In an effort to be completely transparent, I need to be honest with both you all and with myself. This weight loss journey is both easy and hard at the same d*mn time, and I know that may not make sense to many.
Losing weight is so mental and people don’t realize the commitment they need to make with themselves before they even commit to a gym, to a goal or a new diet. Commitment is the hard part, my friends, committing to a change, challenging your relationship with food, being happy with your body in its current state and pushing through even when you don’t think you see results.
My story? I’ve struggled with my weight ever since a young child and these bad habits that I had created over the years only worsened while in college. I would eat chicken fingers, French fries, potato chips, juice/soda and my “veggies” consisted of the piece of lettuce and tomato on my turkey burger. I was very uncomfortable in my body and unhappy looking at myself in the mirror which prompted me to incorporate workouts and healthier eating habits gradually. My largest weight: 220lbs.
TIP: Creating a support network in the form of friends who had a similar goal and mindset to dedicate themselves to a healthier life made the journey more comfortable.
While in college I was able to slowly drop a bit of weight and build up endurance while in the gym. I had a trainer who helped me to develop a routine in the gym to maximize the time I spent there doing exercises that would produce the results I wanted.
Great IG pages for different exercises: @6packexercises, @sarahbowmar, @anowaadjah, @workoutroutine, @fancy85fit_ & @squatguide
It wasn’t until I moved to Boston in 2014 where I developed a better relationship with my diet and changed the way I looked at food and looked at what I ate. This was the most pivotal moment in my lifestyle change. Once I started to eat the right foods, I started to notice changes in my body and BOOM, 50lbs gone in less than a year, for a total of 80lbs down. Lowest Weight: 139lbs
TIP: Your relationship with your diet is the most critical aspect of weight loss. It’s easy to take shortcuts, but shortcuts don’t last. Think about the reason why we eat, to provide nourishment and energy for our bodies. This reasoning alone should prompt you to eliminate foods from your everyday diet that merely offer ZERO nourishment such as donuts or potato chips. Moderation is fine but let’s look to fuel our bodies.
What does that look like? More whole foods, less processed junk.
IG pages like @shedfatkitchen, @fithealthyrecipes, @how2mealrpep, @cleanfoodcrush & @workweeklunch have fantastic recipes to keep your meals flavorful, exciting yet healthy
After achieving the most significant accomplishment of my life, reaching my “destination” and dropping to a comfortable 145lbs I was in love with my body and had this burning passion for maintaining the new physique. However, like everything in life, there are ups and downs and my down, left the scale 15lbs heavier. Getting knocked off of your “high horse” and facing the facts of life made me realize that this is, in fact, a “healthy lifestyle” journey and that we all are allowed a reset button. That “reset” button is a lot easier for me to access because of the good habits developed along the way, now it’s just to refocus and reprioritize my time.
So often we only see the “WINS” or the ending result of a weight loss journey but my goal is to show the real, and sometimes the real comes with setbacks…for better comebacks.
How Do We Come Back?
- Create habits. We are creatures of habit, and it is important we establish a routine so that we begin to feel uncomfortable when we break that routine. Make it a goal to hit the gym at least 4x a week for 45min-1hr.
- Make it Fun. Switch up your workouts, go to a class, try new machines, just don’t allow yourself to get bored, or you’ll become disengaged. Sign up for local yoga or Zumba classes. If your wallet allows, get a personal trainer to help you design a program that’s just for you. Workout with a friend!
To achieve the weight loss initially, I would do 45-60 minutes of cardio (alternating between the treadmill, bike, stair stepper & elliptical) and 30 min of weight lifting (alternating between arm, leg & back day, incorporating abs every other day). I would also do classes from time to time (yoga/Zumba).
- You are what you eat. You can’t outwork a bad diet, eating chips, eating candy, cakes, soda, etc. will not give you the results you desire.
The main proteins that I ate/eat are chicken (baked or grilled), salmon, tuna fish and turkey. I try to incorporate a veggie with every meal (kale in smoothies or an omelet, carrot sticks, celery sticks, broccoli, spinach, etc.). Dark green vegetables are essential.
Substitutions I make: Sugar=Honey, Milk=Almond Milk, White Bread=Whole Wheat/Multigrain, White Rice=Brown Rice or Quinoa, Pork/Beef=Turkey or Chicken, Soda=Seltzer Water, Sugar-Packed Granola Bars=Homemade oats rolled with peanut butter, honey, chocolate chips
- BE DISCIPLINED. Say no to friends if it’s not your cheat day or you need to hit the gym. Make your gym schedule a priority, build that time into your calendar. Don’t give up when results don’t come immediately, it took me 3-4 months to begin to see results and even now I still see that 200lb+ girl, I have to shake those thoughts and remain hungry for results.
I played myself when I hit my goal weight, I got too comfortable, but I’m hitting reset as I continue on my healthy lifestyle journey. Have you ever had to reset your goals?