When I was 19, I had these cute four pack abs. Like most almost-twenty-year-olds, I was at my thinnest. I exercised like once a month and life was swell.
For one reason or another over the next year or so, I kid you not, I put on 30 pounds. I was horrified. While to many people, I was not fat, I had never weighed so much in my life. I made a decision to lose weight and immediately made big changes to my lifestyle. I started doing yoga every single day and counting calories.
Two months in and I actually gained weight. I did not understand why this was happening. When I was that 19 year old, I could workout for ten minutes a day for two weeks and see results. I always bragged how “my body responded quickly to exercise.” But there I was, 21 years old and kicking my own butt, not losing weight.
I didn’t factor in the steroids for my asthma I was diagnosed with that year, the various new birth controls I tried, and the fact that I had major surgery that knocked me out for a good two months. I had a lot to figure out.
I’m extremely proud to say that I am finally, after six months, seeing progress. And let me tell you, this ish is HARD.
Tips & Advice
A disclaimer: losing weight is different for everyone and I’m no expert.
I tried a bunch of stuff. Yoga was great for strength training but not so great for my weight loss. Low carb high fat didn’t last long because 1) I’m Sicilian and I love carbs. 2) It made me feel sick.
I tried grazing (many small meals instead of a few big ones) to boost metabolism but I ended up being hungry all day.
What did work was getting MyFitnessPal on my phone and keeping myself accountable for my calories. It’s something I used to be disgusted by. I used to say, “I don’t believe in calories.” Little did I know it would be my saving grace. I’ve been using the app for about four months now and I’ve gotten amazing results.
Photo from MyFitnessPal
This is my actual current progress report. And you’ll notice there were a couple times I gained and a bunch of plateaus but that’s just how it’s goes sometimes.
Not giving up when you hit a lull is important, I think. Right now I’m in a plateau and I think my body is telling me to cool it and maintain for a while so I’m going to listen to that instinct.
Other than calorie counting, I’ve found it’s great to try new things. I was doing Zumba and kickboxing with my best friends for a bit and it got me to enjoy exercise again. Being able to actually enjoy going to workout is the best thing that can happen. I have a swimmer that I coach who took a year off to go explore other activities that got her heart pumping because she really liked that feeling. I was inspired by that mentality.
Eating is a huge part of weight loss. I truly feel that you should not be extremely strict with a diet. If you’re only losing weight to feel better, I don’t think that denying yourself of some cravings completely is necessary. I indulge sometimes and go over on my calories a little, because I think that strict diets are so upsetting. I don’t like the idea of giving up delicious food. I would rather work harder to earn it that day if I want mac and cheese.
Being in shape is hard work. I commend those who try. You are doing an amazing job. No matter your goals, whether it be to look good or to improve your health, you’re taking on a hard task and you deserve to feel accomplished. I know it’s extremely difficult if you’re working hard without seeing results, but every step you’re taking is helping you one way or the other.
Until next time,
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