I debuted my new waist today. It was scary and nerve wracking but it was time. I wore a size appropriate top and I thank each and every one of you who I ran in to for all of your loving, supportive and enthusiastic comments. I am pretty excited!

Yes, I have lost a few pounds. It’s hard to tell because I’m still wearing the same clothes I was wearing many pounds ago, even throughout my pregnancy. And don’t think this means I’m going to stop. My body’s pretty weird and lumpy right now. It’s not sure what belongs where and things are constantly shifting around so I generally feel best covered up but it’s fun to get to show off every now and then.

If you haven’t seen me in a while, here are some reference pictures:

Pre-pregnancy (Not a great pic but it was almost impossible to find one)
Believe it or not I was working out hard almost daily when this picture was taken. Unfortunately, I felt like that gave me license to eat whatever I wanted and I fully enjoyed that I could do so without gaining an ounce. What a waste of effort!

With the help of my amazing midwife I had a very healthy pregnancy and gained a very minimal amount of weight.

Days before Clayton’s birth

I ate better than I had in a long time and learned to satisfy my sweet tooth and other cravings with healthier, lower calorie foods which helped give me the confidence that I could continue making better choices in the future.

Post pregnancy

I was at my pre-pregnancy weight within a day or two of delivery. Then the meals started coming in. And the treats. And the Oreos. I was giving myself six weeks, I decided. I wouldn’t worry about my diet (or my family’s) for those first six weeks postpartum. I couldn’t work out anyway so I might as well enjoy myself. Six weeks turned into eight and an the addition of five Oreo pounds before I hit that wall.

I’ve been working toward a healthier lifestyle the last several years but am constantly sabotaging myself. But eight weeks after Clayton was born the stronger and more powerful healthy side of me, the one I’d nurtured and grown over the course of a my pregnancy, took over.

I got my family back on a whole foods diet and the pounds started coming back off. Weeks later, for reasons too numerous to list here we converted to a whole foods plant based diet and the switch flipped. I lost 20 pounds in one month. I feel amazing and have found a whole new love for cooking and eating a variety of fresh, flavorful and colorful foods and the weight just keeps coming off.

60 pounds lighter

I want to be proud of myself and take all the credit for the progress I’ve made (60 pounds down so far) but I can’t. I didn’t set out to lose weight but it was a natural byproduct of changes we’ve been making as a family to live a healthier lifestyle and to better live the Word of Wisdom (a standard of health revealed to the prophet Joseph Smith in 1833). I’m so grateful for the awesome side effect of this massive shedding of unhealthy weight and along the way have been inspired to undertake the impossible feat of finding my figure. It has definitely become a conscious effort at this point.

And then there are the people who love and support me and encourage me when things are hard. My husband has been 100% behind me the whole way and even the impetus for some of the biggest changes I have made. He has been my biggest cheerleader and picks up my slack while I chug along figuring out how to take care of four kids, two with special needs, and keep my family well nourished (which takes a surprising amount of work).

My poor mother and all of my friends and family have been subjected to my constant nutrition and food-related babbling and they seem to have held up quite well. My hashing through thoughts and feelings, celebrating successes and sharing new culinary discoveries (and posting pics on FB) are all critical to maintaining my motivation. So to all of you who are suffering through it,  please know what a tremendous difference you are making in my life and my family’s lives. Thank you!

Clearly, I still have a long way to go but I am happy to say that after losing 60 pounds I’m as passionate and enthusiastic as ever about continuing to improve the health and life expectancy of my family through better diet and lifestyle choices. Here’s to another 50 pounds and many years of health and happiness to come!