I’m a mom of three beautiful kids. I love my kids. But three very difficult, pre-eclamptic, bedrest-inducing, weight-gaining pregnancies in four and a half years pretty much destroyed my health. It was horrifying, really, when I looked at myself in the mirror after my third was born. So, I decided it was time to “get healthy”. After all, I was thirty years old, and it should be easy, right?
Oh my goodness. I have never been more wrong about ANYTHING in my life. It was a nightmare. I tried a lot of things, even some that were absolutely ridiculous. I increased my physical activity and have, in that seven years, burned through a Fitbit Charge, a Fitbit Charge HR, and am currently sporting a Fitbit Alta. I also killed my Fitbit scale due to overuse (alas, poor Bob the Scale, I hardly knew ye).
I tried several recognized diet plans and methods. I Slim Fasted for a while, and then I Weight Watched. I tried Zija and decided that if I were going to drink grass, it would be more efficient if I just mowed my own and tossed it in the blender. I tried Plexus, and “drank pink” for almost a year.
The thing is, while all of those things worked for me in the very short run, none of them gave me the lasting results I was looking for. That combo of experimentation and exercise helped me drop roughly 20 pounds. That’s it. 20.
…I realize some of you, at this point, are saying, “But hey! That’s 20 pounds that you’re not carrying anymore!” Yeah, okay, but it shouldn’t take seven years to lose twenty pounds, know what I’m sayin’?
What really frustrated me the most about all of this is that I wasn’t eating badly. I wasn’t–I promise. I could have understood the stubborn scale if I were snarfing down ice cream and cookies every time I turned around. But literally, I’d eat a salad, run five miles, ride six miles on my bike and weigh three pounds HIGHER the next day.
It didn’t make sense, especially since I knew other people were being very successful on all of the plans and products I was trying. I knew there had to be more to it than just calories in, calories out.
About a month and a half ago, I finally decided to cave and read this “Trim Healthy” thing that people kept recommending. I wasn’t really interested in another diet plan, because I’d pretty much given up on dieting. I couldn’t eat much more “healthy” than I was, and that clearly wasn’t working.
What I wasn’t prepared for, though, was the science of Trim Healthy Mama. Finally, it made sense–I wasn’t eating the wrong foods, I was just eating them in the wrong combinations. There was nothing inherently wrong with the foods I was putting on my plate–I just needed to assemble my meals in a different WAY.
So, I bought the Trim Healthy Cookbook and Trim Healthy plan book and picked out a few recipes to try. I figured I’d see if the food was worth eating and we’d go from there.
It’s been amazing. Really. In two months, I’ve lost 2/3 the amount that it took me seven years to lose.
I’ve officially transitioned from Trim Healthy Beginner to Trim Healthy Believer.
So, I want to address a few of the things that were holding ME back that I think hold some others back from trying Trim Healthy Mama:
- It is expensive.
I think the first thing I was afraid of is that THM was going to cost money. I mean, pretty much everything else I had tried either had a membership fee or required you to buy expensive drinks, supplements, etc. from the company. The thing is that you can do THM without buying a single thing FROM the THM company (although I really do think you need to buy and read the plan book, and the cookbook is super useful).
A lot of the mamas on the THM newbie Facebook group also talk about how “spendy” the special ingredients in THM recipes are. So I thought about that for a minute and then I decided to go back through my Walmart Savings Catcher receipts and do a shopping cart comparison.
The first thing that I noticed is my shopping cart is noticeably more empty now that I am doing THM. I’m bypassing several aisles in the store completely, and I am buying very few “boxed” and prepackaged items. We’re also generating less trash, which is making my husband very happy, since he’s the one who hauls off the waste and recycling. But look at this comparison of a typical shopping receipt from Walmart from January and my receipt from today:
And you know what makes that REALLY interesting? My receipt from January was all grocery items. My receipt from today included three makeup items (which are not cheap, as I’m sure you know) and several extra household items (my pregnant cat decided my carpet was FAR too clean and she should ensure that she throw up in the maximum number of areas to help me with that egregious oversight on my part).
So yeah, some of the natural ingredients are more expensive than the fake or processed varieties, but when you truly get on board with THM, you aren’t buying nearly as much junk. I’ve become a MUCH more efficient grocery shopper, and that’s clearly saving us enough money to justify me buying Truvia instead of sugar and so on.
- It’s too much work.
Yeah, I get this one too. I’m a mom of three, I’m a teacher, I’m an author that just launched a book… But again, it’s a matter of perspective. Before I went to the grocery store this morning, I sat down with the THM website and planned a menu for the week. Sundays I’ve got time to cook. Mondays and Wednesdays are usually sheer and utter chaos at my house. So, when I planned my meals, I selected crockpot meals for Monday and Wednesday. I built a menu that uses similar ingredients (for example, two of my recipes use chicken breast) so that I could buy ingredients in bulk. I’m not going to lie–I get in a rut with breakfast and lunch. I only get a small window of time to eat at school, so I usually do something like make muffins that I eat on for breakfast most of the week and have a similar type of salad all week for lunch. Easier to prep.
Speaking of prep, my weekly meal prep doesn’t take long. I wash and chop some romaine, spinach, and spring mix and put it in a bowl in the fridge that I use all week to make the salads to go with my E lunches. I boil some eggs on Sunday to use for breakfast and the occasional S salad lunch. I divide out my big bulk packages of chicken breast into freezer bags and that’s pretty much it. We’re talking maaaaaybe twenty minutes. Maybe.
I print out my recipes and meal plan for the week and stick it on the fridge. Then, as we go along through the week, I just rotate the recipe for that evening to the front and stick it in a binder I made for THM when I’m done. I promise, it sounds like you’re doing a lot of work, but it really does make your week go so much more smoothly. By the way, most of my evening meals are S. It’s my husband’s type of meal, and it’s easy to turn it into a crossover for my kids, so my breakfast, lunch, and snacks are where I get in my Es and FPs.
- It doesn’t work.
You know what? Maybe it doesn’t for everybody. I sure did try a lot of things that didn’t work for me. But I think for a lot of people that struggle with the plan, it’s because they are so used to following a diet strictly and religiously, and that’s not really what THM is. THM is more about understanding the science of your food and helping use it as fuel for your body (like selecting regular versus premium at the gas station). I see so many people on the THM Facebook freaking out about having a “cheat meal” or accidentally eating a crossover and WHAT DO I DO, FOR THE LOVE OF CHEESECAKE???
You move on. You make sure the next meal is healthy and forget about it.
What I’ve noticed is that I’m making smarter choices every day. Even when I’m not 100% on plan, I’m WAY closer than I used to be, and that’s still moving the scale in the right direction, even when it’s not moving as fast. For example, we ate at Fazoli’s last night, and my eyes naturally slid past all of the stuff I used to order. Was my meal still a crossover? Uh, yeah, because BREADSTICKS and butter, people! Was it a disaster? Nope. I didn’t overeat anything. This morning, I had my Fat-Stripping Frappe and went on about my business.
The most exciting thing for me is that I FEEL awesome. I’m so proud of my shopping cart at the grocery store. I almost want to flag people down and be like, “Oh my goodness, look at these beautiful vegetables! Don’t you want to come to my house for dinner? I mean, you can’t, because I don’t know you and that would be weird, but dinner at my house is AWESOME!” I have so much more energy that now I find myself thinking about exercising instead of thinking of ways to avoid exercising.
As I type this, I’m wearing a pair of jeans that just three weeks ago, I had to stretch out on my bed and suck my gut in like there was no tomorrow just to fight the zipper up. They “fit” in the sense that they didn’t burst right back off my body, but they were horribly uncomfortable and left glorious indentations in my skin. Not really my most attractive look. But check me out today!
- The food’s gross and the ingredients are weird.
Uh, yeah, confession–the first time I tried Good Girl Moonshine, I was pretty sure it was directly from the devil. I hate apple cider vinegar. The smell of that stuff alone makes me want to run for the hills, gagging all the way. But then I took the advice to heart of “owning” it, and I added a little lemon juice and sliced strawberries, and now I find myself drinking ridiculous amounts of GGMS a day.
And yes, the first time I put cauliflower on the table and tried to pretend it was mashed potatoes, it was an EPIC fail. The texture wasn’t right (I blame Green Giant and my microwave, lol). The flavor was good, but it was more like fauxtato soup than fauxtatoes.
But you know what? I have yet to put a single meal on the table that my picky husband and children have turned up their nose at. I did get caught sneaking spinach into a meal, so now I am considerably more careful with how I manage that one, but really–you can do THM with things that you already eat. It doesn’t have to be a purist menu, although there’s plenty of room for that if that’s what you’re looking for.
If you’re not sure THM is for you, I recommend starting easy. Find recipes that aren’t that far off from things you already eat. My big recommendations? Cheeseburger Pie from the cookbook–my husband and kids LOVE it. The Fat-Stripping Frappe reminds my kids of a Wendy’s Frosty. My son that rarely asks for seconds got thirds of the Big Mac Salad. And if you like strawberry ice cream, DEFINITELY try the Cottage Berry Whip. It’s my favorite snack.
Long story short–give it a try. A real try. Don’t stick a toe in the water and then explain that you TRIED to learn to swim, but nearly drowned, so you had to give up. I am SO glad I did. I can tell this is going to be something that I maintain for life. I LOVE, love, love THM.