Before you read this blog post I’d like to clarify a few things. I’m not writing about this because I feel like I am an expert at living a healthy life style. In fact, it is something I struggle with every single day. This post is as much a reminder to myself as it is to others on how I changed my life style into a much healthier one over the past few years and as a result lost about 30 pounds. I’d like to get back on track, since I’ve gained a few pounds during this past winter hibernation period, and my weight has fluctuated a bit since the weight loss. So here are a few reminders, tip, and myth busters I have learned and discovered since my weight loss journey began.
1. Don’t make one huge unobtainable weight loss goal. These never work. Just think about all of the failed New Year’s Resolutions. Instead, make small short term obtainable progress goals. Make small eating, exercise, and weight loss goals on a weekly and monthly basis.
2. Be specific in your goals. Keep a diary and write everything down from the food you eat to your workout for that day. This will help keep you accountable and also become a great tool to track progress.
3. All of the crazy diet plans, programs, and pills you see in advertisements don’t work. There is no secret easier way to lose weight! What does work is eating smaller healthier portions and becoming more active on a daily basis.
4. Eating makes up 70% of your weight loss while exercise is only 30%. Eating makes up the majority. However, you can’t have one without the other. To become healthy you must learn to both eat healthy and live healthy.
5. It’s not a diet! It’s a food revolution! Diet implies a self-limiting and finite change. But to truly be healthy and maintain healthy weight loss you must change your entire life style from the foods you cook, eat, and stock your fridge with to the type of activities you choose to do on a daily basis.
6. Don’t aspire to look like anyone else because you will never look like anyone but yourself. Compare yourself and your progress to who you were yesterday. Do not wish to be like the models you see in magazines or the person working out next to you. It’s harsh but you will never look like them. Because you are you! So focus on being the best beautiful and healthy you you can be.
7. Find exercise that you enjoy. There is so much more than running on a treadmill nowadays. During my first few months of weight loss I fell in love with Zumba! Find the exercise you love and switch it up when you get bored. There’s so many options; dance, kick boxing, swimming, yoga, cycling, running. Exercising doesn’t have to be a pain. It can be something to look forward to as a stress reliever every day!
8. Once you get used to your workout routine, heighten the intensity and duration. After a few weeks or months your workout won’t feel as hard as it did when you first began. That’s a sign that you’ve gotten stronger and healthier. Your body has become used to it. Now your body needs a harder workout to get that same burn. Time to increase the difficulty!
9. Weight loss may come quickly in the beginning but it will slow down later. That’s just the way our body reacts to sudden exercise. Once the excess water weight sheds the real work begins. Your specific weekly weight loss goals may decrease but you will still see a difference in your body in toning and muscle build which will actually make you gain weight. But whatever you do don’t quit because healthy living never stops.
10. Portion control, portion control, portion control! Before I became healthy I ate two plates of food for every meal. That was at the height of my obesity. I was so overweight I stepped on the scale and knew I had to make a change. It won’t happen overnight and don’t try to make it so. Gradually decrease your portion sizes. Don’t eat until you’re stuffed eat until you’re full, and then eat until you are no longer hungry but satisfied. Gradually decrease the size of your plate and resist the temptations for second and third helpings. Slowly, the size of your stomach will decrease and you will get full sooner.
11. Eat in moderation! We all have our guilty pleasures, whether it is greasy pizza, deep fried foods, or sweets. Do not cut these things off completely but learn to practice moderation! Don’t go overboard when you decide to eat your guilty pleasures. But you don’t want to be miserable and treat living healthy as a chore. It’s ok to reward yourself occasionally.
12. Healthy food gives you the right kind of fuel you need to work out. I’ve felt the difference during a run when I have been eating healthy versus unhealthy. My stamina goes way down when I know I haven’t been making healthy choices along with the nasty feeling I get in my gut after a run. When eating healthy I feel that runner’s high. When eating badly I’m heaving and thanking God the run is over. Remember the sugar in fruits and vegetables is different from the sugar in a Diet Coke. Learn to see the difference and make healthier eating choices.
13. Find people to encourage you and join in on your new healthy life style. Finding friends and family members to enter in the healthy living journey with you helps tremendously. It’s always great to have someone who knows what you’re going through and can help you along the way. It also helps in resisting temptation through moral support. Also, if your friends and family decide to become healthy with you your fridge at home and the food you eat out will become healthier as well. You won’t have to skip a meal with your family or friends but instead can all practice healthy living together.
14. Weight fluctuates. Do not be discouraged. It’s a fact of life. We’re not perfect. Since my 30 pound weight loss I’ve gained back about four pounds. I fluctuate weekly and monthly from two to six pounds. It’s normal. Just remember to not get discouraged and get back on track. Weight gain is not permanent, and neither is weight loss!
15. A healthy life style never finishes once you’ve reached your weight loss goal. It is a never ending way to live your life. So you lost the weight. That doesn’t give you an excuse to go back to your old ways of life. The weight can come back. That’s the danger of people who lose great amounts of weight but then gain it all back. Healthy living doesn’t stop when you reach your goals. If you want to stay healthy you have to work at it every day. But it’s worth it.
In case you were wondering, it took me around seven months to lose those 30 pounds. I’m about 5’1. I started out at 152 pounds my freshmen year of college and got to about 122 pounds by the time I was a sophomore. I fluctuate in the 120s now but I’d like to get back on track athletically and physically. I used to be able to run 5 miles but now I can barely run 1. I’d really like to increase my endurance again and become much stronger as well. Abs!!! I’ve never had them before but why not aim for them now.
There is no magic number I want anymore when it comes to my weight. Being healthy isn’t about a number but about how you feel. Exercising makes me feel happy and eating healthy gives me great energy. Ever since I lost the weight I feel like I’ve accomplished something really great. I can say all of the effort and hard work I put in worked and I really did something all on my own. I’d like to feel more confident and become even healthier than I did at my prime last year fresh after the weight loss. Writing all of this down has served as a great reminder! I’m going to try and live healthy again starting…NOW!
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions regarding my weight loss or healthy living in general make sure to leave a comment.