Thursday, July 6, 2017

How I Lost My First 10 Lbs (And You Can Too!) || Weight Loss Journey

I have been working hard on my weightloss journey for the last 3 months. I work out everyday and have changed my eating habits drastically. I have lost over 16 pounds and am still working hard to achieve my goal of 20 pounds lost. I get asked often how I have lost the weight and what I am doing so I thought I would write up a post and share how I lost my first 10 pounds to help those who may want to shed some pounds.

I do need to say that I am not a doctor, nutritionist, coach, or fitness trainer whatsoever. Please seek medical advice before changing your lifestyle drastically and know that this is just what has worked for me and I am just sharing my journey with you all. What works for some may not work for everyone but you can always adjust it to suit your needs.

Change Your Eating Habits
To start with I had to change my eating habits. Weight loss is something like 80% what you eat and 20% working out! I basically would eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted before, and I am home with two toddlers which means there are endless snacks available. This was really hard but has become easier for me. I went on what I would call a "Common Sense" diet. The stuff you know you shouldn't eat, like crackers, cookies, other packaged items, grilled cheese etc. that is what I cut out first. I tried to do no carbs completely but only lasted a week because I was just too tired from working out that I decided I needed cards to function so I added back good carbs.  I started eating more fruits, veggies, smoothies, whole wheat, sweet potatoes, chicken, ground turkey that kind of stuff. I snack on carrots and hummus or apples with almond butter instead of chips and pretzels. I eat a lot of chicken salad, mostly because I just love it, but the dressing usually has the most calories. I feel good that it doesn't contain a lot of carbs like a sandwich would. I use zucchini to make "zoodles" instead of using noodles for pastas and I do not eat rice or mac and cheese anymore. So that is how I started changing my diet and now I still eat like this but I do let myself have a "cheat" meal now and then. If I didn't eat a burrito or fried rice once in awhile I would be totally miserable! It is all about balance and finding what works. I used to think if I "messed up" one meal I might as well give up the rest of the time and that is not how it is anymore. For the most part I try to eat really well and count my calories best I can but still let myself live and enjoy food once in awhile too! My weight loss has slowed down because I am not as strict BUT I am much happier and still feeling great and still losing weight so it is working out for me.

Start Working Out
The next thing I did was start working out. I did not work out at all before so I started with just 30 minute workouts of like random stuff at home (jumping jacks, squats, crunches etc,) until I built some stamina and strength. I was then able to increase my workouts to one hour and I decided to start alternating arm and leg days. So I will now do 30 minutes of either arms or legs, 15 minutes of abs and 30 minutes of cardio. Cardio is my favorite because I really love to run but it is not always an option with two little ones so a lot of the time I do the "just dance" game and the kids actually play it with me. It is not as good as running but I sweat the entire time and try to do 45 minutes of that to make up for the fact that I pause and chose new songs in between. Plus working has to be fun and enjoyable or you wont stick with it, and I love to play this game! You could also find videos on youtube of cardio workouts if you don't have a dance game or don't enjoy that type of thing. I aim for 30 minutes of cardio everyday and it used to take me that entire time to run 2 miles and now I can do the 2 miles in about 20 minutes so I just keep going until I hit 30 minutes. It is really great to see my endurance and strength have all increased! Cardio makes me feel the best and I always feel really great after a run.

If you do not have time to workout for an hour just find a HIIT workout to do for 20-30 minutes to get your heart rate up but always try get in some strengthening stuff. Building muscle helps you keep burning fat after your workout and it feels good to feel strong!

Do Not Give Up
The next thing is to not give up, and this is the most important! It can be so hard to stick with it and I have tried many times and failed. I have two little kids that can be needy so almost every workout I have to stop to get snacks, change a diaper, or just sit and hug them but that is okay and I just keep going the best I can! If you are not feeling it skip the workout for the day but don't let it throw you off completely just pick it up the next day. It is okay to have off days, tired days, sick days, and cheat days. I do all of that but I still try my best. I always tell myself I will feel so much better after my workout, and I always do. Talking to other friends that also workout or may be trying to lose weight helps too, for advice and just getting a boost of self esteem when you talk about the changes your body has made, also they can be a great encouragement!

Stay Focused
It can be easy to go back to your old lifestyle and just give up, especially if you don't see changes quickly. You just have to keep going it takes a long time to lose the weight and if you're also doing muscle strengthening your gaining muscle which can make it seem like you're not losing weight when you are. It has taken me months just to lose this weight and it can be frustrating at first when you may not notice it but when I put my jeans on now I notice it a lot! They fit so much easier and do not squeeze so tight, that is a great feeling.

Keep Track
I like to keep track of my progress by weighing myself, measuring my waist hips butt and arms, as well as taking pictures. Doing this can help you see your progress because maybe you can't see you lost an inch in your waist but when you measure and see that you did you will feel so great! I like to use pictures to see my progress and look back on where I started. I try not to focus too much on the scale because I know that how I feel is more important, but it is nice to see the pounds drop. If you keep track of your progress it can help keep you motivated a lot, just look back at where you started and how far you've come and you won't want to give up! I have lost inches off all areas of my body even though I don't see it I have been keeping track so I know I have, and the fact that my jeans actually fit again haha! I also use my samsung health app to keep track of my exercise, count my calories, and my weight. You can use other apps like Myfitnesspal, just find one that works for you to help you track your progress. It is really great to look at the charts and see how far you have come.

It seems pretty simple to just change your diet and exercise but it is really hard and takes a lot of commitment to make changes like this, but you can do it if you really want to! If it is easier for you to start out slowly just do that, you have to do what works for you and whatever will make you not give up.

I hope this helps encourage you and gives you ideas on what changes you can make to have a happy and healthy lifestyle. I plan to do some posts on healthy recipes in the future so stay tuned for that! Good luck on your journey and remember to just do what works for you and your life!

Let me know what your goals are and how you are doing on them and if you have any questions in the comments below!
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