The struggle to lose weight is very real, so you’ll completely relate to Wendy Mehaffey’s story. This 37-year-old chiropractor and mother of two was fed up with carrying around that extra 10 pounds. She had tried losing the weight before, but what she was doing wasn’t making a big enough impact. Here’s how she finally did something about it.
POPSUGAR: What was your daily diet like? Any off-limits foods? Was it different on the weekend?
Wendy Mehaffey: I always felt like I made healthy choices for the majority of my meals. I stay away from soda and sweets. My downfall comes in the form of bagels/breads/rice. I am a carbavore, and that’s always been something I’ve had to work at. I would treat myself to Starbucks two to three times a week for a latte, too! However, my main issue was portion control. I would eat more than I should, going back for a little extra on most occasions. I never restricted any foods from my diet and believe in moderation. But it doesn’t matter when you’re eating two servings at each meal how healthy it is. It still adds up.
Now, I stick very tightly to portioning out my meals. Every meal goes into my portion containers (the same ones from the 21-Day Fix). I felt the most confident when I measured out my lunches and dinners. I preplanned each meal, as to not make bad/wrong choices when I was hungry and needing something quick on the fly. This made it a foolproof plan. I was extremely strict six days per week. On the seventh day, I allowed myself a cheat day. This way, I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything that I may have craved (similar to the Body For Life). Here’s an example of a typical day’s meal plan:
Breakfast: Three egg whites, one egg, three pieces of turkey sausage
Snack: Protein shake (GNC natural whey protein powder natural chocolate flavor mixed with water) and a piece of fruit
Lunch: Broiled veggies (a mix of broccoli, squash, green beans, zucchini, onions, mushrooms) with either grilled chicken or ground turkey
Snack: Zone Perfect Protein bar (all-time fave is Chocolate Mint) and 10 to 12 nuts
Dinner: Grilled turkey burger (no bun) on salad or grilled chicken with steamed veggies, and occasionally wine or beer
When I would get a sweet craving, I would have a strawberry. Works like a charm!
PS: What was your workout schedule?
WM: I love running, and I play ice hockey. I typically maintain 15 to 18 miles per week. When the Spring approached, I increased mileage since I’ve always been a fair-weather runner. By this Summer, I was up to 30 miles per week, which was also a big help. I have a great neighborhood filled with moms who love to run. One of my neighbors suggested we start running together at 6 a.m. a few times a week [that was me, BTW!]. It’s been fantastic! Very motivational to know there is someone waiting for you to run with. You can’t let them down so you drag yourself there, and when you’re done, you feel great! It was an easy way to boost my mileage and get my workouts in without taking away from my family and work responsibilities.
PS: How long did it take you to lose the weight?
WM: I decided to start with the portion control and clean eating about four months ago. It took me about 2.5 months to lose 10 pounds (I’ve lost 20 in total).
PS: How did you stay motivated? Did you have a goal?
WM: There are two things that have kept me motivated. One is a post from a friend on Facebook. She said something to the effect of, “I’m sick of not giving things 100 percent.” This resonated with me. I would always make excuses of why I would not wake up early to work out. I went to bed late, or my kids were up all night, or a million other excuses. I wasn’t even giving it 50 percent! I was just full of excuses. They all sounded so legitimate at the time. Also, another friend said something to me that has also stuck. I hear it every time I’m feeling weak and wanting some food that might take me off track. He told me, “I think you look great, but you must not be serious about losing weight if you’re not doing what it takes to lose it.” That has been huge for my motivation. I completely agree with it! It’s not easy, but it’s worth the way I feel to forgo the extra scoop of dinner. My goal was to feel and look like the mom I always envisioned I would be. I am finally there!
PS: How are you maintaining your weight?
WM: I still use the measuring cups to portion out my food. I feel like if I didn’t, portions would be getting a little larger and a little larger and I would run into the same problem again of overeating portion sizes. So this way I know that I don’t have to question myself. I still stay away from carbs at lunch and dinner, but I have added back in a few more calories. I will put avocado and cheese on my salad, and I have added in nuts with my afternoon snack. And I still incorporate my cheat day.
PS: Any advice for other women trying to drop those last 10 pounds?
WM: We all have a bunch of excuses that all seem so real in our heads. We don’t have the time, we didn’t sleep enough, we have to get up too early, etc. If you can just commit to doing it — 100 percent this time — you’ll find it feels AMAZING. It’s also important to have a supportive network of friends. Find some neighbors or an exercise group that you can be held accountable with.