I promised some ugly weight loss before and after photos. I’m here today to deliver. This is humbling.
If you’ve followed along on my high blood calcium health journey posts, I mentioned that weight gain was one of my symptoms. And it’s one of the issues that boron and supplements had not touched.
Before and After
My inability to lose my postpartum weight was one of the first signs that something odd was going on with me. Here is a photo of me at 6 months postpartum with now 5 year old. All I know is that I had a waist in this photo.
And this is me at 6 months postpartum with my almost 3 year old. I may be artfully sqooshed in between my kids and hiding behind hubby, but I assure you that there is a LOT more of me here than there was in the photo above.
My waistline continued to blossom. This was completely abnormal for me. I had come to the discouraging point of outgrowing my postpartum clothing, and humbly having to go out and buy even larger jeans.
I was a lot less energetic and a lot more tired than I ever remembered being, but I chalked it up to getting older, beginning to homeschool, and just having a busier, more stressful life. And raising a Viking.
And then I found out about my parathyroid tumor, and I sort of took this as a side effect, and just thought, “Oh well…I will just have to wait for my hormones to get back under control, and then maybe I can get this weight off.”
My doctor asked me in my first appointment, “Do you crave carbs, and really feel like you need them to function? And then you feel better for a while after eating or drinking something sweet, but then you crash a short while later?” My jaw dropped open.
“Yes!” I was sure she’d gotten a hold of my diary or something.
Well, I’m ashamed to say that throughout this whole past 6 months of treatment, that I was still allowing myself one Dr. Pepper per day. I felt like a human slug, and would nurse it all day long, just to keep myself going, and then as soon as the kids where all in bed, I was wide awake until well past midnight.
I had a lot of head knowledge about diet and nutrition, and I believe in using great quality meats and ingredients, AND I cook almost all of our meals at home. But sadly, I was packing on weight rapidly, and I felt tired and crappy. I knew I needed a real change, and a good strategy.
I had considered doing a diet plan that I’d done years ago to drop baby weight, but I just *could not* bring myself to counting food and calories and measuring out tiny portions and food journaling. I refuse. On a CELLULAR level, my body refuses to do this.
It made me tired just thinking about it, and I knew that I’d just squirrel away “points” to waste on sweet treats in the evenings. That way of eating was short term for me, and required WAY more effort and determination than I possessed at that point. Plus, I never felt satisfied, and my “need” for sweets was only fueled by calorie restriction.
Then a friend of mine started talking about a new diet she was on. She had read a book called Trim Healthy Mama, and was following their ideas about eating. At first, I was skeptical. For one, she was nursing a baby. I’ve NEVER had any success losing weight until after my babies transitioned to table food. AND my friend already had milk supply problems, and was supplementing with a couple of formula bottles per day.
I kept hearing how much she was enjoying the THM plan, and then she really caught my attention: she was losing weight WHILE NURSING full time, AND her milk supply was improving! She had been able to wean him from half of the formula.
That told me that this eating plan was actually enhancing her metabolism instead of starving it into oblivion. My ears perked up.
Trim Healthy Mama…FINALLY On My Way!
I bought the ginormous book back in November of 2012, and skimmed and coasted through it between holiday craziness. I finally arrived at the recipe section on New Year’s Eve, and decided that I had enough info to at least start feeling my way through it.
I started eating THM style on January 1st, 2013. Nor the best of days to start a diet, since it was a big family reunion at my Mom’s house, and stacked to the ceiling with holiday foods and sweets. I figured if I could make it through that, I could make it through anything. And guess what? I made it! It wasn’t bad at all. There were plenty of yummy things that I COULD have, and I just focused on those things.
By the end of January, I’d dropped 15 pounds…and I’m still going! I actually cannot fathom ever going back to thinking about food the way I used to, or using it the way I was before. I’m hoping to show you guys even MORE weight loss before & after photos as time goes on! Right now, I’m right about at my halfway point for my goal weight! I was back into my postpartum jean again (yay…I think?)
But most importantly, I feel SO amazing! My energy levels are finally stabilized throughout the day, and I feel really and truly energetic again! And my sugar dependency? Well, by week 3, I was able to ride through the drive in of a Krispy Kreme Donut shop WITH the HOT-FRESH-NOW light on, and not even be slightly angry or tempted by it.
Tell Me More!
Everyone’s body is different, but I can tell you from personal experience that having messed up hormones, or having a health issue are not the most important roadblocks in losing weight. What you eat has a LOT to do with whether you continue to gain, or begin losing and healing your metabolism.
I love the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating! I’ve learned SO much about food from THM and it’s not just diet theory, but PRACTICAL ways of using food that just makes so much sense. And it’s very flexible to personalize it to your own lifestyle and food choices.
And the best part? You don’t have to cut out any major food group. Butter? Sure! Fruits? Love ’em. Meat, eggs, dairy, veggies…pick your faves, babe-eh!
It’s so do-able whether you’re just following THM for yourself, or if several members of the family want to join in and get trim and fit again. It’s simple to adapt for family-style meals with those who are not wanting or needing to lose.
I highly recommend this book. It’s an easy read, and covers TONS of great information, far beyond just “diet stuff”. The authors poured five years of their lives and TONS of research, experience, and practical knowledge into this 650 page book, and it’s worth every penny! I’d LOVE for you to join me on this journey to health, here on the Trim Healthy Mama facebook page!
Next, I’ll post a Trim Healthy Mama book review, and start posting some of my own THM friendly recipes over in the recipes section. NONE of which will taste like diet food! I promise you that even if you don’t want or need to lose weight, the recipes are still going to be delicious. So don’t bail on me, food lovers! 🙂 I’m still a verified foodie!
Have any questions you’d like for me to answer in the review? I’d be happy to! Just leave them in the comments below. And stay tuned for more before and after shots!
Follow me on Pinterest and never miss a recipe!
Follow Gwen’s Nest’s board Gwen’s Nest Healthy Recipes on Pinterest.
Shannon Elles says
You just gave me the final push I needed to buy THM!! Thank you! And by the way, you look great!
Thank you, Shannon! Hope you enjoy the book!
I really want this book. However…I’m worried about the ingredients to the recipes. We don’t have any local health food stores to buy from, just your regular ol’ Kroger and Walmart. Also, we are on a budget so are their any other ingredients that need to be purchased online?
I’ll talk about this in my review…great question!
Wow! That was some serious carb cravings, lady.
I am SO happy for your progress.
Thank you! I’m SO glad that I’m past that part! 🙂
Lisa McMann says
Wow Gwen. That’s awesome. I’m the one who commented on a recent THM group post….having very recently purchased the book and having emailed with Pearl in the past before they wrote the book. Feeling overwhelmed and you encouraged me with Baby Steps. Mexican food is my biggest weakness. Love salads but have too many carbs not sweet ones too often. I’m amazed at your fast progress and this encourages me to press on through the book. Glad I found you on Pinterest!
Glad you’re here and encouraged! I just enjoyed a taco salad tonight, so Mexican isn’t out! Have you tried the low carb tortillas? YUM! And you can have those with any type of meal or snack. 🙂
Thank you. Haven’t started yet…still reading 🙂 I’d like to read the review you mentioned above of the book.. did I miss it ?
You did not miss it! I FINALLY got it done. It’s been a Murphey’s Law week. 🙂 Probably because I promised to post it so quickly! 🙂
Here is the link: https://gwens-nest.com/natural-remedies/trim-healthy-mama-book-review/
Just saw you posted today…looking forward to reading it !
Steph Halvorsen says
I am at a loss and overwhelmed, I have the book, but it seems daunting, did I mention I have 6 kiddos running around. The tabs in your book make it look so much more user friendly, can you please give me detail on that! Thank you so much!
Sure, Steph! I’m going to post the book review tomorrow, and will include a quick start guide that shows how I did the tabs. 🙂 And an easy grocery list and some other tips!
I’m leaving you another L O N G comment here…instead of scattered around on all the posts I’ve recently read. I’m the same Lisa who commented below…and on the THM page. Just printed out your quick start guide on the book. I do think reading your review encouraged me to not be overwhelmed so much and just keep reading and get started. I understand the basic idea better now anyway. I read your health story on your parathyroid tumor with much interest. Very impressive how you researched and worked your way through all that!!! I also noticed someone posted about Wilson’s syndrome on Andrea’s recent question on hair growth (there I suggested the biotin and possible thyroid issues, etc) I’m going to read that one soon…because I’ve wondered for years if something is wrong with my thyroid ( I have many symptoms..yet standard levels always seem “normal”.
I hope the diet will help most of my issues, but I too feel like something is just wrong. I don’t have the money to go the route of a lot of normal options as far as doctor’s (preferably a natural approach one) and your comments on pregnolone intrigue me and I’ll look into that one. One place you mention a suppository and one place I thought you said oral tablet. I’ve used natural progesterone cream on and off for years. I’m much, much older than you but I’m am still having “regular” cycles though I’ve had hormonal problems for years. 30 years ago was told I probably had PCOS. Never did the testing as I missed the cycle time for the tests and then became pregnant with our last at age 39. I know I’m rambling but wanted you to know I’m enjoying your posts…so happy you are working on your PTH/tumor issues and I also just liked you FB page and asked to join the herb discussion group. You can add me on facebook if you want. I will try not to overwhelm you with a lot more questions…but I think I will have some 🙂
Blessings to you and your family. I’m hoping your success with THM and health victories will be my testimony soon!
I’m so glad to see you over on facebook! The only reason that I have to actually “approve” people to the group, is because that is a fb requirement for keeping all of our posts private. Which is important to me when discussing other people’s health stuff. 🙂
Please feel free to ask questions and work through things over on the herbal chick chat…there are some BRILLIANT ladies over there that I just LOVE hearing from that have been wonderful in helping me brainstorm.
SO glad you’re enjoying all the discussion and posts! 🙂 Hope you’re on the path to healing soon!
Thank you so much! I just quickly read through a question you answered on the herbal group about the pregnalone. I haven’t had a chance to read it carefully nor look into anything about it. I have taken DHEA before…and it was a good brand….but I didn’t do it long enough to see any benefit. Something I’m guilty of is trying lots of things, maybe not sticking..and also of knowing the right things knowledge wise and not executing them in my life 🙂 Something I need to continue to work on. Thanks again!!
I might have to invest in this book. I have been trying to lose weight for awhile. I have done low carb (which never seems to work with my body ~ probably hormone issues), I have counted calories which works like a charm but I just can’t stand to do it any more. I tried counting points but again…I can’t stand it. I totally relate to the statement that “on a cellular level” my body refuses…lol. Sounds like it might be a fit.
Hope you enjoy it! It’s not like ANY other ‘diet’ I’ve ever been on, and I’m still LOVING it even after hitting goal weight! 🙂
Tiny Tina says
I already have the book as well, but I’m wondering how I can get your quick start guide separately?
I just read your story and can identify with everything you just said. The problems you were having before you started THM is exactly the way I feel now. I have bought my book and read through it to where the recipes start. You have inspired me to start feeling my way through the plan! Thanks for sharing your story. Hopefully I will be able to share a positive outcome as well.
Bless you, Tricia…praying for your success & improving health. ♥
Sheila Thompson says
I just discovered this diet and it’s what I’ve been looking for! I don’t have the money to invest in a bag full of supplements and chemicals nor do I want to subsist on shakes for months to lose weight. I just knew that there was a key to sane healthy weight loss plan somewhere and I believe that this is it! Starting my journey! Thanks for the info!
This is IT for me for sure! I love it! It’s food freedom!
Christina Knotts says
I am 2 weeks in and have NOT lost anything! Well, the first week I did lose 2 inches off my hip (and belly) but nothing since. The scale stays the same. 🙁 Help!!
Heather Mask says
Thank you so much for sharing this and the previous posts about your health concerns. I moved to another state a year ago and was most nervous about find new doctors. I am so happy that you found a great doctor, answers to your health concerns, and a plan to feel better! Most of my maternal aunts and cousins and my mother have issues with hypothyroidism. Long story short, after a year of UTIs and then struggling with aches and pains, fatigue, and fog my doctors ruled out concerns with iron, Vit D, thyroid, etc. and all the pieces fell together (while I was falling apart) to confirm a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. I had managed it well for a year and a half (including the first 6 months after our move), but then I was again stuck in the cycle of Mt. Dew and muffins to try and get through the energy lows and fog (even though I was sleeping well). I had been denying the fact that even though we clean eat and have healthy grains in our diet, my body can’t handle carbs and sugar like it used to. THM also was the answer to helping my body drop weight and increase energy.
I’ve been using your blog for several months now getting started with THM. I love your easy to follow recipes and tips and especially your beginning fact sheets! Now I’ve moved on to your health journey and I can’t believe that we share this also!! I’m 61 and have been noticing a bone mass loss in the past 8 years and most recently 10% in the past 3 years! I didn’t want to have surgery on my parathyroid but I couldn’t put it off any longer! So this March I had the little culprit removed. All is well and I’m feeling good but not back to peak. I also have thyroid issues and take Armor thyroid replacement. I’m slowly taking off the weight…I have about 18 lbs to go…had 30 to begin with. My daughter is coaching me and helping me to learn the THM ways of eating. I think I’m getting it and I’m very excited to feel the benefits of this lifestyle. Just wanted to say Bravo to you for all of your research and seeking alternatives to surgery. I’m going to ask my Naturopathic DR about the Boron supplement. God Bless you and keep you on His path to healing and wholeness!
(((hug))) I ended up having surgery too, and am still working on getting my health back on track. Thank you for your sweet note! Hope you are well!
I am well!! It’s been 6 months since my para thyroid surgery and I can finally say my energy level is back and I can feel my creative energy sparking. Of course I’m faithfully living the THM lifestyle and have dropped 9 pounds. It’s amazing the difference in how my body feels! It’s not difficult staying on plan and I’m very satisfied with what I eat. My daughter is still coaching me and I hope to drop around 10 more pounds. I will never go back to the way I ate before!! I ate a small piece of garlic toast the other day( by choice) and felt so bloated and ill afterward. So grateful for THM and do appreciate all your help too! God bless you and keep you.
Love your blog! I started THM in January but have many health issues. I find myself loosing and gaining the same 5 lbs over and over. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve cheated too many times!
Question: I know you’re not a doctor or anything but I want your opinion on this. I too have health issues and specially problems with my hormones. Do you think I can still loose weight on THM if I don’t take care of the hormone problems first? I don’t have medical insurance and can’t afford to pay on my own.
Oh, this is a tough question. Honestly, it depends on what is going on in your body. If you’re having hormonal issues, and there are problems with your liver converting fats and lipids, it could be a longer journey for you. If that’s the case, I’d recommend trying some liver support herbs (which honestly, I would recommend to ANYONE who is losing weight)
I’d also err on the side of lighter S meals, and if you don’t see some changes, then go get some testing done by a good alternative care Dr.
But whatever you decide to do, DON’T give up just because your body is different or has some challenges. ♥
It’s ALWAYS worth fighting for your health. Even if it feels like you’re having to battle your way through underbrush, and you see others flying past you in a convertible. You are still getting there, and learning and loving your one body that God gave you. ♥
Jan Falk says
I’m having trouble getting started. I guess I don’t know where to start. I do pretty good during the day while I am at school but when I get home, I want to eat the house. I don’t exercise but love to eat (the wrong things). I have bought the THM book and have been reading and reading and reading. Help!
Gwen Brown says
THM is not about eating less…not by any means. 🙂 It’s about eating smarter, and eating for what your body needs. If you’re starving in the afternoon and evenings, you’re just not getting enough fuel in the mornings to support your activity levels. Re-read the exercise chapter too as the recommendations for fueling with food before & after exercise are important and shouldn’t be skipped! 🙂
Maybe try a heavier breakfast, or adding in a snack mid-morning. Or try adding in S helpers with a little more carbs to keep your energy levels up in the mornings. Play with different combinations at different times of day and see what works best with your body.
this is very encouraging, I am in SO need of this, but am afraid of failure and the cost involved, thank you for your encouragement!
Gwen Brown says
You really can use mostly just grocery store foods. 🙂 I bought one or two new things a month for the first couple of months online but most of the products last a long time.
Becky McGee says
Hi Gwen! I just got the THM book about 3 weeks ago. Due to my obsessive/compulsive nature, I was read to jump right on board with the Trim Healthy Mama way of life. I started the “diet” (I’m considering it a new way of life!!) on June 22, 2015. My question is, when first starting and continuing the diet, how many weeks (months?) does one stay on the “Deep S” for 3 days,”Fuel Pull” for 2 days, and “E Refuel”for 2 days? (Do you start over again and again until you achieve goal weight? I may have overlooked this in the book, or just not come to it yet, but I would appreciate any help you can offer.
Thank you so much!!
Gwen Brown says
I didn’t do that formula at all when I did THM. I did “freestyling”, which is eating E meals when you need energy, S meals when you are *hungry* and want a satisfying meal, and FP snacks or meals when you may still be stuffed from the last S meal. 🙂 It’s really just that simple. You learn to go with what your body needs. That’s the most sustainable way for me to do THM. I do usually eat an E meal or snack at *least* once a day since that is what keeps me feeling energetic and keeps my metabolism pumping. 🙂 Hope that helps!
P.S. Have you read the THM Quick Start Guide yet?
Becky McGee says
Oh Gwen! Thank you so much!! I have downloaded the Quick Start Guide and though the book is very good, the QSG is so much easier for me to follow!
I really appreciate all your wisdom, advice, and I love your personality! It shows through the words you write and I admire you for putting yourself “out there” with your health story and before and after pictures.
One more thing, ok, maybe two…the Greek Salad dressing mix? LOVE IT!! Made the “mix” today and of course whipped up some for “S” salads and for “FP” salads! YUMMY! Last thing, promise…I can hardy wait to try the sourdough bread! Just got it mixed up in a jar and it’s in the fridge just waiting to be cooked and eaten!!
Thank you for ALL the recipes you’ve given!! YOU are awesome!!
Gwen Brown says
Becky! Thank you SO much for the comment. It was like getting a hug. 🙂
I have started reading the book! And am now printing your quick start guide! I loved your enthusiasm in just your 1 month article can’t wait to read more about your journey!
Looking forward to your recipes too!