FFFC: Please introduce yourself to our readers (i.e. your name, occupation, hobbies, etc.).
LG: Hi Femme Fitale readers! My name is Lena. I’m a SAHM to three little ones age 6, 3, and 1 and blog at whatmommydoes.com, where I talk about fitness, family finances, and making extra money from home.
FFFC: What sparked your weight-loss transformation journey?
LG: I remember clearly the day I decided to lose weight once and for all – it was the day my parents visited from out of town and announced nonchalantly that they both had Type 2 diabetes! Like it was no big deal! I was scared for them and scared for myself – they taught me everything I know about food and exercise, so I knew if I didn’t change then I would be in the same exact position in 25 years or less (my food habits were the worst in my family).
FFFC: What was your beginning and current weight or measurements?
LG: Beginning weight – 196. Current weight – 145.
FFFC: How long did it take for your weight-loss transformation from beginning to end?
LG: 9.5 months, starting January 17, 2013
FFFC: What physical activities did you participate in during your journey?
LG: I focused on getting as much exercise as possible while sticking to a diet plan high in protein. In this post, I explain what a typical week of working out looks like for me during weight loss mode: http://www.whatmommydoes.com/workout-calendar-for-losing-weight/ It’s not for the faint of heart, but totally doable if you plan your weeks ahead in advance.
FFFC: How did your eating habits change?
LG: High protein, low sugar, LOTS of water! I explained my overall meal plan philosophy here: http://www.whatmommydoes.com/mommys-meal-plan-philosophy/
Believe it or not, I eat way more sugar in it’s pure form than I ever did before. I explained this in my post Thoughts on Sugar and Being Fat: http://www.whatmommydoes.com/thoughts-sugar-fat/
FFFC: What do you typically eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
LG: Many people ask me for a detailed meal plan, but I’m always hesitant to provide that because if they don’t like what I suggest, they tend to discount it and think they can’t ever achieve their goals. I always say it’s about following the overall rules (see post above) and picking the foods YOU like that fit on that plan.
When I am in dieting mode, my favorite fit breakfasts are eggs and cottage cheese OR oatmeal with peanut butter and Ghirardelli chocolate (yes, chocolate!) chips. Lunch would be a lean protein with a good-for-you carbohydrate like wild rice or sweet potato. And dinner is the same as lunch, but with two veggies instead of the carbohydrate.
FFFC: What is your favorite fitness activity?
LG: I don’t know if I have a favorite. I LOVE Zumba. But I also like kick-butt cardio like kickboxing. Swimming is the most relaxing form of exercise to me because I can zone out and listen to my own thoughts under the water. For warming up, I like the elliptical machine.
FFFC: What do you do now to maintain your physique?
LG: I maintain a regular workout schedule. I’ve loosened up on my eating plan and have been able to maintain my weight for the past few months without being so strict with carbs. I’ve even allowed myself some pasta! J If I see the scale creep up slightly, then I go back to clean eating for a few days and exercise does the rest.
FFFC: How did you develop and sustain the willpower to avoid the bad stuff (i.e. junk food, bad drinks, lack of activity, etc.)?
LG: I had one workout rule – NEVER MISS A MONDAY. The weekends are a killer for fitness, especially if you like to go out to eat on the weekend or get together with friends. But no matter what you do, you can always start fresh on Monday.
As far as willpower to avoid bad stuff…I just kept reminding myself that my goal was bigger than the momentary taste of whatever food I was contemplating. I allowed myself one cheat treat per week so I knew I would eventually have a chance to indulge myself. Nobody can be a food robot forever!
Honestly, after a few months of straight eating clean, you honestly don’t miss sweets or bad stuff that much. You kind of forget about it.
Here’s a big one – ALWAYS get a good night’s rest! When I was tired, I craved carbs. Makes sense because carbs “wake you up” and your body knows that. Stay well rested & you can resist most temptations that come your way!
FFFC: What advice do you have for someone starting out on their weight-loss journey but unsure of how to begin?
LG: Make a commitment to yourself. Find a way to stay motivated. For me, it was telling people about my goal and giving them updates along the way. People like to root for you and when they ask you about your progress, you want to be able to give them good news.
Make it easy on yourself – get Weight Watchers or download a free fitness/food journaling app like MyFitnessPal or sign up for the SparkPeople website. Don’t try to wing it or guess how much food you’ve eaten today. You will ALWAYS underestimate!
Give yourself the tools to KNOW whether or not you’re on track, and pretty soon you’ll be able to plan how much weight you want to lose in a week!
FFFC: What do you think is the biggest misconception about this journey?
LG: That it requires an amazing amount of sports ability or lots of money (like for hiring a babysitter or purchasing supplements). The biggest ingredient to succeeding at weight loss is PERSISTENCE. You don’t have to get a babysitter to watch your kids while you exercise, although it will make things easier. You also don’t have to try 20 different activities. Just get moving in any way you can. If you’re horrible at sports, choose something you can do easily, even if it’s just walking fast or jumping jacks. The point is to burn calories. Your persistence WILL pay off.
FFFC: Do you have any fitness idols? Who are they?
LG: Without a doubt, Jamie Eason and Amanda Latona. I got so much inspiration from their workouts and meal plans. Jamie’s LiveFit Trainer is what I used to lose my first 25 lbs. I recommend it for EVERYONE!
Here’s a link to the LiveFit Trainer: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/jamie-easons-livefit-phase-1.html
FFFC: How can readers learn more about your transformation and journey online (i.e. Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.)?
LG: I’m almost done writing an ebook on 25 Ways to Get Exercise at Home Even When You Can’t Make It To the Gym and I’ve set up a mailing list for anyone interested in ongoing tips on weight loss/losing weight after pregnancy. Sign up for the mailing list, and you’ll be the first to receive my ebook when it’s ready, hopefully just after the New Year! http://www.whatmommydoes.com/free-ebook-25-ways-get-exercise-home/
Motivating you to Fierce, Fit and Fabulous!
You can officially stalk us on