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When I got pregnant, my eating habits were mostly healthy. Sure I had dessert here and there, I made some overly indulgent choices when I went out, and I even had popcorn when I went to movies, but 80-90% of the time I made good food choices. When I got pregnant, I swore I would NEVER cave to cravings, and that I would eat only perfect, unprocessed, organic, healthy food the entire time I was pregnant. Sugar wouldn’t pass my lips a single time, onion rings would have no power over me, and I would never eat an ounce more than the proper portion size.Β Anyone reading that has actually been pregnant probably understands what an idiot I was…while it’s completely possible to keep yourself eating healthy, normal portions when you’re pregnant, the ability to go 10 months without caving to your crazy hormones a single time is nearly impossible. that is not to say that eating should be a free for all — but babies change your body in unexpected ways, and sometimes you have to just go with it. For me, when my morning sickness got really bad, anything green made me insanely nauseated — but anything fried or meaty didn’t upset my stomach at all. That led to three months of french fries, onion rings, tater tots, and chicken nuggets.

When the daily nausea finally subsided, I found I was still repulsed by salad, but I was craving red meat constantly. That may not sound like a big deal, but it had been 5 or 6 years since I’d had red meat at all, and I’d never been a big fan before that. The day I finally gave in to this craving, I actually had to call my husband because I had no idea where to get a good burger near my work. From that point on, I was hooked — and ironically I haven’t lost that taste for red meat since having Baby Boy. I tried to keep my diet on track, but after not being able to stomach anything but fried food for so long, it was REALLY hard to just stop eating it. I craved it constantly, and it continued to sit better than a lot of other foods, which gave me a super convenient excuse to eat it. After I had Baby Boy, I was able to eat veggies again (I missed salad soooo much!) but the cravings for fried food didn’t go away. As a new Mom, I was constantly running all over the place between doctor’s appointments, school, and just regular day to day things like grocery shopping. Having the baby with me made everything take twice as long, and my days disappeared faster than I could have imagined. While I was running errands, I ate fast food a LOT. I was exhausted from running around, I wasn’t getting any sleep at night, and I just didn’t feel like cooking. Plus I figured since I was breastfeeding, I could deal with a few extra calories. In case it hasn’t become obvious, my methods of justification reached the threshold of insanity at this point.

About two weeks ago (when I started the Bikini Body Mommy Workout Challenge), I realize that I am 7 months postpartum, and yet I weigh 4 pounds heavier than I did the day we came home from the hospital. Somehow I’d been able to push the reality of the situation to the back of my mind, but actually weighing myself and taking measurements was a bit of a slap in the face. I still have to wear maternity clothes, nothing that I could wear prior to being pregnant even comes close to fitting still…and yet I stayed in denial about how unhealthy I am. Ironically, someone who lives near me started a 10 day clean eating challenge this week, and today is Day 3. Having to post everything that I eat every day on Facebook has really made it clear to me how much random little snacking I do during the day — a couple of fries here, a few peanut butter m&ms there…It made me pretty angry with myself because I know better. I used to counsel people looking to lose weight and find all the places that their “invisible” calories came from, and yet I couldn’t bother to really look at why I haven’t lost a pound since having a baby. I was cooking a lot of really healthy food, and my activity level was definitely up, but you can’t out-train all that unhealthy snacking — what you eat is 80% of your success.

Day 1 was embarrassing — I overslept and had to eat out all day, and it just wasn’t pretty. Yesterday was a lot better (minus the huge fight in my head about whether or not I could just grab a pizza on the way home so I didn’t have to cook), and today has been the best so far. I am hoping that by the end of the 10 days, I’ll be a lot closer to the habit of clean eating, and not have to think about it so much. It takes more time than that to really cement a good habit, but I think it will be a good start. So far today, I’ve had:

Breakfast:

whole wheat chia toast with smart balance

2 hard boiled eggs

Snack:

prepackaged baby carrots and snap peas (~100 calories worth)

Lunch:

Tuna with canola oil mayo and onions

I have a salad and two oranges left, but I probably won’t get to eat all 3 — I’m thinking the salad as an afternoon snack and one of the oranges on the way home…hopefully it’ll keep me awake and keep away the fried food munchies! My goals for the rest of today are to workout when I get home (gotta keep the Workout Challenge going!), get ahead on some homework, make a healthy dinner, drink at least 80 ounces of water, NOT drink any soda (I’m suuuuper tired and Diet Dr Pepper has been calling my name for hours — I can resist!), and to get to bed on time! Getting more than 4-5 hours of sleep per night would be AMAZING.

How are you doing with your workouts? What struggles have you had while trying to change your habits and get in shape?