little bit of History 101 on Steph's past :) Some might want to skip this section, and by all means, go ahead.

I have never been a thin person. I'm naturally "big boned" as some say. (And I am a true believer of that saying.) I have been very thin at points in my life, but it was never done healthily. I would crash diet and sometimes eat a very small amount of calories during the day. Please don't try this! It doesn't work.  For about 4 years of my life, my profession revolved around my appearance, and I did everything I could think of to be in top-notch shape. But then I realized that during those 4 years, I was very unhappy. So I stopped trying to be thin and rid myself of those appearance-based jobs.  I became happier and life was good. But then I got pregnant. And I gained 40 pounds. In my eyes, I was enormous. And my self-confidence went down the drain.  I tried to lose weight, but it just didn't happen. This is when I realized all my crash dieting from that time period actually damaged my body and it has never been the same. It's much harder for me to lose weight now that for others. My body automatically goes into starvation mode when I cut calories and it tends to hold on to everything I eat.  With all that said, I knew I needed to make healthy changes to my daily food intake, and to my lifestyle. I needed to lose weight in a healthy way. I put my foot down and prepared myself for a long journey. 

Now to give you some uplifting news, here are my results.


Important Note #1:   I'VE LOST 20 POUNDS!!!!

-It's kind of sad to think that I had 20 pounds to lose, but I don't focus on that. I LOST 20 POUNDS!!! 20 pounds was my goal, and I finally reached it.  The first month I lost 10 pounds. The second month I lost 4 pounds. And the third month I've lost 6 pounds. 

In three months:
I have lost 20 pounds
I have gone down two sizes in pants (almost 3!)
I have gone down two bra sizes.
I have gone down half a size in shoes (crazy I know)
I have gone down one size in shirts.
Important Note #2: I have been dieting for 13 1/2 weeks. That's a total of 3 months.

Now for the DETAILS:

I've been on a diet for the past 13 weeks. And it doesn't even seem like I'm on a diet anymore. When I started this, I was told that same thing and it angered me. How could anyone say they didn't feel like they were dieting?!  But now I understand. I've made lifetime changes, and they are here to stay. So I'm very used to the "new" way that I eat, and it doesn't seem like a diet.

My diet is technically called Carb Rotating. It's very simple to follow, and allows you to make it your own diet to make it work just for you.

But my weight loss is not 100% contributed to eating healthy. I have been very active as well. I work out on average 5 times a week. I try to go 6 times a week, but sometime life gets too busy.  If you want details on what workouts I do exactly, then keep reading!

I try to do cardio and weight training every other day. (Key note: the more muscle you have, the less cardio you have to do to burn calories. You're body will just do it on its own.. exciting!) And I am not a very good motivator for myself at the gym. I get lazy and make up excuses why I can quit early. So I go to classes at the gym. It forces me to get out of the house, it forces me to work out for an entire hour, and it forces me to keep going. Now that's motivation! Plus they have daycare which means uninterrupted workouts!

I started going to Zumba classes and WOW!!! It's an amazing workout. Literally every strand of hair on my head is soaked when I get done. That may sound gross to you, but it sounds motivating to me! haha. I also rotate Zumba with either Pump (weight training class) or R.I.P.P.E.D (weight training intervals combined with cardio intervals) classes. Once in a while after a Zumba class I will go lift for a bit on my own, but once again, I'm not too successful on my own! Zumba has transformed working out for me to being fun and motivating rather than awful, unbearable, and slow. In fact, I got certified to be an instructor for Zumba and just love it!

For those of you who are totally bored, I thought I would give you some photos to just show you the weight I've lost. I took official before and after photos, but those are for my eyes only :)  here are some random pictures of me before.


March 2012 (3 weeks prior to beginning of diet)
August 2011
March 2012
August 2011

 AFTER (These were taken 3 weeks ago, when I was 3 pounds from my goal)
Jeans I wore in March (picture above)
Jeans I wore in March

A tank top I wore regularly before weight loss.

Today (after 2 back to back Zumba classes.. don't judge how nasty I look.)

 Now a combined before and after.. do you see a difference?
Before                                            After
Now if you want more details on the carb rotating diet, you can continue reading here:

The basics of Carb Rotating:

One day I would eat a high number of carbs. (Around 250)
The next day I would eat a low number of carbs. (Around 50)
The next day I would eat no carbs.
Then repeat. And repeat. And repeat!
Then once a week, I would allow myself to have a meal off which consisted of whatever I wanted!

Carb Rotating in Details:

My cousin mentioned this diet to me, so I googled carb rotating and didn't really find that much information. I found the basics as I mentioned above, and I've kind of made it my own diet. There were a few ways to do the rotating that I found, but I chose to follow the one with the ability to eat one meal off a week.

Dieting and eating is completely emotional for me. At first when I started this diet, it was very difficult to watch people eat really yummy food when I couldn't have any of it. I would get frustrated. But that's why the one meal off is so good! I would see that yummy food, or if I was craving some type of food that week, I would look forward to eating it later on that week. So instead of dwelling on not being able to eat the ice cream at all, I would look forward to eating ice cream that weekend. I work well with things to look forward to (ie: vacations!).  Just make sure your day off in one week isn't too close to the next weeks day off. For instance, if Saturday is your day off for week one, don't have a Monday be your day off with week two. Let your body have time to adjust.  When you eat healthy, then all of a sudden eat unhealthy food, your body isn't used to it. So it makes your body work harder to process it. It boosts your metabolism and actually does positive things instead of negative. Try not to stuff yourself silly. You'll just end up stretching out your stomach and it won't benefit you when you're extremely hungry the next few days. And remember NEVER to have your meal off on a no carb day. It is best to have it on a high carb day. If I know I have an event coming up that I want to have as my meal off, I will sometimes switch around my days during the week so that meal will be on a high carb day. Just make sure you have all three of your days spaced out. Don't have high carb, low carb, high carb, low carb for instance.

There are a few things I feel are important to mention:
1. The key to this diet is eating healthy. When you eat carbs, they need to be healthy carbs. I only eat sprouted wheat bread. It isn't processed, so there's no preservatives being put in my body. I never eat chips, or crackers, or cookies. I only eat lean meat (turkey burgers, or 98% lean ground beef, tilapia, chicken, or sirloin steaks, or freshly sliced deli meat).
2. Be cautious of nutrition value in everything that you're eating. For instance, beans and corn and all fruit have carbs in it. These things you CANNOT eat on your no carb day. Don't eat russet potatoes (eat sweet potatoes or even red potatoes). Eat as little sugar as you can. Reduce the amount of salt you intake and when you do consume salt, only use Real Salt. Switch up the type of carbs you have. Eat nuts, fruits, veggies, beans, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and brown rice.
3. Measure everything you eat. Once you get the hang of things you don't have to measure each time, but measure so you know exactly how much you're eating in every meal.
4. Eat 6 times a day, approximately every 2 hours. But these are small meals. For me, I eat a total of 1200 calories a day, so I eat six 200 calorie meals a day.
5. Eat protein in each meal. I've heard people say it's bad to eat too much protein. But if you're active, it's not!
6. Work out! Get off your butt! A 5-10 minute run probably won't give you the results you want. Push yourself. My thing is going to classes at the gym so I am "in the zone," and someone is pushing me so I won't quit. I try to workout anywhere between 4 to 6 times a week. 4 times a week is when I have a busy week.. or a sick kid who always wants to be held!
7. Drink lots of water. I was addicted to Diet Coke since Jack was born. I had a really bad experience with my epidural during labor, and had spinal headaches. The only thing I found to cure some of the pain was Diet Coke. So I quickly became addicted. I quit drinking pop, but water tasted so gross! So I started to drink Crystal Light Pure (naturally sweetened) to help the transition.
8. Do cardio AND weight lifting. The more muscle mass your body has, the less cardio you have to do. I rotate days of pure cardio and lifting. For instance, Monday, Wednesday, Friday I will do Zumba (or go running), and Tuesday and Thursday I will either go to a RIPPED or Power Pump class. Saturday I will do a workout video, the elliptical and stair stepper, Zumba, or go on a run.
9. Don't eat too much dairy. Limit the amount of yogurt and cheese you have.
10. Don't get frustrated if you don't see pounds falling off. At first your body need to adjust. It also is changing, so it will take a while to see those changes. I remember losing one pound the first week and getting frustrated. Also remember muscle weighs more than fat. So you are possibly replacing fat with muscle and it will weigh more. So even though the scale doesn't say you have lost wieght, I am sure your body looks and feels smaller.

Let me know if your interested in recipes, tricks, or any more details. I want to help in any way!

Thanks for reading.


Cyndi said...

You're amazing. You look fabulous! Way to go, you are very inspiring. There are so many things that you said not to do, that I need to stop (crackers, candy, diet coke!) :-)

Cristina Morales said...

You look incredible. This is definitely motivating and I will remember this for the weeks with low weight loss. Thanks for sharing! A tool that I find helpful is My Fitness Pal. I have the app on my iphone and it's easy to track all of your intake.

Kendyle said...

Steph, we haven't talked in awhile, but I love following you on your blog! You and your new house look great!!! And your little one is pretty sweet too :) I hope you guys are doing well!!

Amanda said...

steph-you look amazing! you looked great before and you look amazing now. truly. such a gorgeous mama and so impressed by your discipline. and it's even better to hear how great you're feeling. that is half the battle-once you feel great and in shape-i find it harder to eat unhealthy because i just don't crave those foods anymore.

MOM said...


Natalie Graves said...

I loved reading this!! I am so proud of you!

kbclogger said...

I so want recipes, tricks and info! please help me! i too need to lose about 20lbs.. HELP!
Kristi B.

Anonymous said...

That's amazing!! I would sooo love some recipes & tips!!! I've got about 10lbs to lose, so I'd love your help!! Please email me at whenever you get a chance!! :) Ohh and FYI my friend Whittney Evans told me how well you did... and I was very interested to know more!!! You look amazing! :)

Whittney and Ryan said...

Wow good work Steph! You look great! said...

That is an amazing experience! Thank you so much for sharing it with readers! I have read really so many stories about a weight loss, and mostly they are not true, a diet is really expansive and hard to follow or needs some special medicine. Thank you so much for this true story and great motivation!