Pregnant weight = College unpregnant weight

After I posted my pictures from my college days, I got a ton of messages from you all asking how I kept the weight off.  I weighed the same (134 lbs) pregnant with #3 as I weighed unpregnant when I graduated from college.  And I am sure I fluctuated a lot more!  One of my best friends still finds it entertaining to show off a Party Pic of me freshman year in college.  I will have to track it down, at first I blamed it on a bad camera angle, not so much:)

You all know me, I can talk!  So I am going to break it down to the top 3 things.  Today I have some of the same challenges as most moms - sleep deprivation with 3 kids, finding time to do everything and trying not to eat all the "kid-friendly" food in my house.  And "what the heck am I gonna cook tonight?"  Most of the time it ends up being a frozen bag pre-made meal thing like stir fry or the usual rotisserie chicken, Lipton flavored rice and a veggie.  The only difference is my Exercise Science degree which helps me know how/what to do.  But sometimes I am awful at the application of it!  And bad at finding time to exercise and saying no to some cravings. 

I realized the other day when we were at the mall (its way too hot to go outside and the kids needed to burn some energy on the playground) that I carry many of the nutrition tricks I used after college with me today.  Taylor correlates the mall with Mrs. Fields cookies of course.  And its hard to say no - most of the time - and not get a cookie for myself.  So if I eat the cookie, I do not need to follow it with my usual lunch.  Maybe just a yogurt or some soup.  I always thought during college I needed to make sure I got all my meals in.  Which is partly true so you don't go off the deep end and devour food because you're so hungry.  But 1 cookie = my caloric intake for lunch!

I was a gymnast and dancer in high school.  But once an eating disorder scorned me inside gymnastics I gained wieght rapidly.  And I tried to lose the 40 lbs I gained for the last 2 years of high school.  I thought about it constantly.  That was the time when eating pasta and bagels was the latest diet craze.  Note: diet crazes get a lot of hype - but that's all they are - hype with TV time and magazine slots!

I lived in overalls and baggy sweatshirts in the late 90's...luckily they were in style.  Although I probably wore my overalls a lot longer than they were "in" - but I was comfortable in them.  And I  hated jeans!!!  I mean hated them.

Went to college a little overweight and gained 20 lbs freshman year!  I am sure it had nothing to do with the Chipotle Club (ya know, eating a full burrito) on numerous occasions!  And late night snacking and such.

So onto how I lost the weight and kept it off.  No secrets here.  Just some hard work.  I worked really, really hard for about 6 months.  And kept at it for another 6 months on top of that, then kinda "coasted" through.   I had the luxury of knowing what to do, but I did have to work hard to get there.  And now I don't have to work as hard, except when I am in weight loss mode after babies.

I probably could have lost the weight a lot quicker-from 134 to about 110 and now 105 (I am 5'1") -had I realized that no matter how hard I worked out - if I over indulged too much - it was a losing battle.  And a lot of the time I was overindulging in cottage cheese, crackers, cereal, the "good stuff".  A calorie is a calorie no matter where it comes from!!  Once I grasped that concept and changed my eating habits rather than dieting I was home free!  And it quickly became something I didn't have to concentrate on.    So here is Tip #1:  You will not win the battle unless you treat nutrition and exercise equally.  Nutrition is 50% of the game, if not more!  And you cannot look at it as a diet.  If you want to go to lunch and have chips and a burrito (my personal fave, but now it's 1/2 a Chipotle burrito, not the whole thing!) then go for it.  But just know you cannot give into every craving and lose weight.  You WILL have to count calories at some point.  Just try it for a few weeks and then you will have that knowledge to carry with you forever.  If you need to know how many calories you shoudl be consuming click here

At that point I knew if I ate "bad" I just had to compensate and drop the lingo "I will start tomorrow".  That lingo is what made me overweight because I started tomorrow for 4 years sttraight:)  After the initial couple weeks of smaller portions I was used to it.  And I always kept my "fat Sunday" routine so I never felt unsatisfied.  Everyone HAS to have a CHEAT DAY!!  A lot of my tricks are listed in the Revamp Your Nutrition link at the top of this blog.  2 tricks that really helped me were the Plate Method and drinking tea after dinner (instead of snacking).  Find these tricks and more in the link above.

As I mentioned earlier I worked really hard for the initial 6 months.  And I was lucky having the Exercise Degree, just had to apply the knowledge!  So know this Tip #2: You won't always have to work out 5-6 days a week.  Your metabolism will take over!  My metabolism, at age 32, is higher than its ever been!  And that's because I have more muscle.  All the yo-yo diets can really spin your metabolism for a loop.  So I worked super hard for the initial 6 months, combining a lot of different exercise, toning being the MOST important key.  I spun my wheels running 60 minutes on a treadmill my sophomore year...then I took exercise physiology and it was a game changer.  Interval training IS the QUICKEST, most efficient way to weight loss.  Combine this with #1 and you are running into home plate!

Toning boosts your metabolism while pulling everything in.  Especially after babies.  You gotta use those muscles to get them to pull in!  Now, when I am not in pregnancy weight loss mode, I spend about 30 minutes 3-4x/week working out.  1-2 of those days are interval training and the other days are cardio intervals like you find here.

Tip #3: Be real.  Set a goal.  Put the past behind you.  Even if you gained 100 lbs in your pregnancy, put it behind you.  And work hard now.  Don't let excuses get in the way.  We are all super busy.  Excuses only hamper you, not the person you are giving excuses to.

Sure, I do exercise for a living so its easier for me to squeeze it in.  But I still have to schedule it into my day.  I have my excuses too but hopefully have learned to limit them:)

So do the right exercise, make the better food choices (notice I did not say best food choices - who wants beans prouts and grilled chicken for dinner every night) and be real with yourself.  You can get a better body than you've ever had EVEN AFTER HAVING KIDS!!!!

For more fun "not-so-flattering pics" click here



  1. Thanks for writing this post! This was so enlightening and encouraging for us moms, as so many people think that once we've had babies, are bodies are done for :). So glad that you stress what exercise and nutrition can do!

    The calories was big for me - I used to think that I could just work off my indulgences...but there are simply not enough hours in the day to work off every indulgence lol :)

  2. Thanks Linds. I still can't believe how many women I hear say things like "my body will never be the same," "my hips and stomach will never go back to normal." It is possible. But it IS work!!!!! Thanks to you, I'm smaller than the day I got married, which was the best shape of my life. It is possible! And I do NOT come from "good genes." :) :)

  3. So awesome to read this. It's refreshing to know that the hard work will pay off. I keep telling myself to just get through the 1st 6 months and I'll see the changes I want to see.

    I have been minding my cals for the most part, working out HARD and I'm finally noticing slight changes for the better. It's a little discouraging, because I want it NOW, but nice to know that being consistency will pay off.

    I love all these older photos of you :) I'm not big but a few pounds on me makes me look more plump than a few pounds on a taller girl. But It's those last few lbs that seem to hang on for dear life! Grrr

  4. Thanks for the encouragement!! I now believe I can still get in the best shape of my life even after 34 years and 2 babies.

  5. Thanks for the this post Lindsay. Your downloads have gotten me in the best shape of my life. I love them. It is very encouraging to hear that you have to work at it too. I loved your tips. I've lost a few pounds in the last few months and could not agree with them more. I would love to hear more about maintaining your weight in a future post. Thank you!

  6. Maintaining is easier than losing...but its still difficult! I will have to post about that -thanks for the idea Elicia. And I am so glad you are in the best shape of your life!

  7. For the life of me I can't find a "contact me" link anywhere. So I'll put my concern here. What do you do about meal planning when you have to take severe multiple food allergies into account? My 2 yr old is anaphlactic to eggs, dairy, soy, nuts, peanuts, clover, alfalfa, chickpeas and possibly other legumes. Because his allergies are so severe we don't have much of these foods in our house, just a bit of milk for the 4 year old. And I refuse to cook multiple meals, so it all needs to be allergy-friendly. How do I meal plan healthily with these restrictions???

  8. Chrissy, that is such a good question! I wouldn't want to cook multiple meals either!

    And I wish I could be more helpful. But that is out of my reign of expertise. I'd recommend contacting a registered dietitian. They range anywhere from $45-$95 and hour and they can help you immensely in just afew sessions. Call your local hospital and see if they have any they could recommend. if not, maybe a local college - there are tons of R.D. students wanting to help!