Herbs & Things

Herbs & Things
Herbs & Things

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My Book
My Book



Weight Loss Journey | One Year Later

In May of 2015, I realized just how miserable I was in my own skin. I literally felt like a tick that needed to be popped. Awful analogy, isn't it? But it's the truth. I felt so disgusting and bloated. I was not the girl that I used to be, and I was bound and determined to change the way I felt. 

Over the past year, and mostly in the first six months, I have learned so much about myself, about weight loss, and about being healthy. I've learned that taking this thing slow is the only way for me to do it. Because if I try to drop 40 lbs in 6 months, I'll get discouraged and fail over and over again. Or even worse, I'll lose it and then gain it all back. 

And so, in May 2015, I decided I would start my weight loss journey. A never ending journey of being healthy, staying healthy, and always striving to be a better me.

Here's what I've accomplished, and here's what my goals are for the coming year and beyond.

If there is one thing I've learned very quickly, it's that my body type isn't what I thought it was, at all. As my body changes, so does my mindset of what it looks like. Or what I thought it looked like. Whether I like to admit it or not, I have a small body frame under all of that, and I've realized that carrying this extra weight around for the past 10 years has probably done a lot more harm than I realized. My rib cage area is a lot smaller than I thought. I do have that "hour glass" figure under there. And my legs are freaking strong and buffed out as anything. My shoulders aren't as "broad" as I thought they were, but they are extremely strong as well, I have realized mainly in the past month of working my arms more often. It hasn't taken much working out to get my shoulders more toned and rigid. 

I've learned that you don't have to do strenuous exercise to tone muscle. The first photo is the first day I started focusing on my arms (just a few weeks ago), the second photo is simply of ONE MONTH of arm exercises WITHOUT weights. Just by using my own body weight. While it might not seem like a lot looking at it quickly, my arm pit area is sinking in and getting smaller, and my shoulders are much more streamlined.

And guess what, I didn't kill myself to get that done! I did some push ups a couple times a week. I did some arm lifts in 4 minute intervals. That's it. I promise...that's all I did. 

I've discovered that "working out" is often a term used, but actually doesn't mean what you think it means. Working out can be any activity that you don't do on a regular basis. It doesn't require weights or a gym at all. In fact, I've never, in my entire life, stepped foot in a gym. So I'm not going to start now.

June 2015 vs. February 2016
More than anything else, though, I've learned to love myself. 

I've learned that I don't need validation from anyone.

I've learned that my husband could tell me a million and one times that I'm beautiful, but I still won't believe him if I don't love myself.

I've learned not to listen to people who say "well, you're just posting photos to show off". No, I'm posting photos because it motivates me and holds me accountable. If I hadn't taken photos along the way, I would still think I'm just as fat now as I was then.

I've learned that non-scale victories are more enjoyable than scale victories. In fact, I've learned that—because every single woman's body is different—my weight doesn't really show the real me anyway. Someone that weighs 190 lbs could be skinny as a rail, and someone shorter at 190 lbs could be chubby and miserable. We all have different weights that are better for our body types. There is no universal weight for "skinny".

I've learned that being healthy feels so much better than eating whatever I want. And I've learned to listen to my body when it doesn't like something. I've learned not to over eat, because over eating is the worst feeling in the world.

I've learned that I don't want to be skinny, I want to be strong.

I've learned that it's about being healthy, not about being skinny.

April 2016 -- pre-wedding work out for a wedding I had to photograph the next day.

So what did I accomplish this year?

I lost 15 pounds. Sure, I "only" lost 15 lbs, but you know what the best part is? I lost 15 lbs the first 6 months, and I KEPT IT OFF the next 6 months. And I'm still keeping it off and losing more!

I can fit into skinny jeans again. Like, real skinny jeans. Not the "curvy" skinny jeans. And they are comfortable, and awesome.

I can do push ups. I know it sounds silly, but push ups weren't a thing I could do these past 6 years or so. My, has that changed!

I can do planks, and enjoy them! I love planking. It literally works muscles in your body that you didn't realize you had.

I discovered, and enjoy, calisthenics. I love the idea that you don't have to use unnatural weights to build muscle. It is something I am really enjoying.

Crossfit. I LOVE doing the Crossfit workouts on You Tube. They are hard core, kick your BUTT work outs, but they are so fun and worth it.I have especially enjoyed doing The Fit Law's workout music videos on YouTube.

I have self confidence again. It was hard to gain back, but I've found that girl again.

I don't over eat anymore. Because I realized how miserable I felt when I did. Who wants to walk around with their belly poking out after a meal? Not this girl.

I gained self-control. Listen, don't even try this journey if taking control of your life isn't possible for you. The biggest and most important thing that happened for me was gaining self-control. Without it, you'll fail time and time again.

I realized that I don't need anyone to walk this journey with me. I waited so long for someone to "lose weight with me", that I realized it was simply just one more stupid sucky excuse not to lose weight on my own. Take responsibility for your own life!

I realized that failure is inevitable, but that picking up where you left off is better than starting all over. 

• I learned that taking this thing slow is the best option. Because otherwise, I'd have gained all that weight right back!

I can finally fit into my pants comfortably.

• My booty. Listen, the most hilariously pleasurable thing about this journey is how many times my girl friends randomly text me or comment on my photos and say "look at that booty!". Yes, there's no doubt that my booty has firmed up incredibly. You can't really tell unless I'm in my workout/yoga pants, or certain skinny jeans. But apparently it's my best "ass"et. HA!

Shorts I bought in 2015 that are now a size too big!

What do I want to accomplish in my second year?

More calisthenics and crossfit. As I mentioned before, I want to be strong, not "skinny". The skinny will come with the strength. But my goal for this new weight loss year is to be able to do a hand stand with little to no assistance (the wall).

Lose 15 more pounds. While I know the scale isn't my friend, losing another 15 lbs would be a really big accomplishment for me this year. Ideally, I'd like to be at 160 lbs or less. I currently weigh 194 lbs. If I could lose another 15 lbs this year, that would put me at 179, which is really close to my goal weight!

Build shoulder and arm strength. Bye bye arm wings, is all I have to say.

Add in more cardio. While strength training is awesome, I absolutely suck at cardio sometimes. Not all the time, but sometimes. I could be better, therefore, I'll strive to be better.

Eat cleaner more often. While we eat fairly healthy most days, I certainly have weeks where I load up on crap. I need to eat more seasonally and clean.

What's worked for me?

• As you can go back in read in my 6 month report, the UPmove by Jawbone, which helped me take 10,000 steps each day. I didn't have to do the tread mill or go for walks. I would simply stand in my living room floor, turn on some music, and dance around the room, walk/run in place, or just simply move about. I lost 5 lbs in the first two weeks.

Eating less, and the 10 minute wait. I made myself more aware of how much I was eating. When I could feel my stomach starting to stretch, I'd immediately stop eating. I also learned that you should eat your normal portion (the healthy portion), wait 10 minutes, and if you are still hungry, eat a little more. But normally, after waiting 10 minutes, you realize you aren't hungry at all because your food settles.

Making non-scale goals. It is a necessity. Make goals that aren't on the scale. Like being able to wake up renewed each morning. Sleeping better. Being able to comfortably fit into your pants. Not having a bloated belly. Losing that double chin. There are so many awesome things that force you to "see" and feel the difference, not just the scale.

Don't weigh yourself for the first six weeks. You'll be disappointed if you're anything like me. I gained weight, initially. But then quickly dropped it the second week because my body needed time to sort itself out.

• Never go longer than 2-3 days without exercising.

Understand that it takes 4 weeks before you might actually see changes. Your body needs time to adjust to the new diet and exercise routine. It might take 4 weeks before you actually "lose" any weight. This is where non-scale victories come in handy!

Take progress photos. I'll tell you, these have been the best thing thought it all. Because there have been weeks where I've felt disgustingly fat, and in reality, when compared to the before photo, I was still much skinnier than I used to be. They help motivate and keep you going!

• Most of all, figure out why you're doing this. Because if you aren't doing it for yourself, you'll fail. If you're doing this for your children, you'll fail. If you're doing this for your husband, you'll fail. If you're doing this for anyone and anything other than yourself, you'll fail. I failed constantly because I wanted to "look better for my husband" or "be healthier for my child". I failed. Period. But when I realized that IIII wanted to be healthier and that IIII wanted to look sexy for MYSELF in a little black dress, it made a world of difference. Completely and totally different mind set, and it was liberating.

I'm looking forward to the next 12 months. I'll admit I've gotten a little off track these past 2 months. But sometimes taking a "break" is necessary! I'm back in the game, and I'm ready to get 'er done!