I did. I lost my second baby weight. Just like I was writing another college paper at 2:00am that was due the next day, I squeaked into my pre-pregnancy pants - with room to spare - just before my 40th birthday.
This journey consumed all of 2011 for me (no eating pun intended). I could sit here and spend hours trying to craft a blog post about it, but instead I'm going to copy the response I wrote today to a request for help from another mom on a healthy food Facebook group I belong to. She felt stuck on her journey. Haven't we all sometimes?
I know I have.
So much advice about weight is about what you eat, portion size, potential thyroid issues, age, stress, even just loving yourself the size you are. But my take is different, I know, and it took me a day or two to think about it. Would I out myself and reply? How would I reply? Maybe I should just let it fly by and stay silent.
But her request was so heart-felt.
I truly loved this woman I had never met. I loved her courage. I loved her honestly. I loved her openness, and my heart wanted to answer it.
So this is what I wrote word for word. It just came out of me. I didn't edit it, I just typed, and I think it's the best thing I could ever have written on the topic.
"I will tell you my story and give my advice since you asked, but I know I think differently than a lot of people so feel free to ignore what I say. :) I am just under 5' 6" I was hovering around 170 after my second child for years. When she was about three I was so cranky and tired and food hoarding a lot so I decided to go gluten free. It was like taking off a sumo-wrestling suit of pressure on my entire body, physically and emotionally and mentally. I went soy and dairy free and just by doing that and eating gluten-free junk I lost 20 lbs.
But I was turning 40 and I wanted to be my pre-baby weight. It's what I wanted. Not because anyone told me I should, or because I thought society said I had to, but because I wanted to. So I went on a 30 day juice fast and lost 17 lbs in a month. It was intense, but for me it was liberating because it freed me from chewing addiction, emotional food soothing and all of those physical patterns. Afterwards I went on a 12 week candida cleanse program including colonics and then I went Paleo (no dairy). I was dubious about eating fat but I lost another 10 pound or so I went from a size 14 at the start to a size 8. And, in some jeans, a size 6. I was never hungry. I felt great. I looked great to ME which is what I wanted, and I felt proud of myself, which I wanted even more.
Now, that being said, none of that matters because what I REALLY believe created this change in me was scripting. Our entire lives are, I believe, run by our subconscious mind. If you feel fat, your body will turn whatever you eat into fat. If you feel icky, your body will create ick. So for 30 days (I think I only went 21) I wrote one page a day writing AS IF I was what I wanted to be. I made it up. And the point is that, while you are writing, you are supposed to feel amazing. No writing down things that you wish you felt good about but don't. Sometimes I had to scratch things out and try again with a sentence.
I started out writing "I love how I feel. I'm lying in bed and I can feel my lean thighs. I'm so happy." Sometimes I wrote "I love how I can feel the air between my thighs and my jeans." "I love that I can fit into my pre-pregnacy pants, my favorite pair!" "My friends are commenting how amazing I look. I feel amazing." "I just walked by a store front and I had to do a double-take at the image in the glass. Was that me? It was! I loved how I looked!" I just wrote a page a day, no matter what, making up stuff that I wanted to be true. That was how I heard the message in my heart to go gluten-free. And that is how I kept making intuitive decisions FOR ME about what to do to get to that picture my subconscious now had of me. Once my subconscious WAS that image, the rest of me had to follow through.
I had my rough spots. Change isn't always easy, but if you ask me how I did it, how I got down to below 130 pounds at the age of 40, when I had never seen that weight for over a decade, in a way that felt right to me, that was how I did it. Scripting. Use it if you feel inspired. And..... you may be surprised. It took me two years to be able to script about it without finding some excuse not to do it. Come to find out I had a lot of fear about being thin and a mom stemming from when my mom got lean and then left for a new life and there was a divorce I had to live through. So some part of me thought "overweight mom is a good mom, because she is dedicated to her kids." I had hidden judgement about what I thought were well-coiffed moms and I had a lot of fear about being sexy again. Feeling sexy again. (To me, because sexy comes in all sizes!) But once I dealt with those fears, I bucked down and scripted, no matter what, and the rest happened. It had to. I am cheering you on, however you feel inspired to live! :)"
I think it was Fergie (Sarah, Duchess of York) who said in a book of quotes I saw years ago: "Free your mind and your bottom will follow". That has stuck in my mind for years. I just tried to Google it for you and only found a funk band whose second album is titled: Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow. Close enough.