The Shape I’m In

I’m 4 weeks postpartum.  I gained more weight this pregnancy than I ever have.  I am down over 30 pounds, but when you’ve gained 60, that feels like a drop in the bucket.  I’m actually below my pre-pregnancy weight from my last baby, but I had high hopes this time I would get a lot of the weight off quickly.

But, if I was being honest with myself and all of you, I would have to say that I always feel this way about this time postpartum.

When Your Postpartum Shape is Discouraging | RaisingArrows.net

I start thinking I need a whole new wardrobe because I have nothing to wear; or better yet, I need to drop 30 pounds overnight so I can wear all my old clothes.  Then I think maybe some new makeup or a brand new hairdo would make me feel better.  I start reading diet books, cut my hair way too short, buy a bunch of clothes I really don’t like (because I don’t want to spend money on clothes that won’t fit me after I’ve slimmed down), and cry myself a river every time I have to leave the house because I’m just not satisfied with anything.

But guess what…

No diet book, new wardrobe, or new hairdo will fix what I’m feeling.

It’s a little bit of head, a little bit of heart, and a whole lot of hormones telling me that the shape I’m in is something to cry over.

Now, I can tell myself a million times over that it took 9 months to get this way, so why in the world would I think a few weeks would be sufficient to get back to the way I looked before, but I’m one of those people who needs more than some overused adage to feel better.  I’m a practical, give-me-something-I-can-hang-onto kind of person.

Here is what I’ve finally learned that is worth hanging on to…

Learn to see weight loss (especially postpartum weight loss) as a journey | RaisingArrows.net

For years, I saw a healthy weight as an end point.  I would journey until I got there and then forget the journey and do something else.  And during those years when I couldn’t seem to reach the end point, I begrudged every step on the path because I never seemed to be getting anywhere.  That was because I wanted the journey to end.  I didn’t want to be on this diet-focused path forever.

I also saw pregnancy as a time to completely turn tail and run head long into my obsession with food.  When you consider I’ve been pregnant 13 times and birthed 9 full-term babies, some of those with barely a year between, you can imagine how discouraged I became after every baby, wondering if I would ever reach my goal, my end point.

It’s taking me some time to wrap my brain around HEALTHY being a way of life, but now that my husband and my son have maintained their weight losses for over a year, I have a better grasp of what healthy looks like in the long term sense of the word.

Reaching a healthy weight is sort of like birthing a baby.  There is a long journey to get to the place where you hold that precious little one in your arms, but the journey doesn’t end there.  You keep taking steps on down the path of motherhood.

I won’t be at my pre-pregnancy weight by my 6 week checkup, but that’s because I started a lot lower than most of my other pregnancies.  I know I have a lot to learn, and I’m going to need a lot of determination and motivation to stay focused and make this journey part of my life and not just something I do for a little while.

The shape I’m in isn’t something to be discouraged by because it’s just part of my journey.  It’s the place I am now.  I am choosing to be a fit mama even when the shape I’m in feels far from it because I am choosing to live healthy!

Get Healthy in 2015 {2 Day Flash Sale!}

Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle Encore SaleLast week, I mentioned that Ultimate Bundles would be offering their Healthy Living Bundle {affiliate link} during a 2 day flash sale this week.  This bundle is full of high quality ebooks and ecourses worth over $1000, plus $140 in bonuses to get you new year started on a healthy track.  I can’t wait to get my hands on this great deal for only $29.97!

CLICK TO LEARN MORE ABOUT
The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle Encore Sale
Monday, December 29-Tuesday, December 30

 When they first offered this bundle, I wasn’t in the mood to think about anything but getting past the morning sickness.  I didn’t even look at the books offered!  Now that I’ve had time to peruse the books and courses available, I am so glad they are offering an encore sale!  Take a look at the graphics below to see all the ebooks and ecourses included!  (You can click on them to learn more.)  I think you’ll agree these are some awesome titles and will be a fabulous start to your year!













Here’s to a great 2015!

Tools to Get Healthy in 2015 Coming Soon!

{affiliate links included}
Several months back, I chose not to participate in the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle Sale.  I was coming off morning sickness with Baby #9, and was more in “survival” mode than “get healthy” mode.  But, here at the end of my pregnancy, I am ready to jump into 2015 with the tools I need to become a healthier me.

Thankfully, Ryan, Stephanie, and Erin of Ultimate Bundles are making the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle fully available again for 48 hours starting on December 29 at midnight!

The bundle sold almost 20,000 copies in the previous sale, and Ryan, Stephanie, and Erin worked hard to get permission from all the authors of this amazing collection of books, courses and resources to allow for 2 more days of this bundle to help transform your family’s health!

So, mark December 29 at midnight on your calendar!

As soon as that window opens, you will be given all the information you need to order during this 48 hour sale.  I’m looking forward to grabbing my own bundle this time!

Oh, and while you wait for the sale to start, sign up for the FREE guide:

Four Steps to Your Healthiest Year

P.S. In case you haven’t seen these already, here are the testimonials from the people who bought the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle in September.

My Trim Healthy Mama Refresher

At 2 weeks from delivery our newest blessing, I decided to refresh my memory on all things Trim Healthy Mama.  It was this same gestation 2 years ago, I got my book for the first time.  Here are a few things I learned reading the book for a second time | RaisingArrows.netA little over 2 years ago, at 38 weeks gestation with our 8th child, I sat down and started reading my brand new copy of Trim Healthy Mama. {affiliate link}  I started implementing a few things in those last weeks, but once baby arrived, I jumped in full force and lost 75 pounds over the course of the following year.  (You can read about much of my journey HERE and HERE.)

However, I had my struggles, and often found myself in a love/hate relationship with THM.  I would get stuck in a rut – eating the same foods, fighting cravings, stalling out.  Then, early this year, I found myself in the ER with heart issues.  The issues were minor, and due mostly to stress, but one thing concerned the doctor, and that was my low potassium level.  He asked me if I had lost my weight doing a low carb diet.  Because I completely misunderstood the E meals in Trim Healthy Mama, I believed THM to be a low carb diet.  I had always had trouble wrapping my brain around the carb count in THM, so I avoided it by eating almost entirely S meals.

After my ER visit, I backed off of THM, watched my weight begin to rise, and found myself pregnant a few weeks later.

All that being said, I have never found an eating plan that balanced my blood sugars as quickly as Trim Healthy Mama.  I had never seen weight pour off my body the way it did with Trim Healthy Mama.  Despite my lack of complete understanding of the program, I had found success with it, and wondered if it warranted another look.

And then my friend Lynne started THM.  I would go to her house and she had all these amazing foods to share, sometimes S, sometimes E.  I realized things I thought were “off plan” were fine in E meals/snacks.  The organic blue corn chips from Aldi was one of the snacks we had one day.  I had stayed far away from them, thinking they were not on plan, but they were!

So, while I have not had the wherewithal to really stick to THM during this pregnancy, I did find myself wanting to go back and reread the book, this time trying to wrap my brain around the entire plan, and not just the parts I understood from my days on the South Beach Diet.

Let me say, refreshing my brain on THM was so worth it!  Initially, Trim Healthy Mama can be a bit like drinking from a fire hydrant.  I never fully grasped the concept of E meals, so I just ignored them.  This is where it would have been good for me to seek out the Facebook group and really take the time to learn, but because I was seeing results with just the S meals initially, I didn’t bother.  Serene and Pearl even warn against this on pages 34 and 72!  Again, reason why ONE reading of the book is NOT enough!

So, as I read through the book again this past week, I found myself making lots of notes in the margins, finding more pages to flag (see my Trim Healthy Mama book flagging post - new flags included!), and having a lot of “AHA” moments.  I am finally getting a grasp on E meals.  I also see where my Fuel Pull breakfasts were not the best for me, and I am committed to jumping back in with both feet and a whole lot more knowledge.

I’ve lost the weight once before.  I know I can do it again, and this time, get even further along in the journey!

How about you?  What aspects of Trim Healthy Mama do you have trouble wrapping your brain around?  What are your goals for the upcoming year?

Cookie Dough Dip {Trim Healthy Mama Makeover Recipe}

Trim Healthy Mama Cookie Dough Dip (Recipe Makeover) | RaisingArrows.netWhen I first started doing Trim Heathy Mama, I stuck to the basics.  I’m not a foodie, so experimenting with recipes is not my forte.  However, as I’ve gotten more confident in building and changing recipes, one of my favorite things to do is THMify favorite recipes.  This is one of those recipes.

About a year ago, I came across an amazing Cookie Dough Dip recipe from Add A Pinch. It is decadent, let me tell you!  The kids were asking me to make it again, but I knew it was going to be an instant sugar overload, so I decided to experiment and see what I could come up with that would taste just as wonderful, but not send my blood sugar through the roof.

This is the result of that experiment…

I first set out ingredients for a double batch of the Add a Pinch recipe because I have a large family and knew I wanted to have enough extra to make some of it by the recipe and some of it THM’d for me.

Once I had the butter and cream cheese creamed, I took out 1 cup of the mixture and set it aside as “mine”.  (You could definitely use a lower fat cream cheese to help cut down on calories.)

Trim Healthy Mama Cookie Dough Dip Recipe Makeover | RaisingArrows.net

From there, I continued on with the original recipe for the kids.

Cookie Dough Dip (a Trim Healthy Mama Makeover Recipe - S) | RaisingArrows.netWhile they dipped their ooey-gooey goodness up with graham crackers, I started throwing together my version.

To the 1 cup of butter/cream cheese mixture, I added 1/4 tsp caramel extract and 1 Tbsp Trim Healthy Mama Sweet Blend.  (If you don’t have the Sweet Blend, take a look at this conversion chart and find an alternative sweetener you do have.)

Lastly, I stirred in 1 oz of chopped unsweetened baker’s chocolate.  It’s what I had on hand, but you could use any plan approved chocolate, including skinny chocolate!

Trim Healthy Mama Cookie Dough Dip (S) | RaisingArrows.net

The result was so YUMMY!  I chose to simply use my spoon and savor tiny bits of this dip at a time – no carby graham crackers needed!  However, you could use this recipe for low-carb cinnamon dippers to be your vehicle for getting this tasty treat to your mouth.

You can do what I did above and make some for you and some for the rest of the family by taking out a portion for yourself and THMifying it, or you can use the recipe below and share the sugar-free goodness!  The recipe below will make plenty to go around!

Trim Healthy Mama Cookie Dough Dip (Recipe Makeover) | RaisingArrows.net

Trim Healthy Mama Cookie Dough Dip

Cream together:
2 – 8 oz cream cheese
1 c. butter

Add:
3/4 tsp caramel extract
3 TBSP Trim Healthy Mama Sweet Blend
(or other sweetener of your choice)

Stir in:
3 oz of plan-approved chocolate, chopped

Enjoy!  Share!  Save some for later!

How I Flagged My Trim Healthy Mama Book

How I Flagged my Trim Healthy Mama Book | RaisingArrows.net

Note:  Since writing this post last September, I have added a few more flags.  Specifically, they are S Foods, E Foods, S Helper Info, Crossover Info, and Eating Out.  You’ll find the exact pages I flagged in the post below.

Not long after I purchased my copy of Trim Healthy Mama {affiliate link} a friend of mine who was also “on plan” came over to visit and shared with me how she had flagged her book.  She had used Gwen’s instructions on flagging, but she didn’t have quite enough flags for my taste, so I added several more flags and separated my categories in a way that fit my style so I could find exactly what I needed quickly.

How to Flag Your Trim Healthy Mama Book | RaisingArrows.net

Today, I’m going to share with you my flagging system, along with page numbers for each flag just in case we have the same “style.” :)

First of all, you need to get a set of these flags:

See the clear adhesive?  That’s what you want so you can stick it to your book and still read the recipes through it.

You’ll also need a pen.  It doesn’t matter what kind of pen, just be sure it is something with a fine tip so you’ll be able to fit everything you want to write on the flag.

OK, let’s go…

How to Flag Your Trim Healthy Mama Book | RaisingArrows.net

I first flagged the specific S, E, and FP sections:

S – page 65
E – page 77
FP – page 103

As Gwen mentions, you will want to flag these pages with each flag a bit further down on the page than the last flag.  For the main S, E, and FP sections, I separated them quite a bit.  For the other sections, I did not separate them out as far.

Next, I flagged the Breakfast Section.  Again, as Gwen suggests, I used the same color scheme for each section of the book I wanted to flag.  So, starting at the top of page 215, I flagged the Breakfast Section in hot pink like this:

Breakfast Eggs – page 215
Breakfast Grains – page 221
Smoothies – page 241
Greek Yogurt – page 251

The next section I flagged was Breads, and I did it in yellow.

Muffins – page 257
Breads – page 265
Pizza – page 275

Then, I did Lunch.

Lunch Salmon – page 283
Lunch Soup – page 289
Lunch Sandwiches – page 297
Lunch Salad – page 301
Lunch Miscellaneous – page 307

Next, was Supper (or Dinner – depending on where you’re from, my friend).

Supper Crock Pot – page 309
Supper Oven – page 317
Supper Stove Top – page 329
Supper Skillet – page 339
Supper Mexican – page 347
Supper Pasta – page 349

Then, I marked:

Dessert – page 367
Snacks – page 391
Dips – page 403
Quick Snacks – page 407
Sauces & Such – page 411
Cultures – page 415

And finally, I finished off by flagging the Fuel Cycle pages and later some extra sections I felt would be good to reference (see note at beginning of post).

S Foods (ready reference for building S meals) – page 73
E Foods
(ready reference for building E meals) – page 87
S Helper
(because someday I will be there!) – page 91
Crossover
(again, because someday I will be there!) – page 95
Eating Out
(something our family enjoys doing) – page 137
Fuel Cycle – page 429

I also have a huge paper clip holding pages 497 – 542 shut as suggested by Serene and Pearl.  I have kids who will read anything they can find, and those pages are for Mommy & Daddy’s eyes only. ;)

 

In a later post, I’ll share with you another way I keep my in-book THM recipes at-the-ready, but hopefully, this gives you a jumping off point if you haven’t already flagged your book!

Is your Trim Healthy Mama book flagged?  What are some other ways you keep the recipes easily accessible?

Click the link to read more about some of my favorite Trim Healthy Mama Tweaks!