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Local blogger finds meaningful makeover in ‘Mommy Movement’

Posted: March 30, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: March 30, 2014 2:00 a.m.

Santa Clarita resident and local blogger Carolyn West enters a weight loss contest to change her eating habits and her family's lifestyle.

 

Before she became a wife and mother, Santa Clarita resident Carolyn West owned an interior design business – so she understood the importance of a good makeover.

Now, the mother of three is applying that concept in a whole new way.

West, who writes a blog called “This Talk Ain’t Cheap,” is on the ground floor of “The Mommy Movement,” a Southern California weight loss contest that encourages mothers to form groups of up to five in hopes of transforming themselves and reshaping their family’s eating and lifestyle habits.

The group with the most dramatic transformation and most inspiring story will receive a trip to New York City, complete with Broadway show tickets, spa treatments and interviews with media.

West formed her team one week ago, and already each member has made positive changes. Fellow members, all of whom happen to be bloggers, include Melissa Reyes of Chatsworth, Ruth Zankich of Glendora, Kate Mattes of San Diego and Julie Suarez of La Habra.

Since all participants of the Mommy Movement must use a group moniker, West’s team will be known as SoCal Gets Lean after their blog network, SoCal Lady Bloggers.

“I heard about the Mommy Movement and knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of it,” West said. “Like a lot of moms, we go from our careers to starting families and, oftentimes, we gain weight after the birth of our children.”

New mothers tend to fall into bad habits – some of which are really hard to break, she said. Mothers might eat out of frustration or reward after a long, hard day.

“We find ourselves going to fast food restaurants at our kids’ urging,” she said. “Our participation in the Mommy Movement is geared toward reversing some of these bad habits, influencing the way our families eat and even incorporating other positive lifestyle changes.”

Statistics support West’s contentions about post-pregnancy weight gain, she said.

In a major study of more than 1,600 obese women, three in four gained excess weight and, on average, still carried 40 percent of that weight a year after giving birth, she said.

The danger in gaining too much weight is that it increases a mother’s chance of developing diabetes, high blood pressure and of needing a Cesarean section, she said. It also sets her children up for health problems.

So the moms involved in the Mommy Movement are following the tenets of a new book called “The New Lean For Life,” which guides readers to safely lose 20 lbs in four weeks. Written by Dr. Reginald Allouche and Cynthia Stamper Graff, the book is the sponsor of the Mommy Movement.

“After forming our team, we took ‘before’ photos of ourselves and started chronicling the ups and downs of our journey,” she said. “We have until summer to get ourselves in shape.”

West said she hopes her daughters, ages 9, 11 and 14, are the real winners of the Mommy Movement.

“I’ve already lost 5 pounds in nine days, and I feel great,” she said. “The fact that we support one another, always offering words of encouragement, makes this so much easier than other diets.”

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