How long did it take you to lose the weight? I'm not done yet, but I started my journey 1 year and 7 months ago.
Lightbulb Moment: I was wearing a size 18 jeans (with a lot of stretch), and they had started feeling way too tight when I was sitting at my desk, and I decided I was not going up a size, so I was going to have to start losing.
How did you do it? I found a free app - Lose It! Which sets a calorie budget for you and has you log all of your food and activity. My favorite thing about it is that I can plug in recipes and figure the calories and nutrition for meals I prepare at home. Really though, I realized I had to change my relationship with food. I had to start seeing it as fuel for my body. God never intended for it to my friend or comforter.
What was the biggest challenge you faced and how did you overcome it? Eating on the fly is always a challenge. I do my best to plan ahead. I plan our meals for the week before grocery shopping, and if I know I'm going to be eating out, I try to know where in advance so I can visit the restaurant's nutrition information and decide what I'm having before we go. If I have to decide without knowing beforehand, my general plan is to go grilled :)
What was the single thing that helped you most along the way, especially when things got tough? My Lose It! Community. I've been friends with a great bunch of ladies. It’s great accountability. Also, we all face the same struggles at different times, and we are there to support each other through the hard times.
How has your life changed since losing the weight? I'm so much healthier, and I feel so much more confident. I'm not going to lie. There are still days when I look in the mirror and see a fat girl. I see how far I've yet to go instead of how far I've come, but I have to make a conscious effort to remember how far I've come.
Exercise routine: I run 3 days a week, do Jillian Michaels or some other DVD/Wii workout at home 3 days and take 1 day off to rest.
Favorite breakfast: 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites, 1 cup of steel cut oats (Right now I'm loving pumpkin spiced), and coffee with 1 pack of sweet and low and 1 tsp. of Bailey's Creamer.
Favorite snack: My usual morning snack is a tangerine and 1/4 cup of lowfat cottage cheese
Favorite quick dinner: Wow! That's hard. I've come across so many great recipes, and it just depends on my mood. Probably chicken fajitas. The actual meal is quick. The most time consuming part is making my own pico de gallo, but I usually do that the night before.
Advice for someone just starting: Start slow. Even small changes will start making a difference. I started out just following my calorie budget and working out 3 days a week. Most importantly, don't give up and don't sweat the scales too much. It’s easy to get wrapped up in that number, but sometimes you are losing inches and gaining muscle even when the number isn't dropping. For goodness sake, take a before picture! :)
Parting words: Be honest with yourself. For years I made excuses: I can't afford a gym, I can't afford to eat healthy, God didn't intend everyone to be skinny, I don't have time. Truthfully, excuses were all they were. My schedule and budget haven't changed, and by the way, I work for a custom cake designer. If I can do it, so can you. You just have to want it enough.