Wow. Where to begin? I guess from the beginning. By now, it's no secret that Matt and I have lost a good bit of weight. Between us, we are 80 lbs down - He has lost 50 and I've lost 30. We're both still working and not quite done with our weight loss journey, but this was a point that we both wanted to get to before we really started talking about it to more than just our core group of friends and family. I will say this before I get started: I'm going to be as detailed as I can. I will post weights, I will post sizes. I will also post terrible pictures of myself and my husband - haha. But I'm doing this to give everyone a real picture of what's been going on with us. So all of this being said, lets go back to the beginning.
This is us. December 2015. Here - we are both about our absolute biggest. And we knew it. About 3ish weeks before this picture, Matt and I really started talking about how we were unhappy with how we looked, how we felt, and what we weighed. We decided to just kind of get through the holidays and we would start fresh in January (with everyone else - haha). At the point that this was taken, Matt weighed in at 250 lbs (and wore a size 42 pants) and I was at 161 lbs (and wore a size 12 pants).
When it came time to kick things off, we talked a lot about how we wanted to tackle this. We had both done Advocare before (you can see a previous post about it HERE). We both were successful on it, but it just wasn't something we really wanted to do anymore. We discussed it, and we decided to do it the old fashioned way - hard work. I got a fitbit for Christmas, so I planned to start using that to track how many calories I was burning vs. how many calories I was eating. Matt didn't want a fitbit, so he just downloaded My Fitness Pal on his phone and started using that.
Our basic goal was this: eat less calories than we burn. Drink water. That's how we started. Initially, we intended to do zero exercise - just control our eating. The night before my first day starting, I had a mini-freak out. Other than having a baby and doing Advocare twice, I had never really lost weight. There hadn't ever been a huge need for me to! I remember sitting on the bed talking to Matt and asking him, "What if I can't do this? What if my body won't lose weight on its own?" I seriously had no idea what I was doing - especially without a program to tell me what to do. I started at 161 lbs. My first goal was to lose 15 lbs. That would put me at 146 lbs. I was 155 when I got pregnant with Cooper, and I was 142 when I got pregnant with Lorelai. Since having Lorelai, the lowest I ever weighed again was 145. So I felt like this would be a huge victory for me! I got pregnant with Lorelai at 23, so I figured that 8 years and 2 babies would afford me 3 extra pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight with her, right??
We also talked about this a lot when we got started - we still wanted to eat some terrible food occasionally - haha. We decided from the very beginning that we would have one cheat meal on the weekend that we could look forward to. If I know I can have pizza Friday night, it helps me stay focused all week. Now, I don't eat the entire pizza - haha. But I let myself have a treat! Matt and I still continue to do that to this day. I want to be healthy, I want to weigh less, but I also still want to have treats now and then.
I will say this, it took me a good 4-6 weeks to really get into the groove of things and learn what I liked, what worked for me, etc. When I started this, I was really not a healthy eater (obviously), but I also didn't like a lot of healthy foods. So I needed some time to figure out what I liked and what I wanted to eat!
When I first started in January, Matt said he was on board, but he really didn't get started for a few more weeks. At first, he was kind of just doing it because I wanted him to. After a few weeks, he really got motivated and got going, too.
For all of January, I focused on eating about 1200 calories a day. I also strive to drink between 60-70 oz of water every day. This was tough for me! I do NOT like water! I bought a camelbak (like THIS), and filled it up several times during the day. My first bottle of the day had 2 slices of lemon in it. Once I finished the first bottle, I dumped the lemon out (I hated the lemon - haha), and I would let myself use flavor drops in the next bottle (like THIS).
I also logged everything as I did it. I wouldn't do it all at night, I needed to see how much I was eating and drinking as I did it. At night, I still cooked dinner just like I always have, I just was eating way less of it and figuring out the calories (sometimes as best as I could) for what I was eating. I wasn't just blindly fixing a plate and eating until I was full. And I will admit, for a long time I was hungry! My stomach was used to being full at every meal! It took quite a while for me to get used to a new normal. At this point, I lived for my cheat meals every week! I would plan them for days - haha!
Don't get me wrong - this was work. There were many days that I turned down donuts or biscuits at work. There were days we ordered out food for lunch and I didn't order anything and just ate what I brought. That's not easy!! Learning to say NO was seriously one of the hardest parts of this!
By the end of January, I was down to 153.6 lbs. In my first month, I had lost 7.4 lbs.
Around the middle of January, Matt finally started to get on the bandwagon. When you see your wife lose 7 lbs, you start to get on board! By the end of January, (he didn't use his app yet) he was down about 5 lbs.
By this point, I really was starting to like what I was doing, but for one reason only - I was really started to be able to tell a difference in my body and my clothes were fitting so much better! When I got to my biggest weight, I refused to buy new clothes. So I was wearing the few size 12's that I already had and shoving myself into my size 10's. By the end of February, those size 10's weren't so tight anymore!
Still the same food and water goal: about 1200 calories a day and 60-70 oz of water.
By the end of February, I weighed 148.8 That means that I lost 4.8 lbs this month. From the start, I was down 12.2 lbs. 149 used to be my "I feel good" weight, so I was soooo happy to be right around that weight! It was also awesome to be so close to my 15 lb goal. It was also SO AWESOME to see the scale roll from the 160's, to the 150's, and then to the 140's!
This is the same shirt in both pictures. The picture on the left was from September/October, the picture on the right was the end of February.
February was also when Matt surpassed me in weight loss. This picture was taken on the last day of the month - Matt had lost a total of 15 lbs and I had lost 12 lbs. I remember when this was taken and I posted it - it was the first time that I started to get some comments to the effect of "You're looking good!" It still wasn't a ton, and no one really noticed that I had lost weight, but people were starting to see a difference (I think - you'd have to ask them - haha).
That same night, we went to Old Navy and I tried on some 8's. I didn't buy them, and I was realllly overflowing them, but I got in them!! It was a far difference from the 12's I started out in!
March was the month that I hit my first goal!!! By now, things were getting a lot easier. I was used to eating 1200 calories a day, I was used to drinking a ton of water (and peeing a lot - haha.), my clothes were fitting a ton better, and I was just in a super good routine.
By the end of March, I weighed 144.4. That means that I lost 4.4 lbs this month. From the start, I was down 16.6 lbs. Woo hoo! My weight loss really slowed to about 1lb a week (which is still really great!). Once I hit 145, I decided I wanted to do 5 more. I told Matt from the beginning that I wanted to just take it as it came. I knew I could be at 145 lbs. I had seen that since kids. Anything below that? That was new territory! So this month, I set another goal: 140 lbs.
This month, I tried on my size 10 shorts from last summer, and noticed that they weren't tight any more! Last summer, I really should have been wearing 12's. By March, the 10's were lose! I still wasn't ready to size down, but they for sure weren't tight any more.
I was also able to fit into some jeans that I hadn't worn for years. The sizing is juniors, and they were 10's, but I was in them!
This was the month that Matt finally got super serious and started logging all of his stuff. By the end of March, he weighed 223 lbs. Total, he was down 27 lbs.
I will say this. Because I think it's important. By this point, I still hadn't had anyone notice. I was down 16 lbs and no one could tell. That was hard!!! I told close friends and family before we started, and we kept them updated and used them for accountability as we went, but we didn't broadcast that we were losing weight. It was a little frustrating to make it this far and have no one but people I told notice!! But I just kept on pushing and didn't let it hold me back.
By April, I was on a roll!! I blasted through my next 5 lb goal (of making it to 140) and set a new goal - 5 more lbs. Make it to 135. Ya'll. This was a big deal. I was 142 lbs when I got pregnant with Lorelai. 8 years before. I hadn't seen the 130's since I started teaching!! Really, truly, I had no idea if I could do this. I didn't know if I could make it to 135. And I told Matt that over and over. But I was going to try.
At the end of April, I weighed 137.2. That means that I lost 7.2 lbs this month. From the start, I was down 23.8 lbs. This was my biggest month of weight loss since January!! It was like I had finally busted through a plateau and flew down some major pounds. This was also the first month that people noticed on their own. FINALLY. I had some teachers around school that I know, but don't see on a regular basis, start asking me some questions.
Those jeans from last month that I fit into for the first time in years? They were started to get a little loose!
This was the first picture where I could really tell a difference in my face. My weight loss was really started to change my features. By the end of April, Matt weighed 210 lbs. That means that he lost 13 lbs this month. From the start, he was down 40 lbs!! This was also the month that Matt went from just watching his eating to working out. And working out hard. And you can tell!! The pounds flew off of him this month!
By May, we really had our routine down. It just didn't seem as hard anymore. By now, we had been doing it for 5 months! By the end of the month, I had hit my 3rd goal. Even though I didn't know if I could do it, I did. I also set my 4th goal this month: make it to a 30 lb weight loss!
At the end of May, I weighed 133.2 That means that I lost 4 lbs this month. From the start, I was down 27.8 lbs. My weight loss slowed down this month, but I think that's to be expected. The lower I get, the harder it's going to be to lose. I was also super nervous - I had a good routine during the school year, but now I was transitioning to summer. Could I keep this up??
This month, I also tried on all of my shorts from last summer. And knew I had a major problem. They didn't fit. Like at all. They weren't just loose - they were huge. So I went shopping! And I was able to buy a size 6. SIX!!!
At the end of May, Matt weighed 208. That means that he lost 2 lbs this month. From the start, he was down 42 lbs. He didn't lose a lot this month, but there's a huge reason for that. In the gym, he really started to focus on weights and gaining muscle. Remember, muscle weighs more than fat! So he was losing (and more than 2 lbs), but he was also gaining! So while the scale wasn't a huge difference, his body sure was!
In June, I joined a gym and started working out also. This also really slowed down my weight loss. Just like Matt, I'm starting to gain some muscle instead of just losing fat. Here we are. Last week, Matt and I both hit major goals together - he hit 50 lbs of weight loss (putting him at 200 lbs), and a few days later I hit 30 lbs of weight loss (putting me at 131 lbs).
That being said - here is kind of the best that I could do for "before and after":
December 2015 vs. May 2016
June 2015 vs. May 2016
Robyn "Before and After"
Gah. This before pictures is so embarrassing. I remember my mom taking it and me looking at it and thinking that my stomach was so big that I seriously looked pregnant. We re-took it and I had to suck it in as much as I could to just look normal.
Same shorts - one year apart. These were my favorite shorts last summer.
Last summer's beach trip (July 2015 - so not even at my biggest!) vs. this summer's beach trip (May 2016)
I just went and bought new shorts about a week ago. Want to know what size I had to get??
These are my school khaki's that I've worn for several years. And at one point, they fit snug. Now, even a belt won't help. I'm going to have to get all new pants before school starts again!
Matt "Before and After"
Same shirt - last summer vs. this summer. And remember - last summer wasn't even his biggest! We both continued to gain until the end of December.
He went from his XL shirts fitting really tight to now wearing a size L.
Size 40 pants that he couldn't even get on in December.
Where do we stand now??
Robyn: We both hit major goals last week - but we're still not done. My final goal is to lose 3-5 more lbs. Now that I'm at 131, I reallllly want so see the 120's. I haven't seen them since we got married 12 years ago. I want to maintain between 127-131 lbs as my "permanent" weight. That's somewhere I think I'll feel very comfortable and can maintain long term. I'm also continuing to go to the gym. It will take me a lot longer to lose these last 3-5 lbs. Like, I think it'll take me to the end of the summer. Why? I'm going to start focusing more on weights and less on cardio. Cardio is important and I'll never give it up, but I want to really tone the body that I have now and really build some muscle. That will really slow my weight loss down, but will also really change my body. Let's be honest, even after losing 30 lbs, after two babies, I can use a lot of toning - haha.
Matt: 50lbs was Matt's first goal. His ultimate goal is to get down to 180 lbs. That will put him at a 70 lb total weight loss, and it will also put him around the same weight he was when we got married. That being said, he is super focused on building muscle right now, so like me, this 20 lbs will take longer than before.
What we eat:
Goodness. I will say that this is the area of our lives that has changed THE MOST. We are totally different eaters than we were before. Don't get me wrong - we still enjoy completely unhealthy foods. I love Panda Express. Like love it. And Matt just went on a fishing trip and ate a banana split with fried bananas. He also came home with these:
These oreos may be my new favorite thing on the entire planet. So it's not like we eat Kale all day and don't enjoy a juicy burger. We do!! We just do it waaaay less than we did before. Here are some things that I love to eat right now that don't make me feel guilty:
-oatmeal (this is Matt's. He makes a big batch on the weekend and heats it up and eats it all week long. He puts in bananas, raisins, apples, cinnamon, and vanilla)
-Matt does great a meal prep. He'll cook chicken or fish on Sunday, and portion it out with rice, baked sweet potato, spinach, etc).
-Sweet potato fries (I peel and chop up 1/2 of a sweet potato, mix it with some EVOO, sea salt, and pepper and bake it at 425 for 25 minutes. It is so good and fills me up!)
-A thin bagel with just a little bit of whipped flavored cream cheese
-2 oz sandwich meat and a balanced break (these are in the cheese section of the grocery store. I love them!)
Dinner hasn't changed as much. I still cook a lot of the same things, we just eat less of them. Here are a few of our favorite meals that we've been eating this summer:
An omelet with turkey, cheese, and avocado
A pizza on naan! Loaded with bbq chicken, mozerella, and avocado
A pizza without the pizza - haha. BBQ chicken, mozzarella, and avocado
Matt and I don't really snack much. When I do want a snack, I try to get some fruit. I really like grapes, ranier cherries, and pineapple. Sometimes, I snack on those oreos instead. ;) But it's all in moderation!! 2 oreos every now and then won't kill you. I had a pity party for myself the other night and I ate 6. No big deal!
We've dealt with lots of plateau's and setbacks on this journey. Sometimes, it's take us weeks to lose just 1 lb, and then we shoot down 2 or 3 right after that. Sometimes (like last night for me), I splurged on hibachi for dinner, absolutely stuffed myself, and I was up 1.4 lbs this morning. But no big deal! It was good, I enjoyed it, I got it out of my system, and it hasn't been hard to stay focused and eat well today.
So whew. This was crazy long! But this was our 6th month journey. I'll update again when we make some more progress - maybe at the end of the summer. But if you're standing on the edge of this - if you feel like we did last December - I will tell you this: You. Can. Do. It. Trust me. If Matt and I can, anyone can!! All it takes is a lot of motivation, a support system, and time!