can't lose weight

After losing 50 pounds, and working with dozens of women in their quest to lose weight, I’ve noticed a few patterns with people who are struggling to lose weight. If you have been struggling to lose weight you might be sabotaging your weight loss by believing one of these lies that you tell yourself. There is going to be some tough love in here!

can't lose weight

Lie: I don’t have time to workout.

Truth: I’m prioritizing other things (like sleep) over working out.

As a work-at-home Mom of a 9 month old I get it. I really, really, do. There are some nights I get 4-5 hours of sleep broken up into 3 segments and I’m exhausted. There are days where I have a huge blog deadline and 4 hours of grading to get done and little man wants to play “pull every book off the bookshelf.”

An hour is only 4% of your day. Thirty minutes is only 2%! You can find 30 minutes to workout. If you only have 30 minute to spare I highly recommend T25 (I’m NOT a beachbody coach and you can buy it straight from Amazon without having to go through a coach.) It’s the most effective shorter duration home workout I’ve done for fat loss.

I can’t afford to eat healthy.

Truth: I don’t want to cook.

Yes, processed foods can be more inexpensive. A frozen burrito for $2 sure beats a head of broccoli for $2 in terms of convenience and the most calories. However, you can get a pound of lentils for the same price which are an amazing source of protein and can be used a hundred different ways (check out my Pinterest board for some great recipe ideas.)

You may also be prioritizing other expenses over healthy foods. Before getting married I lived on my own very comfortably with under $2,000 a month and always ate pretty healthy. I budgeted $50 a week for groceries, and happily gave up things like cable, coffee out, or getting my nails done to make sure I could keep eating well.

I am too busy.

Truth: No matter how busy you are there is someone else who is busier, and still working out regularly.

Before I had kids people would say, “oh – just wait until you have a kid then you won’t have time to workout as much as you do.” Wrong. Now, with one kid, I hear “oh – just wait until you have two kids and then you won’t have time to workout as much as you do.” Wrong.

If you are a single working mom with two kids who thinks you are too busy to workout there’s a single working mom of three kids who’s training for a marathon. Again, it comes down to priorities. Do you find time to eat every day? Shower? Brush your teeth? Make working out a non-negotiable in your life and treat it as you would an important work appointment. Show up on time and be ready to give it your best.

I have XX medical condition/injury.

Truth: You can always find a way to improve your health.

For most of my 20’s I dealt with an untreated thyroid disorder. I didn’t have health insurance and couldn’t afford doctors appointments and medication. Finally I found a very cheap clinic and had blood work done confirming what a doctor suspected a decade earlier, I had Hashimotos Thyroiditis. One of the main symptoms is fatigue, and slow metabolism. Before starting synthroid I was exhausted 24/7. I woke up more tired than I was when I went to sleep, but I still worked out 5-6x a week.

Working out made me feel amazing, and gave me energy. Sure, it maybe took a bit more motivation to get started than someone else would need but I still got it done. Of course there are some medical conditions or injuries that make working out very difficult, but in those cases you can always focus on cleaning up your diet. I firmly believe that weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise.

It’s going to be too hard.

Truth: It’s going to be hard.

I’ve found that some of my clients are afraid to commit 100% to my online boot camps. When I talk to them further I find most are afraid of failing. They are afraid they will commit, and fall off the wagon. They will snap and eat a bag of Oreos one night or skip the workouts for a few days and just throw in the towel. Don’t think that way! It’s not about how many times you fall, it’s about how well you can get back on track. Jillian Michaels gave a great example in one of her books; if you are out driving and get a flat tire do you get out and slash the other three tires? No! You patch up the tire and get back on the road.

Giving up your current lifestyle of comfort foods and spending your mornings sleeping in versus working out will be hard. It takes a tremendous amount of dedication and willpower. It is so damn worth it though.

Do you fall into any of these traps? 

Baby Led WeaningMeal Ideas

During my ‘research everything possibly related to parenting’ phase I went through while pregnant I stumbled upon the idea of Baby Led Weaning. I was immediately attracted to the idea after I started reading all of the potential benefits of Baby Led Weaning. It’s still a rather new approach to feeding babies so there’s a lack of a lot of research done but in theory Baby Led Weaning is a safe, fun, way to let baby learn how to eat solid foods starting at about six months of age.

Baby Led WeaningMeal Ideas

What is Baby Led Weaning?

When you hear the word ‘weaning’ you usually assume it means weaning from the breast. In this use that’s not the case at all. Baby Led Weaning is just an approach of letting baby dictate how much he eats, and letting him feed himself. You skip over pureed food completely and go straight into mushy solids. Baby Led Weaning shouldn’t begin before the age of 6 months, and some signs your baby might be ready include:

  • Able to sit up unassisted
  • Loss of the tongue thrust reflex
  • Shows an interest in solid food
  • Able to grasp and hold onto foods

Is it Safe?

I’ve spoken with other moms who are terrified at the thought of letting their tiny  babies shove giant pieces of potato or banana in their mouths. The fear of choking is very real, and not to be taken lightly. Whenever I’m considering an approach I’m taking to parenting I ask myself, “how were babies doing this 100, 200, 500 years ago?” Obviously there are some new inventions that I’m extremely thankful for and take advantage of (yay, vaccines!) but I also think it’s nice to keep things simple.

In terms of eating do babies really need puffs? What are puffs? Do they need bottles of pureed food? Or did our great, great, great grandmothers feed their babies just fine without them? I think Baby Led Weaning is a very natural approach to feeding. I would strongly recommend you watch some videos on what to do when a baby is choking, just in case. Also, remember that gagging is natural and will likely happen a lot. Gagging is how your baby will learn how much food is too much, and what to do when that happens. My baby gags a few times every meal (he takes about 30-45 minutes to eat.) When a baby is choking they will likely make no noise, and look petrified.

What are Good Foods to Start With?

For the first few weeks we stuck with introducing one food at a time. The recommendation is to wait 3 days between each new food to make sure your baby doesn’t have a reaction, but I only waited 1-2 days. Neither of us have any allergies in our families so I wasn’t too worried after we introduced the first few foods.

Some great choices for 6-8 months include:

  • sweet potato ‘fries’ (a sweet potato cut into fry shapes and roasted plain.)
  • carrot fries
  • broccoli (steamed or roasted)
  • peeled apple slices
  • cucumbers
  • red bell peppers
  • bananas

Baby led weaning 7 months

Bananas were ridiculously messy at first. I found this feeder on Amazon and love it. It took about a week of giving it to him before baby really got the hang of it. Once he did, I was able to put all sorts of fruits in there for him to try that were otherwise difficult for him to eat on his own. I use it to give him prunes when he needed a little help getting regular!

First Meal Ideas

After a few months of giving him meals that consisted of a few different single foods I wanted to branch out into making actual meals. This is when I started to get frustrated at the lack of information out there. I finally realized I could search for ‘toddler meals’ and find loads of great ideas. You want to avoid added salt (babies can only tolerate about 200 mg a day which is a very small amount) and never, ever give honey. There’s conflicting info on whether you should introduce highly allergenic foods like peanut butter or egg whites before the age of 1. Personally, he’s been eating eggs since 7 months and I will probably put a little peanut butter on his banana soon. Some research has found babies are less likely to develop allergies to these foods if they are introduced to them earlier on.

Since Baby Led Weaning is very, very messy I’ve found the following meal ideas work very well:

  • Muffins: I’ve found a few great recipes that don’t have added sugar. We are trying to make it to his first birthday before he has any added sugars.
  • Quiches: an easy way to get lots of veggies and protein in.
  • Pasta. My son tried Annies organic mac and cheese shells last week and loved them!
  • Hummus or Avocado on Toast. I slice the toast up into little fingers like the frittata below.
  • Cheese tortilla roll ups. Chicken would be good in these! We will be introducing meat this month.

IMG_1203My son is obsessed with these zucchini, parsnip and carrot frittata fingers.

Tips

  • Plan to spend 30-45 minutes per meal to let baby ‘play’ with the food, eat some, and throw a lot on the floor.
  • Invest in some reusable food pouches if you’d like baby to enjoy some pureed foods like applesauce but still want them to be able to feed themselves.
  • Don’t be afraid of spices! Think of babies all over the world. Babies in different cultures are likely exposed to strong spices from a very young age. My son has already tried curried lentils and loves hummus.
  • Don’t force anything on your baby. The whole point of Baby Led Weaning is that it allows your baby to develop their own tastes, decide what they like and don’t like, and explore different textures. It may take baby a few times of being exposed to a food before they start to enjoy it.
  • Avoid things the size of a grape or cherry tomato. These are choking hazards! You can give these foods but cut them up into tiny pieces.

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One side effect of baby led weaning is that it really helped develop my sons fine motor skills. For the first few weeks it was a little difficult for him to grasp the food, and put it into his mouth. Now, he’s a pro! He’s got a great pincer grasp, and loves to study tiny crumbs on his tray and pick them up over and over.

Baby Led Weaning has been such a fun experience. I really look forward to finding new meals to try out for him (and for myself! I love eating whatever I make for him.) When we go grocery shopping I’ll give him an apple or banana to eat while we shop and it keeps him happily entertained for an hour. When we are out to eat I can hand him something to gnaw on and he acts so proud to be eating with the family versus watching on.

Have you tried Baby Led Weaning?
What are some of your favorite Baby Led Weaning, or toddler approved recipes? 

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Happy Sunday friends! I’ve had the most amazing weekend and it’s not just because I found out Saved by the Bell and My So Called Life are now on Hulu.

Here are a few gratuitous photos of my grocery haul for the week. I absolutely love photographing food, especially produce, as the colors are just so beautiful.
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The amount of produce I get each week has definitely increased recently thanks to baby led weaning. I know ‘food before 1 is just for fun’ but I’m still trying to get myself into a good habit of making sure there’s a vegetable at every meal for baby. At this point he’s getting lunch and dinner most days (some days it’s just dinner.) By 9-10 months I hope to have him at three meals a day. IMG_2117

Our family goes through an insane amount of bananas. Baby would eat one every day if I let him. I usually pry it from his little death grip when he’s halfway done with it as I don’t think he’s big enough to stomach an entire banana. IMG_2116

I’ll do a whole post on baby lead weaning soon with some meal ideas. As popular as BLW is I find there aren’t a ton of resources out there on it. Yesterday I made this delicious parsnip, carrot and zucchini frittata for him. He loved it! It’s ridiculously healthy and full of veggies so I’ll be making this quite often. I think it would be good in muffin form too.
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He ate 2 pieces of it (and maybe 1/3 of that ended up on the floor) and a few sweet potato fries for dinner. IMG_1202

My menu this week is pretty similar to what it has been.

Breakfast: Zoats or scrambled eggs

Lunch: Chickpea salad or burrito bowls

Dinner: Protein smoothie

Snacks: sliced apple with cinnamon, pineapple with cayenne, banana with peanut butter or nuts and cheese.

I’ve been so focused on coming up with new meals for baby I haven’t been spending much time on what I’ll be eating. Next week I will branch out and try a new recipe or two!

Yesterday I loaded up baby and took him out for his first long run. Travis has had a crazy work schedule so I had to bring him with me. We’ve gone on plenty of long walks before so I knew he’d be fine in the stroller for a while (90 minutes is the most I’ll have him in there.) As usual he laughed a lot, pointed at everything (just last week he learned how to point) and took a nice long nap.

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Eight miles with the stroller is easily as difficult as 12-15 miles without one. I was so sore the rest of the day. I keep hearing how much better the Bob stroller is but I’ve never tried one. The Graco FastAction jogger I have isn’t bad at all, but I wonder how much better the Bob really is. I’ve been debating on upgrading now that I know I will be using it a lot, but part of me wants to hold out to see if we may have a second baby next year since I’d just wait and upgrade to a double stroller then.
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I’m meeting with a yoga studio today about teaching, and shooting a video showing off new moves for my current boot camp clients. I can’t believe this month is almost over. I realized the other day that there are only four short months left before I can put out Halloween decorations!

How is your weekend going?
If you have a jogging stroller, especially a Bob, what do you love about it? Any tips on running with one?

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Sunday is normally my favorite day of the week but I’m feeling a bit somber this weekend. My parents are safely back in Florida and the house seems so much quieter with them gone. They stayed with us for two weeks so it was just enough time for me to break out of my normal routine and get used to them being here. It feels weird to not watch Andy Griffith every night on Netflix with Mom!

While they were here I tried out another recipe from Oh She Glows. Her DIY Burrito Bowls are so freaking good. At first glance the recipe doesn’t look remarkable but Mom made it before they came up and raved about it, and after she made it here I could see why!
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Meal plan for the week:

Breakfast: zoats or scrambled eggs

Lunch: chickpea salad or burrito bowls

Dinner: giant protein smoothie

Snacks: apple slices with cinnamon, GF tortilla with cheese, banana with peanut butter

Today I’ll be prepping a new meal for baby – curried lentil bake! I’m trying to expose him to as many different flavors as possible before he becomes a typical picky two year old. His current favorite food (aside from banana) is hummus on toast, so I know he enjoys a somewhat robust flavor. I love that the lentil bake allows him to feed himself curried lentils. I have no idea when he’ll be able to use a spoon, so I’m looking for fun new ‘finger food’ recipes.

Last night he tried mozzarella cheese melted in a GF tortilla and literally started shoving it into his mouth so fast I had to take it away from him to let him slow down and chew. This is what I put together for him for dinner, but he probably ate about 30-40% of it. He loves tasting and sucking on everything, but really just ate the tortilla, broccoli and red pepper.

baby led weaning 8 months old

I picked up some organic macaroni and cheese shells for him to try this week as well. It’s so much fun seeing his reaction to things. Next week Travis is going to cook up some plain chicken to feed him as well. I can’t wait until we can give him a lemon to try!

Carb Cycling Boot Camp Update

My last carb cycling round is wrapping up today and I’m loving hearing how many inches and pounds everyone lost! The average weight loss for my clients is 6-10 pounds in a month, and one of my girls lost 12.5″ in six weeks! That’s so incredible to me. Especially when we don’t do any extreme dieting, no crazy restrictions, no excessive exercising, and still lose a significant amount of body fat in a short amount of time.

I have a new 4 week round starting tomorrow so if you’d like to join us we have an amazing group of ladies already signed up ready to go! About 1/3 of my clients from the last round signed up to do it again so that’s a pretty good testament as to how effective, and fun, it is! Just shoot me an email at Erica@EricaDHouse.com and I’ll get you all set up.

Are you doing any meal prep today?

Baby Led Weaning 8 Meals

In the  beginning of April I set a goal to get 100 miles in before the end of the month. Well, I slacked off a bit and ended up only getting 65 miles in by the beginning of last week. I contemplated letting go of the goal, but I just couldn’t. So, little man and I did a lot of walking and running last week and after a 5 mile run yesterday I officially hit 100 miles!
River at Fort Wainwright

I love, love, love that baby boy enjoys being in the stroller and going on walks. I don’t keep him out more than an hour usually and he’ll play with a toy I’ve attached to the stroller, nap, and literally just look around laughing at things.

We’ve been exploring a lot of new areas and I came across this picnic table yesterday. Anytime I see a spot to picnic I think of bringing baby back there next year when we can actually sit down and eat together. It always gives me the feels.
Picnic Bench at Fort Wainwright

Yesterday we did our usual weekly grocery trip and I had a pretty small haul this time. The Almond milk was on sale for $1 off so I stocked up. I had a lot of stuff at home already that I needed for the week ahead so I got about half as much as I normally do. Vegetarian Carb Cycling

My zero calorie drink game is strong. IMG_9991

On the menu this week:

Breakfast: scrambled eggs or zoats

Lunch: glowing spiced lentil soup from Oh She Glows

Dinner: protein smoothie

Snacks: hard boiled eggs, fruit, glo bars, air popped popcorn and PB+banana

For little man I made coconut oil roasted broccoli and carrots, plain roasted sweet potato, GF pasta and he’ll be having some of the hard boiled eggs as well. I’m also going to try giving him some mozzarella cheese this week, and maybe avocado toast. I hadn’t roasted his veggies in coconut oil before and he flipped for them.

Baby Led Weaning 8 Meals

I took this photo Friday coming home from bootcamp … just two Moose, doing Moose things, on the side of the road. It’s so hard to tell their size in photos but the one closest to me was about 8 feet tall.
Moose in FairbanksMy parents should be at the house early today and I can’t wait to see them! I’m looking forward to seeing how baby interacts with them since it’s been 7 months since he’s seen them. I’m sure we’ll run to the grocery store later so they can stock up, and then I’ve got a long list of things I want to show them while they are here. Crepes may be at the top of that list, a visit to Santa Clauses house in the North Pole, and lots of hiking.

Are you doing any food prep today?

Struggling to Lose Weight After Baby-

Getting in shape after having kids is a goal for many new moms (and those with a few kids already!) While it can be challenging to find enough time in a day to get everything done it is possible to get in shape after having kids if you make it a priority. A healthy mom is a happy mom!

Taking an hour (or less) a few days a week to workout will make your stress and anxiety lower, which will probably make you happier and more patient. Regular exercise has numerous health benefits including weight loss and longevity. Taking a few hours a week now can give you a few extra years to spend with your kids. Doesn’t that alone make it worth it?

Motherhood is a beautiful, challenging, uplifting, tiring, and wondrous thing.  I feel like I spent half the day yesterday just looking at my son. At almost 8 months old I’m seeing just how quickly the first year flies by and I want to savor every moment I can. At the same time I still want to prioritize my health. Squeezing in workouts while being a work-at-home mom isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it!

I asked some of my favorite fit moms for their advice on how to juggle motherhood and fitness. I learned a few tricks myself I can’t wait to put into practice!Fit Mom Advice

When I only had my first two kiddos and wanted to run on the treadmill, I filled the pack and play with balls and made it a ball pit! I usually could get 25 minutes out of them being entertained! Now, I’m six weeks postpartum with my third kiddo and stay home with all three boys, so I’ll let you know how that goes soon. – Katie

I use the sworkit app on my phone or use a YouTube video and just work out in my living room! I turn on music and my 16 month old dances around and tries to imitate some of the exercises I do. It’s actually a lot of fun for both of us! – Krista

I wake up before my little one to workout, right in the living room, using a YouTube channel I follow. He has preschool two days a week and on those days I run. Some days life happens and I do workouts at nap or right there with him and he finds it entertaining. My husband is gone from 5am-6-8pm during the week (6 on a rare ocassion). It’s tough as a SAHM/WAHM to get it all done. You have to be committed to transform your goals into reality. Make time when there is none. Do what needs to be done even if you don’t want to. Motivation comes from within. If it’s important you’ll find a way, if not you’ll find an excuse. – Brianna 

It takes the entire family to be on board and be a support system. If I didn’t have my husband supporting me through it all, there’s no way I could do half the things I do for myself. I’m a SAHM so I wake up before anyone else is awake, get my run in, get in the shower. My husband does breakfast with the kids and then I’m on. I blog, write training plans, and do yoga during the day while my daughter naps. All three of those don’t happen on the same day because she doesn’t nap that long. And after my husband gets home from work and we eat dinner, I finish up whatever I couldn’t get to during the day. It’s exhausting! I hope that helps. – Rachel

I will run to the daycare with a empty stroller to pick kids up or get up before everyone else in the house gets up to run! – Kristen

I workout early morning or I now teach 3 days a week at a local gym and use the childcare there. I struggled with mom guilt about leaving them there but it is 1-2 hours a day that they LOVE playing with other kids and it makes me such a better mom! On the non gym days at home DVD programs are my favorites! – Sarah

I go to the gym 5 days a week and take turns taking care of the kids with my husband. Luckily, our gym has a wonderful kid’s club and they love to go there. Some days I will go in the morning and some days it’s at night. On the nights, I will prepare dinner early to make sure that my husband and kids are fed. It’s a balancing act for sure, but when you have a supportive husband and kids it makes it all a little easier. – Amanda

Now I workout early morning or while daughter at dance. I used to literally run errands with her in the BOB! It takes making it a priority. I plan meals and prep with family on weekends. – Jen

As a full time career mom who also runs a swim team, I have to strategically fit in my workouts. My life is a color coded calendar! My husband is a great support system. He works from home so when my daughter was an infant/toddler, he was always with her all day while I kept the career I love. In order to give him the break, I always included her with my workouts. I would push her in the stroller while I walked or ran. If I wanted to swim or take a class or workout in the gym, I put her in child watch (a great benefit at a gym to begin allowing our children to learn socialization skills). As she got older, she started being involved in multiple sports. While she’s at travel soccer, swim team, triathlon or track, I get my workout in depending on the location were at – bike, run, swim or body pump/HIIT. I’ve adapted my own schedule to be able to fit in to my life. Just as her father and I go to her practices and get our workouts in during them, she goes with us to our running club and hangs with us while we get our sports in. If she doesn’t feel like running, we throw her bike on the rack and she rides alongside me while I run. It’s a family affair and it sets an early example to stay active doing what you love. – Cassandra

I use my lunch hour at work to workout. – Lucie

I get up at 4:00am to run 3x’s a week and then I do strength training/yoga during nap times 3-4 x’s depending on our outings and play date schedules. The early mornings are tough but they are totally worth it to have a good run/workout on my own. – Haley

Our gym has childcare so I schedule workouts when she can go there, or I run with her in the jogging stroller. I would say planning ahead for healthy eating is key to not grabbing unhealthy snacks when I am hungry! – Heather

When my first was born I would literally workout with him in a baby pack, and as he grew and another baby was born I would do home videos, long walks/run with them in the stroller etc. I also used our gym kids club until they were too old, then they had a membership for a while too, and now we have a home gym that is accessible. I used to hike with them when they were little and still do now! As for eating, they have always been pretty good eaters, the love veggies more than me so it’s always pretty easy to eat clean! – Tina

I have 4 kids ages 2-8. Over the years I have found that I just HAVE to prioritize it — it makes me a better mom, wife, person! I get up early or stay up late, and use nap time very wisely. My older girls know nothing else than mom working out randomly or taking everyone outside to get in a quick jog around the yard or yoga session. Food is not something I waiver on at all, I just make it work. I don’t watch tv/netflix/hulu, etc. It’s all about priorities and cutting out the unnecessary! – Kelsey

My tips? I say it all the time but FOOD PREP! Make 1-2 big meals on the weekend you can reheat for leftovers (veggie packed soups or casseroles are good choices) and prep healthy snacks like hard boiled eggs. Don’t buy junk food. If it’s not in the house you won’t eat it. Finally, if you need to workout that day make that your priority and get it done before you do anything else. Get a routine/schedule set up (as much as possible, I know it’s not always easy with little ones!) and pretty soon working out will be a habit and something you look forward to! If you need help losing weight my next 6 week boot camp starts May 9th! Spots are filling up fast so be sure to register asap.

What is your biggest challenge to balancing motherhood and fitness?