After having, Gavin, I was introduced to this revolutionary book, Intuitive Eating. From years of yo-yo dieting and having to finish all my food (in order to prevent low bloodsugar), I had lost the ability to know when I was hungry unless I was starving and to know when I was full until being sickly stuffed. Intuitive eating teaches you to listen to your body's natural cues. The book warns you that you may gain at first because the program calls for not restricting yourself in anyway. This means that if I wanted ice cream for dinner, that's what I ate. BUT, in the process, I had to listen to my body and follow its cues. This was tricky and took time to master. I kept with it, ate out when I wanted, ate whatever I wanted and then literally one day in the spring, I woke up and was back in my pre-pregnancy clothes. I even weighed around 10 pounds less than my weight was when I had last been dieting before the pregnancy. The program tells you that if you follow it, you will end up at the weight your body naturally is supposed to be; however, it warns you that it might not be "skinny" you want, but it's the healthy weight where you should be.
I have stuck with this program ever since, which to me explains why I did not gain as much with my second pregnancy and why I have an easier time maintaining my weight rather than losing. After Kailee, I realized I had not listened as closely to my body's cues (though I had listened somewhat) during the pregnancy, and then I had to retrain myself to follow the program. This time around, I did also have to add exercise to the mix to lose the weight--partially because I did not want to diet. I didn't want to lose the eating intuitively mindset.
The reason I want to share this is because I do not believe diets are a permanent fix. I know people trying to lose weight and while that is great in the short-run, maintenance can be the hardest part. I want to share this so that others may benefit and be able to successfully maintain a healthy lifestyle.