How I’ve Lost Almost 40 Pounds

Last April I made a pact with myself to never weigh more than I did at that time and to get fit. I had been steadily gaining weight since the girls were born and I realized was using them as an excuse to be overweight. I flipped that thinking and realized I need to be fit FOR them. Since then, I’ve lost almost 40 pounds and two pant sizes. I recently decided to set a goal to be below 200 pounds before my birthday, February 22nd. Well today I stepped on the scale and it said 199.6! I did it! YEAH!!!! Lots of people keep asking me how I’ve done it so I decided to write it all down.

**I’m not a doctor or a dietitian or whatever. This is just my personal experience. You should always talk to your doctor before you start an exercise program or change your diet. So that’s what’s up.**

Here we go!

1)   I downloaded the MyFitnessPal and RunKeeper apps on my iPhone. I also bought an activity tracking wrist band called the Jawbone Up24 band. It was about $130. It tracks my steps and sleep patterns and reports to my iPhone instantly via Bluetooth. That data is sent over to MyFitnessPal and deducts my activity from my calories. They just came out with the Up3 and I am really interested in it. It also tracks heart rate in addition to steps and sleep. It costs $180 and right now there are only two colors that I’m not too impressed with. Maybe I’ll upgrade if they offer different colors in the future.

2)   I cut out sodas, cold turkey. I maybe have a soda once a month if we go out to eat and the water tastes nasty (but I can take my drops and add it to the water and it’s fine.) I add Grape Kool-Aid drops to my water during the day. They are sugar free and calorie free. I know it still has chemicals and whatnot in it but for me, it’s better than drinking soda or empty calories. I have typically been drinking 3-4 Tervis Tumblers of water a day with is about 9 to 12 glasses of water.

3)   I track calories. Every single meal and snack that I eat goes on MyFitnessPal. This helps you be cognizant of portions and how everything you eat adds up. The MFP app allows you to scan barcodes on packaging and has tons of food pre-populated so adding food is a snap. It’ll help you track calories and activity for each day. You can also track your progress of weight and measurements, which is nice. Plus it keeps track of how many days in a row you log in as an additional motivator to keep using the app. The MFP community is very supportive. I’m friends with a guy who lost 145 pounds and he helps motivate me on a regular basis.

4)   I cleaned out my panty. Don’t have it in your house if you don’t want to eat it. Don’t want to eat snack cakes? Don’t buy them. If your kids want to eat them, find something that’s a better alternative for you all to eat. Try different combinations of healthy snacks that you’ll want to eat. My go-to snacks are: roasted garlic hummus and raw carrots, red grapes and sharp cheddar cheese, blueberries and cantaloupe, and cinnamon swirl raisin bread with whipped cream cheese.

5)   I used to go walking about 4 times a week for 30 minutes to an hour, pushing my girls in the stroller. Just walking… no jogging or running. I would turn on my RunKeeper app and it tells me how long and how far I’ve walked. We got out of that routine when the time changed. Now Kyle and I wake up earlier and do a 30 minute cardio workout video together. I try to get at least 8500 steps a day (tracked by my Up band.) I also have been doing planks and glute bridge holds. I focus on holding my form and breathing. Once the time changes, I’ll go back to walking in the evenings with the girls in addition to the 30 minutes of cardio. They like when I run so I’ll do intervals of “power walking” and “wimpy jogging” until I reach 3 miles.

6)   I made a motivational poster with pictures of my kids and husband and wrote stuff like “Do it for them!” and “One day at a time!” etc. It’s hanging on my bathroom mirror. I also printed out motivational sayings that really strike a chord with me. My favorite is “I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. I’m saying it’s going to be worth it.” My other fav is “It took longer than a day to put the weight on. It’s going to take longer than a day for it to come off.”

7)   I take it slow and easy. I know that if I get all crazy with it, it’ll be much harder for me to stick to it. It took a long time to gain the weight and it’s not going to magically disappear overnight (even though that would be awesome!) Slower weight loss is better for your body anyway. It usually means you are making healthy decisions instead of following some random fad that really isn’t a long-term fix.

8)   I don’t “diet.” I realize that I need to make healthy lifestyle changes like smaller portions, drinking plenty of water, eating more fruits and veggies, and 30 minutes of activity a day. I think of food as fuel for your body. I’m not a dog…food shouldn’t be a reward. I still eat foods I like but just in moderation. I can have cake but a small, sensible slice while making healthy choices the rest of the day. I realized that I don’t really like celery? So you know what? I don’t eat it! I found something else that I DO like so I’ll actually continue my healthy eating habits. I absolutely hated raw carrots my entire life until I dipped them in hummus and now I crave them. Now I try foods with an open mind and do my research. I read labels and track what I eat.

9)   I weigh myself regularly but I don’t worship the scale. I keep in mind that my weight will fluctuate daily for various reasons so I don’t stress out if the scale shows I gained a pound after a great day. I know that I just want to see my weight trending down. I log my weight in the MyFitnessPal app to keep track. I want to note that I feel a better measure of my success is how I FEEL and how my clothes fit. I have noticeably more energy since we started working out first thing in the morning. I also feel stronger and breathe deeper which makes me feel energized. I’ve lost three pant sizes and actually feel attractive!

10)   I don’t tell myself that I CAN’T have something. Yes, I can have cake… just a sensibly sized piece. Yes, I can have a soda. But maybe just one a month! Or if I eat a giant apple turnover, just know that I’ll need to cut back on supper or be a little more active that evening to make up the calories.

11)   I set small, reasonable goals. I have a goal weight so I put that in my MFP app and it helps me set my caloric goals plus tracks my progress. I set small goals so that I can celebrate my success along the way. I set challenges for myself like: “I bet I can walk to the high school and back” or “I bet I can go a whole week without a soda” or “I bet I can hold this plank for a minute.” I also made a list of my weight goals and figured out a reward for each level. Here’s a quick lesson on goal setting. Goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable, and Time-based. Right now my current SMART goal is that once I hit 199 by my birthday, I’ll go get a few new workout clothes (new pants, maybe a new shirt) from Academy. I’m hoping to go after we go to the zoo.

Once I hit 189, I’ll go get a few new shirts/outfits (goal is by 7/5/15).

Once I hit 179, I’ll get the sheets I’ve been wanting (goal is by 11/15/15).

Once I hit 169, I’ll hire a maid to come one time to deep clean the house (goal is by 4/10/16).

Once I hit 159, I want Kyle and I to go on a mini-trip somewhere (goal is by 08/28/16).

My time frame for these goals is adjustable because I’m basing it on losing half a pound a week.

12) I changed my thought process. I can tell you that if you don’t change your thought process, you won’t see long term results. That’s the problem with diet pills… I took them before my wedding and lost some weight but as SOON as I stopped the pills, I gained it all back because I hadn’t learned how to BE healthy. I started this all last April. I really slacked off with exercising since the time changed, but since I still had my good eating habits I didn’t gain any weight. Now I know what my goals are and how I’m going to meet them. I also know what motivates me in case I get disenchanted along the way.

13) I try to not multitask while I eat. I try to focus on savoring the flavors of the food I’m eating. I think about how good is tastes and how it’s going to fuel my body for the rest of the day. If you are playing on your phone or watching TV while eating, you aren’t going to pay attention to what and how much you are eating. That’s bad news for portion control.

14) We hardly ever eat at restaurants and when we do we try to make good choices or at leave half of it for leftovers. I also avoid fast food like there’s no tomorrow. Not only have we saved a lot of money (and our sanity… restaurants are a little stressful with twin two-year-olds) we are better able to track how many calories are in the meals we make.

14) I stopped making excuses. “Well I have twins…” “Well I don’t have time…” “Well it’s going to be hard…” Yeah, I have twins. Two more reasons to get up, move, and play! Yeah, I’m busy. But I make time for MYSELF now. Yeah, I thought it’d be hard but I was WRONG. It’s only as hard as you make it.

15) I make my snacks the night before and get it all laid out and ready to go. There’s no way I’m going to wake up even earlier to get my stuff together when it only takes me less than ten minutes to do it the night before.

Here’s a quick run-down of what I typically eat during the week:

6:45 – HEB Caffecino Chocolate Protein Shake 190 calories

9:00 – Sunmaid Raisin Bread with Whipped Cream Cheese 125 calories

10:30 – One cup of cantaloupe and a handful of blueberries 81 calories

12:00 – Hard-boiled egg with Mrs. Dash Salt Free Garlic & Herb Seasoning 65 calories

Roasted Garlic hummus and raw baby carrots 78 calories

Frigo Light cheese stick 50 calories

2:30 – 13 red grapes and 13 little cubes of sharp cheddar 140 calories

6:00 – Whatever we are having for dinner 🙂

So that’s how I’ve done it. I didn’t get a gym membership. I didn’t buy anything except the Up band, a yoga mat, new shoes, and healthy food. Oh and a water bottle that easily fit my stroller cup holder. It wasn’t always easy but it’s been worth it! I made mistakes but I forgave myself and moved on.

By the way, heart disease is the number one killer of women. One in THREE women will die from heart disease and stroke.  IT’S THE NUMBER ONE KILLER OF WOMEN! The best ways to combat this is by exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. That’s my motivator. I don’t want to die young and leave my kids without a mother and my husband without a wife. This is the American Heart Disease website and it has lots of great information on it. Please check it out. Please start taking care of yourself! You are worth it!