• Jennifer Graham

Weight Loss For Busy Moms With Down Syndrome Kids

Updated: Nov 25, 2019

I started at 325lbs. Not my shining moment. After having 4 kids, being on every diet imaginable, losing weight, gaining it all back and then some, I had ballooned.

Weight loss for busy moms

It was then I found out I had Congestive Heart Failure and knew I had to do something. There had to be a formula for weight loss for busy moms.


My first endeavor after learning about the CHF was ketones. You may have heard about them. I was desperate to try anything and one of my closest friends was selling them. I decided to try them and when I first drank them, I felt incredible! My energy level was amazing and although I am bipolar, my mind was a flurry with happiness.


This leads me to my first business venture. I started losing weight, not only by drinking ketones, mind you. I had to cut my carbs down to 20 grams a day, which is hard to do. But I did lose weight and I felt amazing. Because of this, I went into business for myself. I had some success, but most people at the time felt ketones were a fad and didn’t commit to taking them like I had.


I worked my at home business for two years, and I lost 75lbs after going on the ketogenic diet. But I had to stop that diet because my colon couldn’t handle all of the fat. So, what’s a girl to do?


Having CHF is a scary thing. I want to live longer than Megan, my 18-year-old with Down Syndrome. I know that sounds bad, but I want to make sure I am here for her for her entire lifetime. No one will make sure she is okay and well taken care of like I will. So, there has to be a way for weight loss for busy moms with kids with special needs.


What about just eating healthy? That’s a good place to start. But I need to get the weight OFF first and then live my best life eating clean. I found a weight loss program that is geared towards getting the weight off first and teaching you how to eat properly and then transition into a healthy lifestyle afterwards. It’s perfect for weight loss for busy moms!

I have struggled with weight since I was nine, when my parents got divorced. I wasn’t allowed to express my feelings about being sad, scared, abandoned by my father. None of it. So, I ate my feelings. I went for a visit with my grandmother, the sweetest lady I’ve ever known, and even she wanted me to try and lose weight in the two weeks I spent with her. So, here I was, a child, being pressured to lose weight. It just made me eat more.


20 years later, I had Megan. I had gestational diabetes with her pregnancy, and I had gained about 60 pounds. I was not at a healthy weight when I got pregnant with her, so the pregnancy weight just added to an already strained body. Her diagnosis came as a surprise and my ex-husband blamed me for her having Down Syndrome. Hence, why he is the EX husband.


So how do you achieve weight loss for busy moms? How do you get your best healthy life going for your kiddo with Ds? You work at it. Every single day. Will you be perfect? No, you will have cheat days and then you will get up the next day and start over. You will do your best because you know your child is depending on you to live your best, healthy life so you can be around for the long haul. No one can take care of your child with Down Syndrome better than you can, so you can do it!


When my youngest daughter was about 3, I went on a starvation diet. I got down to 200lbs. I walked every morning at 5:30 am, I barely ate during the day and only ate protein for dinner. I drank over a gallon of Powerade Zero and I did sit ups and push-ups after my walk each morning. If I’m being honest, it felt good to have lost that weight. I bought a coat, a normal person’s coat that winter and I was proud. But I hadn’t built any good habits. Starving yourself just to lose weight is crazy. Yes, you get results, but you have no foundation to fall back on when you’re done.


So, after losing all that weight, I went right back to eating the way I had eaten before starving myself, and within a year, I hit 325lbs. I gained 125lbs in one year, and I made myself sick. There has to be a better way to achieve weight loss for busy moms.

See, I know you’re busy. Therapies, appointments, doctor visits, specialists, Special Olympics, your other kids' activities. I know when you put your head on your pillow at night, you probably don’t fall asleep thinking about all you have to do the next day. I know that’s what I did.


Let’s talk about sleep and weight loss for busy moms. You have to get good sleep. You have to get enough sleep. You can’t lose weight without getting proper sleep. I used to have a major sleeping issue. I’m not embarrassed that I’m bipolar, but it sure did a number on me until I found the right combination of drugs to even me out.


I used to get up in the morning, get Megan and Riley ready for school, get them to school and head right back to bed. I hid there all day long. I only got up because I had to get the girls from school. Once we got home, I wasn’t engaged with them.


I was sad, fat and felt miserable. My husband would come home, and I’d make a crummy dinner and dread 10pm, when we went to bed. I would be up all night long, beating myself up for being in bed all day and not being a good mom. Sound familiar? Not necessarily the being in bed all day, but the beating yourself up. Yeah, we all do it.

After starting on ketones and the ketogenic diet, I kind of became obsessed with my health. Which for me, was a good thing. I need that swift kick in the butt to get me going in the right direction. After dropping the 75lbs, my heart was back up to working at 50%, which was a big improvement over the 25% it was at when I was 325lbs.


Even though keto was no longer an option for me, I went looking for the next program. I found one, and I’m not a great cook. I need recipes to cook dinner. This program had that, but you had to take a supplement to go along with the diet. I used it for a couple of months, but really didn’t see any real results. I need weight loss for busy moms, not a pill you swallow and a fast trip down weight loss lane.


I don’t like being overweight. I don’t like being unhealthy, so I changed my surroundings. I found a program that would get the weight off, teach me how to eat properly and help me make lasting optimal health changes in my life. It’s a yearlong process. So far, I’ve lost 26 pounds. Am I perfect? No. Last night I had chicken fajita nachos. I haven’t stepped on the scale this morning!


So how does a work from home mom achieve weight loss for busy moms with a kid with Down Syndrome? I put Megan first. Always. Do I take her to McDonalds when she asks, no. But I keep a keen sense on her and her needs. Megan is very independent. She doesn’t require much from me now that she is 18. She does, however, still need to be mothered and watched over. She wouldn’t know what to do if she got sick or how to cook a meal and she’s not good with money yet. She still needs me, and I still need her.


Weight loss for busy moms is attainable. I’m living proof. I have my own business, take care of not only Megan and Riley, but my father in law has the beginnings of dementia and he lives with us. I’m his rock. He’s a character and I love having him here. So do the girls. We go out for lunch every day. I do this to get him out of the house and in the world. He eats his food and I eat my weight loss plan food. He teases me, we laugh. It’s a great partnership!


My husband is also an ally in this weight loss for busy moms. We eat chicken and turkey for dinner. He’s sick of it, but he comes home every night and eats dinner and only mildly complains. I tell him it’s temporary, once I get this weight off, I’ll have recipes to use to make healthy, clean dinners. He eats sweets and always offers to share. My answer? You’re not being supportive, and he quickly apologizes as he eats his sweets.


I also have a coach who is helping me in my weight loss for busy moms journey. She’s an accountability partner that has made a huge difference in how I look at weight loss.


If you’re overweight and need help, I’m here to tell you it’s possible to lose weight. Weight loss for busy moms is attainable. I’m living proof. I am so much healthier than I was just 6 months ago. I even got to go shopping and buy size smaller clothes for the first time in years. If you need help, reach out. You are never alone.

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