It’s been almost a year and half since I lost 187 pounds and I love my new body! I feel lighter, I have more energy and the aches and pains are gone. I finally feel comfortable in my body. Here are a few of the things I did to lose half my body weight:
1. I made a commitment to myself.
I wrote out a physical commitment letter, signed it and stuck it on my fridge. I vowed to invest in myself by eating well and working out every day. I focused on my goal of losing 100 pounds or wearing a size 12 pant and learning to love myself.
2. I ate smaller, but more frequent meals.
I realized that eating smaller meals kept my metabolism up and helped me stay fuller, longer. For breakfast, I usually have an egg, whole-wheat English muffin, cup of coffee and a piece of fruit. Snacks are usually hummus with carrots, roasted veggies with hot sauce or a Greek yogurt with berries and granola. For lunch, I typically make a salad with grilled chicken, or baked fish with vegetables. Dinner is usually lentil soup with roasted vegetables and quinoa.
3. I planned my meals ahead of time and stopped eating out as frequently.
I stuck to my grocery list and stocked my fridge with healthy, clean foods. You will never find chips, ice cream or cookies in my cupboards. My kitchen is always stocked with vegetables, protein and foods that I prepare a couple of times a week. Foods like chili with ground chicken, lentil soup, grilled chicken to eat with salad or a side of brown rice and grilled vegetables.
4. I kept a food journal.
I kept a journal in my purse and I would write in it every time I ate something. I kept track of what I ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner, including the time of the meal and all snacks.
5. I cut down on sugar.
I stopped adding sugar to my coffee or tea. Next I cut down on soda and juices. I still eat fruit and if I’m in the mood for something sweet, I will resort to Greek yogurt with granola or peanut butter and bread with a drizzle of honey.
6. I added more protein to my diet.
I found that removing bread or rice from my final meal of the day made all the difference — instead I added protein to my dinner and felt fuller longer.
7. I followed a rule of no food after 8 p.m.
I finished eating and gave myself a couple of hours to digest before I went to bed.
8. I added activity into my daily routine (no matter what time of day).
When I started, this was only five minutes on the treadmill. Later, I started exercising for an hour and 30 minutes, working out twice a day, doing both strength training and cardio. While cardio is essential, don’t forget the resistance training. That’s what will ensure that you tone and strengthen your muscles.
9. I held myself accountable.
I used a private Facebook group to help me stay motivated. I called the members my “cheerleaders,” and I would reach out when I needed extra motivation.
10. I celebrated my successes and used them to stay motivated.
When I felt like I had lost weight, I would go into a store and try on a smaller size than what I was wearing. I would celebrate how far I had come and think about how much more I need to do to get to the next size down.
No matter how old you are or what your ability is, you have the power to turn your life around just like I did. So the next time you wonder if it’s possible to lose weight, whether its five or 50 pounds — think of me and remember that with a little motivation and a lot of hard work, anything is possible.
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