Oh man…this is a big one. Are you ready for a completely different type of blog post from me? Here goes…time to talk about fitness…really!
I was afraid to even talk about losing weight here, just because I know that a lot of people I know in real life will read it. I’ve struggled with my weight for my whole life (especially in teen and adult years) and even though I know it’s not exactly a secret, being honest about it is scary. But I’m finally at a point where I’m comfortable and even confident about sharing the journey I’m on.
I started at my heaviest weight ever, which I had steadily been at for about two years. I was uncomfortable, unhappy, and unhealthy. So at the end of May, I made a decision: no more bullshit. No more “I’ll start tomorrow,” no more being lazy, no more ignoring the fact that my choices were negatively impacting my life and my health. And now I’m proud to say that so far, I have lost 25 pounds!
I’m not an expert (far from it!) but I have learned a thing or two along the way that I think could be helpful to other people that are starting or continuing their own journeys toward personal health, so here’s what I’ve figured out so far!
It helps to talk to an expert
After I made the decision to eat healthier and work out regularly, I booked an appointment with a nutritionist. I knew I really wanted it to stick this time–no more starting a diet and workout regime and then giving up after a week or two. Really, I didn’t want a diet–I wanted a lifestyle change. My nutritionist was able to help me cut through all of the health and fitness-related information swirling around on the Internet and figure out a plan that worked for me. I see her monthly to go over what is working and what isn’t, and adjust accordingly. At the end of the day she’s just another person in my corner cheering me on and helping me reach my goals, which is a huge help!
Pinterest is a great tool
I have been pinning on my “healthy life
” board pretty much nonstop lately. Pinterest is a great tool to search for specific workouts, healthy recipes, tips, and even motivational quotes. Honestly, there are days when I feel like I’m not making any progress, or the progress I have made isn’t “enough.” When I feel that way, I head on over to the Pinterest health and fitness page and browse away until I rediscover my motivation (seriously, check out all the motivational quotes I’ve pinned recently…)
Figure out what works for you, and ignore the rest
With that being said, the sheer amount of health- and fitness-related information on the Internet is overwhelming. I mean, seriously, there are about a million and a half diets out there, and a lot of them are contradictory. You’ll find one diet telling you to avoid certain foods like the plague, while another tells you that you absolutely MUST eat that exact same food every day if you want to lose weight. So it’s really important to figure out what to pay attention to, and tune out the rest. Again, this is where it helps me to have a nutritionist who knows her stuff and can give great advice. Plus, for me, I’m not interested in things like thigh gap and “beach bodies,” so I just ignore those types of posts when I’m scrolling through Pinterest and look for the things that suit my goals. [Side note: Am I the only one who thinks we need more curvy girl fitspo and examples of big girls getting fit? I’m not interested in the girl who weighed 130 and dropped 10 pounds, that’s really not relatable to me at all!]
Running can actually be fun (seriously!)
I know. I know! Six-weeks-ago-Kellie would’ve been like, “okay crazy, who is paying you to say that? Stop lying.” But seriously. I’ve been running (slowly, but regularly!) for a month and a half now. And you know what? I really enjoy it most days. A few weeks ago my ankle was sore so I chose to stay home, rest, and ice it on a night when I normally would have gone for a run. And I missed it. Me, Kellie…I missed running! It’s like I’m a whole different person.
Not every day is going to be sunshine and rainbows
Yep. Some days you’re going to step on the scale and groan. Or you’ll try to squeeze into that size-too-small dress and find that it still doesn’t fit yet. For me, I have days where I get frustrated that my progress is slow, or I feel like my end goal is so far away that I’ll never reach it. That’s when I turn to the people in my life who encourage and motivate me (shoutout to my boyfriend, who has helped me through a whole lot of those days!) And you know what? I always feel better, and I always remember how much progress I’ve made to get to where I am. Even if it feels slow…progress is progress!
Don’t only rely on your scale
Listen, I hit my scale every. single. day. So I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be weighing yourself (you don’t need to do it daily–that’s just something that I have found that works for me.) In fact, I invested in a good quality, highly accurate digital scale because when I lose a few ounces, I am sure as hell going to celebrate it as a loss. But I also rely on measurements as a marker of progress. My fitness routine consists of weights and cardio, which means sometimes progress is going to show up more in lost inches than lost ounces. It’s different for everyone (just like my daily weigh-ins aren’t going to work for some people) but I’d suggest doing it once a month or so. In the beginning, I was so excited to see progress that I measured myself weekly, and it could get a little disappointing. Now I measure once a month, and wow, it is great to see the inches flying off!
Set an overall goal, but also set mini goals leading up to that
If you say, “I want to lose 50 pounds,” you’ll probably feel like you’re standing at the base of Mount Everest, gazing up at the peak, which you probably can’t even see because it’s hidden by one of those crazy Himalayan snow storms. But if you say, “Eventually I’d like to lose 50 pounds, but right now I want to drop the first 10,” it’ll feel so much more attainable. I set 10- and 25-pound goals leading up to my final one. I also set other goals, things like running a certain distance that I couldn’t run before, dropping a dress size, being able to perfect a certain yoga position, and doing a certain number of push-ups. It feels great when I reach those!
I absolutely LOVE going to movies alone. It’s like a luxury to me. Give me a feel-good movie and a mostly-empty theater (I like to go on weekdays when everyone is at work or school) and I am one happy girl. I took myself to see Finding Dory at 10 lbs. Now that I’ve reached 25, I’ve got another date with an empty movie theater next week!
Sometimes you just want to quit. Don’t.
Remember where you started. Remember WHY you started. You don’t want to go back to that, do you? Keep going. You can do it. (I may have to look back at this next time I have a woe-is-me day)
It gets easier. Really.
Okay, again, six weeks ago when I started running, I wouldn’t have believed that I’d ever get to where I am today. On my first run, which was about 30 seconds of jogging followed by 4-5 minutes of walking before I could jog again, I cried. A lot. I also texted my boyfriend through the whole process, updating him about how I sucked at running and how much I hated it. Running was not fun for me, and it was seriously a chore to get myself up and at it. But I followed a schedule and dragged my butt out the door even on the days when I really, really did not want to. Now, that 30-second jog I did on the first night? It’s a warmup. Someday, the run I do now will be a warmup. It really is all about making a plan and sticking with it, and challenging yourself to push harder and further every step of the way.
So there you have it. A few pieces of insight from someone who’s just taking it day by day and working on being a better version of myself.
If you want to know a little more about the specifics of what I’m doing to get healthy, have no fear! I am planning an upcoming blog post going into greater detail and highlighting my favorite fitness tools, so I’ll link that here when it’s up.
Until next time!