I’m glad I didn’t give up hope in the fact that I COULD change!
When I went away to college and had no one to tell me that I couldn’t eat french fries with every meal each day. My bad eating habits started there and continued into adulthood.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? It made it difficult to feel confident. I never liked how I looked in clothes. I felt self conscious when I went out. I hated how I looked in photos. I also started to have trouble with little things like standing at the sink to do the dishes for an extended period of time. I’d have a lot of back pain and I got winded quickly.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? I just felt like it was not going to get better if I didn’t get help. I had been actively or inactively on some form of diet/self imposed weight loss plan for close to 10 years and wasn’t making progress. I didn’t want to settle for this being my life. I wanted qualified help. I felt like at least I could say that I tried every avenue I could if I got outside help. I was scared that I was a lost cause but I help out hope that something could be done.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? I started eating very differently, and tracking my food. My health coach was adamant about tracking food. It was tedious but it opened my eyes to the fact that I was consuming WAY more than I thought I was. I stuck to a specific macronutrient intake and I also started moving a lot more. That part was hard because I have a job that ties me to my desk but I had to learn to take breaks and move around. I was surprised how much just standing or walking around the floor of my building contributed to burning calories throughout my day.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? Within 6 months I had a noticeable drop in weight and by the end of the first year I’d lost 101 pounds.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? I had to be okay with focusing on my health for a long period of time. No one succeeds at anything that they don’t put a lot of time and attention into. For me that meant forfeiting going out to eat for awhile, getting to bed earlier, eating a certain way consistently for an extended period of time. I just had to really zone in on all aspects of my health and to put that above other things in my life that used to take precedence. That’s hard when you want to eat out, stay up late or go out a lot, come home and veg out in front of the tv instead of working out. The challenge was reprogramming my mindset to focus on this hard, but worthwhile thing.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? I think I want to give up just about every few weeks, or sometimes every other month. Living a healthy lifestyle isn’t something you get to and then stop. You have to keep at it. It’s everyday work. But you’re not going to be motivated everyday. It doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. But it unrealistic to expect that it will be easy everyday. Some days it will be easy but some days it will be hard. You have to operate on autopilot those days and do the things you know you need to do regardless of not feeling like it. On the days you’re not motivated just treat it like brushing your teeth. It’s just something you have to do like any other task.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? I did hit a few. Usually when I had a weighloss plateau, my coach would change something in my diet or we’d change training. Or I’d look at other causes like was I getting enough sleep, did I have enough fiber in my diet, was I stressed, etc. Plateau can be caused by many things which means there can be many ways to break them.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? It took me roughly a year to lose most of the weight.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? Some of my non-scale victories include loving how toned my arms and back looks, being able to walk into a gym and confidently workout, even in the “scary” heavy weight section, noticing that I’m full and satisfied from a healthy and delicious meal and not needing it to be fried, breaded, or from a restaurant to feel like I ate a good meal, going into a store and picking up a straight size garment and it fitting or not needing to look in the plus sized section, the end of some medical ailments that were persistent and seemingly had no real cause, and just liking the way I look and feel in general.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? My eating habits were terrible. I could eat fast food everyday, several times a day. I lived off of soda. And I wanted a desert after every meal. I just indulged in whatever food I wanted at the time. Every now and then I’d try to sprinkle some health and eat salads for lunch or make veggies with a homemade dinner. But the vast majority of the meals I ate were processed fast foods and snacks.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I move a lot more. I still have trouble getting up and away from my desk sometimes but I try make it a priority when at all possible. And I began working out in a purposeful way. Initially I did a lot of body weight circuits with my health coach and used equipment you could by in a store. And then I progressed to working out at the gym with training splits for specific body parts. I fell in love with weight training. I did have to do some cardio but I am a classic cardio-hater. I still have to push myself to run on the treadmill or get on the stair climber. I do more weight training than cardio but I do add it in for good measure, particularly when I’m trying to lose body fat instead of increasing strength or focusing on shaping my body or increasing my lean mass.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- I had to get a lot of encouragement and pep talks from my health coach. That helps when I’m stuck in my own head or too focused on the scale or wanting to give up. I also set little goals and give myself non-food rewards when I reach them. I take a lot of photos too. That helps you see progress you may otherwise be unaware of.