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A lot of people have told me in the past months how good I look as far as the weight I have lost. I never considered myself huge or obese or even fat, I just considered myself to weigh more than I wanted and more than I should for a person of my height and body type. The cool thing is now that I have lost the extra weight I feel so good about myself. It makes a difference in how I feel every day, how much energy I have, and my general health.
If you recall some of my past blog posts, Reshaping it All: My Weight Journey and More and Reshaping it All: My Health, I talked about how I gained weight in college (freshman 15 is no fun), how I gained weight in our first year of marriage because of my hypothyroidism – (I gained 30 pounds), and the extra weight I had after I had my son.
I never liked having the extra weight, but I wasn’t that motivated to do anything about it. I would work out occasionally with a friend here or there, but if they couldn’t do it then I didn’t go. It wasn’t until I found out that I had a Hiatal Hernia, that I decided to be really serious about this. My doctor had restricted me from a lot of different foods so I could get better and I lost some weight just by staying away from those foods.
I also realized that if I wanted to get better I was going to have to do something about it on my own. So I started exercising. I lost about 13 pounds. Once my husband deployed I was determined to lose more weight and get down to my goal weight of 120 lbs. IDeployment can really be a great motivator! Here are some things I did to lose weight, exercise and stay healthy. I hope they help you in your journey as well.
1. How bad do you want it?
This is crucial to your losing weight. You have to want it more than anything else. If you say you want it, but deep down inside aren’t willing to work for it, then you don’t want it enough. If you say you can’t give up certain foods because you just “need” them, then you are not ready. You have to WANT this.
2. Smaller portions are more important than actual dieting.
Because of my hernia I had to have certain diet restrictions and life changes. Most of the foods I was allowed to eat were more bland, but I also was supposed to eat smaller portions and 3-5 meals a day instead of just 3. Eating less food, but eating more meals helps you regulate your food intake, and stay full longer.
I noticed a huge difference when I started watching my calorie intake and watching food labels to see what the actual portion size was. I tried to stick to no more than the recommended portion size for most things. I was shocked at the serving sizes for some foods. For instance: did you know that one serving of Ritz crackers is only 5 crackers? And that a serving of peanut butter is usually about 1-2 Tbls? It’s pretty small when you think about it and I realized I had been eating way more than I ever needed.
Once I started to watch my portion sizes on a regular basis I noticed that I didn’t need larger portions anymore. I could eat half a sandwich instead of a whole sandwich and it made me full.
3. Foods to give up and foods to include.
If you do decide to give up a few foods here are few that helped me and a few I added on as well:
- Soda, Juice, and even milk for a short time. All I drank was water and I tried to drink 6-8 glasses every day. (Set a small goal, try drinking 4 glasses of water every day. Once you have that as a habit up it to 5 glasses, then 6. It’s a lot easier when you do it that way instead of one day trying to drink all 8.)
- Pizza (frozen and restaurant style).
- Fried foods.
- Caffeine (Including coffee, soda, and chocolate. Yup I said chocolate. People would ask me how all the time how can you give those up? I didn’t have a choice. They were on my list of things I couldn’t eat because of my hernia. But it’s funny how you give those things up and you realize how much you don’t need them. Need energy? Drink water. Need something sweet? Eat some fruit).
- Pasta (this one I think is debatable. I had to give it up because I couldn’t have tomato sauce, and I didn’t care for the store-bought Alfredo sauces. Pasta has a lot of carbs so I think in the long run it helped.)
- Eating out (If you do eat out, order a salad, or only eat half and take the other half home for another meal).
- More vegetables.
- More fruits.
- Less processed foods.
Again, it’s all about the portions than actual dieting. Eat a cookie, or a small slice of cake, just don’t eat 5 cookies. One cookie won’t hurt if you are drinking your water, watching your portion sizes, and eating more healthy.
This is crucial to losing weight as well. You can eat healthy all you want, but if you don’t exercise and stay fit, your body isn’t going to go anywhere. Exercise makes you feel better, gives you more energy, and helps keep those extra calories off. Some tips:
- Exercise with a friend. It always helps to have a friend there to motivate you and keep you going!
- Exercise at home. Don’t have time to exercise with a friend? There is plenty you can do at home! if you don’t have a treadmill, you can download some apps to your phone that will help you track your progress and show you how many calories you can burn. Here is two I suggest: Two Fitness Apps You Simply Must Have. Don’t have a smart phone? Search online. There are so many different exercise routines you can start at home and Pinterest has a TON that you can do at home. Here are a bunch I have saved: Health & Exercise.
- Exercise outdoors. Take a walk, go for run. Sometimes it’s easier to motivated when you have a change of scenery. Have a baby? Take them for walk! Walk with your husband. Walk the dog. These are all forms of exercise! Do something, just get your body moving!
- Take a class. Find a local gym, or take a class on your base. The best thing I ever did was going to a free yoga class at the gym on my base. I LOVE yoga! Can’t find the time or too expensive? Search Netflix for yoga or pilates videos. They have plenty of “classes” you can take at home in 10-15 minute segments. Perfect for workouts on the go or if you want to work out alone.
By the time my husband got home from deployment I had lost 12 more pounds and was only 5 pounds away from my goal. I felt good about myself and was so proud that I had done it. I never thought I would fit into some of my old clothes again and even had gotten rid a lot of them. It’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it!
What about YOU? Have you lost weight? what did you do to motivate yourself?