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The struggle with weight loss and body continues. A body that feels entirely normal and yet foreign at the same time. Postpartum body image really is a legitimate struggle that I didn’t fully appreciate until I was in the midst of it. I am making progress. But when social media shows me photos from a couple years ago, I realize how far away I am from where I’d like to be.
There is a silver lining though. I have realized my body before pregnancy was a lot more svelte than I thought at the time. Back then, I was inwardly critical and really thought I had so much more work to do. Mentally I was actively working on not letting my perceived body shortcomings hold me back from being confident in myself. But the truth is that it did. I even tried to encourage others to be more accepting of their bodies. But it’s hard to really preach something you don’t believe in 100%.
Searching for Weight Loss Solutions
I was on Weight Watchers (WW) for about a year before I got pregnant in order to live more healthfully. I didn’t have a lot of weight to lose but I wanted to look better in clothes and bikinis. I live in Florida, and I have a pool so of course I need my bikinis! The system worked really well and I enjoyed how easily it fit into my lifestyle. I didn’t feel restricted and I got down to my lowest weight in years. It was fairly easy to maintain even without a lot of working out.
Late last December, about seven weeks postpartum, I signed back up for WW. The food tracking and points system shed a light on how bad my eating and habits had become. Hey, what can I say? I was pregnant! I began to track and make small adjustments to my eating.
However, grief and sadness kept me from the motivation to meet my daily and weekly point goals. I went walking and did some physical activity. But I didn’t know how to really get back my mojo. I lost a couple pounds but as the new year marched on, I really just felt stagnant and stuck. The grief and stress impact my weight loss attempts. Since losing Christian it has become even more of a mental and emotional struggle. You can read more about it here in Postpartum Body Blues. As I work on bringing health back to my physical body, I have to also work through the grief journey.
You can throw a proverbial pebble on the internet and find postpartum weight loss ideas and programs. So I began my search on social media. I started looking for options that were different from what I was already doing. Something that would jump start my loss and push me through the plateau. I wanted to find the impetus to stick with it.
I found a lot of programs and systems that promised a “faster” way to lose weight. But they cost so much more than I was willing to pay or even explore. Especially since I was already paying for WW and have no plans to give it up. I even looked at programs I had used in the past that had worked for short term weight loss. But nothing seemed worth my time or worth the price.
21 Day Meal Plan
After finding an authentic weight loss journey on social media, I decided to take the plunge and try out the 21 Day Meal Plan. It’s a PDF download that cost less than $20. It’s essentially a list of healthy foods you can eat. In order to be compliant with the plan, you can only eat the foods on the list, not anything else. It is very straight forward and easy to follow. An added bonus was that the Hubs was really excited about the large amount of protein he’d be getting for each meal. Because, of course, if I’m going on a diet, so is he!
It took me the better part of two days to shop and meal prep for success. Then after taking preliminary measurements, a starting weight, and before photos, we were ready to go. We started on February 11 for a three week diet. You can do anything for three weeks, right?
I ate similar meals and snacks each day, which surprisingly didn’t bother me. I did exercised some, mostly training for my 10k (which you can read about here). I had a few non-compliant days, where I ate foods that were not on the list, like going out for a birthday. But overall it was easy to stay within the limits because I had prepped all the meals and snacks and they were ready to go when I needed them. I was even able to up my percentage of blue dot days on WW to over 80%! Blue dot days = staying within my points allowance.
How I Lost 5 lbs in 3 Weeks
This diet brought about so many great things. Even dealing with grief, the meal ideas and meal prep makes it easy on my bad days to stay on track. The simplicity of the plan makes it easy to follow when I have so many other things to focus on. Plus, I feel creative when I’m cooking again and that equates to a more fun relationship with food and spending more time in the kitchen.
I lost five pounds after three weeks and several inches off of my body, including some of my mommy tummy. My clothes are a little looser and I am beginning to feel more confident in my skin again. Those are even better results than I had hoped for since I wasn’t making drastic changes to my lifestyle.
This little bit of progress lifts my mood and boosts my confidence, not only in my body but in other areas, too. I have a lot of new projects going on and big goals to accomplish. The progress I have made with the 21 Day Meal Plan gives me the push in my confidence in all the other things I’m trying to achieve professionally and personally.
The Pros of the Plan
- There is a Facebook support group that is included in the price of the plan.
- The plan’s creator is active in the group and on social media. She used the plan to lose over 100 lbs.
- There are available modifications for a variety of dietary needs, as well as other FB groups for those modifications.
- While it would be best to be 100% compliant to the plan, you don’t have to be to see results.
- Prep work makes it so much easier to be compliant.
- It’s only for three weeks, so not a long term commitment.
- You can continue doing the plan if you see results, which a lot of users do.
The Cons of the Plan
- The compliant foods can be more expensive that your normal grocery list, including fresh produce, veggie burgers, and lots of protein choices.
- If you’re used to lots of flavor, toppings, and condiments on your food, you’ll have to learn to eat your food more plain.
- No sugar, no bread, and no salt. Three things that I love and have had to learn to live without.
- In order to be successful, I had to put several hours worth of effort into prepping meals and dishes before I started.
- It’s really hard to go out to eat while on the plan. You have to either be non-compliant or do a lot of searching to find an appropriate meal.
Obviously I’m not a doctor and can’t recommend any weight loss programs on anything other than my own experience. I can’t make any claims as to the weight loss you might experience and I *highly* recommend you talk to your doctor before taking on a program like this!