For a long time, I was convinced I wasn't losing weight because I wasn't dieting. I didn't have the willpower to diet. I had a huge emotional attachment to food and was never really willing to find a better way to manage my emotions other than eat or starve myself.
Then I got pregnant.
It was amazing how much a tiny human inside of me could alter the way I treat myself. I couldn't bring myself to starve and eating more came with the territory of pregnancy cravings, but I longed for healthy foods.
And then once she was born, I knew I'd have the extra baby weight. But I had more important things to worry about than diet and exercise. I needed to heal and we needed to bond. She needed to eat and I needed to rest.
So for me, it was an afterthought to lose weight. I'd focus on it later.
But in a matter of months, I lost the baby weight and then some. It wasn't long before I was back to my old pants and felt like an even better version of myself because motherhood brought the glow that pregnancy never did for me.
Side note: Please know this isn't me trying to brag. I know this is a struggle for many women and I know all of our bodies are different. I had enough other struggles from birth that I'm happy to celebrate this win.
I didn't try so I wasn't tracking, but I feel pretty confident in saying it was because I was treating my body right.
I ate healthy foods, but I indulged when I wanted to. I got more sleep than usual because I knew I needed it. I did light exercise as soon as I was able because I was just tired of being cooped up in the house.
While I know breastfeeding played a part in it, I treated my body in a way that it deserved to be treated. And I've continued doing that for the past year+.
So instead of telling myself I have to exercise so I can eat, or wondering if something will add inches to my waistline, I try to be mindful about my eating.
I eat what sounds good, but also what makes me feel good. I indulge when I want to and make sure that it's something I enjoy – not just mindless eating. I exercise to make myself feel better, not to offset the food I've eaten. I get extra sleep just because and have stopped feeling guilty for it.
One of the best moves I've made for myself though is choosing more naturally sweetened foods and drinks. This has curbed my dessert craving so much!
Fruits are my go-to for this. Especially grapes, berries, pineapple, and mango. These are almost always in our house for snacks and will easily fill my need to have dessert with most meals.
And this is why I am loving the new Welch’s 100% Juice with Coconut Water.
Not only do you get the great taste of 100% juice, but it's with 30% less sugar. Plus, the two flavors – White Grape Mango and Tropical Berry Grape – combine all of my favorite fruit flavors with coconut water. It's kind of like a tropical medley made in fruit heaven for me.
While I love both flavors, the Welch's White Grape Mango juice has become a staple in our fridge. It's great for breakfast, snack time, and it makes the best smoothies. Seriously all kinds of awesome flavor combinations here, guys.
All of these decisions have helped me ensure a happier, healthier me. I've lost weight and inches, but more importantly – I feel great. No diet necessary.
I still have a lot I want to tone and I would love to find my happy weight yet, but I'm on my way. And my journey doesn't leave me feeling deprived or hangry all the time so that's a win for me.