…Weight Loser that is. 😉
Being pregnant and giving birth to four babies put a lot of stress on my body. I gained a lot of weight while my hormones were wrecking havock and in between pregnancies my love of wine was totally consuming my evenings and tacking on an additional 400-600 calories a night. I got to a point where I was having endless bouts of heartburn, I was so uncomfortable, my fat pants were way too tight, and I was constantly being asked how far along I was. I was depressed. I didn’t recognize myself at all and I was on antidepressants to help me deal with all the negative self image I had.
Then one day I woke up and decided it was time to change.
I’ve officially been on my mission to get healthy for 13 months now. In 13 months I have gone from 236 pounds to 175. However more than the weight loss, I’ve learned SO much about myself and SO much about what I’m capable of. I also learned that it wasn’t about the weight…it was about the journey.
You see, when you first start losing weight you think it’s going to be so simple and it’s as simple as calories in must be less than calories out. You think it’ll be soooo easy to just eat less and exercise. You think the weight will come off so easy and you’ll be at your goal weight in 6 months or less. You tell yourself that you’re going to be this weight (usually it’s something absurdly small) by this date (usually that date is 2-3 months away) and when you haven’t lost 15 pounds in 14 days you give up.
Yup, I’ve been there.
More times than I care to admit.
However, this time was different. This time I didn’t care how long it took. This time I wasn’t focused on being skinny, I was focused on feeling good. This time my end goal was being able to wake up and throw on any clothes in my closet and not have to worry if I looked pregnant. This time my goal was not to hate myself anymore. This time I was in it for the long haul.
These are the top 15 lessons I learned during these last 13 months.
- Start small. If you decide on a whim one day to exercise 6 days a week for an hour, stop eating sugar, and restrict your calories by 1,000 per day you WILL get burned out. I know that’s not what you want to hear and I know you think YOU are different but you aren’t. Instead, start with making one meal a day super healthy or decide to meal prep your lunches for the week. Maybe cut out dessert the first week and then the second week replace your morning bagel and mocha with black coffee and fruit.
- Drink so much water that you can’t possibly drink any more water. I aim to drink a 16 ounce bottle every hour and a half. It’s easy for me to keep track of.
- You will not lose 20 pounds a month. You probably won’t lose 10 pounds a month. Maybe the first month you’ll have a staggering loss and that’s fantastic! Please don’t expect that every single month. I’ve lost 61 pounds in 13 months…some months I lost 8 pounds, others I may have gained .6 pounds but I generally lose 5-7 pounds a month.
- Exercise! Find something that challenges you. If it is challenging for you to walk a quarter of a mile, do it! If it’s challenging for you to run 5 minutes DO IT. It’s not about burning calories, it’s about doing something that you couldn’t do before. When you keep at it you will soon be walking two miles and running for 45 minutes.
- Do whatever it takes to keep you motivated. For example, I would post pictures on social media 4+ times a week. Something about sharing where I was and sharing my triumphs kept me wanting to one up myself. It kept me accountable.
- It’s really NOT about the weight. *GASP* What?! I realized that it wasn’t my weight that was making me feel like crap. It was the food I was eating, it was the constant negative thoughts, it was the alcohol I was consuming, it was my inactivity. All of those things were issues I COULD control and in turn, it controls my weight. I decided to focus on things that make me feel good. Good, healthy food makes me happy, laughing with friends makes me happy, running a little bit further makes me happy. Combine all those things, weight loss happens.
- Stop focusing on the scale. I still battle this…but seriously does it matter?? I’ve gone three weeks without losing a pound but my pants grew WAY to big. Isn’t that the goal?
- It’s OK to take a night/day/week off every once in a while. You need to live your life. Every couple months I decide to take 3-5 days off. One time I took two weeks off. Yes, I gain weight back and have to lose it all over again but big deal! I’m in this for the long haul, remember? Do you really think a week makes a difference when you are working at something for a few years?
- Buying smaller clothes is both amazing and depressing. I mean, it’s great because you get to buy smaller clothes. But really, spending money on clothes that you get to wear for two months sucks.…it’s basically maternity clothes for people losing weight. Someone should come up with a super cute, adjustable sizing clothing line….
- Do not reward yourself with food. You aren’t a dog learning tricks. You are a human being who tackled a goal…Go buy new running shoes. Get a manicure. Buy a new top. Go to a concert. Schedule a girls night. Take a night off from the family. Do whatever the hell you want….save food for when you’re hungry.
- Research recipes. I have absolutely grown to LOVE cooking new meals. I really do look forward to a new recipe. I look everywhere for them. My favorites are the ones that I never would have ever cooked in a million years if I wasn’t on a mission to be healthy. There are SO many healthy ones to choose from. Pinterest is your best friend.
- If you enjoy a good buzz every now and then, find an alcohol that works with your new healthy lifestyle. No, you cannot drink 4 margaritas and 5 cosmos and expect to still lose weight. You can have a glass of wine or two weekly. Or, have vodka and soda with lime (My new go to drink). Just make sure to hydrate in between. It doesn’t effect your buzz too much and it’s a lot easier on your body…less hang over too. WINNING
- Don’t compare yourself to anyone no matter what. Someone else losing weight faster? That’s awesome! Doesn’t change my journey one bit. Someone else trying to tell you to cut out all carbs but you are doing just fine with them? Tell them to enjoy their journey but that you want to do things your way.
- You know what the best part of losing weight is? Inspiring others! I just LOVE LOVE LOVE when people tell me I inspired them.
- And finally…TAKE PICTURES. LOTS of them! Not ready to commit to losing weight? Great! Still take pictures because it doesn’t matter what your weight is right now…you will NEVER, EVER get this moment back. Ready to lose weight? Great! Take tons of pictures for comparisons….they are remarkable to look back on. Plus comparison pictures getting you through those days/weeks/months where you just wanna give up. The also get you through those times when you don’t think you made much progress. TAKE THEM!