'I Regained Weight After Lap Band Surgery—So I Started Using The IIFYM Method And Everything Clicked'
My name is Schauna Harshman (@schaunaraefit), and I’m 35 years old. I’m from Grand Forks, North Dakota, and I am a hospital based medical coder. My weight fluctuated for years, even after lap band surgery. Then, everything clicked when I started thinking about my macros and doing Beachbody workouts.
I had been overweight my entire life and was always the bigger one in the group.Right before I started my weight-loss journey, I had just had three kids in a span of five years, and I never had any real time to learn or understand how to lose weight in between. I had joined various programs like WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) and tried calorie counting, but I had no idea what I was doing and I would give up before I would see results.
I was eating everything I loved daily: chips, pasta, fried food, drinks full sugar soda, etc. I just went through the motions of life, not really seeing what I was doing to myself. I didn’t leave my house unless I had to. Even in the summer, I would leave the house in jeans and a hooded sweatshirt because I was embarrassed. My highest weight that I can remember was 296 pounds, in 2012.
My weight also caused some health issues when I was pregnant with my youngest son. I developed high blood pressure and had to be induced four weeks early. I was also on high blood pressure medication for six months after I gave birth to him.
My rock bottom came when my 3-year-old middle son made a particular comment. He said out loud to me that I was fat.
Nobody had actually come out and said it before. Even though I knew it, it hurt. He didn’t mean it to hurt my feels, of course, but it changed my perspective of how I saw myself. I am forever grateful that moment happened.
So I began my weight-loss journey then and there, and it included weight-loss surgery. In the beginning, I was calorie counting with MyFitnessPal, logging my food every day—which totally worked. I lost 54 pounds on my own before I had my weight-loss surgery.
Then, I had a lap band procedure in 2013, and I lost an additional 67 pounds within the first year of having the band placed around my stomach (which cuts off the size of your stomach and helps you to feel fuller faster). But I also had a weight regain year, putting on 45 pounds again in 2015. In 2016, I lost that weight again. I was yo-yoing big time. Over the years, besides WW, I also tried Isagenix, the keto diet, and others.
Currently, I have switched to *flexible dieting* for the last five months, which is all about eating what fits within your macros (a.k.a. the If It Fits Your Macros diet, or IIFYM). This has worked the best for me for a long term lifestyle and has helped me keep the weight off, finally. Everything else I tried was only short-term, and I knew I couldn’t sustain those other diets as a lifestyle. This whole journey is about finding what works for you *long*-term, which is why I have tried a bit of everything.
Here’s what I typically eat in a day now:
Breakfast: Oatmeal made with almond milk, half a scoop of protein powder, peanut butter powder, blueberries, and half of a banana.
Lunch: A crunchwrap made with Cut da Carb flatbread, with deli meat or blackened chicken. I have a side of carrots and cucumbers.
Snacks: A chocolate protein shake after my workout in the morning, a Built Bar in the afternoon, and rice cakes with almond butter.
Dinner: Chicken stir fry made with lots of different veggies, in a sugar-free Teriyaki sauce and liquid aminos.
Dessert: Yogurt and sugar-free JELLO bowl.
I worked out throughout my entire journey.
I started small, doing the stationary bike and working my way up to an elliptical for cardio. I joined Beachbody in 2015 and have been addicted to mixed training ever since (strength *and* HIIT workouts).
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I currently am working out five days a week, with one active rest day and one full rest day. I am doing Beachbody on Demand workouts and have been doing them for five years, and am also a Beachbody coach. Currently, I am doing the new boxing program called 10 Rounds, and another round of the program LIIFT4. I do two videos a day (one hour), which always has a mix of strength training and cardio or HIIT training.
I absolutely love working out from home because it literally gives me no excuses to not do my workout. I plan my weeks out each week so I know which time of the day I will be able to fit my workout in based off of my work life, mom life, and my husband’s schedule. This method leaves me *no* excuses.
These three changes helped me see the most noticeable results in my weight loss.
- Change one: I started making small changes. I took one small change and made it a habit before I added in the next thing. For example, I started with not drinking my calories. I added in diet sodas and water in place of drinking regular soda or other drinks like coffee full of sugary creamer.Now I currently drink sweetened black coffee with a zero-calorie sweetener with a splash of almond milk, and I drink water the rest of the day. If I am craving a soda, like a Diet Mountain Dew, I’ll have it in moderation.
- Change two: I quit buying foods that triggered me. I am an emotional eater and a binge eater. If I have something I love in my house and nobody is around, I’ll binge eat it. Chips, chocolate. I still buy this stuff when I plan for it. But now I have a better relationship with foods I love, and I don’t eat these trigger foods unless I plan for it.
- Change three: I invested in my mindset. I spent one year reading self-help books and improving my mindset and self-worth. I said goodbye to people who didn’t make me happy or support my happiness. I tell myself every day that me and my happiness in this *one* life I get to live is what matters the most. This is how I am able to stay motivated and consistent.
Over the course of seven years, I have lost a total of 140 pounds.
I want other women, specifically moms like myself who gained more and more weight with each pregnancy, that your life doesn’t have to stop because you have a family. If losing that weight will make you happy, find a community that supports you and is like-minded, sharing things that motivate you.
For me, finding the Instagram weight-loss community has kept me the most consistent. I’ve made friends from all over the world who support me like they would in the real world! Find your people.
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