The Healthy Eating And Workout Program I’m Trying Postpartum

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I recently came across THIS: the most beautiful article about body image. The author writes about loathing her body when she was younger and discovering self-love decades later. She couldn’t nail down exactly when the loathing ebbed, but “maybe it had something to do with having a daughter and wanting to spare her the pain of hating her own skin.”  I can relate.  I think all mothers can relate. We look in the mirror and focus only on our imperfections, but when we look at our daughters we see only beauty. The thing is, they learn from us . . . and if we’re constantly criticizing ourselves, our daughters will learn that too.

Although we’re inundated with images of “perfect” bodies in the media almost everywhere we look, there’s only so much we can do about them. But according to a 2015 study, 5- to 8-year-olds who think their moms are dissatisfied with their bodies are more likely to feel dissatisfied with their own bodies. THIS we can do something about. I do not want my daughter thinking I’m anything but grateful for my body. I don’t want to focus on the cellulite, wrinkles, or extra pounds — I want to focus on health. I want to model healthy eating and exercise habits because I want Greenlea to be healthy — both physically and emotionally.

After having Ozzie, though, I wasn’t feeling very healthy — physically or emotionally. The first few weeks were insanely intense. Having a newborn who wanted to breastfeed constantly, a toddler who wanted mom and dad to herself, and a body that had just gone through a C-Section was overwhelming and exhausting.  Getting through the day was a HUGE win. I was breastfeeding and RAVENOUS. I ate everything I could set my sights on, and working out wasn’t even a (distant) thought in my mind. As the months went by, though, my body healed, Greenlea and Ozzie hit their stride, and my appetite returned to normal. But I still wasn’t working out (I had NO energy) and was still eating whatever was in front of me. My clothes still weren’t fitting. I was tired all the time. So when Cathy, a long-time reader, reached out with information about the FASTer Way to Fat Loss, a program I had never heard of, I figured I’d give it a try. (She had me at “more energy” and “sleeping better.”)

OK, Is the FASTer Way to Fat Loss Just Another Diet?

Nope, it’s not. Here’s why: First, it’s NOT a diet. It’s a healthy way of eating. We count macros (proteins, carbohydrates and fats), not calories. The focus is on why proteins, carbs and fats are each essential parts of a healthy diet. (Carbs are not “bad,” fat doesn’t make you fat, etc.,) It’s not like “OK, I’m going on this diet to lose weight and then go back to normal.” This way of eating IS my new normal.

Although I would have called it something else, the FASTer Way to Fat Loss (or FWTFL for short) focuses is on FAT loss, not weight loss. In fact, they want you to stay off the scale. They want you to focus on keeping/building muscle and losing fat. (Muscle weighs more than fat, but your clothes will fit better and you’ll feel better by losing fat over pounds, even if the scale remains the same.) The goal is sustainable progress, not overnight transformation.

So what is it? Basically, it’s a seven-week introduction to a healthier way of eating. It incorporates intermittent fasting, carb cycling (meaning you CAN eat carbs), whole food nutrition (over processed foods) and workouts (that you can do from home) to help you lose fat. It’s a flexible (I’ve been able to maintain it while traveling a lot) and sustainable lifestyle that focus on progress over perfection, and allowing ourselves grace. (There’s room for donuts.)

In the beginning there’s a ton of information (OVERWHELMING), but once you understand what you’re doing and, more importantly, why, it becomes easier. (This is where your coach comes in. I asked Cathy, my coach, a ton of questions, and she was great at helping me “get it.”)  I don’t feel hungry or deprived . . .  I’ve actually never eaten more food in my life. I have more energy (finally!) and just feel better all around. (By the way, it’s safe for breastfeeding moms. I’m still breastfeeding and my supply has not been affected at all.)

The workouts can be done from home, which is a big plus for moms of younger kids. I actually like that they’re written out (with links to examples of moves) so you can watch your favorite show or interact with your baby while doing them — I’ve even used Ozzie as my weight when he wouldn’t let me put him down. There are workouts for the gym, if that’s what you prefer, and beginner workouts (that can also be done from home) for people like me, who have gotten out of the habit of exercising. The beginner workouts are no joke, either. They’re short but effective. (This bike has come in very handy, too. You can read my review of it here.)

Before & After: My First Round of the FASTer Way to Fat Loss

My body is not perfect (that’s just not a realistic goal), but it is stronger and healthier than it was when I started. And because I liked the FWTFL so much, I actually signed up for another round. It’s nice to have a program to follow that you don’t have to think about, plus someone to help hold you accountable.YASSS! An diet focusing on healthy eating, better sleep & more energy. Intermittent fasting, carb cycling & whole food nutrition — we're on it.YASSS! An diet focusing on healthy eating, better sleep & more energy. Intermittent fasting, carb cycling & whole food nutrition — we're on it.YASSS! An diet focusing on healthy eating, better sleep & more energy. Intermittent fasting, carb cycling & whole food nutrition — we're on it.

Like I said, this isn’t a lose-weight-quick diet, but a sustainable, healthy way of living. I don’t want Greenlea to see me calorie-obsessed or weight-obsessed. I want her to see her mom as someone who makes healthy choices, but isn’t afraid to indulge once in awhile. Someone who appreciates and is grateful for her body, not obsessed with the way it looks. I want to be an example of what I want for her — someone who looks in the mirror and loves what she sees.

XOXO,

Scotti

P.S. My coach, Cathy DeZorzi, is starting a new round on March 18 if anyone is interested! I highly recommend both the program and her!

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Meet Scotti, the contributor with our most-loved beauty advice. When Scotti's not giving us the scoop on the latest products and techniques she's dishing out some of TME's most loved looks. It's not easy to look so cute in the U.P. of Michigan (i.e. crazy cold and snow) but she always makes it happen.

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47 Comments

  1. I took a look at the program, and it seems like there is a lot going on in a 7 week program. There are studies that show that in order to successfully build life long habits, it is best to work on one habit at a time. You might want to check out Balance365. It is a research based program with the goal of building habits; one habit at a time. https://www.balance365life.com/about/
    Be kind to yourselves, mamas. Self love is so important.

  2. You look beautiful- before & after. Your message is a good one for moms & kids. If the program is making you feel strong & healthy it might work for a someone else. You are brave to share!!

  3. Honestly you look amazing before and not that much different after. The tricks of photography are evident–but seriously–if you feel better–you do you. BE ware of the pyramid schemes of this program and others like it though. We all want to be HEALTHY role models for our daughters AND sons.

    • I was hesitant to post the before and after pictures because I didn’t think they were “dramatic” enough, but then I thought about authenticity and just went with it. I appreciate the compliment and YES agree that we need to be role models for both daughters and sons. My perspective was just thinking about my daughter who seems to be growing up so fast right now!

  4. I, too, am following a macro-based nutrition plan with online coaching and it’s been great. I won’t mention the name, but I did just renew after finally losing 11 lbs in 13 weeks. I hear you; it’s awesome to feel great in your own skin and be a great role model for your kids. Congrats! You look great and I can see the difference.

  5. You look beautiful in both sets! Thank you for sharing your success with FWFL…I always trust y’all to give your honest feedback and share fashion/lifestyle with us that you really believe in. I started my first round after reading about it from your swimsuit post and I am so excited to get going. It feels so much more sustainable and less extreme than many programs (keto etc) that I just couldn’t stick with. Hoping I have great results!

    Question about FWTFL – did you go totally dairy free??

    • Hi Katie! I’m Cathy, Scotti’s FWTFL coach. I didn’t see your name on the sign up list so I think you might’ve been accidentally placed in the corporate round with Amanda. If you prefer to be in my round beginning March 18 (smaller groups, more individual attention) please email me at fasterwaywithcathy@gmail.com and I can get it corrected!

      • I signed up too. I’m totally excited to try something new! And for the record, I’m happy to see this content here. This site to me is about contributors sharing things they love just like you would share with your girlfriends. Ive not been feeling my healthiest (at all), and my pants don’t fit, so I’m hoping for the best!

        • Totally agree!! I have felt blah since my second was born a year ago and I love getting an idea of a way to boast my energy and get myself back in shape.

    • I did not! I was at first thinking there was NO WAY I could give up cheese, but now that I think about it I have definitely been eating less of it. But . . . I cannot give up my greek yogurt. I just love it too much. (I eat it with peanut butter – yum – and use it in place of sour cream.) . I’ll be happy to hear what you think!

  6. Disappointed you would use this platform to promote a MLM. I had more respect for your contributors and this blog.

    Your empowerment of women through the voices on this blog has been refreshing. Please think twice before posting content like this – especially considering the predatory nature of MLMs that take advantage of women to line their pockets.

    • I’m sorry you feel that way! I’m not actually coaching in this program or anything . . . I just had never heard of it, had a great experience, and thought I’d share. This was not something I was necessarily eager to do (putting half-naked pictures on the internet is a bit scary), but it really truly made me feel better so if someone else can benefit, that’s great. I can appreciate your perspective, though.

  7. I am a FWTFL follower of a year and basically it is now my lifestyle. Glad you are feeling more energized and more well rested. I also learned more about hormonal imbalance and other health issues (other than fat loss) from participating which was another added bonus. I enjoyed reading this post and about your success and happiness. I also enjoy that all contributors on this site include links to things they love ( whether clothes or furniture or makeup or kids stuff or programs) as they cover the gamut and speak to different lifestyles and issues. Thanks to you all!

    • Thank you for this! That’s what we’re trying to do – share our experiences to see if it can help other women. If it’s not for you, that’s ok too! I’m happy to read that you enjoyed it, though, so thank you for sharing!

  8. I am a big fan of Scotti and think she looks great, but I would prefer not to see this kind of weight loss content on this site. It’s a fraught topic for a lot of women and goes against the positive, inclusive community you have built here.

    • Scotti, you look great, before and after! I do agree with Jessica about weight loss content here. It is dangerous territory for many women, trying their best to feel beautiful in whatever body they currently have, especially after growing humans (or just existing!).

      • Lee, I totally agree – I was hoping the message of this post was of feeling better and building healthier habits, not losing weight.

        • I’ve tried to write out a comment to explain several times now, and I can’t the right words, so just mark me down for preferring NOT to see weight-loss content.

    • I can appreciate that perspective, for sure, which is why I wanted to discuss health over weight issues. I truly was feeling sluggish and tired all the time and this did increase my energy.

      • Scotti, I think you look great and I love hearing about different programs like this as well as fashion. My daughter is 16 now but I saw exactly what you mention in your post when she was young – her friends at about 9 years old and stick thin talking about being fat while my chubby little one didn’t do that. The moms of those friends who made those comments are some of my best friends and made the occasional self-deprecating comments about their weight. The girls hear EVERYTHING. Good luck on the weight loss, before and after photos are tricky and don’t always show alot of progress, especially if the person isn’t trying to game the photos. I can see your progress and it’s even more important that you feel healthy!

  9. Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing. You look great in both pictures! After all three of my pregnancies, I have struggled to regain healthy eating habits and a good workout routine. So I think anything that helps you do that is great!

    • Thank you for this! It is hard to get back to a healthy routine after pregnancy . . . the first time I did the 21 Day Fix and this time the FWTFL worked for me. Whatever you find that helps you FEEL better is great!

  10. FWTFL did not work for me. I was very hungry most of the time and when I asked about what to eat, they would say “more protein.” I guess I never ate enough protein. I did not feel connected with my coach. After a year of eating Paleo, including this program, actually made me fatter! I’m back to eating regular carbs and doing Beachbody on demand at home. It’s what works for my body.

    • That’s awesome! I did Beachbody on demand and loved it too . . . the eating thing just wasn’t working as well for me. I found out I was n’t eating enough protein as well so I’ve been really paying attention to that. We each need to try different things to see what works for our body, so I’m glad you found something that works for YOU! 🙂

  11. Love that Scotti is addressing each and every person–so great for her to take everything everyone is saying and replying in a positive way. Everyone wants to feel their best and I work hard to not discuss any body issue in front of my daughter and son.Hoping they can find health and happiness without the adults in their world adding any unnecessary stress of body image.

  12. All bodies are rad! Despite the love inherent in your post and the courage it takes to share photos, I, too, am saddened that TME would put this out there and it doesn’t seem to fit with what I’ve come to understand about TME. You are beautiful and worthy because you exist. That’s all that’s needed.

  13. I don’t agree with the objection to occasional, reasonable weight loss content on this blog. Scotti was careful in her post to emphasize the healthy habits and feeling better physically, rather than weight loss perse. And she stressed that she does not see this as a “diet,” but rather a way to permanently change her eating habits. Getting fit in a reasonable way is healthy, and a lot of the time, some degree of weight loss is also healthy. Getting back into shape after a baby is empowering for lots of women.

    My impression of Scotti’s post was sharing something she is excited about. She looks awesome, healthy, and strong, but she’s not stick thin nor does she come across as obsessed with being skinny.

    While I understand this is a sensitive topic for many women, to me this was a perfectly appropriate post and completely in line with this blog and its content.

    Just my 2 cents.

  14. Thanks for this post! As with so many other posts on TME, I was interested to learn more about something I’d never heard of. I share your concerns and aspirations regarding being a positive role model for my children. So thanks for being brave and honest and so relatable. And for the inspiration to try something new!

  15. You look wonderful, Scotti! That second pregnancy is no joke. When I had my twins, it was CRAZY for about 6 months, and then I started working out and I was amazed at how much better I felt. (I did a round of PiYo* and loosely followed the 21-Day-Fix portions with containers.) Fast forward a hot minute and I was expecting my third! She was also a constant nurser, fought a sleep schedule for most of her first year, and also struggled to sleep through the night until she was close to 15 months old. And I had two young preschoolers at home, too. It took me 18 months to even find the time and willpower to start working out or think about diet, and closer to 21 months to find my groove. I did the 21 Day Fix and am now doing 80 Day Obsession and am getting up at 5-5:30am to get my workouts in (what) and have MORE energy despite getting about the same sleep. I’m not seeing a huge scale change six weeks in, but my body and my clothes tell a different story, and I feel STRONG! I’m so glad you found something that works well for you, and I’m glad you’re prioritizing you!

    *not a coach!

  16. Elizabeth Rafter on

    You look fabulous, Scotti and I completely agree with Eliza above. I also couldn’t agree with you more about setting a positive example for my children about my body. It’s something I struggle with immensely and I’m happy to read about anything that is able to inspire someone else to feel good about herself! Keep on sharing your experiences!

  17. I don’t mind content about being healthy, body image and even weight loss. I do mind TME giving a platform to an MLM and am really surprised that is being glossed over here. As another commenter pointed out, MLMs target women and basically prey on them. The majority who participate in them eventually lose their investment. It is bad business for women in general and I’m just so shocked that this website would actually promote one. Please research how MLMs work and how they affect participants (who are typically women) if you have any questions about it. They are not empowering to women as they try to make out to be, they are harmful and it is my opinion that it is irresponsible to promote one.

  18. Hi Rachel!
    I’m Cathy, the coach for FWTFL. Actually, the FASTer Way To Fat Loss is NOT a MLM. In addition, the only investment you will make is for the program itself. There are no shakes, pills, supplements or additional items you will need to buy. Let me know if you have any questions!

  19. I tried this program because (I’m almost ashamed to admit) SO many bloggers were recommending it. I think this may be why so many people view it as a pyramid scheme.I initially lost weight but I couldn’t maintain it. There was just so much daily tracking in an app. There was virtually zero help from my Facebook coach when I just couldn’t understand how to get my macros right. The advice given to me was, “keep it simple.” Well, we all know real life can get in the way of keeping it simple and I couldn’t be a slave to the app. I think the positives of the program are the focus on healthy eating and not weighing in on a scale. If you eat pretty much the same food all the time, this is a great program. I definitely realized I wasn’t eating enough healthy carbs. You look amazing Scotti!

  20. Hi Christine! I’m Cathy, one of the coaches for FWTFL. I’m so sorry you didn’t have a good experience. The tracking is used initially to gauge what we eat, but it is not meant to go on forever. Once you have an idea of how much to eat (and which foods and which times) you should be able to maintain using “intuitive” eating. So just listening to your body. I’d love to have you join a returning client round in the future if you are interested. We will adjust your macros and get you on track. While I agree that tracking is tedious at first, I can log my whole day in less than 5 minutes now if I need to. If you’d like some tips for adjusting your macros or ways to build your meals you can email me at fasterwaywithcathy@gmail.com

  21. I hear what you’re saying—it worked for you, it’s not an MLM, just trying to help women—and it make sense. But between this, Laura’s nail “business” being promoted (again, whether it’s a great product is irrelevant), and the sudden increase of sponsored posts, I’m really not enjoying your blog like I used to.

    It’s like someone told you “here’s how you can triple your income” and you’re focused on that instead of the community you’ve built. I hope you find a better balance soon.

    • Here’s my policy: if one of our contributors is passionate about something….chances are, they’re not alone. And if Scotti (and Laura) have found something that works for them, makes them feel better/happier/brings joy/whatever…why shouldn’t they share? Whether or not “it’s a great product” is NOT irrelevant – that’s actually the whole point. And in March alone, we’ve published 44 articles thus far, and only 5 of them have been sponsored, soooo…11%. Our sponsored post rate is 11%.

  22. You look great and wow look at that stomach; so much flatter!

    Looks like I’m “accidentally” doing the same type of program, except that I implemented the various elements myself step by step after doing research. I read the book “The obesity Code” by Jason Fung and it’s like a light bulb went off in my head.

    I started with intermittent fasting (16/8) eating just 2-3 times a day in an 8 hour window on January 1, cut out sugar and processed foods, eat healthy fats and work out before breakfast. I also alternate my carb intake; low carb day followed by moderate carb day.

    So far I have lost 12 lbs on the scales, but the best part is the fat I lost on my stomach and waist, which I’m very happy with! I have never seen those results in that area with any diet tried!

    My new lifestyle is easy to do, gives me plenty of energy (no more afternoon naps) and I feel amazing. It doesn’t feel like a diet, I don’t feel hungry all the time like on other plans and I don’t feel deprived of anything!

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