| I often get asked from people who have known me pre, during, and post pregnancy: What did I eat to lose the baby weight after having my two children (I gained almost 80lbs .. twice) and how did I get started back into exercising? There are no short answers to these questions and I have no formal education in nutrition, but I love sharing what worked for me. Note: I had a really hard time finding pictures of me post-baby. I would never let anyone take any pictures of me. All of these are of my daughter or son 4 months old or older. Looking back that is just so silly. Every pound was worth it. I would do it a million times over. I just wish I could say that extra weight didn’t bother me during such a happy time, but it did. Especially since the weight didn’t start coming off until I got serious about my eating and exercise plan once my daughter was 9 months old.
I was recently re-inspired to share my post-baby weight loss tips after spending the last two weeks helping my sister kick-start her post-baby weight-loss plan. I remember so vividly the challenges of trying to get back into shape post-baby, while feeling like I had no time, and being drop dead exhausted. Like me, my sister gained some extra weight during pregnancy. I wish I could say it is just genetics, but in my case, some Duncan Hines vanilla cakes with vanilla whipped frosting may have had something to do with it. Whatever the case, and whether you have 10 or 50 lbs to drop post baby, I hope these tips help get you started on your way to returning to a weight/size that makes you most comfortable and that gives you all the energy you need to keep up with your little ones. I do always tell new moms, “remember what your body has been through to have a baby and so be kind to yourself and patient with the process of returning to your target weight.”
Like many women, I have spent the majority of my life struggling with 10-20 lbs. My weight has always fluctuated and I think my first real diet was at the age of 14. Since that young age, I have failed at pretty much every diet in existence. You name it, I probably tried it — Calorie counting, Detox diets, Low-fat, No carb, no-sugar…no coffee/no alcohol (total failure on that one) and probably a combination of many of them put together. And perhaps the crème de la crème of miserable diets was when I ate boiled leek soup for 3 days, about the portion of a baby food jar mixed with bland frozen meals lacking any nutritional value. Basically, through all of these diets I was starving, cranky and completely obsessed with what I was eating. The “positives,” I usually lost a quick 8-10 lbs. over a few weeks, but it always came back the minute I stopped following the diet. Not to say that these diets could not work for someone, but they just didn’t work for me. I needed a balanced, real life solution to weight loss that fit into my busy life and allowed me to not become obsessed and panicked by food, but rather enjoy and love my life and the food that goes with it.
What I learned from all of these diets, is the simple truth that losing weight successfully means doing it in a way that fits your lifestyles, your likes and dislikes, and with real food. It also means being realistic about your goals and the time it takes to lose weight. It took me a year to lose all the baby weight I had gained. A year from when I stopped breastfeeding. I did it slowly and steadily. And while I was of course impatient, I was able to do it without starving myself or depriving myself, and by incorporating exercises that made me feel healthy, strong, and most importantly energized. Here is just an overview of what I did:
Food: Again, I have no formal education in nutrition. But I can say, I have been studying food in some way for the past 15 years – and using myself as a lab rat. I could go on for pages about all I have learned. I also turned to Karly Treacy of Structural Integrity Physique to learn how to make better food choices and find a better relationship with food. From all of this, I changed my eating habits that ultimately changed my body. In full disclosure, at this point, I follow it 80/20 (I am 80 percent good/and 20 percent bad). Those that eat with me know that I am the first to order french fries and a cookie at lunch these days. When I first began my “program” I was much stricter with myself, but part of maintaining the success is allowing you to live 80/20.
Food/eating: We each need to find a way to have a happy relationship with food. I used to spend half my day either obsessing about food or feeling guilty about what I had already eaten and trying to plan how I will make up for it the rest of the day by not eating. It’s the biggest sense of freedom not to worry or obsess about what I am eating anymore. I just try to enjoy it, eat when I am hungry, and make healthy choices. I know that sounds too good to be true, but once I started eating real food, real fats, I was satisfied and stopped obsessing. Most importantly, I started to eat a lot more than I had on any diet. Your body needs food and fats. If your caloric intake is too low, you will store the fat because your body starts to think it’s in starvation. So eat!
Calorie Counting: I am not a huge fan of calorie counting, but if you have NO idea how many calories you consume in a day, it’s a great thing to do for a while to get you started. There are great free apps (MyNetDiary) and online (caloriecount.com) where you can log your daily calories, but even more powerful, you can learn how many calories are in the foods you eat. These tools really helped me learn what a portion size is and how many extra unnecessary calories I was eating. When you calorie count, remember, you have to put everything in, including the grilled cheese and pizza you finish off your kids plates. These apps also have guidelines for how many calories you should consume in a day to reach your target weight. If the app tells you you’re “OBESE” (like it did when I first registered) you are free to get mad and have one emotional breakdown, but boy will you be happy when it finally says you have moved to the “normal” category. It’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor first, especially if you are breastfeeding. For me, 1600-1800 calories a day was my initial target. You may need to adjust your caloric intake if you are exercising a lot or have a job that keeps you moving all day, most calories counters will help you with that as well. One thing I loved about calorie counting was that I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, as long as at the end of the day I didn’t go way over my target calories. I didn’t eat much during the day, but I would eat a HUGE amount at night, just due to my lifestyle at the time. This worked for me, despite the fact that many diets say no eating past 7 p.m. However, women in France and Spain and other parts of the world are tiny and they usually don’t finish dinner until way past 10 p.m. So, I say if eating late will keep you from snacking even later…eat late. This let me work my “diet” into my lifestyle.
My food philosophy: I really eat. REALLY EAT. I eat carbs, bread, sweets. The only thing that I do not eat is dairy. I try only to eat real food (meaning foods with only 1 ingredient). I do not eat a lot of processed foods. I eat bread and carbs, rice is my favorite carb (and I am sorry only white rice). I try not to eat much gluten. The good news is, gluten free is trendy right now, and there are tons of great gluten-free options out there (e.g., gluten free brownies and gluten free waffles). I try to find as many “healthier” substitutes for things as possible. Chips with safflower oil instead of vegetable oil, almond butter instead of peanut butter…you get the picture. It does take some time and research, but look at the foods you love and find where you can make healthier substitutions. I do not eat ANY artificial sweeteners, or non-fat, or sugar-free foods. These are pure chemicals and much better, in my opinion, to have the real delicious stuff in smaller quantities than binging on chemicals.
I try to always drink a lot of water. It fills you up, it hydrates you, it flushed toxins out of your body and it makes your skin look beautiful – win, win, win!
Not eating any dairy may not be a great option for everyone. For me it has been great, in the year I have been dairy free, the changes I have felt and seen have been huge. Here are a few links to a few articles about giving up dairy. Dairy-Free Challenge and Go Dairy Free.
Example of a typical day for me:
Lunch: Turkey on regular wheat bread (or gluten-free bread) , with tomatoes, lettuce, mayo (canola oil) and an avocado. A side of chips made with safflower oil. Or I will have a salad with chicken, shrimp or eggs and avocado topped off with an oil based salad dressing (good fats are good for you).
Dinner: Fish, chicken, steak or shrimp, with a salad and rice or sweet potatoes.
Snacks/Sweets: I try to limit both, however, when I am hungry I will have fruit or Kind Bars (sea salt and chocolate is my favorite), apple with almond butter, or any fruit.
Exercise: I used to have a love/hate relationship with exercise now it is just love/love. Getting started on a new exercise program and finding the motivation can be a huge challenge, but once you get into the swing of a routine and start to see results, I hope you will LOVE it too. There is also another reason I love/love exercise at this stage in my life. Exercising is kind of like a min-vacation from motherhood. It’s my time to focus on myself and doing something just for me. Even if I can only fit in 30 minutes, I love and cherish that time. The way I started to love exercise is by finding exercises that I actually enjoyed doing. I highly recommend trying out as many different classes, running, biking, boot camps, yoga or studios that you can to help you find what you love. This is how I fell in love with the Barre and Boxing. You may surprise yourself with what you find you really enjoy. Once you find exercises that you like, try and do them or a combination of them 3-4 times a week. On the other days, try to fit in a walk with the kids or other activities that get you moving. Also, I think the key to seeing results is really challenging yourself. When I was in love/hate mode, I would do the minimum to get through the class. Once I made the goal to give 100% and leave those classes sweating and having tried my best, I really started to see a difference. Oh lastly, music. I love working out to great music and I have posted some of the songs I play in my classes on my Jessica Diaz Boston Barre Facebook page, if you need some new tunes.
Making it work with kids: This is tough! Fortunately, I found a gym with a great day care. They have almost a mini-pre-school with great programs. I started bringing the kids there when they were around 6 months old. Prior to that, I would either take long walks (exercising with the kids) or exercise really early in the morning or really late in the evening when my husband was home. Not ideal for me, but it was the only way I could fit it in. I also purchased some DVDs that I could do at home for days when getting out to exercise just wasn’t going to happen.
I hope some of these tips were useful. So get moving and get eating!
Monthly Archives: September 2014
Last Monday, these MsFits were transported to a time encrusted with jewels, glamour, furs and gold. We were taken to a place that rarely peeks its starry eyes out to wink to us mortals who can only imagine what it would be like to live in this world. Lucky for us, the MFA’s newest exhibit, Hollywood Glamour: Fashion and Jewelry from the Silver Screen opened their doors to all of us dreamers to catch a glimpse, or a few, of the magic of the Silver Screen.
We were lucky enough to get a private showing before the exhibit opened of the stunning gowns and garments, one of a kind shoes, breathtaking jewels, old Hollywood film clips, iconic images from Yosuf Karsh, as well as priceless stories from the MFA’s wonderful curators. To make the moment that much more magical, the Hollywood jeweler to the stars, Neil Lane was there to share his own personal jewelry collection and stories of each and every single piece.
Neil has designed absolutely stunning works of art for Hollywood’s A-List actors, as well as providing the show, The Bachelor, with their engagement rings for the last 1o years… this man is a legend. Neil shared his personal stories on how he had acquired these rare and unique gems and also how they continue to inspire him in his own designs for his own jewelry line, as well as his pieces for Kay Jewelers. It was such a pleasure to meet him! We were immediately charmed by his charisma and wealth of knowledge of the gems and their famous histories. While most of the time these treasures stay carefully guarded, he does loan these old Hollywood greats to new Hollywood for special appearances, films or for red carpet appearances.
The exhibit enveloped us with music, with fashion and jewelry worn by iconic starlets like Mae West, Betty Grable, June Knight, Ginger Rogers and others from the 30’s and 40’s. It was truly like being in another world, in another time. We could have stayed in this moment for hours and hours, just reliving old Hollywood… now if only we could have tried on some of these baubles, these MsFits would have floated out of there on a golden cloud 9.
Make sure you check out this unbelievable exhibit that runs until March 8th, 2015 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
All photographs by our amazing and talented photogpraher: Jenna Stebbins
New York Fashion Week – Our Faves
One of my favorite weeks of the year, New York Fashion Week has come and gone, but not without giving us a glimpse of what’s to come next spring. On this year’s runways there was enough black and white to make a herd of zebras jealous, there was outstanding hope for the crop top trend, and there was enough lace, picnic plaids and floral, to uproot an English garden party. Floral has always been and will always be might favorite print, but what I’m really loving for spring 2015 is the return of the lace… and I mean a lot of it! Everyone from Oscar de la Renta (obvi) to Zimmerman put their special touches on this delicate trend and it just makes me yearn for spring time that much more.
Now that NYFW is officially over, we’ve scoured each and every collection to find our favorite pieces. Not an easy feat, with so many amazing designers… check out our most coveted looks from the spring 2015 collections…
What are your faves? Leave us a comment here or on our FB page here…
Off to London Fashion Week…. Stay tuned for our faves…
One Mother of a Juice!
If you haven’t jumped on the juice wagon yet, not to fret, because there’s a new Mother in town, and she’s parked her healthy butt right in Kendall Square. Laura Baldini and Ellen Fitzgerald, founders of Mother Juice opened the sinfully organic juice Mecca today after the overwhelming response they received from the juice food truck they operated for over a year.
Now they’re taking over the techies playground with everything from juices to smoothies to salads and even local vegan foods like popcorn and kale chips. My son Maxim and I shared The Berries smoothie (berry delicious indeed) and Jessica and her son Chase shared the Unicorn Blood juice (no unicorns were harmed in the making of the juice)… and we cannot wait to try every single thing on the menu!
Check out the menu here…
We love supporting our fellow Ms Fits and all of the scary/wonderful/unknown/long-night/exciting ventures that they embark on… and it truly makes us green with envy…
So proud of Laura and Ellen! Make sure you stop in and say hello… they’re officially OPEN TODAY!
625 West Kendall Street Cambridge MA
The Patriots Bowl for a Cause – The 5th Annual Mayo Bowl
This past Monday sure didn’t feel like any other Monday for these Ms Fits. After putting on the glitz and glam at the MFA event (blog post to follow), we went fans and football at the 5th annual Mayo Bowl. This celebrity bowling tournament thrown by Patriots Defensive Co-Captain Jerod Mayo and his beautiful wife Chantel, was held at Kings to raise money for the Boston Medical Center, and this year, the event was expected to raise over $300,000. Year after year, Jerod has brought out some of his famous teammates and some true Patriots legends.
The roster couldn’t have looked any finer… In attendance: Tom Brady, Vince Wilfork, Danny Aiken, Kyle Arrington, Brandon Bolden, Patrick Chung, Dont’a Hightower, Chandler Jones, Steven Ridley, Tavon Wilson, Devin McCourty, Matthew Slater, Sebastian Vollmer, Nate Solder, Julian Edelman, Aaron Dobson, Alfonzo Dennard, Rob Ninkovich and veterans Tedy Bruschi and Joe Andruzzi, along with Jared Sullinger from the Celtics.
Jerod and Chantel became involved with the hospital to give back to the community that has supported him and his career as a Patriot, and so far have committed over $1 million to BMC. Before the bowling and the auctions began, Jerod and Chantel introduced us to a family whose youngest son had been born 3 months premature. This family’s extremely challenging time was greatly eased with the help of the Mayos and the Boston Medical Center. It’s events like these, and families like the Mayos that inspire us to do more for our community.
While I definitely had my husband on stand-by (via text) to ask who most of the players were, it wasn’t so much about the football for us, it wasn’t so much about the fanfare, for Jessica and I, it was what Ms Fits is all about, inspiring people to come together to support one and other. And this charity truly made an impact on us.
Until next year, bowlers!
All photographs by our lovely and talented photographer, Jenna Stebbins
Ben Mezrich’s Seven Wonders Book Signing
Boston barely, just barely, made the list of the Seven Wonders of the World, I mean, next to the Great Pyramid, it’s right up there, but as Bostonians, we are truly in awe of our one-of-a-kind author-extroardinares, Ben Mezrich. He can do it all… a true departure from his previous book, this story, Seven Wonders, takes us along on an adventure of a lifetime with hero Jack Grady.
When Jack’s estranged brother, mathematician Jeremy Grady is murdered, it’s up to him to find out why. Jack’s search leads him on a far-flung journey—from Brazil, India, Peru, and beyond—as he unravels the mystery that links the Seven Wonders of the World, and discovers that Jeremy may have hit upon something that’s been concealed for centuries. With the help of scientist Sloane Costa, they discover a conspiracy to hide a roadmap to the Garden of Eden—and the truth behind a mythological ancient culture. Its fast paced, heart-pounding story line will have you at the edge of your seat and wanting more… lucky for you, this is the first of three installments, with the movie rights already sold to 20th Century Fox with Brett Ratner and James Packer producing this epic thriller.
Last week, we joined Ben and his beautiful wife Tonya at the book signing event at the W in Boston. Ben looked dapper in a suit from The Tannery and shoes from Concepts, and Tonya in my favorite ensemble of the night, a skirt and top by Black Halo, necklace by Melissa Haus and YSL heels which could not out shine the glow of pride and happiness for the success of Ben’s book and the event.
These Ms Fits had an incredible time with an amazing author and his biggest fans…
Now that the kids are in school, it’s time to go on a little adventure and experience the Seven Wonders. Ben’s book is available now on Amazon.
And for more on Ben’s story and upcoming projects, check him out on Facebook
Twitter and Instagram: @benmezrich
And for some amazing fashions and fun, check out Tonya’s Twitter and Instagram: @tonyamezrich
All photographs by Russ Mezikofsky
@RussMezPhoto Twitter: @Russ_Mezikofsky
Wear Responsibly – G-Star Raw Denim Splashes into a New Fashion Frontier
G-Star Raw recently launched its Raw for the Oceans Collection for Fall/Winter 2014 made from recycled ocean plastics and curated by Grammy awarding winning musician and producer, Pharrell Williams. These fabulous and unique fitting denims are made with bionic yarn, an eco-thread of fibers derived from recycled plastic bottles which is definitely pushing G-Star Raw to the front row of sustainable fashion. Since the beginning of G-Star Raw’s Ocean Initiative, 10 tons of plastic which were polluting our oceans have already been removed and turned into these amazing jeans. Not too shabby Pharrell!
While the fashion brand is known for its denims, this new collection also includes jeans, t-shirts, sweats, caps, outwear for both men and women.
We Misfits are totally digging G-Star Raw because not only is it fashion with a cause, it’s also just plain all out cool (no surprise with Pharrell being in the mix). The clothing has a vibe and items are so unmistakably G-Star. Watch out basic boot-cuts, there’s a new denim in town, and it’s got purpose!
Check out the entire collection here…
All photography by Chris Lanoue
Booty with a Purpose
Now that summer is over (unofficially), it’s time to focus on all the things that make fall great. The most important being, your fall wardrobe, and within that, everybody’s staple, their jeans. For anyone that knows me, knows that I’ve never really been a jeans kinda gal… somehow over the last few years, I’ve gotten away with rocking leggings, skirts and dresses… ok, on occasion, I’ve donned a pair of jeans, but for the most part, I’ve been denim free.
This year, I have rekindled my love for jeans, I think, partly due to the fact that I’ve literally gotten my ass into gear this summer thru my barre workouts. And what better way to show off those buns than in a pair of denim beauties.
The glutes are one of the biggest muscles in your body, so working them is not always the easiest of feats, but getting into a workout that shows results and a workout that you can easily do at home will get you to booty happiness in no time.
Check out our latest Ms Fit Moves video here…. A quick tutorial on Jessica’s favorite glutes workout that will really give you a booty with a purpose.
And for the jean enthusiasts out there, read on to our next post about the coolest thing to happen to the denim world since indigo dye… GSTAR Raw’s newest collaboration with Pharrell Williams and their brand new jeans with a purpose.