The Scale Is Drunk

I’ve written a few times about the scale and how I feel about it. Yes, it has it’s place in the weight loss journey but for some it’s harder to quit than a bag of chips! Last week I had my food dialed in and I wanted to see if it would make any difference. I took my weight at the beginning of the week and then again on Friday morning, I lost about 2-3lbs that week. However, Friday evening we enjoyed a dinner with our neighbours and while our menu was all healthy fresh food we made ourselves I used a little extra salt, hot sauce, and may have enjoyed 2 cupcakes instead of one ;) When I woke up Saturday I thought I’d check the scale just for “FUN” and to prove a point – THE SCALE IS DRUNK.

Ditch the scale

 

There really is no way for someone to gain 3lbs over night, well I mean there IS a way, but that’s a whole lot of food! I checked my measurements and they were still the same. One thing I have figured out over this journey is that my body can weigh drastically different amounts on any given day simply depending on what I have eaten the day before. Over the last few months I’ve began to replace stepping on the scale with taking weekly progress shots – to track recovery progress too – and to look back and see how far I’ve come. Visual reminders are a great tool to have on this journey, especially when the scale doesn’t seem to be moving anywhere. Thankfully I’ve made it to a head space where I can look at that number, which is 168.8 by the way, and not care if it’s up by 2-3lbs, put the scale away and go on with my day. It’s taken a LONG time but I’m finally getting there. Measurements and how my clothing fits have become my go to check point to ensure I’m staying on course.

Tips On Breaking Up With The Scale:

  1. Weigh yourself only once a week, slowly changing to once a month (preferably at the same point in your monthly cycle)
  2. Keep a measuring tape and note book by your scale, start taking your measurements to track success
  3. Add a weekly progress photo, be sure to include side profiles as well as front and back.

Jumping Waves

A while back I remember posting about missing Sullivan’s first swimming lesson, sending my mom in my place, because I was too unfortable in my body to be in a bathing suit. It was one of the many moments I missed during their early childhood because I let my weight hold me back. This was the first vacation where I was comfortable in my skin, and wasn’t worried what people were thinking about me. It let me enjoy the moments as they came. It allowed me to be free. During one of our first trips to the beach Sully wanted to wave jump, in the past I would have let someone else take him so I could “take pictures”, this time we just jumped right in, shorts and all and someone else was finally the picture taker!

Left: Florida Vacation 2010 Right: Florida Vacation 2014

Left: Florida Vacation 2010 Right: Florida Vacation 2014

I felt free to enjoy myself and let go of perceptions I had/have about my body, it was pretty darn awesome. This journey of weight loss and health isn’t an easy one, but if you stick it out it’s worth it! As the weight starts to drop off our bodies, we become lighter in many ways. I’ve talked before about “Finding Your WHY”, for one of the first times since reaching my goal, I’ve gotten to fully enjoy and LIVE my WHY!

JUMP!

JUMP!

For the first time in pretty much ever, there is a picture of my booty that I don’t hate! Heck, I’m even sharing it here on the interwebs! Normally I’d scroll through the camera a delete all the “bad” photos, this time instead of deleting them, I’m actually able to be happy with them and share them!

Jessica Simpson’s Weight Loss: The Public Attacks

A couple weeks back I was scrolling through my Instagram feed when I cam across this photo from People Magazine of Jessica Simpson at some kind of event. The caption reading something like “Jessica Simpson showing off her toned legs at….”. The comments that followed that post really bothered me. This post has been brewing in my head since I saw the comments.

Jessica Simpson Weight Loss

First off, why do we feel the need to constantly attack others? Why is someone wasting their energy to write a comment like “WTF is wrong with her mouth”, REALLY? Just keep scrolling! It’s the last comment “I’m sure she had a trainer and a personal chef with weight watches too. What a load of bs.”. Well perhaps she did, and I’m sure she has an assistant to answer emails and phone calls too, but you know what? She GOT IT DONE with NO EXCUSES. Before the switch finally flips in us, we find all the excuses as to why we “can’t” lose weight – “I’m too busy, The kids, etc, etc.”. There are so many roads you can travel on this weight loss and fitness journey, we all chose different paths and different methods. I don’t think it’s fair to bash someone for having the option to employ help along their journey. In my eye it doesn’t lessen the accomplishment – losing weight is hard, weather someone cooks your food for you, weather you have a trainer, etc., it’s still hard. YOU have to be committed, otherwise no amount of help in the world will make you successful. YOU need to be ready, you could have every tool offered to you but until YOU are ready to accept them and use them, no change will happen.

Remember my friends, NO EXCUSES, you must put in the time and the effort. Work for the change you want to see! Believe in yourself, trust the process, and change forever! YOU can do this.

So please, before you comment on someones journey, make sure it’s an uplifting, encouraging message, otherwise keep scrolling and move on. We all know weight loss is not an easy fight to win. Remember, we get back what we put out in the universe. Keep it positive <3.

Abdominoplasty Healing Update #3

How time flies! Tomorrow marks 9 weeks since my excess skin removal surgery. In some ways this feels like the longest and yet shortest 9 weeks ever! My last update took us to about 4 weeks post-op, since then the biggest change is I’ve been cleared for exercise again! Every so often my body reminds me its still healing (via swelling or muscle soreness) but most of the time I feel great!

ABDOMINOPLASTY RECOVERY

Week 5:

  • More standard recovery
  • Still no exercise
  • One draining of the seroma, smallest amount of fluid. Possibly last draining.
  • Still wearing compression garment 24/7. It’s so stretched out. Buy 2 of these from your doctor if you can
  • No weight gain or loss at this point
  • Scar therapy with Dermatix twice daily

Week 6:

  • Cleared to exercise on my 6 week post-op check-up
  • No draining of seroma, doctor said fluid not enough to drain and body will absorb it
  • Was told to stop wearing the compression garment, but I kept it and wore it after my workouts for the first week for about 2-4 hours to keep swelling down. Honestly I think this did more for me mentally than anything. There wasn’t much excess swelling post workout. Since most of my workouts were at the end of the day it was also mixed with the normal end of day swelling.
  • A few spin classes this week to ease back into my routine and definitely not going at 100% effort.
  • Lots of rest in my recliner when working
  • Scar therapy with Dermatix twice daily

Week 7:

  • Said good-bye to my binder / compression garment for good! It was beyond stretched and wasn’t actually doing anything for me.
  • Had my first “leg day” workout – OUCH! Things were a little sore for about 4 days after, my abs however were totally fine!
  • Increased my level of effort in my fitness classes, but holding back where needed
  • Scar therapy with Dermatix twice daily

Week 8:

  • Tried on jeans for the first time since surgery and they were actually comfortable and fit with nothing hanging over!
  • Said good-bye to my big comfy power recliner (rental) and moved back to my regular office chair
  • The move back to the regular office chair isn’t helping the swelling situation so I’m trying to get up and walk around ever 30 min or so to keep the blood flowing.
  • Scar therapy with Dermatix twice daily
  • Repeated the same crazy body weight leg workout from week 7 and didn’t suffer for nearly as long! Also added in some light (5lb) upper body weights into the mix
  • Happy with how things are progressing but every day the tummy can look so different! Time of day is a huge factor for how swollen I get.
8 Weeks Post-Op

8 Weeks Post-Op

Week 9:

  • Tomorrow marks 9 weeks since surgery.
  • I’ve slept without pillows under my legs a few times now and I’ve felt fine. Even a few times on my right side, the left is still a no go.
  • This week I hit my lowest weight in about 10 years! Consider how much skin he removed this makes sense given my pre-surgery weight.
  • Still rocking lots of cardio as I can’t do too many weights just yet.
  • Scar therapy with Dermatix twice daily
  • Went shopping for a spin class costume – I’m dressing as Sporty Spice for a theme ride and was shocked when I fit my booty into a size SMALL pants. I started this journey a size 3XL, and now I’m a size SM, 6 Lululemon, or 10 jeans – isn’t women’s sizing crazy!!

Please remember, this surgery is NOT a weight loss surgery. You should be at your goal weight BEFORE your surgeon agrees to preform the operation. I consider this to be functional plastic surgery as the excess skin was impeding my ability to improve my fitness and perform certain exercises. While it was MY CHOICE to have this surgery, it may not be for you. Please be respectful of my choices as I would be of yours.

Finding Fitness Outside

Don’t get me wrong, I love the gym, but sometimes life has different plans for our days that don’t include a trip to the gym. So how do we fit in a workout at home or while traveling? For my workouts I have a few things I like to keep at home or pack while traveling. Some tension bands, a couple kettlebells (medium & heavy weight), a skipping rope and good suspension trainer like the TRX are some of my favorite items for a great non-gym workout!

busy mom workout

So the kids want to go to the park? Perfect. GO WITH THEM. Let them ride their bikes and jog along side them (your warm-up), once you get to the park scout a location like some monkey bars or a soccer goal post to hang that TRX. Kids playgrounds offer all kinds of great opportunities for fitness! Instead of sitting on the benches use them for box jumps, Bulgarian split squats, step-ups, mountain climbers, or push-ups. Need a little cardio? How about a game of tag on the playground? It keeps you in the moment and enjoying time with the kids all while running, ducking, and climbing across the playground. There’s a reason kids pass out when they get home from the park – playing is hard work!

Here’s an idea of what your workout could look like WITHOUT Equipment…

  1. Warm-up: Walking or biking to the park or up and down the block while the kids ride their bikes
  2. Body Weight Strength: Find a bench and do 3 sets of 15 (1. Step-ups/box jumps 2. Push-ups 3. Bulgarian split squats (L&R))
  3. Cardio: Go play tag for 5-10 minutes
  4. Body Weight Strength: 3 sets of 15 (1. Squats 2. Plank 3. Static Lunges (L&R))
  5. Cardio: Head back to the playground, play something like red rover or some kind of racing game. Bonus points if there is a hill involved.
  6. Body Weight Strength: Back to the bench and do 3 sets of 15 (1. Tricep Dips 2. Mountain Climbers 3. Side Lunges (L&R))
  7. Cardio: Kids choice, play tag, work on the monkey bars etc.
  8. Cool-Down: walk or jog home. Be sure to stretch when you’re done.

Here’s an idea of what your workout could look like WITH Equipment…

  1. Warm-up: Walking or biking to the park or up and down the block while the kids ride their bikes. Toss your TRX
    in a backpack.
  2. Find a secure place to mount the TRX like a soccer post or monkey bars
  3. TRX: 3 sets of 12-15 (1. Push-ups 2. Tricep Dips 3. Chest Fly)
  4. Cardio: Go play tag for 5-10 minutes
  5. TRX: 3 sets of 12-15 (1. Squats 2. Sprinter Starts 3. Full Body Extensions)
  6. Cardio: Head back to the playground, play something like red rover or some kind of racing game. Bonus points if there is a hill involved.
  7. TRX: 3 Sets of 12-15 (1. Plank Rollouts 2. Lunges (L&R) 3. Hamstring Curls
  8. Cardio: Kids choice, play tag, work on the monkey bars etc.
  9. Cool-Down: walk or jog home. Be sure to stretch when you’re done.

How Do You Lose Weight?

This blog has helped me connect with so many people over the last 2.5 years and love when I get emails & messages from readers. Over the last few weeks there has been some great questions asked via email so I thought I’d share those so everyone can benefit and hopefully find their spark to get started, re-energized or inspired to keep pushing forward! Last week I got a message from a lovely woman named “R”, our conversation went a little something like this (edited slightly for her privacy)…

How do you lose weight?

Hi Courtney,
Love your blog!  I’m a mom with 60lbs to lose and I’ve tried everything.  You look great and I just want to know how you lost 130lbs and how long did it take?
Thanks so much for your help.
Best Regards,
R.

Hi R.,
Long story short, but I did it by making ONE change at a time. It’s taken just over 2 years – many people can do it faster but it’s what worked best for me and my life. When I began I still drank diet soda, ate processed food (i.e. the 100 calorie snack packs), etc. When I first started I just started cutting calories and getting exercise 3-4 times a week. As time went on I began to exercise more and clean up my food choices. My diet is now mainly unprocessed foods that I’ve learned to cook over the last 2 years. Due to my families schedule we often eat dinner at different times so I would usually just feed the kids some variation of what I was making for myself. The trick is to take it in 10lb “sets” or increments. It’s too overwhelming to think “I have to lose Xlbs”, break it down and you’ll boost your confidence as you hit each goal.
The other most important thing is to ditch the excuses – more than anything excuses will hold you back. If you can start with 10-15min, 2-3 times a day that’s a great start. I also have always lifted weights and incorporated some kind of strength training into my workout routine. No magic pills, potions etc., just hard work, good food, and some time!

Hope that help!
Courtney

Then we kept writing….

Courtney!
Thank you SO MUCH.  I’m going to print this out and post it on the fridge.  Eat healthy and exercise.  Imagine that! I just hate lifting weights but if it worked for you then I’m willing to try it.  Keep up the good work – you look amazing!  A mom from my kids’ school emailed me a recipe from your website last week and ever since then I’ve been hooked.  You really inspired me just when I needed it.

 I really appreciate you taking the time to write back and I’ll share your blog with all my friends.

 10lbs at a time,
R.

Hello Again!
That’s great! As for weights – remember weights don’t have to be dumbells! There are other “fun” ways like kettlebells and even body weight exercises to start.
- Courtney
Answering your messages makes me so happy! It means my story is actually helping someone else and inspiring someone’s journey, how awesome is that! In our last emails R and I talk about “cheating” and my thoughts on it…

Hi Courtney!
I did it!  I finally went to the gym and incorporated some weights/kettlebell into my workout.  Thanks for motivating me again.  I can’t get the eating down yet – I keep cheating.  How do you keep yourself in check? 

-R.

Hi R.,
Don’t think of it as “cheating”. I eat plenty of cookies, brownies and all the good things – BUT I make them myself and from clean ingredients. I hate the term cheat as it implies a “diet” vs a lifestyle. The idea of never having pizza, a cookie or cake again is crazy! I find if you ditch the “diet” mindset and switch to lifestyle it’s much easier. I also do not have a cheat day – if I want something, I find a way to make it fit my nutritional needs and cook it. One of my favorite things are Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Before you eat something pause and ask yourself if the food you’re about to eat serves your purpose, if the answer is yes, then enjoy every bite and move on.
Food is the toughest thing to “get” but it will come in time. Make ONE choice at a time and you’ll find success. If you make a “bad” choice you start fresh with the next thing you put in your body.
Hope that helps,
C.
**Please remeber, I am NOT a doctor, this is my real life advice as to what worked for me. Please consult a professional before starting any program.**