In recent months, I’ve found a new passion for health and a desire for a better me. I will be honest and say that the pressure of wearing a gorgeous wedding dress in front of 150 people at the end of the year weighs heavily on me. But, I’m happy that the pressure of my wedding day has found me because I have great determination to get in better shape than I am now for my wedding day. With that being said, I have no exact number in my mind or loss of inches I’m striving for. Although I believe a great way to work towards a goal is to have specific goals in mind, I don’t want to feel disappointment if I don’t hit that specific number by a certain deadline. However, I do know I have a vision for how I want to look and a way I want to feel and that’s what I’m working towards. Ultimately, I want to feel my best and work hard at reaching that goal until the big day and beyond then.
Now, I would say that it’s been since the beginning of May that I have been trying really hard to focus on my health and shedding any extra weight I can. It’s been a solid 2 months which is longer than I’ve devoted myself to a healthier weight than any time before. Believe me when I say I’ve occasionally woken up frustrated because I feel like I have zero progress and that I’m working hard for nothing. But, then I get on the scale for a check-in and I’m pleasantly surprised. Would I like for the weight to come off a little quicker than it is? Sure. But I remind myself that it’s a process and it will pay off in the end.
What I want to do today is share what I’ve been doing to focus on shedding weight at a healthy and steady rate. I’m not following any sort of strict diet or workout regimen and am learning as I go. I remind myself, “This is a process. This is a process.” I learn new things along my journey regularly and know I will continue to do so moving forward. Here are a few tips I have for anyone trying to shed extra weight and things that have helped me along the way:
- First and foremost, I’m drinking a ton of water. I never focused on my water intake before and this step alone has helped me out incredibly. I make it a point to drink at least 3 liters of water a day. I do this 1) because hydration is a key factor in keeping your muscles functioning properly 2) it can help curb my appetite by tricking my body into thinking it’s more full than it is and 3) it helps shed extra toxins and water weight that I may have been holding. I have a new love for water and will do a whole post about it on another day. But, my strongest bit of advice would be to drink more water. Period. (On a side note, I want to add that I have limited myself to drinking alcohol only 1 day a week.)
- Log everything you consume in a food journal. This has been so beneficial for me because it helps remind me what I have already eaten for the day and keeps me on track to make smart decisions throughout the day. Even when you aren’t being strict about your diet, logging it in a food journal helps because it will show you how many calories really are in those mozzarella sticks that you wouldn’t have thought twice about had you not needed to log it. Yeah, guilt can set in because the nutritional facts are a lot worse than you expected, but you will learn that the next time there is an opportunity to eat them and you’ll maybe want to order a healthier option. Or not. It’s all about balance. Logging your food is always a good idea when trying to lose weight because it holds you accountable and conscious of your eating habits. I use an app on my iPhone called MyFitnessPal and it’s technology is way more advanced than it used to be. It measures macro-nutrients of your food, calories, and also reminds you to log your food if you may have forgotten. You can add friends through the app to help keep each other accountable. If you want to add me, my username is: marylsnodgrass.
- I know this one may sound obvious, but it’s so important, and it is to stay active. This one is hard for me because I loathe working out. I don’t enjoy cardio workouts because I tend to get bored, and I hate lifting weights even more because I have no idea what I’m doing. But, I have a goal that I want to reach and I’m not going to reach it without working out on a regular basis. When we moved to Houston, we were fortunate enough to find an apartment we loved across the street from a gym. Once we got settled, I got a gym membership and tried out a few of the classes. Much to my surprise, I fell in love with a class that is taught on Mondays and Wednesday. Through March and April, I saw some results but not much. I learned that a 45 minute workout twice a week wasn’t going to do much for me. So, on the days there was no class, I put my headphones in and went on a jog. I found a nice path that I enjoy and I see it now as “me time”. Since I started working out about 4 times a week, that’s when my results started to really start showing. There are days where the last thing I want to go is put on my tennis shoes after work to go workout, but I do it and always feel amazing afterwards.
- Green tea. I’ve never really been a tea drinker. I am a sole believer in black coffee and will love it to my grave, but I read an article that green tea is extremely beneficial in lowering cholesterol and naturally eliminates triglycerides that your body is storing. I will say, it’s no magic pill, but it does help curb my appetite for a snack in the afternoon and is a bit of a healthier alternative than the cup of coffee I would be drinking in it’s place. It does have somewhat of a bitter aftertaste, but it’s not overpowering to the point that I’m forcing it down with a disgusted face. I enjoy it. Fat loss is a specific goal of mine and I have seen results with the combination of healthy diet, exercise, and green tea. It doesn’t hurt to try, right?
- Keep a positive attitude and remind yourself daily of your goals. I know I said it earlier, but there are definitely bad days where I just want to order pizza and drink red wine to comfort myself and relax after a long day. But I know when I get that craving and if I were to buckle and cheat, I would feel incredible guilt and I would erase a lot of hard work that I put forth to achieve results. I’m not exactly sure how much weight I intend to lose and I’m not exactly sure how much more strict I want to be or if I even want to ease up a bit. Like I said, I am learning as I go but as long as I keep a positive attitude and remind myself of what I’m working towards, it will motivate me to keep the path and that results will eventually follow. No matter how big or small. What I do know is I feel healthier than I ever have before and love it.
Everyone’s journey is different and everyone will achieve results in different ways and at different times. I’m learning a lot about myself and my body along the way that success is not achieved overnight. If you have any tips, tricks, secrets, or overall encouragement send it my way! I love hearing different bits of success that people have and I hope to motivate someone with my story. Trust me, I have quite a way to go but I’m excited to see how my hard work will pay off. I appreciate the kind words from everyone along the way and hope to continue to surprise you all!