10 Weight Loss Tips You Totally Know but Probably Aren’t Doing

vigorous exercise

To date, I’ve lost nearly 50 pounds.  Yes, yes, feel free to applaud.  I’m darn proud of it.

It seems like every time I turn around, someone is asking me how I did it.  Once I tell them, they’re usually somewhat disappointed.

Why?

Because as it turns out, there’s no magic trick, shake, fitness program, or abracadabra to make the weight fall off.  It’s a combination of all of the stuff we’ve heard a million times, doing it consistently, and sticking with it even through temptations and challenges.

For a long time, I was one of those people.  I would ask, “how did you lose so much weight?” or “how do you stay in such great shape?” and when I was told I would think, “ok well, I’m not going to do THAT, so what else did you do?”

I’m glad I’m not doing that anymore, because I’ve finally seen results.

So without further ado kittens, here’s 10 things that I do every single day to lose weight and stay healthy.  Remember, it’s not any one thing that will bring success, it’s a combination of healthy habits that make all the difference.

1.  Drink lots and lots of water.

I average around a gallon per day.  It keeps me hydrated allowing me to push hard through my workout, and also helps to manage hunger and cravings.  Sometimes when you feel hungry, you’re actually thirsty.

2.  Eat veggies at every meal.

I mean it, every meal.  They’re nutritionally dense, full of fiber, fill you up, and are the key to getting all the vitamins your body needs.

3.  Eat protein at every meal.

Like your vegetables, protein has a whole host of health benefits.  Lean protein can keep you full and help you build muscle for starters, and is absolutely essential in your diet.

4.  Sleep at least 8 hours a night.

While this number is a little different for everyone (I NEED at least 8 hours, hubs is actually better on 6.5 to 7), the moral here is to get enough rest.  Your body needs sleep to recharge, as well as manage hormones and other essential functions.  Getting enough rest is also crucial to avoiding over training, so make sure to make time for sleep every day.

5.  Move as much as possible.

I would say to exercise every day, but I feel like that sets an unrealistic expectation.  I workout vigorously *most* every day of the week, but on days when I have deadlines or other commitments, I still make sure to move.  I never sit in one position for more than an hour at a time, and will take frequent stretch breaks or do jumping jacks or squats or just move around to get my blood flowing.  Even a little movement is better than none at all.  Avoid being chained to your desk for hours at a time.

6.  Lift weights.  Often.

I’ll be honest, I prefer doing cardio.  (I know, *gasp* the horror!)  But to build your metabolism, especially women, NEED to lift weights.  If you only have 30 minutes to do a workout on a given day, skip the cardio and lift weights.  I know, it sounds like blasphemy to some of us who grew up in the Jane Fonda era of the 80’s where cardio is golden, but for the best weight loss results you need to build muscle.  No, you won’t get bulky.  And if you do it right, you will elevate your heart rate enough to get fat burning benefits while you’re pumping iron.

7.  Cut out alcohol, refined carbs, sweets and treats.

I feel like this is the point where I lose most people.  Up until here everyone thinks, “ok, yeah, I can do that,” but as soon as I mention that you need to stop drinking folks seem to say, “well we don’t need to go THAT far, do we?”  And trust me, I get it.  I was that person for a very long time.  To that, I’ll simply say this.  Is there a physique you admire?  Is there a goal aesthetic you’re looking to have?  Does that person drink regularly?  (or eat cupcakes, or cookies, or grilled cheese sammiches or whatever your vice might be?)  Yeah, didn’t think so. It’s simple, what do you want more?

8.  Keep track of what you’re doing.

Admittedly, I get a little neurotic if I use a calorie tracker (like MyFitnessPal) to track every morsel of food I shove in my piehole, and for me that’s actually counter productive.  I do, however, keep track of my meals and number of servings of protein, veggies, fats, starches and fruits I have in a day.  This helps me to make sure I’m eating enough, the right things, and to stay accountable.  Find what works for you, but be sure you’re tracking your nutrition and workouts to not only follow your progress, but ensure you’re following your program appropriately.

9.  Eat breakfast.

We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and I’m just going to agree.  Eat it.  I know everyone is rushed in the morning, and sometimes it’s hard to plan a meal that includes protein and a vegetable and you can stuff in your face and still make it work on time, but it’s important.  Find a way, not an excuse.

10.  Take pictures.  In your undies.  Every week.

Early on this was the most mortifying part for me, but as the weeks progressed it became the most motivating piece of monitoring my success.  Strip down to your skivvies every week and take a pic of your front, side, and back.  There is nothing better than watching the inches melt away and watching your body transform.  I take mine every Monday, which helps me track my progress and keeps me honest over the weekend.


Like I said, nothing life changing, but hopefully something that was helpful to you.  So what say you readers?  Did I miss anything?  What is the one thing you feel like contributes most to your success in a quest for a fit, healthy life?

Bitchslapping yourself in public…

When I say that I effing love my Crossfit community, I’m not kidding.  Below is my Facebook post to my Crossfit peeps on Wednesday of this week:

Ok gang, I’m throwing down the gauntlet… on myself. Today marks 7 weeks since I’ve set foot in the box, and I need to snap out of it. What started off as a legitimate excuse (super duper sick) has spiraled out of control and I’m back to being inactive and unhealthy. I’ve made up countless excuses over the past several weeks as to why I’m not yet ready to come back, but here’s the truth, I’m scared. I’ve gained weight… a lot of it. I’ve lost fitness, a lot of it, and I’m super self conscious to come back. But today I woke up and gave myself a bit of a bitch slap. I am the only person who can change this, and I am the only one standing in my way. I know I’m probably not alone, so I’m putting this out there to encourage anyone else who might have some negative inner monologue going on themselves. Waiting another day or week isn’t going to make it better, going to the box and DOING SOMETHING to make it better will. I’ll be there at 4:30 today. I missed you guys.

 

In response over 20 folks offered words of encouragement, including coach.  Five additional peeps reached out to me privately, told me they faced the same struggle, and we are now each other’s accountability partners with getting back to the box.

My first class back Coach gave me a high five and told me he missed me.  Three different people told me they were there that night because they saw my post and it was the kick in the pants they needed.

It’s just incredible.  Sure, Crossfit offers some great physical benefits.  And yeah, I’m doing it because I want to Hulk out and lose some weight and what not… but I never in a million years could have imagined gaining an entire group of people who are so amazing and supportive through just working out.

This “side benefit” if you will, is what makes this arguably the most awesome thing I’ve ever been a part of.

I mean, other than the horizontal lambata with the hubs.  But that’s a post for another time.

An award? ME? Well schucks

wordpress-family-award

Obviously, I’m awesome.  But as it turns out Crazy. Sweaty. Mommy. thinks so too!  She nominated me for the WordPress Family award  just last night, and I am so honored that I’m kind of speechless.

And for those of you who read my blog you realize, speechless isn’t really a word to describe me.  So thanks Lady!  For anyone looking for a great read of a mom, Crossfit newbie, and seriously inspiring lady, check her out.  She’s a new blogger who has already got some great content, pictures, and stories about her journey.

There are so many really great, talented, and fun bloggers out there that I’m finding it really challenging to choose just 10 to nominate in turn for this award.  But without further ado, here are some of my favorites in no particular order…

Girl on the Contrary – Want 200 words or less of the funniest shit you’ll read all day?  Check her out.  She’s southern and hilarious.

Idrankthecfkoolaid – Have you ever read a blog and thought, oh my gosh did I write this?  When did I do that?  Maybe I have multiple personality disorder.  Oh man, I better get to a doctor fast and get that shit diagnosed before I end up with TWO husbands because one is really more than I can handle…  No?  Just me?  Well ok.  This chick is awesome, does Crossfit, and gives the best pep talks you’ll ever read.  Check her out.

TooTallFritz – I love new Crossfitters.  I think because I’m so new in the journey myself I enjoy hearing about their experiences and comparing them to my own.  This girl is a super awesome runner/triathlete who is using Crossfit as cross training.  Check out her race reports and adventures.  They’re pretty sweet.

The girl that (actually) likes to lift weights – More bad ass Crossfit.  This girl is strong. I read her workout weights and hope that she wears a “Beast Mode” shirt every day, because she deserves it!

Delightful Oak – Since Crossfit isn’t all I ever think about, I also really enjoy reading blogs about marriage, relationships and other schmoopy stuff.  This blogger does a great job of giving advice and does it with flair.

(Not As) Big Bob – I already gave a shout out to Bob and Meg the dynamic blogging duo last week, but will repeat it here because they’re awesome.  Bob and his weightloss journey coupled with Meg’s meal plans and Crossfit talk make for some great reading.

Pete’s Journey Back to Fitness – Pete is actually a friend of mine, and a super cool dude.  Former triathlete, now new Crossfitter who is working to get into shape for his wedding.  Insightful stuff here, and if you follow him on facebook as well you can get in on his periodic group challenges which give an extra kick of motivation!

.erin gets gone. – Hilarious and insightful antidotes into life, fitness, and healthy living.

The Mind of a Maverick – Some great triathlon training stories, race reports, and general thoughts about life and accomplishment here.  She is always good for a dose of inspiration.

Warriorgirllifting – Have you ever overcome some huge mental barriers with yourself?  Have you ever come back stronger than you believed possible?  Have you ever changed your dreams and goals and found yourself successful?  Do you want to know how?  Then read this girls blog.  She’s awesome.

So there you have it, my shortlist of the 10 most super awesome bloggers I’m enjoy at the moment.  To the nominees, should you choose to accept this award go here http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/word-press-family-award/   for the rules on what to do next.

Not to worry, this message won’t self destruct.  I will just stop typing.  It will be tragic, but not so much as potentially getting your face blown off.  Or another movie with Tom Cruise.  Now that’s tragic.

I’m begging you, EAT

While out shopping with my mom and her best friend the other day we were discussing how it seems as if we have been on diets our entire lives.

This realization made me sad.  For literally as far back as I can remember (middle school on up), I’ve been trying to fit a different body ideal.  And I’m not alone.

When I have time to peruse the blogs here on wordpress, I search the topic of “weight loss.” Thousands of new posts pop up from women every where aspiring to lose weight and look and feel better.

Some are doing it the right way, through whatever their preferred method of healthy eating and exercise is.

Some scare the crap out of me.

I’m the first to admit, I don’t have all the answers.  I’ve struggled.  I’ve failed.  I’ve gained and lost weight more times than I can count, but there are a few things that I flat out know aren’t healthy.

No matter how you’re tempted, don’t do this:

Please don’t do a juice cleanse and drink nothing but juice for a week.

And to piggy back on that, please don’t put yourself on some sort of 500 calorie a day or less diet for a week either.

Your body needs calories and nutrients.  500 is not enough.  Under pretty much any circumstances.  I’m not a medical professional, but I would bed they IV people in comas more than that.

Don’t exercise for hours at a time, unless you’re training for something that requires it.  There is absolutely no need to go to the gym for 2-3 hours if you are an average woman looking to lose weight.  Ironman?  Fitness competitor?  Training to swim the English Channel?  Then yeah, it requires more, but losing that last 10 lbs does not require a 2 hour cardio session.

Don’t starve yourself and then binge.  And then purge.  It makes me so sad to see your week of posts about your 500 calories a day, and then your self-deprecating post about eating three large pizzas and a midget (because they just looked so tasty and tender!), and then spending 6 hours at the gym the next day (that’s purging kids).  Don’t do it.  Find balance. Yours may not be the same as mine, but that is not balance.

Finally, and this one is the most important, stop hating yourself.  I’m coming from a place where I don’t always love what I see when I look in the mirror, but by God I love myself.  I am not a bad person because I have love handles.  I don’t go around stoning kittens because I have cellulite.  Simply because I don’t wear a size 4 or weigh 130 lbs or whatever your goal might be, does not mean that me, Ted Bundy, and the Unibomber are homeboys.

If you’re a homicidal serial killer you might be a bad person.  Heck, if you’re fat you might also be a bad person.  But you are not a freaking bad person because you’re fat.

Get a grip.  Find some balance.  I’m still searching for mine.  There are so so many of us out there, so let’s support eachother in finding a way to find health, without all these scary extremes.