I have reached '40 pounds lost and counting'. Let me take a minute to pat myself on the back because this road has not been an easy one. The scale is NOT my friend, and it isn’t yours either! Okay, that is a bit dramatic, but the scale is my enemy. According to the scale, I am not making any real progress; but the results I see and feel are real. So enough of my rambling you came here to read about how I have accomplished and maintained my weight loss.
The secret, which really is not a secret, for me is 70% diet and 30% exercise. I use to think I could spend two hours working out and eating lean pockets or subway would get me to my goals but I was wrong. When I started my weight loss journey, I decided to go vegan. Cold turkey, no easing into it, vegan. For those who aren’t familiar with the term vegan, it is a person who does not eat or use animal products. Let me clarify I am not one of those hardcore vegans that check their clothing, makeup, etc. for animal products but I am working on it. So, for now, I will just say I adopted a vegan diet.
Eating Habits that Lead to 40 Pounds Lost
At the beginning of this journey, I would have smoothies, I still do, and ate a lot of different processed foods that would take the place of meat. Foods like meatless meatballs, chick’n tenders by Gardein and other fake meat items. Out of everything I have tried Gardein has the best meat substitution by far. I also ate lots of potatoes and vegan sushi. My current diet is cleaner and full of more fruits and vegetables and less processed foods.
I do feel if I had eaten less processed foods from the beginning then my results would have been faster but slow and steady wins the race. This was not to be some fad diet. I wanted this to be something I could adapt to and stick with for the foreseeable future.
There was a lot of trial and error, in the beginning, there still is, but I am learning to adjust. Currently, my diet is majority vegan, but I occasionally eat seafood. I guess that makes my diet 85% vegan and 15% vegetarian. I don’t know; math was never my strong suit. But if you would like to take a stab at the numbers leave me a comment below and correct my math. When I say occasionally I mean once or twice every 4-6 months, if that. The goal is to have my diet be completely vegan meaning absolutely no seafood. Stay tuned and see how that works out for me in the future.
If you are interested in having a starter guide to a vegan diet sign up below and I’ll gladly send you my staples list. I promise I won’t spam you and you’ll have an easy guide so you won’t be overwhelmed. When I started to research a vegan diet I came across so many different “do this, don’t do that”, or “do that, don’t do this” reviews. Be a raw vegan, no be a high carb low-fat vegan, or no be a low-carb vegan. How about you be the vegan you need to be to get you started and on a path to a healthier lifestyle. I feel so much better now that I don’t eat certain foods, especially cheese.
Exercise Regimen that Jump Started 40 Pounds Lost
Cardio, cardio, cardio! Did I mention cardio? Cardio is the only exercise in my arsenal of workout routines, at first. From the elliptical to the treadmill. I would go to the gym at least four times a week and workout for 30-45 minutes. If I knew what I know now I would have added weights to my routine sooner. My current method is more weightlifting and less cardio, and I love this so much more.
Cardio is a great way to ease oneself into exercising. You can start off with something as simple as walking outside for 10 minutes a day and increasing it by 5 minutes to build up your stamina. Before you know it, you might be running like Flo-Jo. Personally, I am NOT running like Flo-Jo so don’t hold me to this. Hell, I don’t even run up the steps. I am more of a speed walker if you catch my drift.
Once I was able to exercise for at least an hour, I started to add an additional day of exercise at home. This would range from a dance workout to kettlebell exercises. I LOVED doing kettlebell training until I pulled a muscle. Don’t be like me and think you are doing something great and swinging the bell all willy-nilly. Take your time and do the exercises right before you’re stuck on the couch for about a week, if not more, looking like a sad panda.
Pictures, pictures, and more pictures. As I ranted earlier about the scale and its hate for me you will get the sense I do not like to weigh myself. Can you tell? No, not really? Well, I dislike weighing myself, but I still torture myself every once and a while and stand on the scale. Pictures are my BFF and have helped me not to give up. Okay, pictures and the fact that I needed to buy new clothes because some of my old work clothes are starting to look ridiculous on me.
If I can give you one piece of advice that would be to take a picture as soon as you decide to make a change with your lifestyle and continue to take pictures periodically. It could be once a month or twice a month, so on and so forth. Others suggest taking your measurements but I have not gotten that down to a science as of yet. I never remember to put the measuring tape in the same exact location. If you know me, then you know my memory is not the best.
Current Exercise Regimen to add to my 40 Pounds Lost and Counting
I lift weights! And have started to add more yoga practices in my regimen. To see real results, help with loose skin and build my butt and arms I needed to add weight lifting to my routine. Depending on the amount of loose skin you may have surgery may be your best option. I don’t knock surgery at all. I say do whatever will make YOU feel better inside and out.
Besides the fact that lifting weights help tone the body by lowering body fat percentage, it also has an overall increase in mental health. My mental wellbeing has improved tremendously and if you don’t believe me then the next time you plan on getting in some cardio pick up a heavy dumbbell or two and have at it. Listed below are the main reasons I added weight lifting to my exercise regimen:
Listed below are the main reasons I added weight lifting to my exercise regimen:
1. You’ll Burn More Fat. I wanted to lose fat and build muscle. You can lose weight but you can also lose muscle as well, and that is something I did not want for myself.
2. Stress Relief. Exercise is a good stress relief no matter what you do as long as you are active and burning calories but weight lifting can help with high blood pressure. High-stress levels can raise your blood pressure, but with more muscle, your blood pressure can become more balanced.
3. Build Curves. It’s no secret that I am trying to build me a booty. I was not blessed in that area as much as I was up top but that does not mean I can’t have a butt. Actually, I have one slowly coming in thanks to lifting weights. Cardio was not helping me build muscle to help with the curves I wanted to achieve. From squats, deadlifts to pushups (requires body weight) and more are helping my muscle growth.
I am not where I want to be in my weight loss journey, but I am not giving up. I am not giving up on myself and loving me again. You know that little thing called self-esteem it is a top priority. I am not giving up on looking like the woman I feel inside when I am happy. Not giving up on being a mom one day, and to me that requires my body being at optimal health. And I am not giving up on being proud of my mirror reflection and of course fitting in a pair of new skinny jeans. Well, skinny jeans for curvy women because let us not forget about my obsession with building a booty.
The reason why I named this piece “40 pounds and counting” is because I have given up on weighing myself for now and have no idea what I currently weight at the moment. Does that mean I won’t weigh myself in the future? Absolutely not because I am a glutton for punishment from time to time. But for now, I am focusing on my progress pictures and how my clothes are fitting. Maybe sometime soon I will get the hang of the whole measurement thing, but for now, I’ll pass.
I would love to hear from you. Are you currently on a journey to a becoming a better you? What is your exercise routine? What are your go-to snacks? Feel free to leave a comment below.
From my healing heart to yours,