I’ve been asked several times what is my secret? There isn’t one but I can tell you my journey hopefully it will help. The formula is simple consistent exercise + healthy diet > eating junk + no exercise = jealous facebook friends A healthy lifestyle! After battling weight problems for about 7 years (lucky #7 I guess) I woke up and decided I didn’t want to be fat (yes, I said fat… you will heal) anymore… Not quite I was fresh out of college and hated my job so much that I needed to refocus my energy to keep my sanity.
Two points I want you to notice…
1) Decided: Yes it is a decision! This doesn’t happen by accident unless you are sick (if so log off and go see a doctor) it is a purposeful moment when you make that decision and mean it, treat it as such.
2) Refocus my energy: I like to believe we are all allotted a certain amount of energy in a day we dvivy up for different activities. When we are having a good day (positive energy) doesn’t it seem like everything gets done efficiently? When we are down, worried, sad nothing gets done. Think of negative energy as that greedy cousin you grew up with (we all have one unless it was you lol)… you all received three cookies but your cousin will eat two of yours when you turn your back in addition to the three they received (stay with me on this one). Even if you “allow” some of your thoughts to be negative it will never takes its share it will always take more leaving you with one cookie aka drained unable to progress positively. That cookie is gone for ever just like the time you are wasting being negative. You will feel bad because you weren’t productive which leads to more negative thoughts then more sadness… cycle continues. Stop making reservations at the pity party cafe (Sad Sally table for one…indefinitely). Stay positive! It will give you an energy boost to get other things accomplished. If one area of your life isn’t working tend to another part the “distraction” will refresh you so you can go back and tackle the difficult tasks ahead of you.
Back to the story…
2008, Out of undergrad I had the same job I had during my collegiate career, a security guard. Yea, you may take this moment to laugh imagining me “fighting crime” with a flashlight which they never provided. Although, I was half grateful for the job I knew It was NOT where I wanted to be I felt like a failure after working so hard in school (Damn, recession). Nothing was happening job wise so I decided to refocus my energy! Instead of worrying about not having my “Dream job” I began to put in the work to have my dream life!
By the end of 2008 I was 40lbs lighter! I watched my portion sizes and worked out everyday that ended in Y (think about it). I knew all the trainers some would even let me workout with them for free just because they saw my dedication. *sidebar* Never go to the club with a bunch of personal trainers because they are watching every sip of rum you take and that after hours diner spot they will order salad for you… or so I’ve heard. I loved that it was finally happening for me the compliments started rolling in owwww it’s all good right??? Sike! I hit a plateau/maintained for two years then for 8 months I allowed 20lbs to creep on…
I moved to New York…
I didn’t want to go to the gym. I always felt lost working on the machines. Is it enough reps? What about my heart rate??? Blah blah Zzzz..Zzz and more Zzz… I couldn’t afford a personal trainer so I began to lose interest in the gym and my waistline. August 2011, I made the bold move and canceled my gym membership! I realized I had it for vanity purposes, yea I go to the gym (umm no you don’t you have a membership). Many of us live for having gym tags on our keys so we can say we care for our health…but never do the work.
Sure you do…
Show of hands: Do you know people that tweet/facebook/instagram/messenger pigeon their gym movements ALL winter and you see zero results at the fourth of July cookout…yup you know them.. I know I do. o/ <—- that’s me with my hand up.
I used my new “gym” money to get an excellent sports bra (this is crucial because if the girls are slapping your face it reaaallllly kills the morale… something I’ve also heard), weight rack, gym sneakers, and gloves. I found free iphone/ipod apps (Nike Training Club) or low cost (Nike +) that would update my progress on my social networking pages. The positive feedback from my friends would motivate me to hopefully inspire them #AvCares. I use those apps along with my Nintendo Wii (just dance) as my main form of exercise I also run for all forms of public transportation because I am always late….everywhere.
As far as eating I watch what and how much I consume. I use smaller plates because I grew up in that “you better finish what is on your plate” generation. Smaller plates will visually aid your consumption and allow you to clean you plate without guilt. Start by measuring your servings then you can eyeball once you feel comfortable. Snacks! It is so important to snack healthy throughout the day and in between meals essentially you should eat 5-6 times a day including your 3 main meals. Now eating 5x a day DOES NOT… I repeat DOES NOT mean 5 trips to the drive-thru even for a “salad.” Many states list the caloric count of their meals and trust me you are better off with a $1 burger than a “Grilled chicken salad.”
425 calories and 21.4g of fat (with dressing)
253 calories and 7.7g of fat in the standard burger.
That brings me to eating take-out you REALLY don’t know how other people prepare the food you consume some people put butter vs olive oil in the water to boil pasta you won’t notice the difference but your expanding belly and thighs will. If you cook most of your food you will know what you are eating and how it was prepared. It is also great for sanitary reasons as well. So many resources to show you how to revamp your recipes internet, magazines, books etc. Frozen/canned foods are a slippery slope even the healthy ones, a lot of preservatives are used just to keep the products on the shelves longer. Have scientists found out what it does to our bodies yet? Simple things really made me think about my food i.e. why is there SO much sodium in hot sauce? Go check your nearest bottle… I’ll wait. Its insane.
This guy could be cooking your food…bon appetit!
With that said you shouldn’t sacrifice your social life in pursuit of a smaller dress size. No one likes the person who comes to the BBQ with all the self imposed dietary restrictions (ugggh here comes the Vegan). *Note* I half love Vegans only the cool ones I respect your choices but I’m not eating faux ribs glazed in organic soy honey… sorry. Make the decision (there goes that word again) of what you are willing to give up and accept the results of those choices. I am never giving up fine delicacies like jerk pork and if I never get a six pack because of it I have accepted my fate can you accept yours? You can indulge but acknowledge that it is an indulgence not a staple a.k.a you cannot “indulge” 5x this week because you walked for ten minutes on Sunday afternoon no ma’am… or sir.
There is no ONE way to lose weight but it all starts the same with a decision, unless you are sick, once again log off and go see your local physician. You decide you don’t want to live life the same way you’ve been living. You decide that you don’t want to have anxiety in the fitting room, the beach, Thanksgiving dinner because you think everyone is watching you not the fitting room because that is a lawsuit…cha ching!
Points to remember
*It starts in the mind: YOU decide How? Why? When? Pills/crash dieting vs Proper eating for an event vs lifetime benefits. Nothing wrong with losing weight because you are in a wedding but what happens when its over? What will you do? Chase events so you have motivation to keep it off sounds sad plus there are only soooo many family reunions you can crash before people catch on… beat it “Cousin Pam.”
*Have faith: I know the God I serve doesn’t want me breathing hard to walk up a flight of steps and I hope your God wants the same for you. If so you might want to make that switch… to Geico.
*Forgive yourself and live! As I am writing this I am eating stuffed shells and I don’t care its not super-sized and its tasty but I will be working this off that’s the catch.
*Eat more real fruits and veggies: When I say real I mean not in a can, seasoned to death with salt and overcooked. Its better raw!
*Drink A LOT of water: That’s it go to the next point.
*Find an exercise YOU LIKE TO DO: I cannot stress this enough. If you like something you will keep doing it that’s how the brain works. Try different things so you don’t get bored this is for you have fun! I hate treadmills especially the ones in front of mirrors, nothing is more dreadful for me than watching myself in agony. I LOVE dancing so I do that mostly. Simple.
*Invest! Time, energy, love into yourself (and cute workout gear). Women spend so much time stressinginvesting to keep other relationships exciting we forget about ourselves. Brunch with your friends, shopping with mom, the park with your kids, whorish date night with your significant other…now its time for you! This is a turning point in your life so enjoy!
SEE YA NEXT SUMMER!
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Drum roll please…
Fall 2007 Trip to Canada
Fall 2008 About a size 10/12 here I was happy going to the gym… hated my job but I looked good! That’s all that matters right??? lol
Fall 2011 Starting over: Breaking the plateau and working off the 20lbs that “crept” on… enjoying the festivities of Miami Carnival 😉
2012!!! from 207lbs to 144lbs! Size Sixteen to Size Six! By doing everything in this post. 🙂 #TeamNoSpanx
*2014 Update* I have lost about 9lbs and a dress size since this picture so I am around 135 and a size 4!
Disregard the costume it was a long day.
*Additional note* A prayer that I frequently pray is to not be afraid of letting the light God has put in me shine. I truly believe everything happens for a reason and how we react can influence others by bringing them closer to Him or steering them away. I also believe we are blessed to bless others even through tragedy. I once wrote a post about how I lost over 60lbs and my journey getting here. I never mentioned how I got there in the first place, which is equally important. For some the “transformation” has to take place way before you start your daily meal plans and lunges.
The transformation happens from within, healing from any hurt that might have led to you seek comfort in food to begin with. Food isn’t the enemy but an unhealthy emotional reliance on food (anything) is. Why is food your crutch? For me it made me feel better. When I was in high
school around 16 yrs old I was involved in an extremely toxic, possessive, abusive relationship. I managed to hide it from my family/friends for over a decade but it manifested in my significant rapid weight gain. With the help of God he has healed and restored me completely in every way (actually I might be slimmer than high school because I am taller *raise the roof* lol). It is over 10 years ago so I am no longer bothered by it and I forgive him/wish no ill will towards him. I embrace it because it caused me to pour extra love into myself and to develop the strength to pour that love into others.
What does bother me is that there are young men and women who still struggle with these issues and the “normalcy” of it, believing this is how love is. I am also sure someone is reading this who has experienced/experiencing similar situation or worst but you can be healed and there is hope for you! It would be selfish of me to receive my blessings and not tell anyone where they can get the hookup. Take a look around the people you love, support them, talk to them, don’t shame them for being heavier get to the root and encourage if you can. If this is currently your situation things can get better. I believe in you and I love you.