*To see my weight loss back story, check out my new “weight loss” page!
I am often asked, “how did you lose all that weight?” When I tell them how and what I did I think sometimes people are disappointed there wasn’t a magic recipe, pill or plan that I followed but it’s what worked for me. Mostly, it was a lot of hard work which had to become a new lifestyle.
1. Started eating breakfast: As I mentioned in my weight loss story, I never used to eat breakfast. I wasn’t hungry in the morning and considered the concept a bit overrated. When my co-worker encouraged me to eat breakfast, I balked at first – the thought of it made me a bit sick to my stomach. However, I started choking down eggs every morning and after a couple of weeks I started waking up HUNGRY. I also found eating breakfast started putting me on a regular eating schedule. I am definitely a night snacker and I soon realized eating breakfast meant I wasn’t as hungry later in the evenings. Big win #1.
2. Body Acceptance: I remember the day when I admitted I actually liked my curves. At this point in time, I had probably lost about 15 or 20 lbs. I had started embracing my body with new clothes that flattered my curves and stopped looking in the mirror at everything I hated about myself. This shift in my mindset changed my entire outlook on my health and shape. I started eating healthier because I felt I deserved it. I bought cute bras and undies because I no longer hated my body & it made me feel good about myself. The funny thing was, the changes in my attitude changed my eating habits and this started to change my body. Who knew?!
3. Ditched the Diet Coke: this one took longer and was HARD! Every once in a while I still love a good diet coke but I realized I wasn’t doing myself any favors. I have a hard time getting enough fluids as is and after my morning coffee (this was non-negotiable, although I found ways to lighten it up) and then a diet coke at some point in the day, I was barely drinking 8 oz of water. Yikes! I knew I had to switch out the soda pop for water simply because I was getting dehydrated when I was running. I had read a lot about how diet pop can inhibit weight loss efforts but at this point in time, I did it just so I could get through a run without cramping.
4. Learned how to cook and portion control: I wasn’t a terrible cook before but I didn’t really trust myself to try new things. For awhile I ate Lean Cuisines and these can be tasty but are expensive and boring. They definitely helped me learn portion control and were a great quick alternative to eating out (which I had been falling back on a lot in the old days). I started branching out and substituting ingredients to make meals healthier. I refused to give up my favorites, pizza, quasidilla but there are ways to make these more “diet-friendly” options. I also had to learn to feel satisfied. This might have been the toughest obstacle for me in the area of food. I really like the feeling of being FULL. There is that fine full line between being overly stuffed and satisfied and I would try to get to that point; typically, I would fall over into the too stuffed. Recognizing my hunger cues and when enough is enough is still something I work with.
5. Exercise: I really dreaded this part of my weight loss journey. Haha, I do like to rest up (i.e. be lazy) and I always felt really exhausted after work. Of course, I quickly found I had much more energy when I worked out and even had a bit more freedom with food. My anxiety lessened, I was more relaxed and much more confident. I love being able to call myself a runner and have had too many amazing experiences to detail in this post. Oh and I really like having muscles :)
Essentially, that is how I did it – or at least those are the big contributors. I know, not really anything secret about it and sometimes I feel weight management is harder than actual weight loss. Again, all of this became lifestyle changes and throughout the whole process I never pronounced myself to be on a diet. I knew this would derail my efforts. Yes, I did do part of it for vanity reasons (I’m only human) but I also really focused on being healthy – now and in the future. I knew what weight-related diseases awaited me if I kept up with my poor choices and continued to neglect my body. A change had to happen and I was the ONLY ONE who could do it. This thought was empowering and I just started to slowly make changes. I’ll detail some other strategies at another time but the above list have never changed and continues to work for me!