How long did it take you to lose the weight? Approximately one year and I still fluctuate up and down ten pounds. Last year at this time I was 135, and gained some back during a vacation and holidays. I look at those little gains as even more motivation to get to the gym or take the stairs!
Lightbulb Moment: I did not have a specific light bulb moment. I was just tired of not feeling good about myself and constantly feeling like the “fat friend” when I would go out with friends.
How did you do it? I lost about 25 pounds simply by running on the treadmill at the gym four times a week. I started out at only running 1 mile and I would add on to that every day. After a few months I could run 4 miles. After I began noticing changes, it motivated me to continue with losing weight and I joined Weight Watchers online to get my diet under control. Weight Watchers helped me lose 20 pounds. Weight Watchers was great because they have the best iPhone app that goes everywhere with you so you can always track your points and look up foods! I don’t do Weight Watchers anymore but I use a very handy app called My Fitness Pal to count my calories every day.
What was the biggest challenge you faced? How did you overcome it? My biggest challenge was temptations. Being young, I would go out with friends every weekend and it was hard to see them ordering fatty appetizers and drinks and me order a grilled chicken salad and water. I overcame this temptation by always making sure I was prepared. If I knew I wanted to go out and have a beer, I would make sure I had enough points/calories to do so I could stay on track.
What was the single thing that helped you most along the way, especially when things got tough? I would always look at pictures of me at my heaviest and that always made me feel great about how far I had come and would encourage me to keep going.
How has your life changed since losing the weight? I feel a lot more confident in myself! I enjoy shopping and trying on clothes which is something I dreaded before and I’m just more happy overall.
Exercise routine: Run on the treadmill 3-4 times a week for 3-4 miles and incorporate body weight exercises (lunges, squats, ab routines)
Favorite breakfast: ½ cup oatmeal with warm mashed blueberries (heat fresh berries in the microwave for 1 minute then mash with a fork) and turkey bacon
Favorite grab and go snack: 100 calorie pack of almonds or a green smoothie - 2 cups spinach, 1 cup frozen mango, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk. You can make in advance and take it with you!
Favorite quick dinner: Tacos with corn tortillas, 98% lean ground turkey and salsa
Favorite healthy restaurant or fast food find: Chipotle! Everything is completely fresh and customizable. They have an awesome nutrition calculator on their website so you can see how many calories your order has. I usually order a salad (no dressing) with chicken, mild salsa, fajita veggies and guacamole for 400 calories, it keeps me full for hours!
Advice for someone just starting: You can do it! Losing weight is not easy but it’s achievable. Don’t get discouraged and just stick with it! I have seen people who try for one week and give up, you have to keep at it to see results so don’t give up!
Anything else that you would like to share: Remember the saying “everything in moderation” You better believe I still eat cheeseburgers and drink jumbo margaritas! You just can’t allow yourself to eat that every day. On days when you do want to indulge, workout for an extra 30 minutes then enjoy that damn cheeseburger!