I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t apprehensive to post pictures of myself in a bathing suit. My husband took these on our honeymoon and I’m proud of the way I look in them. The word you’re looking for is “happy”! Today’s blog post is all about how I put my blood, sweat, and tears into losing weight.Lots of tears, actually, because I am a carb addict. If tortilla chips and donuts had a baby that would be me. All kidding aside I lost 15 pounds and 2 dress sizes before my big day. I actually had to maintain my weight after my alterations lady threatened me within an inch of my life because we had to send my dress back and get a smaller size. Here are the tips and tricks that helped me!
1. Calories In, Calories Out
I used the Weight Watchers app to count my points every day. Losing weight is all about creating a calorie deficit. You want your calories burned to be greater than what you ate that day. Pro tip: Look up calories for things you think are healthy- it could surprise you! One of the major ways I stacked up calories without realizing were dips, sauces, dressings, and condiments. Look for a lower calorie alternative.
2. Don’t drink your calories
This is a huge way people waste calories. Water is sufficient enough to grow the largest tree in the forest. It’s sufficient enough for you. If you can’t stand to drink only water then make sure you drink low or no calorie beverages. Keep in mind that too much soda (even diet soda) rots your teeth and bones so it’s best to stay away.
3. Exercise Your Way
Exercise is NOT my favorite but I love Zumba classes because I don’t realize I’m working out. I get to dance and end up sweating my face off. I also like taking Joe to the park for a walk or jog. Another way I work out is by turning on Netflix and getting on the stair stepper. Holy ouch! While everyone’s idea of exercise is different, remember that you’re beating everyone who is still sitting on the couch.
4. Buy cute workout clothes or shoes
I get pumped to go to the gym if I have a coordinating top and compression pants to wear. It’s like when your bra and panties match and you feel like a grown up. I bought new workout shoes to round out the look. When you look good you also feel more confident.
5. Make healthy substitutions
While french fries can feel like a food group all on their own, I make a lot of substitutions for steamed veggies or a salad with vinaigrette. Mashed cauliflower is now in the freezer aisle and it is amazing. Broccoli rice is delicious as well. Healthy substitutions save me a ton of calories. Save those fries for cheat day. Which brings me to my next tip…
6. Redefine “treating yourself”
Treating yourself is usually a great idea except when your idea of treating yourself is with food. I’m the type of person who would treat myself with indulgent foods on good days, on bad days, on cold days, as long as the day ended in “y” I wanted to have a treat. I had to redefine treating myself as getting a pedicure or taking a bath instead of with donuts or cocktails.
7. Have a cheat day
While I didn’t treat myself every day I don’t recommend torturing yourself. Choose one day of the month or the week to cheat. Some people are more strict and do one meal a week. I’ve heard friends say they can’t cheat at all or they totally lose it so they don’t have cheat days. Whatever works for you.
8. Count out serving sizes
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT grab a bag of anything from your pantry and just start eating. If the bag says 12 chips per serving (God help me) then I count out 12 so I know exactly how many I ate. If I don’t, I watch one episode of “Stranger Things”, look up, and the family size bag of Doritos is suddenly empty.
9. Pack your meals
On that same note, leaving for work without snacks or meals is a bad idea. You’ve seen people all over the internet “meal prepping” or packing their lunches for the week. I like to always eat the same thing for breakfast so it’s easy to plan. I have a Premier Protein shake for breakfast and try to pack chicken or tuna for lunch with veggies. If I forget my lunch, I end up eating fast food which kills my calories for the day.
10. Set short term and long term goals
Anyone who has lost weight only to gain it back will tell you that it’s not a 2 month commitment. Healthy habits need to be a permanent change in order for you to keep that weight gone permanently. Setting goals gets you to the next step in your journey so that you are always working toward improvement. My short term goal was to lose my nursing school weight before the wedding. My long term goal is to be a strong and healthy mom to my (non-existent) kiddos.
11. Comparison is the thief of joy
Without the help of a surgeon, I will never look like certain women whose figures I idolize. That’s OK. I need to be happy with my body the way it is while also seeking to better myself. I want to be a stronger and healthier version of me. If I compare myself to someone thinner or more muscular I’m wasting my time.
12. Ask a friend to keep you accountable
I asked one of my coworkers to help me stay accountable. She would ask me if I had gone to the gym when I got to work every morning and I knew I couldn’t lie. She also helped with workout and diet suggestions because fitness is one of her greatest passions. When picking a partner it helps to choose someone who is as serious as you are about being healthy.
Remember that if losing weight was easy then everyone would do it so you’re a rock star for making any kind of effort that improves your health. Please know I never thought I was “fat” (I hate that word). I simply wanted to lose the 15 pounds I gained in nursing school. I also wanted to be more active and eat healthier. Heart disease and Diabetes run in my family and I’d like to avoid them at all costs. As a nurse I care way more about things like cholesterol, A1C, and blood pressure than I do about a number on a scale. Hopefully these tips will help you if you’re struggling like I did. Let me know if you have any tips that I didn’t list in the comments section.
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