I have people ask me all the time how I lost the weight, when I respond with “good ole fashion hard work”, I sometimes get a blank stare. I think in our fast paced society we want a solution now and don’t really want to work to get results. I remember many times thinking I wanted to lose weight, but when I thought about how much I had to lose I didn’t want to even try. On the other hand, I would try, not lose the weight fast enough then I would give up. If you are reading this, I want to encourage you not to give up. The small changes you make today will get you to your goal, please be patient. A few blogs ago I wrote about being “mentally prepared”, and three things that helped me get on track (my foundation). I had to acknowledge I had a problem, I had to realize it was a lifestyle change and I needed to stop making excuses for myself. What I am going to write about today are the three things that helped me stay on track. Again, there are ton of things that helped in my journey but these are things that stand out.
In the past 9 months I have tried a few weight loss plans but mostly have stuck with counting calories and exercising (Weight Watcher meals and Slim Fast bars are my usual go tos). You really have to listen to your body to figure out what works best for you. The secret to my weight loss success was not a magic shake or pill, it was me believing in myself and working hard towards my goal. It’s not the weight loss plan that works, its the persons hard work and determination that makes the plan work. It was all trial and error for me, in the beginning I chose to do a low calorie diet and although it taught me to only use food for fuel it had negative side affects. My hair started to fall out and I was fatigue, since I loved to exercise (and love my hair lol) I quickly realized that I needed to eat more. I still eat the foods I love but I have learned to make a healthier version and in proper portions.
When you start your journey, it is very important to write down everything you eat, everything you drink and your exercise. I did not realize how much I was consuming until I saw it on paper. It was also a good way to make sure I was drinking all of my water. The usual rule is to drink half your body weight in ounces. Writing down what you eat can also help you figure out what foods work for you. For example, If I had a bad week I would look at my food journal and it helped me figure out the foods I should stay away from and vise versa. Learning to make my calories count was huge, instead of drinking my usual pot of coffee with tons of creamer in the morning I limited myself to just one cup. I know it seems impossible to all my coffee drinkers but if you really want to make this work you have to change your habits. When you have a set amount of calories, that 200 calorie drink all of a sudden seems not worth it. I no longer keep a food journal but if I am not doing so great I go back to the basics, I write everything down.
Support is a must!!! I can’t tell you how many times I was talked “off the ledge” by members of my weight loss group. There is something about knowing you are not alone that makes you want to try harder and makes you want to be the person to reach down and help someone else. My family and friends were so encouraging, my bestest friend walked with me almost everyday. If it wasn’t for her pushing me in the beginning I am not sure I would have done it on my own. Once I was in the grove of things I no longer needed the push I wanted to be active, rain or shine I was out walking. There is definitely a balance though, I have seen many people use a support group as a place to vent how they can’t do something and never work for change themselves. Take the help in the beginning but understand that you will need to do it on your own in time. I have learned to give myself pep talks, it sounds crazy I know, but what happens if the person you depend on to help you through a situation is not available? I honestly believe if you think it can be done then you will do everything in your power to make it happen. Once you start doubting you open the door to fail, you are your own worst enemy sometimes. Take all your negative thoughts captive, remind yourself that your life is worth saving.
So where are you at on your journey? Just starting? Almost to your goal? In maintenance? Whether you are just starting or you are maintaining your weight we all have something in common, we decided to take that first step. Honestly, that first step is the hardest, I am so proud of you for making the choice to save your life! I can’t make you reach your rock bottom, you have to wake up one day and decided you are tired of wasting your life. Please message me if you have any specific questions, I would love to help in any way I can.