I’ve been very transparent with my weight loss because I know how it feels to feel “stuck” in this journey, and I want to help anyone out there who is willing to listen. There are a lot of misconceptions I encounter when people are questioning my weight loss or just weight loss in general, so I wanted to clear them up (from my point of view), and hopefully help someone while they’re trying to lose weight themselves.
- I barely ate.
Most people think that in order to lose weight, you basically have to starve yourself. I totally understand the science behind, less calories eaten, more calories burned, weight gone…but it takes way more than that to lose weight the healthy way. I feel like I was always full, but the good full, while losing weight, and even now. I eat every 2-3 hours, I’m always eating LOL!!! But it’s what you eat that matters. I eat a hearty breakfast, sometimes an omelet with spinach or oatmeal and a piece of fruit. There will be snacks, or mini meals, throughout the day, such as nuts, peanut butter and an apple or crackers, sometime Sunchips and fruit, carrots and hummus or any other combination of things. I meal prep for my lunches as well as my dinners and try to make my dinner my lightest meal. I also have a cheat day once a week. In order to function you need to feed your body calories and in order to lose weight, you have to watch what types of foods you’re getting your calories from. BUT DON’T STARVE YOURSELF, your body will begin to store deposits of fat to survive off of and that’s not good!
2. All I did was cardio.
While the treadmill, stair stepper and elliptical were my best friends this past year, I also spent a lot of time bonding with the many weights/weight machines available in the gym. I’ve done a million squats and lunges , it feels like, most being weighted to challenge myself further, and it has done wonders for the definition in my legs. While the cardio helped me to drop major weight, I wanted to maintain a nice, toned figure and weight lifting was key to that.
I encourage anyone trying to lose weight to diversify their workout, add strength training, yoga, stretching and even dance classes to your weekly routine. *Stretching should be done everyday*
3. It happened really fast.
I’ve been heavy most of my life and starting in high school I wanted to change that. I never got serious with my weight loss until college. While in college , I did lose around 30 pounds, but my diet in college was horrible. Post college is when I dropped the most weight, about 50 pounds, but it took my body time to find what worked. Your body will eventually adjust to certain workouts and sometimes you’ll have to be more strict in your diet to overcome a plateau, and this all takes time to figure out and make work. Don’t be hard on yourself, don’t give up if you’re not seeing immediate results and remain disciplined in your journey, the reward is far worth it.
It took a while for everyone to notice the weight loss, but it didn’t happen over night for me, and it won’t for you. And that’s okay! Doing this the right way will more than likely lead to long term success, because you’re building habits and a lifestyle change.
4. It was easy.
To go along with the above, “it happened really fast” a lot of people assume that it was also easy. “Oh losing weight was easy for you.” Believe me, I struggled constantly, I cried, I contemplated giving up…but I persevered and made it through. It wasn’t easy, at first, but my support group of friends and family helped to encourage me along the way. Setting goals and then killing them helped to keep me going. And the feeling of getting healthier and getting smaller was the final push to reach my goals. Find what it is that gives you that feeling of satisfaction, whether that’s losing weight, losing inches, building stamina, fitting into smaller clothes etc. take that and use that as your motivation. Eventually, not working out will feel weird to you and eating junk won’t be as satisfying, but don’t be hard on yourself because you’re not perfect and this isn’t an easy journey!
5. I gave up a lot of foods.
Because some people assumed that I barely ate, it makes sense to think I gave up a lot of foods…but that’s not exactly true. In high school I gave up red meat and pork products, per my mother’s suggestion to live healthier lives, I’ve stuck to this and will never go back (Turkey bacon is Heaven sent). But, to lose weight I gave up fried foods, soda and white breads/pastas and kept everything else in moderation. Sugar is a weight loss killer so it’s important to cut back, but some things naturally have sugar, such as fruits, and I could never give up fruits permanently. It was all about making healthier choices, starting in the grocery store. You don’t have to give up everything you love, but you also don’t have to eat everything you love in the matter of a day or even a week. If you, like me, love pizza or pasta, plan 1 day a week for that, or try using veggie noodles (such as Zucchini noodles) to reduce the amount of carbs/fat from regular pasta noodles. You don’t have to give up good food or any of the foods you love, just make healthier choices around those foods!