As we walked up to the snow mountain that late morning all bundled up in our jackets, hats and gloves, I saw a pile of snow tubes – some regular sized ones, and next to them, a pile of oversized tandem ones. Since my husband and I would each be riding down with a child, we need to take the huge, monster-truck-tire-looking tandem ones. As I picked one up and realized how heavy it was, I saw the long uphill path leading to the conveyor belt that would take us to the top of the hill. I knew it would be challenging to make the walk, and wondered if I would realistically be able to do it.
Then, my 2-year old daughter started crying so I picked her up, and with the snow tube in one hand and my daughter in the other arm, walked to the conveyor belt. We rode the belt up the hill, and settled into the tube ready to be pushed down.
As we shot down the snow hill in our tube, the wind rushed through my daughter’s and my hair, and she shrieked in delight (and a little fear)! When we got to the bottom, my daughter screamed, “Again, Mommy! Again!” Even though it was another strenuous walk back to the base where we would be taken up, my daughter’s excitement was worth it.
As we trudged back up the hill for our second ride down, our cheeks red from the cold, I felt strength in my legs, my back and my core as I walked. I felt a surge of energy, and I had no doubt I could make it again. I was thrilled at the thought of riding down the hill again with my little girl.
My kids wanted to stop snow tubing before I did that day – they got distracted by playing in the snow--but I was energized and excited after partaking in such a fun activity.
I didn’t always feel this way, though.
When I put on over 40 pounds while I was pregnant with my daughter, and came home after birth with 20 extra pounds still left, I didn’t feel good about myself at all. I felt tired, like I could sleep all night long (which I couldn’t do with a crying newborn anyway), but then still needed more sleep when I woke up. I was drowsy, and didn’t have the energy I used to.
Months after her birth, I preferred play dates where the older kids would play and I could sit down on the couch with a cup of tea and snacks. The thought of doing something active like walking around a museum or going outside for a bike ride with my older son seemed like too much work. I was tired, my back hurt, and I preferred to sit down. On the days I would take them out, I’d go home and feel so tired that I’d wait for my husband to come home so I could pass out in exhaustion.
It didn’t help that I had met so many people that had babies and said they never got their body back. “Why would my experience be any different?” I thought. I wanted to fit back into my pre-pregnancy jeans, and I also yearned to feel better- emotionally and physically. I wanted to have the energy to take my kids to the zoo, apple-picking, and push them on the swings without dreading exhaustion.
I’ve worked hard for my entire life to lose weight and keep it off, failing many times, so I wasn’t sure that anything I tried would work. This time, I tried something different and easier than all the weight loss diets I had attempted during the course of my life. I made changes in my eating that would be sustainable for the long-term, and not a fad. I learned new recipes and meal ideas, and tried out new workouts. I tried to avoid eating out – it was unhealthy and it cost way too much. I valued home-cooked food and it was so important to me to be able to provide food for my family. To make it work with my busy life I simplified how I cooked and which recipes I used. I developed easy ways to make meals, such as using my crockpot and cooking meals in bulk. Most importantly, I made sure the food was tasty so that my family would want to eat it. I didn’t have the time to spend two hours a day in the gym, so I tried my best to become healthy as efficiently as possible.
By the time I went back to work a few months later I had lost 20 pounds. Changes to my diet were the biggest driver in my results, and I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Unfortunately, I no longer had as much time to commit to my weight loss efforts. I had a lot of new priorities I needed to balance, like childcare, work deadlines, and figuring out how to stay sane in the middle of it all. Since I had already done the work to test and establish a healthier lifestyle,I just stuck to the principles.
By the time my daughter turned 1, I lost 20 more pounds by continuing to eat the recipes I had developed and following the habits I set up. I was at a lower weight than I was been before I got pregnant – and than any other time in my adult life! I was able to fit into the jeans I wanted to wear, and I felt confident and energetic.
Now, instead of being exhausted from activities with the kids, I look forward to taking my kids to the park, going down slides with them, and pushing them over and over on the swing. I love going bike riding with them, having dance-a-thons at home, and giving them piggy back rides all over our house.
Losing weight helped to make me feel so much better about myself and gave me tremendous energy. The best part is, I’m able to do so much more than before with my family and kids - and they’re reaping in the benefits.
It feels amazing!
Nagina helps busy women lose weight and feel more energy. Sign up for her email list at masala body to receive her tasty recipes and tips.