If you are new here you might not know that I have been trying to lose weight for years now. I’m not kidding, years. I have struggled with my weight since college with fluctuations ever since. I would lose a little weight then gain it back, in particular surrounding my two pregnancies. I was healthy and had no complications during both pregnancies, so my appearance wasn’t really my concern. But after…. well let’s just say I didn’t successfully get back in shape. In fact, I kept hitting new all time highs.
I first started really trying to get into fitness the year before my wedding (helloooo, wedding bod!!). For 6 years now I have been very into fitness (and loving it), but still unsuccessful at losing a significant amount of weight and seeing results in the mirror… until now.
I have finally lost 25 pounds (almost 30 at this point!) successfully and have kept it off so far. This is the most weight I have lost since I began this journey and the most successful I have been at maintaining this lifestyle, even during plateaus (which is not easy). What is different this time around? What is working for me?
*Disclaimer: All opinions are my own, I am solely expressing my own experience. I am not a medical professional and do not intend to give medical advice of any kind. Please contact your doctor with any medical questions.
I have noticed a few things I’ve done differently this time around that seem to be making a difference for me and that I believe have helped me be more successful after so many attempts. So today I’m sharing these five things.
- Go to a doctor. Absolute number 1 game changer and the thing that I had NEVER done before. Do it. Seek professional help. Just finally do it. Ask the embarrassing questions. Don’t rely on influencers, idiots or all knowing Facebook friends ready to dole out unsolicited advice. That includes me. Don’t listen to me, EXCEPT for when I say this: ask your medical professional of choice your questions and listen to the professionals. For years I didn’t say anything at my doctors appointments even though it was on my mind. I was embarrassed. Do NOT be. I realize that now. They’ve heard it all and won’t make you feel badly or ashamed. If they do, switch doctors. I also thought… I’m not an idiot, I’ve taken nutrition classes in college, I’ve done a ton of research from various sources on working out. I don’t need help…. says the same girl who had been trying to lose weight for years. Personally, my doctor prescribed a medicine to me. I won’t go into detail on it because you should ask your doctor what they recommend but what they prescribed me has helped jumpstart this. It is not a magic pill, it doesn’t help if you don’t also eat right and workout, and it is not something you can take for a long period of time. Ask if it’s right for you. My one tip if you want to look into something like this is to first be completely transparent about your mental health history with your doctor. I also went to a nutritionist. My insurance allowed quite a lot of visits and it required just my normal copay, so ask! You might be surprised! Again, I am fairly educated in nutrition, cook at home, am not a picky eater and love most healthy foods and guess what? My nutritionist had some ideas I hadn’t thought of, a fresh outside perspective AND I could rest assured that I was eating the calories and macros that a professional set for me, not a random online calculator. If you haven’t gotten my point yet, here it is again: see a doctor. No matter if you aren’t in as bad of a starting point as I am, I bet they might surprise you.
- Plan plan plan. Calculate macros for everything, at least for right now. It’s not something most people can do forever and I don’t think it’s necessary to do forever, but I needed to for now. I think it’s important and it’ll make you learn. Also, if you calculate macros once a week and stick to your plan you don’t have to spend every day doing this. Planning is also a big part of this step. Planning puts my mind at ease, helps me feel organized and less stressed. One of the mistakes I made in the past was assuming that my knowledge of cooking and nutrition was sufficient. Nutritious family dinners are different than what I needed to eat to lose significant weight. I also would only partially plan my meals. Lunch and MAYBE breakfast, then I’d go off the rails with snacks and dinner. Planning more helped me. It’s now something I look forward to and every week I spend time making meal planning a priority, evaluating what worked and what didn’t, what food I’m sick of, what I’m craving, and if I think I need to change anything nutritionally. Simply making this a priority was a mindset shift in and of itself that I think helped me.
- Holy crap! My portions were too big. I always heard portions are a LOT of people’s problems and I honestly thought I understood this, but I was still eating too much. My stomach was used to eating a LOT more than I should have been. Now that I am used to smaller portions, I simply cannot eat as big of meals! I’m not encouraging undereating so that your stomach can’t handle normal amounts of food. But if you’re eating too much, really precisely measuring out portions is life changing. Even if you think you already know portion control or how much you are or should be eating, you might be shocked. I recommend measuring out food for a while to get a sense of portions of foods that you eat regularly. Measuring out portions for the week ahead when meal prepping helps a lot too because it saves time and ensures you eat the right amount throughout the week without spending time and mental energy thinking about portions.
- One mess up doesn’t mean you have to spiral out of control. In fact, it doesn’t even mean that day is a waste. The old “I’ll start my diet on Monday” thought process is silly and in the past I thought I was okay because my thought process was *MUCH better*. I didn’t wait for a Monday. No way. That’s an arbitrary day of the week. Instead I always thought, “well, I’ll restart again tomorrow.” Which is great and true to an extent. Just because yesterday was a bad day or you made bad choices, doesn’t mean you can’t get right back on it and have a better day today. After a binge or eating something I regretted, I used to restart my “diet” the next day. I figured that day was already a loss, but now…. I go a step further. I say no. Today isn’t wasted yet. Don’t restart tomorrow, restart at your next meal. It’s better than another bad choice. Do that evening workout you planned. It won’t be for nothing, you’re still burning calories. This has helped my mindset a lot and maintaining this lifestyle.
- Don’t be stubborn like me and accept that you might just have to change how you cook and eat. For me, it was how I handled family dinners. My nutritionist made me accept this and once I did it, I realized it’s not so bad. Cooking is my passion and I didn’t want to give up family dinners. I can often give my kids the same meal as me. I’d say I cook them healthy dinners pretty regularly but sometimes I just can’t eat the same dinner. Either because I can’t measure my own food accurately (soups, casseroles, etc) or just because they aren’t on a diet and shouldn’t have to eat like they are! Often times, I simply just need to adjust my own portion. Serve it separately. Take my portion out before adding the “fun” ingredients for my family. It’s an extra step I had to give in to. And, honestly, after giving in and doing it, it still feels the same to me emotionally (side note: yes, cooking and feeding my family is emotional to me and I don’t want that to change. I believe in the power of food, it is part of my career and my passion). I might just take out my mashed potatoes, for instance, add my allotted seasonings to mine then add some butter and yumminess to only my kid’s mashed potatoes who do NOT need to lose weight. It’s really not so bad.
I’m happy to go into more detail about my journey and exactly what I am doing. I have a lot more small changes I’ve been making I’m happy to share. These are just 5 things in particular I wanted to talk about that are different about this time around. Five things that I think have been making all the difference for me. Let me know exactly what else you want to know more about!
I’m also sharing videos on Youtube about what I eat in a day to lose weight as well as documenting my fitness journey through vlogs. You can subscribe here if you’d like to keep up with my journey!