I think weight loss could possibly be one of the biggest mind games you can play in your lifetime. I have been on several spectrums of this game…
I’ve been lost.
I’ve been defeated.
I’ve been confused.
I’ve been overconfident.
I’ve been overwhelmed.
I’ve been lazy.
I’ve been successful…
What no one tells you that there is no finish line. You. are. never. finished.
This might disappoint some of you but I’ve learned a lot through the process of struggling publicly with my weight. And the truth is there are great rewards to be found within the process. The happiest I’ve ever felt is while I’m on a journey to better myself. Whether it be school, health, motherhood… There is something to be said for the striving part of the process because your strength hides within the struggle.
Life is full of ups and downs and unfortunately my body weight tends to fluctuate with those highs and lows. (The fact that people actually read this blog leads me to believe that I’m not alone.) In all truth, I haven’t actively tried to lose weight for about a year. I’ll spare you the long story and just say that after having lost a baby this summer through an ectopic pregnancy, I found myself slipping from my healthy ways. Add a job to the mix and the guilt of no longer being a stay-at-home mom and I’ve found the pounds creeping back on. Now, on the verge of a new year, I’ve found myself in major need of a health overhaul.
The good news is that I’ve already done this and I can skip all of the confusing aspects of losing weight and get straight to work. The bad news is that I’ve already done this…
This may be fortunate for you because I have done all of the leg work for you. Here is my opportunity to condense two years worth of weight loss blogging into a list of things you need in order to successfully lose weight.
5 Fundamentals of Weight Loss Success
1. Get Mentally Prepared– The very first step to having a magical transformation (inside and out) is to have a major attitude adjustment. You need to abolish all self-doubt.
If you think it is impossible to lose weight then it will be. If you think you won’t be able to have your dream body then you won’t. It’s all up to you. The most important key to all of this is to believe in yourself. I know this is the corniest, cheesiest cliche there is… but it’s true.
Don’t sit around waiting for something to inspire you. Actively seek it out. I love looking at weight loss transformations. Find inspirational quotes. Listen to music. Read some books. Visualize who you want to be both physically and mentally and be that person.
Don’t waste time bashing yourself for where you are. It doesn’t matter what happened to get you to where you are today. You need to get over it. Quit looking for excuses, instead find ways to conquer anything that may come your way. It doesn’t matter how in shape you were five years ago or what the number is on the scale right now.
This doesn’t mean that you have to be perfect. It just means that you won’t look for ways to victimize yourself. If you screw up. You screw up. That’s all there is to it. The only thing to be done about that is to move forward. And when you move forward you will do it without bullying yourself. In other words… don’t be an asshole 🙂 <—- Do you like how I added the smiley face here. That is my passive aggressive way of saying. “Sorry, I’m not sorry.”
2. Move Your Ass- Nobody cares how cool your workout is. The key to weight loss is exercise. If you are just getting started it doesn’t matter what you do. It could be something trendy or something super lame. Go for a walk. Ride a bike. Lift some milk jugs. Do some planks. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what it is as long as you move. After you’ve gotten some momentum then you can worry about planning your workouts in accordance to the results that you are looking for.
Don’t let not having a gym membership be an excuse for not being able to work out. (I’ve tried that.) There are several at home workouts available on pinterest. There are also some really inexpensive options as far as gyms are concerned. Plus, there is always the sidewalk.
Personally, my plan is to balance lifting weights, spin class (even though it kills my vagina), running, yoga and having a dance party on the elliptical machine.
*If this video doesn’t show up on my blog the way that I want it to I highly recommend clicking on the link…
3. Nutrition- For me… this is the hardest part. I have been so confused on this topic throughout the years. There are so many diets to choose from. Crossfit people pushed me to do paleo. Old school diets say to stay away from fat. This threw me off for a long time. However, over the years I have learned how to cut the crap and get down to business.
The simple truth is that it is all about numbers. You can eat a paleo diet but if you eat 3000 calories of organic beef and roasted nuts you aren’t going to lose any weight. It doesn’t matter how many veggies you squeezed in there. On the other hand you can eat all “diet food” and still be eating junk.
For me, the best way to lose weight is to cut out processed crap, eat a variety of healthy fresh foods and to count calories (not obsess over them). When I lose weight I cap my intake to 1600 calories a day. However, if I’ve had a particularly hard work out and my body tells me to eat more I will. You have to find a balance between holding yourself accountable without being a total psycho about it.
The key to successfully dieting via calorie counting without feeling deprived is to make sure that you choose your foods wisely. It’s not just the amount of calories you eat but the quality of calories you are ingesting. This does not mean that it is okay to eat a McDonald’s cheese burger even if it fits within your calorie intake. Your body knows you aren’t getting the nutrients it needs so it will prompt you to eat more. I feel best when I balance my carbohydrates, fats and proteins with each meal… (I try to make the majority of my carbohydrates come from fruits and veggies.) 1200 calories is the minimum amount of calories you can eat with out officially crossing over to starvation mode (eating disorders). I would only recommend this amount for the most sedentary person. Keep in mind, if you are looking to build your strength 1200 calories are not enough to build any type of muscle. In other words you won’t find that lean toned look you might be looking for.
As a blogger I have been given offers by several companies who want me to push products to my readers. But here is the truth. You don’t need any of that crap. You don’t need supplements. You don’t need pills. After seeing all of the damage society has done to us through processed crap why would you buy more processed crap to help you find your ultimate health?
You don’t have to have a ton of money in order to lose weight. The majority of your weight loss cost should be in the form of groceries… and tighter fitting clothing 😉
4. Hydrate- It is so important to hydrate yourself. Not only for weight loss but for your health in general. I could regurgitate all of the information I’ve found throughout the years but I think I’ll just skip that part and leave you this link just in case you are interested. Twelve Unexpected Reasons To Drink More Water This New Year
FYI: vodka is not interchangeable with water… I’ve tried.
After the holidays I’m going to have to go on a Starbucks cleanse… as in, I’m not going to drink Starbucks anymore. If I need coffee I’ll drink iced coffee that I make at home (because I can drink iced coffee black). If I need something warm to cozy up to during these winter months I’ll opt for tea.
I’ve also decided to give up all alcohol until Valentine’s Day. I just need to kick-start some new healthy habits. Plus, it’ll make me a cheap Valentine date which my husband will appreciate.
5. Commit- Just do it! What are you waiting for? If you have quite a bit of weight to shed you will find a comfort zone about half way through. Keep going! Don’t give up. At this point, if you did things the right way, you will have found joy in the process. You have not been deprived, you will have enjoyed tons of new delicious foods. You will have taken pride in your strength and your endurance. Why would you stop here? Make it a lifestyle. If something throws you off balance get back to it as fast as you can.
The hardest part of losing weight are the mind games you will try to play with yourself. You will try to justify why you should be able to do things that will derail you. Just know that you’ll do this, cut the crap and stay the course. It doesn’t matter if you had a bad day, or if the scale didn’t budge last week, or that you really
need want a cheeseburger. You have a goal in mind and you will regret it if you don’t follow through with it.
I’m so excited to start fresh! I don’t have a specific number in mind. However, I have a few physical attributes I’ll be keeping an eye out for… I want a flat stomach, preferably with some muscle tone. I want you to be able to see my arm muscles without flexing. I want nice side boobs, the kind that doesn’t melt into my back fat. In other words, I want to be fit.
I can’t wait to show you! (Well, except for the side boob. I’ll keep that under wraps.)
Weekly weigh-ins are coming back on Fridays as are monthly pictures and measurements. My goal is to have made significant progress by Valentines Day… my first cheat day.
I need to prove to myself that I am fully committed so I’m pretty much going through a six week cleanse. Plus it would be nice to feel like a complete hottie on that particular day.
Being a teacher I am really looking forward to having the summer months off. I would like to get to a point physically where I am extremely proud of myself by then. All of the hard work I put in will just be an active reminder of the good things to come.
As always I invite you to join me on Fridays for these weigh-ins.