Spoiler alert: There is no magic pill.
If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram then you’ve seen my posts about my weight loss. I get messages daily about what I did to lose 40 pounds in 5 months and I’m hoping this blog post will help someone else out there too! Disclaimer: I am NOT an expert and do not pretend to be. I only want to share what I did and what worked for me.
I’m embarrassed to say I don’t even recognize the girl on the left! I’ve been thin most of my life and I remember hearing people say before “I don’t know how it happened the weight just appeared overnight”. Bullshit I thought to myself. I mean how did you NOT KNOW you were feeding your body full of crap?! Flash forward 4 kids and many years later and I get it. Its so easy to get stuck in “mom mode”. You spend most of your time taking care of your kids and while we did eat healthy for the most part I was not eating enough!…thats right you can eat too little and slow your metabolism down to a crawl, having a major sweet tooth does not help either! I slowly packed on the pounds over the years but when we moved to North Carolina I gained a LOT. I think it was a combination of many things…feeling depressed and eating my feelings, not having photography to keep my busy full time, not working out at all, and my addiction to sweet tea. I knew I was gaining weight especially since I had to keep buying bigger clothes. I remember always thinking to myself “I’ll start when…” After my period, after this sweet tea, after the weekend, after this holiday, the list could go on and on with the excuses I made. Then something changed. I went back to Indiana for an oily class and hadn’t seen a lot of my friends in several months. I had become pretty good at taking selfies and hiding my weight through careful camera angles and posing but when you have someone else take the photo you lose the control. Photos were posted and I saw myself and wanted to cry. I couldn’t believe I had let myself get so unhealthy.
I want to stop right there before I get bombarded with body acceptance messages to tell you this. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS FEEL COMFORTABLE IN YOUR OWN SKIN. But I wasn’t. I wasn’t healthy, I felt like crap and I was sick of feeling sick all the time. Spare me the body image speeches my overall health proved I was not healthy. I felt sluggish all the time. I had no energy to do things I needed to do let alone the things I wanted to do. And more than that I want my kids to see how to live a healthy lifestyle and what that means. I mean I teach wellness and healthy living as a dang job! I had nothing but excuses for doing all the wrong things.
So back to the weight loss….. I decided when I came home that January enough was enough! It was January 15th to be exact and I decided I was going to make a real change, no more excuses. I started the best way I knew how, cold turkey. I cut out sugar from as much as I could and ate whole foods. I researched a ton and realized that I was addicted to sugar and that’s just as if not more addictive than heroin. If you really want to open your eyes watch “SUGAR COATED” . I started eating breakfast and I mean a real breakfast not a granola bar loaded with sugar or cereal. I ate eggs and some piece of fruit every morning (usually it was an apple or orange). I drank only water, this killed me at first because not only did I have to get past the sugar craving I also had to get past the caffeine headaches but trust me after 1 week you will feel so much better. I ate a snack like peanuts, almonds, or raw veggies. Then for lunch I had chicken breast and raw veggies. Another snack of some sort of protein (google is your friend you can find tons of ideas) and then dinner was chicken breast or lean meat and veggies. I completely cut out grains for the first 2 months. I have slowly started adding in things like avocado toast (my favorite!) but I always eat it at breakfast. I don’t snack at bedtime unless its raw veggies and only because I’m hungry not because I’m bored. I’m not even going to pretend it was easy at first…it was freaking HARD. But most things worth having don’t come easy!
I previously hated working out. I started myself off easy but just walking. Thats it! No crazy dances in the living room, no gym membership, no running. Just walking for 1 hour every day. Weight loss really is 90% nutrition and the rest is exercise. When you look at most weight loss products you will notice in small letters “Best used with healthy diet and exercise” or something similar. Thats because those are the things that are truly causing the weight loss. There is no magic pill or shake that is going to get you to where you need to be. I’m sorry to burst your bubble but sitting on your butt replacing meals with shakes is just dumb. I don’t know about you but I would rather eat! I get asked a lot “So when are you going to start eating again.” It always makes me laugh because I eat WAY more now than I did before! There are tons of programs out there that make it possible to lose weight and I’m not knocking them. If it works for you, great! My issue is unless you change your lifestyle I promise you are going to pack those pounds right back on! Learn to change your habits and in a way that is sustainable and you won’t be miserable and hangry all the time.
I lost 10lbs in 2 weeks and thought I was on the road to magic weight loss and would be instantly skinny! Wrong! The first 2 weeks were amazing because I had cut out so much and made so many changes. But its not healthy or realistic to continue at that pace forever. Generally 1-3lbs per week is considered healthy. After the first month I began to notice a change and slowly as time went on I became more and more encouraged by what I saw in the mirror. By the 3rd month I was hooked. Like if you told me I wasn’t allowed to work out I would have probably cussed you out. I went on vacation and stuck with my diet (mostly) and worked out. I even worked out on a cruise to the Bahamas! Who am I?!
I’ve since added in weight training and actually prefer that over cardio. Just find what works for you and stick with it, or mix it up! Did you know for every 3lbs of muscle you gain you burn an extra 120 calories. Boosting your metabolism but eating more meals throughout the day and gaining muscle works! And I promise its pretty impossible for you ladies to look manly by building muscle. Our bodies just weren’t designed that way.
I’m not where I want to be yet but I know I’m on the right road headed down the right path. I feel SO much healthier and it shows! I’m sure a lot of that sluggish feeling was my body not having enough fuel to burn for energy and not getting enough of the things it needs. I have more energy to do the things I want to do and I no longer dread going swimming with my kids and stuffing myself into a swimsuit. Last summer I bought size 12 shorts and they were tight, this year I replaced them with a size 6. Even if your goal is not weight loss I want to encourage you to take charge of your health! Don’t wait another day or for the “perfect moment” because I promise it will never come. You will find another excuse and another day will go by.