For those who don’t know, over the course of the last year or so I have lost over 30 pounds. It has been a lot of trial and error, but TBH I am super proud of all the progress I have made. I have gotten a lot of questions about my journey, but let me be the first to say – this isn’t a post about quick fixes or diet plans. That isn’t what worked for me. What kickstarted my healthier lifestyle was all about changing my habits and finding the right balance for my body.
I have always struggled with my weight and have had my ups and downs. But, after a rough breakup, I took a hard look at where I was and where I wanted to be. It wasn’t necessarily a “I’m going to lose weight” kind of thing, but more like “I’m changing me.” I was also channeling my inner Khloe Kardashian – which I highly recommend trying out.
Me at my cousin’s wedding in Oct. 2015 – probably at my heaviest
My Top Fitness Tips:
1. Evaluate Your Habits
Don’t treat this like a diet – but as a lifestyle change. Put your weight and your body image aside and truly evaluate what habits you don’t like. Getting in shape can be overwhelming, but if you break it down it can be much easier to tackle. For example, one habit I desperately wanted to change was being more active after 5:00pm on weeknights. I hated just sitting around and watching TV every night. Instead, I would go for a long walk or go to the gym or read a book. I would make weekly goals to try and combat this habit. Once I started changing one habit, I would work on another. Seeing my health and fitness through this lens was far more beneficial than constantly focusing on a weight goal. If you can focus on changing unhealthy habits, your weight will be an effect of those changes. Feel good first, look good second!
2. Find Your Motivation
I am a firm believer that change comes from within. The only person who can get you to the gym or put down that second donut is YOU. For that reason, my biggest advice is to find something that motivates you. Scratch that, that REALLY motivates you. When I first started to get serious about my health and fitness, I had just gotten my heart broken. Luckily for me, Beyonce had just graced us all with ‘Lemonade’ which became my ‘Revenge Body’ anthem. When I felt like giving up after that first mile on the treadmill, ‘Hold Up’ would always keep me running. Find an emotion, goal, or person that will motivate you to keep going. It will make all the difference!
3. Cut the Alcohol
The least fun thing you will ever hear me say – cut out the alcohol. I completely cut it out for a few months last year and immediately noticed the biggest difference. I know it is easier said than done, but limiting your alcohol intake will make you feel better, give you more energy, and save you some calories. Try it for two weeks and see how you feel!
4. Cardio, Cardio, Cardio!
I am not a huge runner – I oftentimes get bored and can rarely stay focused. For a long time, I tried to substitute other workout regimens because cardio just “wasn’t for me.” Wrong! Cardio is your best friend. If you have weight you want to loss, you need the cardio. All the ab and leg toning workouts aren’t going to help you much if you still have calories to burn. I know it’s hard to find the time, but you can do anything for 30 minutes!
5. Portion Control
Have your cake and eat it too! Don’t give up things that you love – it is just going to make you miserable. I truly haven’t changed much of my eating habits, I still eat pizza and have far too much ice cream in my freezer at any given time. However, I changed how much I ate. Listen to your body and put down your utensils when you are full. Use smaller plates when cooking at home and split a meal when eating out. Don’t get crazy and have fried foods everyday, but you don’t need to cut out all the good stuff completely. Also, find substitutes! Instead of ice cream, go for the yogurt. It’s all about finding a balance!
6. Switch Things Up
Hitting a plateau in your fitness goals? Switch it up! Adding yoga to my workout routine gave my body a whole difference way to stretch and move – which I really noticed in my legs and arms. I’m also a huge fan of kickboxing and SoulCycle to give your body a little something different. Don’t get stuck in a rut – your body will too!
Like many women, my weight has been a lifelong struggle. I’m not here to say I have found all the answers and these tips definitely aren’t easy, quick fixes. But, if I have learned anything over the last year, it is that losing weight isn’t about a number – it’s about your habits. If you can conquer those, then you got this girl!
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