I've been wanting to do a fitness/weightloss post for a while now, just to share with you all what has worked for me in my journey to my ideal weight. Not sure how many of you out there are trying to lose some weight or just looking to eat healthier, but I've gathered some tips that have helped me along the way.
First, let me say that I'm 5'2, and my normal weight in high school was about 133. I wore a size 34C, and I do have those birthing hips, haha. I have a larger frame, so weighing anything less than 125 made me look slightly frail. But towards the end of high school and once I got into college, I started ignoring my eating habits and just ate whatever I wanted, when I pleased, whether or not I was really hungry. College was where I gained most of it, definitely more than the freshman 15, more like the freshman 40. No joke. And after I finished college, I still put on some more weight. But it all hit me last Christmas when I went home to visit family and friends. I had pictures taken of me, and when they were put up on Facebook, I was crushed. I couldn't believe how much I was ignoring myself and my health. It was those images that really woke me up.
My New Year's Resolution was to lose 40 pounds. I didn't really start my transformation until the end of February, so for the first two months of 2011, I just beat myself up about it. But one day, probably in the first week of March, I stepped on the scale and mentally logged my weight. 181. Ugh. My goal was to lose this weight by October, for the Navy Ball. And in seven months I lost 35 pounds. Five pounds short of my goal, but impressive to me nonetheless.
Today I weigh 146, and I'm attempting to lose 10 more pounds. 10 more pounds would make me super happy. I'm really proud of the progress I've made, but these last ten pounds are the hardest.
So here are some things that have helped me this past year:
1. Portion size. This is by far, the main change that took off the weight. I noticed I was eating WAY too much of things, and so I cut it all down, because I was eating past the point of feeling full. And because how much of what I ate was the reason I really gained most of the weight, this helped me out a lot. Also, use smaller plates!
2. Don't cut out the foods you love. Bouncing off number one, the reason I could do this was because I cut down my portion size so much. The last thing I wanted to do was diet and be cranky because I'm craving salt or sugar or cheese. I love cheese. It's also the reason my weightloss was kinda slow, but I'm happier this way. If you want to lose weight faster, by all means you can diet harder. But if you lose weight at a slow steady pace, (mine being one pound a week), you're more likely to keep it off. It's my healthy way, and it allows me to eat the foods I love. Like cheese. Mmm.
3. An apple a day... Or any fruit really. I make a point to eat fruit every day. But specifically for me, apples. I never really liked apples. They are not my favorite fruit. But cutting them up and eating them before lunch has truly helped me. They keep you full and pack a lot fiber - 4 grams per medium apple. Plus they have antioxidants and vitamin C. Eat your fruit!
Gala apples, my fav!
4. Whole Grain. You might have heard that whole grain fights belly fat. And its true! I know that peanut butter and jelly is for little kids and for adults, can be kinda boring. But I eat peanut butter and jelly on whole grain bread for lunch almost 4 days a week (with my apple!), and it works. It also lowers the risk of heart disease. I'm not saying to eat all the whole grain carbs in the world, but if you want to eat that bread, or that pasta, switch it to whole grain instead.
5. Fruit and Veggies Don't Count. When I think about how much food I've already eaten today, I never count my fruit and veggies. Sounds weird, because obviously they do count in terms of calories, but they fill you up, and they're good for you, so I just don't count them. I guess it tricks my mind into thinking I can eat more, but I don't end up doing that because they keep me full.
6. Sugar Cravings? It never fails, I ALWAYS get a chocolate/sugar craving after I eat dinner. So instead of eating leftover halloween candy or all the pastries James likes to keep stock in the kitchen, I opt for low-fat chocolate milk. Makes me feel like I'm not missing out. I use smaller glasses too.
In terms of exercise, I started Zumba in March (the dvds), and I also walk my dog Shadow about three miles every day, sometimes I run two of those miles. After Zumba got boring, I switched to Pilates, and even tried a Belly Dancing dvd. Just find a physical activity you enjoy and do it. You don't have to get on the treadmill and run. But for me, running 2 miles a day with my puppy is something I really enjoy.
Cause look at all this energy? She needs it too. ;)
Anyway, hope you guys enjoy the post, even if these tips are already common knowledge.