Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My Weight Loss Story

For those who missed my guest post over at Shaping up to Be a Mom, I wanted to share it here. I figured with the new year here, and so many resolutions being about weight loss and getting healthy, I could help bring some inspiration to you! So I bring to you my weight loss journey condensed into to this little post! There will be links to full posts about my journey, as well as some helpful tips and trick for you. Enjoy.

 A little over 9 months ago I started on a weight loss journey, that I NEVER imagined would bring me as far as it has today. If someone had told me, before, that one day I would write about health and fitness, that I would be brave enough to do "fashion posts", or told me that I would be a weight loss inspiration to ANYONE - well, let me tell you.... I'd be more than a little skeptical.
But here I am today, CURRENTLY, at a 70 lbs weight loss. (These photos are a little old and represent my 64 lbs weight loss.) When I first started this weight loss journey I couldn't even bring myself to confess my starting weight! But I can admit now that I started out at 240 POUNDS! I am now down to 170 and my goal is to be 140 by (or before) the 1 year mark, which is March 1st. And today I am going to share with you some tips and things that helped me along the way. So if you need some inspiration, stick around!
Let me just tell you right away - Many people have asked me "Whats Your Secret" or "What diet are you on?" You may be wondering the same. Well, I didnt do any crazy diet, and I didnt have to starve myself either!

My "secret" is simple (and yet I know somewhat disappointingly) Eat Less and Exercise more!
"Physical fitness can neither be achieved by wishful thinking or out right purchase." - Joseph Pilates
You have to WANT it AND go for it! Your desire to be healthy (healthy NOT skinny) must out weigh your desire for 2nds or a doughnut. It must out weigh your desire to sleep in/ laze around. You HAVE to MOVE.

For me, even though moving/exercising was hard, that wasnt the really HARD part. The hard part was saying no to food. I realized through this journey that I sort of had an ADDICTION to food! Yes- I ate even when I was hungry. I ate just to eat, because it was good. Because I was bored, because I "couldnt" stop myself (and didnt want to). It was more than a bad habbit that I wouldnt stop even when I was STUFFED.
It makes me emotional just thinking about it. How I was full, but not satisfied....

If you're someone like me who has trouble saying no to food, here are some help tips for you!
  • Get yourself signed up for my fitness pal. Its a great tool to help you keep track of your calorie intake. It gives you a good idea of how many calories you should consume a day based on your age, height, weight and how much weight you want to lose.
  • Eat LESS, more OFTEN (eat little meals/snacks often through out the day to help curve cravings)
  • Fill up on veggies and fruit (mostly veggies, though, if its green its good to go and usually has little to no calories!)
  • Do NOT drink away your calories! Soda, Fancy Coffee, Juice... Yeah have you SEEN how many calories for just a measly 8 ounces!? 
  • Drink LOTS of water. Be sure to get in your 8 glasses a day. But dont go overboard, there is such a thing as being water drunk! Sounds silly but its true.
  • When you crave sweets eat fruit or (frozen) yogurt.
  • Limit sugar, carbs, salt and cheese. For the first 6 months of my weight loss journey I didnt eat ANY sugary treats... The only sugar I consumed was the little bit in the yogurt I ate, the mulitgrain cheerios I ate, and maybe the fat free milk I drank, other than that... It was a no-no for me. I also did NOT use salt, and I stopped eating cheese. For me.... these were foods that I had a hard time saying no to, that I know helped contribute to my over eating.. so I just stopped eating them!
  • If you are a snacker check out these great posts: DIY 100 Calorie Snacks, Healthy Snack Ideas, and Office Snacks/Snacks on the go.
Now I guess we should talk about the OTHER thing. Exercise. Yes, it IS a must. Sure you CAN lose weight with just changing your diet, alone, but not as fast. And the wonderful thing about exercise is that as you lose the weight, you will also tone up your body and gain some nice muscles. So you DONT want to skip the exercise. 

Since I started losing weight I realized this about working out AND eating right is this.... When you are JUST eating right in an attempt to lose weight it seems easier to give in to "pigging out" or "cheat days". But when you are ALSO working out, even though you may WANT junk food... You are still less likely to eat it and waste a workout. You work so hard in the gym (or how ever you choose to exercise) that you don't even want to eat junk food that you know you will have to work out extra to burn off. At least that's how I felt about it. When I did a 600 or so calorie burn, there was no way I was gonna chow down on a 500 calorie muffin for breakfast! Get what I mean?

When it comes to exercise, Hubs & I got a gym membership. (And for the first 5 months we worked out 2-3 hours a day 4-5 days a week!) But if you can afford one, or dont think you can make time to go, don't let that stop you! Here are some quick and easy everyday things you can do for extra exercise:
  • Take the stairs whenever possible.
  • In a parking lot, dont park close... Park far out so you have to walk a little extra.
  • Race your husband or (OLDER) kids back to the car!
  • Hold your baby while walking/shopping, rather than pushing them in a cart or stroller.
  • Pace or stand when you are on the phone, don't just sit and relax.
  • Stand while you are eating.
  • Sit on a fitness ball while at the computer or watching tv.
  • Jog in place while waiting for something in the microwave!
  • Chew gum (sugar free)
  • Get yourself a set or 5lbs or 10lbs weights and use them while watching tv.
  • DANCE. Turn up the music and get down with your kids!! Or your husband, your dog... or ALONE!
I think you get the point! There are countless things you can do or improve that you already do EVERYday that can help you lose weight. In an extra effort... Take a walk or bike ride around your block or neighborhood! During the Summer, SWIM! Swimming is a GREAT way to exercise without burning a sweat or even feeling like you were exercising! The biggest thing, is DONT make excuses. You DO have ways to exercise, even if you cant make it to the gym. It will be worth it, I promise!

Another thing to do is PUSH yourself. Im not sure how many of you are competitive (like me). Yeah its not the most attractive trait a lady can have. HOWEVER, if you can use it to push yourself.. Compete with YOURSELF... Oh man, WATCH OUT! Here is what I do, I challenge myself!

For one, I HATE having the time show on a machine. For a long time it seemed like I would check it after what felt like forever and it would only have been 10 seconds! GRRR... So I decided to just set my machine to go for like 30-35 minutes and then change the screen to only show me how many calories I would burn!
So I would say, Im gonna burn x amount of calories! And then I would push myself to get there, and if I got there before my time ran out, say it was 300 calories, I'd say to myself "Ok lets see if I can burn 350" calories! At this point I would check my time... and there were times when I only had less than a minute left and just peddle harder or run faster to get 50 more calories burned in abut 40 seconds!!!

Of course I know those numbers are not completely accurate, and only based on averages and such. But STILL this worked for me. It helped me PUSH myself. It helped me work out harder each time. I was competitive with myself. Other times I would put on a song, and challenge myself to run without stopping through the WHOLE song! Its little things like that, in your attitude that can really make a BIG difference in just how good of a workout you can get! 

One other thing, this WILL be hard. If you are like me at all (emotional) there will be days that you CRY, a lot. I totally did! Ive cried so much in that stupid gym that we go to. This will be hard, and it will hurt. But I cant stress enough, how glad I am... How happy Ive come through all this. How much CONFIDENCE I gained. Keep in mind "A Sore Body Today, A Strong Body Tomorrow." Its gonna be worth it... Every miserable second.

Here are a couple posts from my blog about exercise: Women SHOULD Lift Weights, Fitness Bucket List.
Lastly I'd like to talk about a few other things that helped me along the way...

#1 A partner... I know this can be hard for some of you. I know I was blessed to go through this and have SUCH amazing support from my husband. If you can get your husband on board then do it! Otherwise, see if your sister, mom, or bestie will partner up with you! Having someone else to do this with you, will keep you going! When you don't feel like going your partner will get your butt in gear! And vice versa....

#2 Having accountability... This was a big thing for me. I have wanted, or said that I would lose weight. Ive made promises to myself before... And I never went through with it! When we started this, it was because my whole family actually decided to do a "biggest loser" challenge. So that was accountability. But also, I told the ladies in my small group bible study about it. I asked for their thoughts and prayers for me on it. I also BLOGGED about it. I asked for my readers to help keep me accountable. I decided to start taking photos of myself along the way... Hence the start of "fashion" blogging. I didnt like doing the pictures so much at first... I still dont LOVE being in front of the camera.. But I feel a lot more comfortable and confident about it. Anyways... I know that I would not have gotten as far as I have without the accountability I had. Not only from my husband and family, church friends, but also every single one of you who read my blog. And cheered for me along the way!

#3 Understanding... You need to understand this does NOT happen over night. Understand it will be hard, but you WILL be stronger and better for it. And most of all, understand there will be a plateau stage. Don't give up! Keep pushing on! Don't get yourself down over a little speed bump. Be sure to keep track of, or write down all the things you have accomplished so far and give yourself a pat on the back OFTEN!

Here are a couple more posts on my blog that you may find helpful: Fitness 101 Q & A, The Truth About Diet Pills.

Thank you all so much for stopping by and taking the time to read about my journey!
I hope you feel encouraged and inspired by it, and please if you have any questions or need someone to be a cheerleader for YOU, don't hesitate to visit my blog, comment or email me! ♥

p.s. My Journey isnt finished! Continue to follow me on my journey here.
Much Love & Hugs,
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  1. Wow! You LOOK GORGEOUS!! Congrats on the weightloss!
    Thanks for all of the tips too, I will need them when I give birth to baby #3 any day now!

  2. Oh my gosh!!! You look amazing! But you have always looked amazing you just look SUPER amazing now!! I needed this kinda inspiration! I'm hoping to lose some weight this year.

  3. you look wonderful! Great job!!! And Happy New Year!

  4. You are such an inspiration and oh so beautiful! :) Keep up the great work girly!

  5. Dear Maria, Thank you for posting the wonderful tips! I would like to invite you to my blog for weight loss Wednesdays and I would like to invite you to guest post sometime. Your tips would be perfect for a weight loss wednesday post! I plan on rereading this post later so I can take notes. :o) Congratulations on the weight loss! Esther Norine Designs

  6. You are an INSPIRATION! I'm currently working toward a weight loss myself, and all of your tips and ideas are AWESOME for me. I look forward to keeping up with your journey! Hope you join me on mine, too. :)

  7. Maria, you are amazing. I admire your courage to share your story with us all, and trust me you have made an impact on MANY women. I am cheering you on until you reach your goal, and I KNOW you will do it, and you will look and feel even more amazing. You go girl.

    Lots of hugs, and wishing you the most AWESOME NEW YEAR!!!


  8. Thank you for posting your story! I sort of lost my inspiration and reading about other success stories helps. You look fabulous and I applaud you for wanting to be healthy & fit.
    I too weight what you used to weight and the exercise part is hard!
    Many well wishes to you in the New Year. I hope you get to your goal! :)

  9. TY for sharing your story. I love to hear stuff like this. The simple eat right exercise. Truly is what needs to happen. I know for me that is what I did when I started losing the weight.
    However, things have been so stressful - & I am an emotional eater.
    Hoping the days to come are better. Walking is the most thing I can do as well as simple stretches.
    But positive attitude is a must I think as well!
    You look fabulous. I was once around 220 but due to medicine. So always know what pills you are taking can cause weight gain!

  10. This is really awesome! I love how you kept your weight loss basic and easy to understand. I'm currently pregnant and I admit a little bummed because I was nearly at my pre-pregnancy weight from my first when I fell pregnant again. And that already took me nearly 4 years of trying to basically shed 75 pounds while battling depression. Not fun! This time I'm only at 30 so far and almost done with the "baking," so it shouldn't be so hard. MY man and I already have a schedule pending for when I'm able to get back into things full force. You're a beautiful inspiration! Keep up the good work!

  11. Girl, you are an inspiration! Keep up the good work!!


  13. Thank you for an informative and inspirational post. I lost 60 pounds (starting at 232) on my own. Unfortunately I have gained 40 back. After several start overs and stops, I am ready mentally, physically and emotionally this time. Never giving up...

  14. My you are certainly looking hot.

    I am on that same weightloss journey, following WeightWatchersOnline.
    I started July 31, 2100 268, lost 60 by April 8, 2012 then slid some,gaining about 12 back. I am now back on track. I have about 40 more to go.
    At 61 things no longer work as well, and everything seems harder. But I keep telling myself I CAN do this, I WILL do this and I AM DOING THIS.

    I found you via the "Eat Yourself Skinny" email this morning....I imagine you will be getting a lot more followers.
    p.s. I have "pinned" so many of those recipes onto my one of my food boards. :-)

  15. Enjoyed reading your story! My favorite - "When I did a 600 or so calorie burn, there was no way I was gonna chow down on a 500 calorie muffin for breakfast" - I love this!

  16. You are an inspiration!! Thanks for sharing your story!!

    Thanks so much for linking up with 'The Wednesday Chronicles' we hope to see you back next week :)



  17. I love this post. I have read it before, and after my workout today when i noticed the link on your sidebar, I decided to re-read it. This is actually how I found your blog in the first place. How have you been on your weightloss since this post. I haven't seen any posts about it lately, and I was wondering how close you are to your goal?

  18. Just found your blog and LOVE it! I am on a journey too! I started at 247 after 3 back to back babies and have been at it (again) for 3 1/2 weeks strong and have lost 18 lbs and 13 inches! Looking forward to being able to tell the same story soon! Looking forward to reading more from you!

  19. wow!!! Loved reading this journey, so inspiring!! I really really need to get to this!! thanks for sharing!!!

  20. You are looking AMAZING ! So glad that you decided to share your journey with us all!

  21. Great job! I used weight watchers for a long time, but couldn't get past 40 lbs...I'm having weight loss surgery next month, and I hope I look as amazing as you! BTW, Olive & Ivy sent me to your blog!

  22. Oh my gosh, you are SO inspiring! I can't imaging you losing another 30 pounds! But you look beautiful and I'm so happy for you and your family. :)

  23. Oh my goodness, congratulations! You look terrific!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  24. Congratulations! Great going! It's tough to get into the regimen of working out but when you do it's tough to stop. :)

  25. You look absolutely STUNNING in both shots. Congratulations on your weight loss, you've worked so hard and its definitely paid off for you xxxx

  26. Congratulations on your fitness journey!! I just was curious of your previous post and decided to click this one!!



  27. This is so inspiring! God bless you!

  28. COngratulations! Hard work does pay off!

  29. Wow, you look so amazing. Congratulations.


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave your thoughts with me!

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