I have never been more excited for something to fit me so terribly! Last summer this was my go to "cute" shirt and now it is too big! FYI I am down 30 lbs!!" for the first pic and "That's better! Time to start wearing my new clothes!" for the second pic.
Then I got a ton of comments and several people asking me for tips on how I did it. Now keep in mind, although I am a certified Zumba instructor, I am NOT a personal trainer, or Nutritionist or any kind of professional when it comes to weight loss, BUT I will share what has worked for me. I hope it helps.
2 Key Factors
1. Be Selfish for once in your life!
Not in a bad way, but put yourself, your workouts, and your nutrition FIRST. Make you a priority. It is soooo easy to put off your work out because the laundry needs to get done, the kids need your attention, the house is a mess, and you have so many dishes in the sink that you don't even have a clean pan to cook dinner in. Tell yourself that for the next 3 or 6 months you are going to put you first and who cares if the house is a mess. Do your workout first and spend an extra 15 minutes at lunch time to make yourself a salad instead of eating what your toddlers are eating just to save time. I once saw this on facebook and it is soooo true!
2. Get a Workout Buddy!
We are women! And we need support! The first 15 lbs took me a year and a half to take off by myself. Talk about slow progress! When I got together with my awesome friend Melissa G. That's when things really took off. There were days when I didn't want to work out, but I knew I had to meet her at the gym at a certain time or she was coming to my house or where ever we were going I didn't want to stand her up, so I was there and it was the same for her, so we kept each other going. We also shared ideas on what to eat and bad habits we were trying to overcome. She has been key in my weight loss and is now one of my best friends. So find someone else who wants to lose weight too and GET TOGETHER!
Some Helpful Tips
These are tips that we all know, but really, I didn't realize how important they REALLY are until I started to do them consistently
1. Drink lots of water. About 8 glasses a day is the recommendation. Especially if you drink a glass before your meal, it helps to fill you up so you don't over-eat.
2. Eat 3 servings of veggies a day. It's really not as hard as you think. I have greens in my morning smoothie (spinach, kale, or collard greens), a salad for lunch (with romaine lettuce, carrots, broccoli, whatever you like), and steamed veggies with dinner. You could eat veggies for a snack even.
3. Eat protein with every meal/snack. Also, not that hard, eggs with that smoothie, an apple with 4 slices of turkey breast for a snack, a Greek yogurt for snack, chicken in your salad, and meat or fish for dinner!
4. Don't eat after 7:00 pm. This one was hard for me, but only because I like to stay up late. If you go to bed at a decent time, you might be a little hungry but you can still do it. Going to bed at a decent hour not only gives your body the rest it needs to recover from work outs, but it also gives your body the energy it needs to increase your metabolism and you will feel sooo much better and have more energy!
5. Get enough sleep. Again your body needs at least 8 hours, and if you don't stay up too late you wont be tempted to eat late! It's a win, win!
6. Get the My Fitness Pal app on your phone and USE IT! This app is awesome and free! It is pretty much what you would do if you joined weight watchers. Use it religiously and you will be much more aware and accountable for what you are eating. Remember weight loss is 20% exercise and 80% what you eat.
7. Have a cheat day. But don't let a cheat day turn into a cheat week. Have a brownie with your family on Sunday night, but just have one, not 3! If you love sweets, don't completely deprive yourself or you will binge later on. It's o.k. to have a treat once in a while
8. Still need a few more snacks? Chose wisely. Have a low calorie, ice-cream bar! There are some great ones that are under 100 calories. Need something salty, try Skinny Pop popcorn! That stuff is amazing, all natural, and 39 calories a cup!! You can have 2 or 3 cups! But remember, natural is better! Stay away from those 100 calorie special K snacks and those other processed snack foods, they have so much crap in them that your body doesn't recognize and you are actually making it harder on your body to digest them. Stick with a banana, apple or some other fruit!
My Meal Plan
So here is an example of my basic meal plan
Breakfast: Green berry smoothie and a hard boiled egg (Alt: 2 scrambled eggs with sprouted whole wheat toast with a little butter)
Snack: Yoplait Greek Yogurt
Lunch: Big Salad with chicken, romaine lettuce, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, radishes, ect. and a low calorie dressing (making your own more natural dressing is better but this is what I did)
Snack: Apple & 4 slices of turkey
Dinner: Chicken breast or fish (yes, even sometimes breaded fish) with half a plate full of steamed veggies, with a little butter and salt on them. Here are some pics of my dinners (and yes, I would feed my family this as well, but they usually got an additional side like rice, or mac and cheese)
And if I was still hungry, I ate fruit!! I love fruit, apples, oranges, watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, strawberries! I also ate fruit for my dessert! Eat all you want! You don't have to go on a crazy strict diet to lose weight, just make better choices! For example, if you want Ranch on your Lunch salad, go for it!! If you usually have mac and cheese with your toddler, or a burger and fries, trust me Ranch on your salad is a much better choice! You can work into the low calorie dressing later.
Why am I talking about this last? Because weight loss really is 80% nutrition and eating habits and 20% exercise. So really, it doesn't matter what you do, as long as you are moving and doing some kind of excercise 3-5 times a week! So what did I do? I did Cardio 3 times a week and strength training 3 times a week.
Cardio - So of course I did Zumba 2 times a week and the other day I went running/jogging (with my workout buddy of course!) But you don't have to do what I did, find something that you like!
Strength Training - What?! Yes, weights! I have done group weight classes and I love them, but what really took off the weight for me was when my workout buddy and I signed up for a 6 week boot camp. And when it was over we continued on our own! Boot camp is not as scary as it sounds, it is simply interval weight training. One day we worked out legs, anther day our arms, and another day our core. And then best part about weight training is that you burn calories even when you are not working out. Why, those sore muscles you get?, ya, your body is burning calories in order to repair those sore muscles! So you burn calories all day long, thus increasing your metabolism! It is awesome!!!
Fasting and Prayer and leaning on my Savior
This is last, but not least! Doing a monthly fast will help you in soo many ways! Not only does it cleanse your body once a month, but if you can go with out food and water for 24 hours, you can definitely stick to a healthy diet! And don't be afraid to ask Heavenly Father for help with your weight loss during your fast. He knows how you are feeling, he knows how frustrated you are and depressing weight gain can be. Don't feel ashamed or feel like you are being "shallow" for wanting his help with weight loss, so you can feel happier, and be a better mother and wife. There is nothing wrong with asking for his help. He wants to bless you and he wants you to be happy, and he will help you and he will strengthen you. It took me a while to figure this one out, but once I did, things got a lot more do-able.
My Final and most important Tip:
This may seem like a lot of information and it is! If you try to do it all at once then you will get discouraged and give up. Pick one or two things and work on it for a month. The next month add one or two more, until it is a habit. This isn't a diet or a quick fix, this is a life style change so you can take the weight off and keep it off! You can do it! You are worth it!
I did it! And because I plan to have more babies.... I will do it again!