Last week, I shared a photo on Instagram comparing myself from 1 month prior to taking that very first step to lose weight, to January 2018. In April, it will be a full 2 years of weight loss including 1 year of maintenance – when you’ve reached your ideal weight and then tightrope walk through life ensuring you don’t gain it back as well as not lose more when you don’t really want to.
On the left, me in March 2016 at my heaviest weight in a video from my blog. I actually think it was more than I weighed in any of my 3 pregnancies bc I was one of those annoying people that gained 20lbs and had an 8lb baby. I really didn’t see 👀 the weight coming on until I look back at pictures and it’s very clear I was slowly but surely headed in the wrong direction. One month later I decided to make a change. My 40th birthday was nine months away and I felt like if I didn’t, it wasn’t going to get any easier a year, or five, down the road. And so I did. 🤷♀️ The picture on the right, last week, and -26 lbs lighter maintaining for well over a year now (I have a 4lb zone I go up and down in depending on the season and the reason lol!). What have I learned? ✔️ Eat less, move more. Simple statement but hard to be consistent with, until you want it bad enough. I eat everything I want, just not all at once and not every day. I also have to force myself off the couch and move to burn calories instead of letting them hang out on my waistline. Go away, fat! Another lesson learned? Don’t ever wear bubble waist shirts in an effort to hide your stomach. That sh*t doesn’t work. 😂 #facetofacefriday #sidebyside #beforeandafter #weightlosstransformation #weightlossjourney #weightloss #comparison #fitness #c25k #fitspiration #fitnessmotivation #fitspo #positivemood #betterforit #findyourstrong #activeliving #girlswhorun #powerofshe #cardio #healthyfood #healthylifestyle #fitafter40 #momlife #doitforyou #facetoface
Aside from the super-fun comments from 2 people who thought I was a catfish (that both people in the photo were not indeed me), the comments were, as always, supportive. Many people ask me for tips or how to do what I do and I strongly encourage finding someone who knows more about fitness and nutrition than me because I’m learning along with the rest of you. The problem with that, is that online many people are also trying to sell you something. A shake, a wrap, a workout regimen. None of these are inherantly bad, and I’m all about the hussle, but I can understand why people are leary to take advice wondering if there’s going to be a bill or sales pitch at the end.
So. Here are some super-easy tips that I’ve incorporated that work for me. They might work for you. Maybe one will. Maybe you can create your own plan with ideas from here and others online.
- Be accountable. Start keeping track of how many calories you need to eat in a day to lose weight – many people aggressively put in a 2lb weekly weight loss and restrict their calories so much, they’re miserable! If you have 25+ pounds to lose, consider a 1lb weekly weight loss goal. Less than that? Aim for 0.5lbs a week. Nothing worth having comes quickly right, and you’ll be happier daily for it. Once you have a calorie goal for the day, keep track of what you’re eating. All of it. My favorite app is My Fitness Pal. It’s free, and it has a huge database of foods you can click and enter into your daily diary. There’s a bar code scanner to make it even easier, and you can also enter in recipes from your favorite online posts and figure out the calories per portion that way. It’s an eye-opener for sure, but I’ve really enjoyed this learning curve.
- Following that, invest in a step-counter to actually see and be accountable for how much (or little) you’re moving in a day. While many step-counters choose 10,000 steps per day as a reasonable goal it’s not easy if you work from home, work at a desk all day, or simply have a quiet life going about your daily routine. Once I was aware of how little I was actually moving daily, I created a goal to fix that. I didn’t even use 10,000 as my goal for the first year. I aimed for 7000. Some days I didn’t reach it. Some days I hit 10,000. But I was aware and couldn’t make excuses on why the weight wasn’t coming off.
- Find ways to move that booty! I invested in a second-hand treadmill, having never stepped on a treadmill before in my life. I then used an app called Couch to 5 K (C5K, mine was by Zen Labs Fitness) to teach me how to run. I love it because it lets you walk, then run, walk again, then run while gradually increasing your run times and decreasing your minutes walking. If that’s a little overwhelming, consider just walking on the treadmill if the weather outside isn’t cooperative for walks. I realized that in the winter months I move less because I don’t get out to walk the dog, or go for an after-dinner walk in the evenings, or take the kids to the park even. So, I decided to pick a Netflix series and ONLY watch it while walking on the treadmill. When I really want to know what happens next on Riverdale, I have to hope on the treadmill and go for a walk.
- Figure out how to have some of your favorite foods, in different ways. I don’t support cutting out an entire food category (I eat bread, and sugar, and dairy, etc.) but there are definitely ways to cut calories even when preparing food for the family. Sub in spaghetti squash for spaghetti noodles one night, I pick salt ‘n vinegar flavoured crackers and Laughing Cow cheese to top them (it’s weird I know) rather than chips and dip. In the evenings, I eat a ridiculous amount of popcorn because it’s super filling and you are in control of how much butter or margarine you put on top. I’ve also become a little crazy over cauliflower. Baked. Dipped. Riced. Mashed. Yup. Addicted.
- Share. While you don’t need to post on Instagram to tell everyone you’re aiming to lose a few pounds or learn to run, tell one or a few people you trust what your plan is. These people can be your biggest cheerleaders and also help to keep you focused when you’re debating dessert at dinner. You may find a weight-loss or fitness buddy in the process and can help each other. If you’re not comfortable sharing with someone in your day-to-day life, check out a community forum online to read, relate and learn. I read the forums at My Fitness Pal often for ideas and insight.
I hope one or more of these tips can help you out. There are a lot of amazing coaches and leaders out there who help people every day, and if you find someone who speaks to you in a way you embrace, follow them! Learn! And keep moving. Also, aim for small goals and let them pile on top of one another rather than a large goal off in the distance. It also allows you to pat yourself on the back and celebrate more often, which I like too!