Once upon a time I stepped on the scale with much fret and uncertainty, and found the dreadful high number of 260 lbs scream out at me.
Talk about hard reality check!!! It occurred to me that I needed to change my life in terms of health although I was not sure what this life style change would all encompass.
Bridesmaid in my friend’s wedding in 2009
I am often asked the question how I lost weight, and I think secretly people hope that I tell them about a “magic” pill I took or that I worked out 30 minutes a day and binged afterwards (I know I hoped for the same when I used to ask others who lost weight prior to me losing mine).
The reality of losing weight weighs on three elements: eating, exercise and mindset. Initially, those words are equivalent to nails scratching a chalkboard, I know. But before you stop reading now…. a healthy lifestyle is attainable for anyone!
Under Grad Class trip in 2007
At the very beginning of my journey, I wrote down 5 things I knew I needed to implement in my lifestyle to help me attain good health. I’d like to share them with you in hopes of it benefiting you as it did me. Feel free to take on these methods and individualize them to make them your own.
1. Believe in yourself. Our minds are an absolutely powerful tool that determine whether or not we will accomplish our goal(s). If we do not believe in ourselves then our goals are impossible to conquer. Often times, we are limited or unlimited by our thoughts, fears, and worries which can, in essence, consume us. The mind must change before the body can ever transform.
Ways I implemented #1: It’s was a daily routine of “self-talk”, internalizing the positivity others spoke to me, and my personal devotional time that helped me to really believe in myself throughout my weight-loss journey.
2. Cut out at least 3 of your favorite go-to foods or habits. Yes, three. You may cut out 10 things if you’d like, however, most people feel overwhelmed (including myself) with many commitments/goals at one time so it’s easier to focus on a few and be persistent in those. Whatever those habits or foods are you know you need to cut – CUT them out. They are in the way of your good health, therefore, they aren’t worth the time of day!
Ways I implemented #2: I cut out my daily venti white chocolate mocha. I also learned how to say “no” when I was invited out to eat. Lastly, I did not eat past 6pm (my absolutely hardest habit to let go of). Of course, your barriers may be different. Maybe yours is fast food or sodas, or chocolate cake, or…. yes, it is what you are thinking about right now.
Our wedding in 2013.
3. Have a consistent workout schedule. Consistency is key! Yes, this is challenging. We all have busy lives and excuses as to why we can’t workout. You have to make a decision – give up before you start or do the workout. Sure, you may feel silly or intimidated at first using gym equipment, but Keep.Going.Every.Workout.Counts.
Ways I implemented #3: I went to the gym 9-10:30pm Monday-Friday consistently. When I moved away for grad school in the last portion of my weight-loss journey, I bought a workout video for toning and would take the triplets (I was a nanny) running for cardio.
4. Drink your water!!! H2O is so important as it: improves skin complexion, keeps you hydrated, reduces hunger, and last but not least, flushes out toxins which in result helps one to lose weight! Start off with drinking 1 liter of water per day throughout the day. After about a week or two, up your intake to 2 liters.
Ways I implemented #4: I drank TONS of water daily!
Space Needle in 2014
5. Have a “comfort” meal (an unhealthy meal of your choice). My absolute favorite part of the week! Comfort meals are necessary, especially when you have had a long week of workouts and healthy meals. It’s nice to look forward to that one meal each week where you can eat your favorite foods with no guilt attached. When you know there is a comfort meal in the near future, you are more likely to wait for it rather than cave in and binge. So go ahead… indulge and delight in it.
Ways I implemented #5: Every Sunday after church, I would go with family and friends to a local Mexican restaurant. I would indulge in chips and homemade salsa as an appetizer and get a large beef and chicken, extra cheese quesadilla. Don’t judge.
Although I have added other elements in my journey of good health, the five methods above were always my foundation in my journey. It’s been about 3 years now since I hit my weight loss goal, and it’s a daily decision make my health a priority. There are good days and bad days as we all can relate, but good health is attainable and worth the process.
As always, thanks for reading.