7 Secrets to Weight Loss Success & How to Keep Your Progress Permanent
Weight loss. This is one of the most desired goals in people’s lives. Weight-loss is also something that causes many individuals to feel depressed, overwhelmed and anxious. I remember feeling this way for many years when I began my weight loss journey. I often felt that my goals were impossible to reach and that I would never truly be happy with my body. I abused myself though unhealthy eating habits and weight-loss techniques with no permanent or positive solution to my weight troubles.
It wasn’t until my second semester of college that I discovered the key to losing the weight and keeping it off. Before I share my secrets I would love a chance to tell you all my story in depth. I feel like by sharing my story it will allow you to see that I was once in your shoes. I too struggled for years. Above is a picture of me when I had just entered my first year of college. I was at my heaviest weight and if we are being honest I was in one of the lowest places in my life. I woke up every single day frustrated and overwhelmed by my health status. You see it wasn’t just the weight that was controlling me. I also felt this anxiety that consumed my thoughts. I felt like nothing I did made a difference. I constantly felt this strong desire to conform to the worlds standards of beauty and it cause me to have a very negative relationship with food. I essentially blamed food for my weight problem. I would avoid eating, sometimes for so long that when I gave in I would binge eat until I made myself feel sick. I also began a bad habit of using weight loss pills and laxatives to help be “undo” a binge every once in a while. Every day I would wake up and look in the mirror and say “today is the day” and start a new fad diet. After 30 days I would have lost some weight and get the compliments I had so desperately been searching for but as soon as I had completed the plan I would fall right back into my same unhealthy habits. The weight would come back, sometimes more than before and I would be back to square one, wallowing in self pity and self loathing. You name it, I did it. Losing weight was the most important thing to me at one point in my life that I lost sight of who I was and who Christ created me to be. I was obsessed.
I had dealt with being overweight from the time I was 8 years old and to be honest at one point I had convinced myself that being “chunky” or “big boned” was just the way things were going to be for me. I struggled with all of these anxieties for about two years. So many people ask me “what motivated you?” or “what helped you make the change?” and it honestly it wasn’t an inspirational speech or a monumental moment that made me “make the change”. As corny as this sounds I remember the day that the switch flipped inside of me like it was yesterday . I had woken up that morning the same way I did every morning since I was a small child. I crawled out of bed and made myself a hot cup of coffee. I shuffled over to the couch and sat down to read my Bible. Spending time in the Word each morning has been apart of my routine for years and I fully believe it has been monumental in my healing. I remember sitting there writing in my prayer journal begging God to change this, change me, make me different. I was unhappy with the way He made me and I didn’t understand why He would allow me to suffer this way. I remember writing “God I thought you loved me! Why are you letting this happen to me?” And all of a sudden out of no where this thought popped into my head. It was the strangest thing because it was a thought that wasn't my own.
I remember this thought so clearly and I know that it was the voice of my Heavenly Father. He said “don’t you know My works are wonderful. Do you not know that My plans for you are perfect? You are Mine and I have made you well.” I remember feeling this rush of comfort that I had not had in years. A peace washed over me like warm light and I felt joy for the first time in so long. I finished my quiet time and went up stares to my room and closed the door and that’s when it happened. That’s when he switch flipped. I looked at myself in the mirror with tears in my eyes and I said “I am fearfully and wonderfully made and today really is the day” and that was it. I decided on that day in 2015 no more. No more feeling shame for not being able to participate in physical activities due to my weight. No more allowing people to use my weight against me. No more hating myself and tearing down My God’s creation. NO MORE! I wiped my tears from my eyes and rummaged through my bedside table until I found an old unused journal. I wrote down two attainable goals: Love Myself & Get After It. My progress was slow and there were still hard days ahead, but oh my the journey was worth it.
I wish I could say that it was smooth sailing from that point on and jump ahead to now and just give you all my tips and be done with my story but I feel that it would be a disservice to you if I skipped ahead. Below are three pictures of myself. I just told you the story of the version of me in the picture on the far left. I did overcome those struggles and for a few years I was healed and better than before. I thought that the past was behind me and it was time to take a leap in my fitness journey and pursue a career in bodybuilding. In comes the version of me in the center picture. This version of myself thought that it was time to prove to all those people who had made fun of my weight that “Little Fat Girl” was behind me. I had this sense of pride and I felt that I had arrived. It was time for all of those people who doubted to choke on their words. I was extremely driven when it came to my fitness goals but unfortunately it was to the point of obsession. I was constantly bewildered by my next set of goals that I never enjoyed anything outside of the walls of a gym. I spent all my time worrying about my physical features. I sacrificed time with friends & family. After achieving my goals to compete as a bikini competitor I still was unsatisfied. I felt empty. I thought that competing would be the end of all my self image issues but unfortunately all my unhealthy feelings of self-consciousness had resurfaced, worse than before.
It has taken almost two and a half years since competing for me to finally embody the version of myself in the far right photo. Over time I have learned to love who I am and not just be happy when my appearance suits me. I am unapologetically myself in all areas. I embraces my flaws and have found that the things I use to hate about myself are truly things that make me who I am. I love life and I strive to live it to the fullest each day. I no longer fear food but have a newfound love for it. I know that my body is a temple made by a loving & merciful Creator. He has truly made me well. Through my struggles I have found who I am and who I am meant to be. I have discovered my path and it has given me an overwhelming passion to help others discover their potential. I have made it my mission to to aid others in achieving a healthy lifestyle and develop themselves into the happiest healthiest version that they can be. I have found true joy!
Whew! We got deep there didn’t we. But in all seriousness, it means the world to me that you have made it this far in my post and that you took the time to read my story. Okay! Now let’s move onto my 7 tips for how to loose the weight and keep your progress permanent.
Set a Goal - This is something that can get overwhelming for some. I mean let’s be honest, we all would love to have visible abs, small waist and a big booty in 4-6 weeks. Unfortunately that’s just not how this whole weight loss thing works. It takes TIME (say it a little louder for the people in the back)! I away advise my clients to make their goals achievable. It’s okay to have big, lofty goals but make sure you don’t let those goals overwhelm you and make your wellness journey miserable. This was something that I struggled with for years. I would set these ridiculous goals for myself and put myself on a strict timeline. When I wouldn't’ reach them I would give up and fall off track. Instead, make one BIG goal and then set smaller benchmark goals for yourself each month. For example, during my first year of health and wellness I decided that I wanted to lose 20 pounds. That’s a pretty big goal. I gave myself an ENITRE YEAR to reach that goal. I then made one smaller goal each month leading up to my big goal. The first benchmark was to give up sodas and only drink water (I was a Coke Zero or two a day kinda girl at that time). It had nothing to do with my weight and the number on the scale it was just a small step in becoming healthier. Four weeks later I had broken my soda habit (7 years soda free and LOVING it) and then set a new benchmark goal. It’s a beautiful cycle that begins when you do this and it helps you develop healthy habits.
Oh, one subjuect that I want to address is the subject of rewards. This is something that I feel like I need to sidebar on for a quick minute. So many of you know that I have a LIVE WELL PROGRAM that I do where I coach clients for 30 days and help them achieve their physique goals all the while developing healthier habits. During my coaching sessions I always chat about cheating and rewarding yourself when you’ve achieved a goal. I tell everyone I work with to NEVER REWARD YOURSELF WITH FOOD! Food is not the enemy however you will perpetuate a negative relationship with food if you reward yourself with it. Now I’m not saying that having a cheat meal once in a while is bad (you can read all about my thoughts on cheat meals & how to do it successfully while losing weight if you join my LIVE WELL PROGRAM) but if you look to unhealthy food as a reward you will only perpetuate bad eating habits and hinder your progress. When you achieve a goal treat yourself to a sap day or a new outfit, just not food.
Have a Plan - THIS IS SO IMPORTANT! When starting your wellness journey create a plan for yourself. You have your goals now it’s time to implement a plan to achieve them. When I began my journey I had no clue how to even workout and was terrified of the gym. The few times I gone I was drug there by my mom and I cried the entire car ride there (literally not ever kidding). I knew that I had a goal and I wanted to achieve it so what I decided to do was start off small. I bought the Insanity tapes from Beach Body and planned to do the workouts 4 times a week. Over time I have developed a HUGE love for the gym and weight lifting and now I plan my own workout programs and teach group fit classes. But it took a long time and years of trial and error planning to get me here. One of the keys to success is having a plan and sticking to it. I’m super type A so I have to write out my plans. If I can see it on paper and know what I have to achieve then it gets done. Not many of you know this but I do offer Workout Programs here at Measure Me Whole. I harp on nutrition because that is 80% of the journey but I also offer workout plans as well. If this is something that you struggle with or need help with feel free to shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Preparation & Consistency - I almost kept this in the “Have a Plan” section but I felt that it should have its own little explanation. The key to losing weight and keeping your progress permanent is preparation & consistency. I rolled out a pretty sweet Meal Prep Guide earlier this week and it tells you all bout how to stay on top of your nutrition in order to have the best results possible. I mean it would be great if we could eat healthy 5 days a week and then just go nuts on the weekends and continue to lose weight but in order to have solid progress and the results you want you MUST be consistent. If it was easy then everyone would have the physique they want. Sometimes we have to make sacrifices in the now in order to achieve our overall goals. There is a fine line between being too lax with your goals and being too strict. The key is to achieve balance. I have found that in the past I have learned to maintain my progress and live a balanced life. I don’t feel like I miss out on events and things because I have developed that balance over the years however when I have a goal set for myself I know that I sometimes have to make sacrifices in order to reach them. For example tomorrow I am going to chat about the goals I have set for myself and one of the things I am doing is cutting out sugar and the occasional glass of wine I like to have on the weekends. I notice that even though I have been consistent with my workouts and pretty spot on with my nutrition, indulging in sweets and wine have hindered my progress. I am choosing to cut those two things out of my life temporarily to overcome this hump and reach my goals. At the end of the day I can still go out with my friends or go on a date with my husband and enjoy myself just as much without these things. By having my meal prepared and being consistent it’s only a matter of time before I get to my goals.
Develop a Routine - Once you have a plan, are prepped it’s time to develop a routine. Tomorrow I am going to be giving you all a sneak peek into my daily routine and the 12 week workout plan I have developed for myself. Part of weight loss success and keeping that progress permanent is developing a daily routine. This keeps you consistent and helps you develop healthy habits. Honestly the key to weight loss success is the development of healthy habits. These habits can be created by sticking to a solid routine. Now I understand that each day is different and things do come up. Sometimes we just have to roll with the punches but even when stuff comes up it’s key to your progress to not sacrifice your nutrition or your exercise routine. Obviously if an emergency comes up and you end up not making it to the gym for whatever reason it is not the end of the world. Just remember that tomorrow is a new day and just jump back into your routine.
Accountability - This is one of my favorite points. For me accountability comes in two forms. The first form of accountability is having someone take the journey along side of you in order to encourage you to stay on track as well as struggle with you. This is the most popular form of accountability. I know when I started my journey in order to be successful I really needed someone to go through the struggles with me. My dad became my accountability partner. He helped me stay on track, he suffered through the intense workouts and ate clean with me. He helped me overcome struggles and get to my goals. He is the reason I overcame some of my fears and the accountability I had with him helped me form a good fitness foundation. The second form of accountability is telling others your goals. Eventually I moved away from home and transferred from the comforts of community college to Georgia Southern University to pursue my degree in Nutrition & Food Science. I no longer had my workout buddy there to hold my hand. I had to do things on my own and it was scary. I was worried I was going to lose my momentum if I didn't have the accountability there to comfort me. That’s when I discovered Instagram. I decided to make an account and share with my family and friends my progress. Knowing that I shared the goals I had for myself and putting it all out there kept me on track. I know that sounds crazy but sharing my plans is still a way I keep myself on track. Knowing that people are watching and that they are rooting for my success helps keep me accountable. I’m not saying you have to have a workout buddy or you have to have an Instagram page dedicated to your progress but it is paramount for your success to have some form of accountability. If you feel more uncomfortable sharing your goals on social media then share them with a close friend or spouse. Share with someone who genuinely cares for your wellbeing and will cheer you on. If you don’t have someone like that in your life send me an email. I would be OVERJOYED to be your cheerleader and constant encouragement. It’s what I was created for.
Rest, Recovery & Sleep - So many people feel that they have to workout every. single. day to lose weight. I use to be that person. I worked out 7 days a week for months. Never took a day off. And my progress was terrible! Yeah I looked good but I had burnt myself out so badly that I hated the gym. When I would go my workouts would suck and I just felt exhausted all the time. I even injured myself a few times to the point where I couldn’t workout (which would send me into freakout mode). It wasn’t until I started taking two rest days and making sure I got between 7-8 hours a sleep at night that I could see my body responding positively to my nutrition plan and workouts. So many of you are probably like “how the heck do you get 7 hours of sleep a night?” That was something I struggled with for so long. I just recently rearranged my daily routine in order for me to get the adequate amount of sleep because I could see my progress suffering. Sleep is a time where our bodies and minds can recover. We need sleep in order for our muscles to repair. If we never take time off from the gym and we let our sleep suffer then our bodies will eventually break down. We are human and we can only take so much. Like I was saying before I use to be that person who would NEVER take time off from the gym. I was worried my progress would stop (I was being absolutely absurd). I use to workout even on holidays when the gym would be closed because “I was going to get fat again if I stopped”. If I could I could go back and punch myself in the face I totally would. Our bodies need time off to recover in order for us to continue to perform the 5 days a week that we do go to the gym. So with all of that being said do yourself a favor and work 2-3 rest days into your routine. Maybe don't take 3 consecutive days off in a row but work in 2-3 times a week where you take easy on your body. There is such thing as overworking yourself and this hinders your progress just as much as being too relaxed.
Listen To Your Body - This is one that has taken me years to develop and is something I am still learning. Listening to your body. We hear this all the time from so many fitness gurus on IG but what does that even mean? Listening to your body means being in tune with yourself enough to know exactly what your body needs. This falls in line with the rest, recovery & sleep point. Our bodies are intricate machines that are constantly changing. It’s important to know what your body needs. This takes time to develop. As you go through your fitness journey you will see this aspect begin to develop. By being in tune with your body you will be able to tweak and adjust your routine as needed thus helping you develop the exact plan and routine your body need to achieve the best progress.
Now that you know my 7 secrets to weight loss and how you can keep your progress permanent I hope that you feel encouraged & equipped to be able to go out and reach your goals. If you are still feeling bewildered please feel free to send me an email (email@example.com). I would love to chat with you and help you hone and develop the necessary skills needed to achieve your specific goals! Happy Friday friends!
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