I've been waiting a long time for this post! Since losing 80 pounds, I've tried so many different approaches. Some work well....some not so much. I am asked several times a week: How exactly do I start?
Everyone's approach is different. What works great for me may only work a little for you. The biggest thing is to keep trying, be patient and hang in there! It will happen as long as you stay committed.
Drink Plenty of Water: Take your weight, divide it in half. That's the number of ounces of water your body needs every day. When you hydrate your body, your organs can function better. The end result? Your body can function better to help you lose weight!
Get Moving: Find whatever you're passionate about or enjoy! If you love running, hitting the gym everyday, or maybe a DVD in your own living room, enjoy moving your body. If you don't find happiness, you will not stick with it. Not sure what you'll like? Try many different things and be open to all ideas. I was shy and afraid to try my church's new Zumba classes. I decided to try it out. I've been addicted to Zumba for almost a year. I've met some of the most amazing women and made some great friendships. I enjoyed it so much I discovered that I wanted to help teach. You never know until you give something a try!
Remove Processed Foods: I am a huge advocate of clean eating! I believe the foods we put into our bodies can either heal or harm them. I believe that chemicals in our foods can lead to some cancers and other illnesses. Our bodies were designed to function on quality, nutrient dense whole foods not genetically modified garbage.
Find Friends: Share your progress with others. I began writing about my weight loss on my "mommy blog". Over time I became brave enough to share my successes with friends on Facebook. I had an overwhelming amount of love and support from so many people. Not only does it offer encouragement, but it also holds you accountable! You'll also develop friendships with some of those people you meet the gym or at classes. They will push you to do better and keep going when you struggle!
Scale, Measurements, and Pictures: I don't measure my progress just one way. There are going to be plenty of times the scale does not move. It's beyond frustrating, but it's reality. You may be adding muscle, but toning up. Take before, (plenty of) during, and after photos. These offer inspiration on your toughest days!
Mini Goals and Rewards: When you have a lot of weight to lose, try breaking it up into more manageable parts. You didn't put all of this weight on overnight and I promise you won't take it off that quickly. I broke mine up into ten pound mini goals. I celebrated every ten pounds by doing something small for myself. It's really tough at first to get in the habit, but it really does motivate you.
Flexibility: You've got to remain flexible. The exact same thing that works great in the beginning may not work half way through your weight loss journey. Be prepared to adjust and modify as you need to.
Sleep: Get plenty of sleep and enjoy your rest day from working out. Your body needs time to recover. Make sure you aren't over-doing things so that you body can function properly.
Accountability: Hold yourself accountable! If it takes putting that before picture on the fridge or telling all of your Facebook friends....do it! It's so easy to fall out of the habit of taking care of yourself. Life gets crazy and most of the time women forget to take care of themselves. A Diet Bet is a great weight to keep you in check.
Manage Stress: This is the story of my life, y'all. I am a high strung, Type A, OCD personality. My dad jokes about things "twisting my tail". In the past few years, I have tried to learn ways to cope with the never ending stressful parts of life. Had a rough day at work? Go to Zumba. Kid acting like a lunatic at school? Dance party in the kitchen. If I don't manage my stress, I will emotionally overeat. Simple as that. My body also releases hormones to deal with additional stress that also prevent me from losing weight. It all snowballs out of control if I can't get a handle on it.
I'm sure my fabulous cohosts will also have some great tips to help you as well! Jump around and see what they've got!
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