A lot of my friends know I've been on a really serious diet for 4 months, some of you don't... so I thought I'd post some progress pics, because if you're like me to see someone else's struggle & success is inspiring and encouraging. And if I can do it YOU can too!
So far I've lost 37 lbs & 2 pants sizes in less than 4 months.
First of all, I've lost (and gained, ahem, three children, but really just a FAT kid problem- aka loving the junk food) over 300 lbs in my life. Not proud of the gains, except for my babies which I gained 50 lbs twice & 16 lbs with Viviana, so I've got losing weight down to a science.
The much, much greater success which I hope to learn is to keep weight off.... obviously that's a simple concept, keep doing what I'm doing, don't get to a certain weight and slowly incorporate bad habits which slowly creep on the lbs. But this post is about losing weight, so moving forward.
Any who- dieting is really simple math. Eat your calories allowed and you'll lose weight. Work out that day? Eat those calories too.
And my diets are VERY SIMPLE, this is why I'm sharing.
Quick & My Best Dieting Tips:
1. Don't say any food is off limits. Figure out how to eat what you want and make it work. I LOVE pizza, so I figured how to make low carb tortillas/low fat cheese/turkey pepperoni/pizza sauce into a 200 calorie pizza and it tastes delish.
2. Don't think you have to eat expensive menu to lose weight. We have a very, very meager budget right now with summer camp/daycare but I've figured out many inexpensive foods such as cucumber salad as a side, lots of low carb tortillas with stewed chicken and veggies, lots of ground turkey in stuff....
3. Eat as much protein as possible. My old nutritionist said every time you eat, make sure it has a protein (whether it's milk in cereal, or if you eat a 100 calorie sweet snack at night I eat a spoonful of cottage cheese or string cheese with it). This truly does seem to help satisfy my hunger better and I lose weight more efficiently rather than a carb alone.
4. Drink "diet water"- aside from drinking water all day, I have a pitcher of water with 1/2 a cucumber and a whole cut up lemon that I drink at least one or two glasses every night. This really cuts the bloat, which is important to FEEL like you're losing weight and control water weight. The days I don't drink it I can definitely feel water retention. Which sucks whether you're dieting or not.
5. Have a cheat day each week. I am telling you, there is medical science to back up if you eat a ton of calories one day it really amps up your metabolism. I dream about what great foods I want to eat all week. I pin yummy foods on pinterest all week knowing I can, if I want eat them on cheat day. This keeps me sane.
6. Just start your diet. Don't make it a big giant blow out and eat everything in your whole house. Tell yourself you can do that on your first cheat day. :) What you find over time, is that your stomach quickly becomes smaller & your cheat day- if you truly over indulge you feel so sick, so after awhile your cheat day is eating moderate sized bad foods- but hey - those first month of cheat days, nothing is off limits....
7. Do what works for you. Screw what anyone else says. If it's working for you and you're losing weight, just stick with it.
8. Always eat your calories. Eating too little calories is worse than eating too many. Your body goes into starvation mode and for me personally - I NEVER lose weight if I don't at least eat my daily calories. You may lose weight slowly (I average 2 - 3 lbs a week) but it won't fly back on you the moment you stop dieting as strictly.
9. Working out while dieting. My first real hardcore diet was in 1998. I lost 48 lbs and got down to a size 4. It was the smallest I had ever been in my adult life. I didn't work out once that whole diet. You don't have to work out while dieting. I love to feel strong so for that reason alone I like to work out while I'm dieting. Plus working out is good for you. Plus exercise = endorphins. Plus exercise makes you think you don't want to screw up your diet since you're busting your tail working out. Also, I feel less hungry when I work out. A lot of times if I work out at night, I find I'm literally forcing myself to eat to "eat my calories back" from the workout.
10. "I don't have time to work out" - neither do I. I work at least 45 hours per week, usually more, I have 3 kids 7 and under, and a very active social/event life between our events & kids events. I was determined to figure out a time to work out and started working out on my lunch breaks. I could do my whole workouts on a patch of grass. You can find tons of good workouts (esp on pinterest) that require no workout equipment, I also remember moves from workout videos. I'm blessed to have a gym at work - but even if I didn't it wouldn't stop me. And I work out after the kids go to bed. It's hard to get motivated, but that's why I surround myself with motivation.
11. Find diet motivation. I'm lucky because my sister has also lost a great deal of weight dieting/exercising recently so we can talk about it, plus a few of my male coworkers are big into working out and so we can discuss that (no one else wants to hear about your workouts. lol) Plus I found two major inspirations on Instagram @ericafitlove and @melissamade . Erica Fit Love lost 144 lbs in 15 months, she's hilarious & very real. Melissa Made give great ideas for workout routines that are very unusual. It's like seeing those posts give you the umph to keep going the days you just want to eat everything.
Lastly-if you're like me and have a LOT of weight to lose, don't think of it in the total amount of weight you want to lose. Instead think, I want to lose 30 lbs by a certain date. Give yourself a reasonable goal, say 3 months. And at 3 months give yourself a new goal. I have found starting diets in the past, if I really think, "I need to lose 80lbs" it can feel overwhelming.
I hope this post inspired someone out there that YOU can do it too!!! Diets suck, but not nearly as much as you would imagine. Especially once you're used to it, most days you barely think about the fact that you're on a diet!
I tried to find some really heinous "before" pictures... but I'm pretty good at deleting those....
Here I was at what was probably my biggest.
This is after I had lost 28 lbs....
This is at 35lbs lost....
I'm highly motivated. My total goal is 90 lbs..... *eek* Let's do this thing!