This post is long overdue. I’ve been wanting to post my Trim Healthy Mama (THM) story for a while, but I always felt like I had to explain the plan in detail before I did. I finally decided that there are many wonderful other blog posts by many great THM bloggers on that subject and I am not going to recreate the wheel… Simply type “start THM” into Pinterest or Google and you will find some good ones! So instead, I am just going to tell my story and why I am a Trim Healthy Mama for life!
I came across THM quite by accident when I was trying to lose the baby weight from baby number three. I always gain about 50 lbs with each pregnancy, and although I lose the first 15 lbs within a week or two of birth, the rest of the weight sits there unless I start watching what I eat. So at one month postpartum, I was ready. I am never upset with my body during pregnancy. My body does pregnancy very well and I have had beautiful natural births (although all quite long – 16 hours is my shortest so far). I am able to be very active right up until delivery – I took students camping and caving when I was nine months pregnant with my third, and that is not unusual for me! But soon after I give birth, I want MY body back – but I am always three sizes from my goal and hate the sight of my postpartum body. Anyone else feel this way?
Determined to get back to my happy jeans as soon as possible, at one month postpartum, I pulled out my calorie counting books and food journal and tried to figure out how many calories I needed to lose weight but also have a good milk supply. Was 1500 calories enough? 1700? 1300? I’ve always been successful losing weight by eating whole foods, cutting out sugar, and counting calories, but I also was my daughter’s sole food supply and did not want to jeopardize that. Nevertheless, I started food journaling and counting calories. I also started reading Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst, which I had read the summer before to get my mind and spirit on track.
I always do better when I have accountability, so I searched for an online group also doing the Made to Crave study and found one just starting hosted by A Home with a Purpose. I joined the Facebook group and started reading the posts. Little did I know, this was a popular THM blog. Again and again I read the acronym THM, and curious, I finally Googled it. Trim Healthy Mama popped right up. “That sounds about right,” I thought, and clicked on the webpage. Several hours later I had ordered the Trim Healthy Mama book (an early birthday present as my birthday was 3 days away), joined the Facebook group, and printed off several helpful files from the group page. I started the next morning and have not looked back since.
What I liked so much about THM was what it was NOT. It was NOT about counting calories. It was NOT about buying products. It was NOT about cutting out carbs. It was not about artificial ingredients. I have never done a fad diet – I believe in eating whole food in all the food categories. So I refused to try Atkins or Paleo or going vegan or the Blood Type diet, etc. I believed God gave us food and in its true form – not overly processed or modified – that food is good whether it is a carbohydrate, a fat, or a protein. So I am wary of any diet that says otherwise. After I spent a couple hours researching THM, I knew it was something I could do and that it was a way of eating that was not against what I believed to be true about food. It was good for families and compatible with my husband’s many food allergies. It was also very good for pregnant and/or nursing mothers – I was in!
I jumped right in before even reading the book (although I read it cover to cover as soon as it arrived) and after the first month I had lost 12 lbs. Two months in I had lost 20. Because I was nursing, I had crossovers most days, but the pounds still came off. My milk supply was great and my nursling was happy and thriving. I did not buy a single THM product for the first five months, because it was not in our budget. (I will post about how I did THM with no special ingredients soon!) I used what I already had and bought a few items at the store as I could afford them. I lost almost forty pounds in those first five months which brought me down to below my starting weight for my last pregnancy. I’ve lost another ten pounds since then but I have gained so much more than the 48 lbs I have lost.
One of the biggest things for me is my weight no longer fluctuates up and down fifteen pounds or so. As an adult, I have always gained weight easily and then worked hard to lose it. It seemed that whenever I let my guard down and gave in to my sugar addiction, my weight would go up. I would give up sugar for a while and fight to lose it again and it would go down. This has been my pattern my entire adult life, up until now.
The biggest victory for me, though, was the ability to give up sugar and overcome my sugar addiction for good. I wrote a post just on this subject – you can read it here. Briefly, I had given up sugar for long periods (well, 6 or 8 weeks at a time) for several years, but I always went back to it. Even after starting THM, I had cheats with sugar quite frequently and it would derail me from the plan for days or even weeks. But one year into my THM journey, 8 months ago now, I gave up sugar for good and resolved before God and my trusted friends to not eat it. This has been huge for me. It has not caused a big weight loss in the last 8 months since I was very close to goal anyway, but it has caused tremendous freedom and confidence in my God and even in myself.
I am a Trim Healthy Mama for life, and my family along with me! I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us as we continue this journey. All I know is that I feel lighter, happier, freer, and healthier – and I don’t want to give any of those things up!