As promised on my #transformationtuesday Instagram photo from yesterday, I am going to share how I lost more than fifteen pounds (probably losing that freshman fifteen finally) since this past July.
I would just like to start off by saying that I am not the type of girl to post a bunch of pictures of myself in a bikini for all of social media to see. And I honestly spent a good hour debating whether to post my before and after Picstitch (I texted my sister and boyfriend for their opinion) because again, it’s so unlike me and I am so awkward with that kind of stuff.
The picture on the left is a photo taken in Cancun at the end of June and the picture on the right is a recent picture.
After being unhappy with how I looked in my vacation pictures from Cancun, I decided it was time for a change. I’ve worked really hard to get where I am and by no means was it easy. It’s all about staying committed and being consistent. I have been overwhelmed with encouraging comments from everyone because there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing your hard work pay off.
Here are a few things that have helped me lose and keep off the weight.
- Learn how to cook: This is critical because when you eat processed foods or food you get at a restaurant, you don’t know what you’re putting into your body. By cooking your own meals, you have complete control over what is in the food you consume. I’ve always loved to cook so this wasn’t too big of a challenge for me but trust me it’s really not that hard. I’m a big fan of using Pinterest and blogs for healthy recipes. And if you’ve read my other blog posts, you should know that I am always using Youtube videos to help me learn how to cook something new. Learning how to cook also helps you learn what you can do with different ingredients such as different types of vegetables. That way you don’t get bored eating grilled chicken breasts or salads every day. I’m really against “diets” and believe they set you up for failure. Instead, it’s more important to stay aware of the nutritional benefits of certain food items and finding ways to incorporate it into the food you cook.
- Eating in smaller portions: Like I said before, I don’t think diets work. So if you’re going to eat stuff that’s not too healthy, at least cut down the portions you usually eat. I used to overeat all the time until I was stuffed. But limiting yourself to having one slice of pizza and then eating an apple instead of having another slice can start making huge difference overtime.
- Resist buying junk food when you can: When I go to the grocery store, I make a strong effort to buy healthy items so that I won’t have bad options to choose from in my apartment. But allowing yourself one bag of candy or chips is okay. Because when I do have an urge for something sweet or some chips and queso, I let myself have some and I don’t beat myself up over it. Resisting it too much probably will just lead to a crazy binge relapse later on (the struggle is so real).
- Frozen fruit is your friend: A strange thing that works for me is eating frozen fruit. My family members and roommates can probably tell you that I buy frozen strawberries in bulk size and eat them on a regular basis. It’s my version of “ice cream” and my favorite time to eat them is late at night because it helps me avoid unhealthy options. Also, in my audio interview with a dietitian from UI Student Health, she gave a great suggestion of freezing bananas and then dipping them in chocolate or peanut butter for a healthy snack.
- Drink water instead of pop: I try to avoid all soft drinks (except on the weekends when I need it as chaser obviously ;]), juices, and coffee products. What is the point of adding more calories into your body if it doesn’t even make you less hungry? I haven’t gotten so fit-life crazy where I carry a gallon of water around with me all day (those people are weird) but I do try to drink as much as I can throughout the day. My rule is that if my pee’s not clear, I’m not drinking enough water.
- Avoiding drunk eating: I know we have all been guilty of this, but do the best you can to avoid it. Because we all know that when we’re drunk and hungry we’ll eat anything with cheese and grease on it.
- Wait 10-15 minutes after a meal to sit or lay down: I learned this tip from my friend, Anh Nguyen from my church back in Des Moines. She told me this is how you get love handles and there’s nothing to love or cute about love handles.
- Run: I try to run as often as I can for at least two miles each time. I know what you’re thinking, “But Michelle, I hate running, it sucks.” Trust me, I used to hate it too. But it is all about consistency. The more you run, the easier it will get. Don’t feel pressured to run fast either, I run at 9-10 minute per mile pace but I have found that’s the speed that works best for me and allows me to run for longer periods of time. Even if running isn’t for you, power walking outside or on an incline on a treadmill is also a great workout.
- Change up your workouts with different workout classes: I love kickboxing and bootcamp classes! Also, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you have to give Zumba a try. I swear by it. It’s cardio and toning AND you forget you’re exercising because it’s so fun.
- Lift: I never used weight machines much before but I started to more often this semester. You can do all the cardio you want but it’s not going to make your underarm fat any less flabby if there’s no muscle there! My favorite weight machines for arms are ones that target my triceps, shoulders, and back. I don’t go too heavy, I think it works best for me to do slightly lighter weight but with more reps.
- Workout before bed: This is my favorite time to do squats/lunges, push-ups, and a core workout because frankly, I’m pretty self-conscious to do them in front of people at the gym and it works as a stress reliever after a long night of schoolwork. Do it while you’re watching Netflix before bed, that’s what I do!
So now you all know about my fitness “secrets.” I will try to keep you all updated on my continuous progress because let’s be honest, it’s a never- ending journey to stay fit and healthy.
What are some of your go-to fitness secrets??