So it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything. And I really love to neglect my site apparently. I’ve been really focusing on my health since I’ve had my daughter. It’s scary when you realize you are 80 lbs overweight and that you just find out you’re pregnant and will likely gain more weight because you’re pregnant. But since I’ve had her I’ve really worked hard, made a lot of changes in my diet and activity level and so far have lost 55 lbs to date!
Yes, the photo on the left is me eating haha.
Yes, the photo on the left is me eating haha.
I still have another 15-20 but I’m super proud and happy to be where I am today
I made a special list (I LOVE lists!) of what worked for me:
1.) Brushing my teeth at 9:30/10 PM every night. This way I have delicious tasting and smelling breath and I don’t want to jeopardize that with eating haha.
2.) Gradual weight loss. 1-2 lbs a week. I’ve tried HCG and other popular diets and I always lost weight but gained it back fast and messed up my metabolism afterward. Permanent weight loss is meant to be gradual so that you don’t make big mistakes like jack up your metabolism or throw your body into survival “starvation” mode. Recognizing that it’s a MARATHON not a sprint to the finish line is one of the best concepts I learned.
3.) Eat small meals!! I eat ever 2-2.5 hours from 7 AM to 8/9 PM. Usually 6 times a day. If I don’t I get hangry (see below image if you don’t know what this word means). I feel VERY bad for anyone in my path during previous “starvation” diets. Especially my poor, poor husband.
4.) NEVER EVER go grocery shopping hungry! You will impulse buy crap. Also, avoid the “crappy” food isles.
5.) Reward yourself with something small EVERY day! If I workout and eat well for the day after I put the kiddo to bed I sit down on the couch drink a big glass of water with lemon. Let it sit a few mins then grab a Skinny Cow ice cream bar and enjoy that 130 calories of deliciousness for a job well done today!
6.) Don’t drink Soda! Soda is not awesome for you. For me it actually kinda makes me sick. I’ve looked into a few different options for caffeine. WHICH I HAVE TO HAVE TO FUNCTION!!!! I’m not a coffee or really event tea fan so I’ve found some cheaper alternatives – Kirkland Energy Shots (Costco usually has them), Amino Energy (whole food and supplement stores), and Spark Energy (by Advocare). They’re options are all about $0.70-$2 range per serving. And they’re fast and don’t taste awful so I’m a fan. I typically take about 200 mg of caffeine in one of these options about 30 mins before a workout. Then I actually work out instead of sitting on the couch watching reality TV while my legs are jittery.
7.) Buying cute workout clothes in fun colors AND putting them on every single morning after I wake up so that I actually workout! This totally helps me squeeze in my workout because I’m already to go and can’t come up with anymore excuses not to because I’m already dressed to get going!
8.) Using MyFitnessPal to track my caloric intake and add my workouts to it. It’s also great to see what you did on days and weeks when you were losing weight so you can try to repeat what you did and tweak what isn’t working in your diet. I also love the MapMyRun app which you can track with walking also. Very easy app to use and free. Great to track how fast your mile runs are and for just little walks around the neighborhood pushing your stroller and kiddo along.
9.) Protein shake within 30 mins after working out! My favorite is the Ideal Shake chocolate. It’s low calorie and fat. And keeps me full longer than ANY other shake I’ve tried. Also, I’ll throw in PB2 occasionally to give it a chocolate peanut butter taste. PB2 is AMAZING! They took out 85% of the calories from peanut butter and put it into a powder form and it’s awesome with shakes and smoothies! 40 calories for two tablespoons compared to 180 calories in regular peanut butter for the same amount! The Ideal Shape bars are delicious also! My fave is the Cinnamon Caramel Crunch! It tastes JUST like Cinnamon rolls! I am pretty much obsessed with it and always have one with me! It’s cheaper and tastier than the Questbar.
10.) READ THE LABELS! When you’re grocery shopping (on a full stomach) read the labels and compare products to find a healthier version of something you like. For me I love chocolate! I am a self-diagnosed CHOCO-HOLIC! I need my chocolate fix every day if not several times a day! So in addition to my Ideal Shake I’ll have my reward at night if I’ve done well and worked out. Skinny Cow makes great chocolate ice cream products that are lower in calories. Now don’t go overboard and have four or five of them but enjoy one or maybe two if you did really well and it’s the weekend.
Another example of label-reading for me is that I’ll make occasional pancakes on Sundays. My Dad used to do this when I was little and it’s a tradition that I want to carry on. So I looked all over Walmart and compared over 20 pancake mixes to find one that’s lower calories, carbs, and fat before selecting one at the end that was 200 calories less per serving than the one I originally grabbed first. All these calories that you save add up at the end of the day!
11.) Have a meal and snack plan list. I have a little whiteboard in my kitchen that has a list of healthy snacks and healthy quick meals I can make if I’m starving. It’s great because if I don’t have something for a while then I’ll see it on that list and think “ohhhh I could have this!”. Sometimes when you’re hangry you forget what food there really is and you just grab anything you’re craving. So this list helps me a lot to stick to healthier options.
12.) Be active EVERY DAY! Every DAMN DAY!
For me I don’t necessarily LIKE to work out but I feel SOOOO much better after I do it! I have more patience with my daughter, I feel like I’ve accomplished something, my body has energy, and I love feeling strong! So I like to workout every day or at least 6 out of 7 days of the week. I have so much more sanity and it’s the one thing that I do FOR ME every day. Sometimes it’s just a long walk with the kiddo, or swimming, shopping, or a few squats and situps, but hey it’s activity! I’m a huge fan of changing it up! If you do this you are more likely not to hit plateaus. It took me a while to figure this out when I was sticking to my elliptical 7 days a week and diet plan and NOT losing weight for three months. That was awful. But I figured out how to break that plateau with changing up my exercises and routine. Also when I don’t weight lift a few days a week, do planks, situps, squats, etc I notice that I don’t lose as much weight. The combo with weight training and core workouts and cardio for me is key. I feel stronger when I do lift and I love that strong feeling!
13.) Weight loss is 100% mental. It’s a MIND GAME! It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done! Major applause to anyone that has done this. It’s not something that you get to the finish line and you’re done for life. It’s always going to be a struggle. The best advice, at least for myself, is just knowing this that there is no finish line and you’re done. I’m always going to have to be careful about what I put into my body. I’m always going to need to workout at least three times a week, even when I hit my goal weight, but that’s okay. I want to keep my body that I worked so hard for! I want to feel deserving of that strong body. Sure I’m not going to say I’ll never have another donut (I have, recently even) but I make sure that I workout that day and that I don’t overdo it on sweets and things that make my body feel icky afterward. I have to reward myself otherwise I’ll definitely fall off the wagon HARD!
14.) A shit ton of water. Yes… a shit ton! Seriously helps keep you full. Even a tall glass of water twenty minutes before a meal helps fill you up faster. I recommend consuming your body weight in ounces. But I tend to do more than that. One thing that helped me was adding tasty essential oils to my water. I like Lemon, Peppermint, and Orange usually. I’ll trade off between those so my water isn’t so boring. I got super cute colorful Camelbak water bottles that I fill up, and have ready to go nice and cold in the fridge.
15.) Small goals and rewards! I set up a small goal and reward list for myself for every five pounds I would lose. Here’s what mine looked like:
200 lbs – Get a mani and pedi
195 lbs – Buy colorful new gym shoes
190 lbs – Get a new workout jacket
185 lbs – Get new yoga pants
180 lbs – Cut my hair short! I’ve always wanted to!
175 lbs – Celebrate with Hubby in the city because I’ve just hit my goal!!!!!!!!!!!
These small goals felt more attainable and I rewarded myself with something I wanted and not food oriented! I printed these off and put them on my bathroom mirror so that I could see all my progress charted and get excited about my rewards! It’s fun to see all the things that have been crossed off this list because it means that I’ve lost more and more weight as time passes. And I get things that I’ve been wanting… Next on my list is a new swimsuit in five more pounds because I’m definitely in need of one haha!
So there’s my LIST. I’m sure I’ll add things and tweak it here and there. But hopefully some of these things will help you in your weight loss and health quest!