March 2017 March 2018
Okay, I lost 30 pounds in a year. You might be thinking that is a long time to lost just 30 pounds, there are stories everywhere of people who lost that much weight in a matter of weeks. That is super great for them. But for me, and for many others, losing weight slowly means keeping the weight off for good. I also didn’t feel like spending forever at the gym or following any specific diets. I wanted to make realistic, and life long changes that would keep me healthy. So here are some of the things I did to make and implement those changes!
1. Less Meat, More Vegetables
At this time in my life I already ate fairly healthy, but I wanted to make more conscious decisions about what I was eating and where the food was coming from. I found a local place to get all of my vegetables and started finding recipes that were more plant based. Slowly, I went from buying a few vegetables to buying primarily vegetables. I also started to buy less meat, which was great for my budget. Before changing, I had been afraid that eating healthier would be more expensive, but I found the opposite to be true. I buy ingredients to make meals over a two week period and that ends up being less expensive than cheap, processed foods.
2. I Tried a Variety of Food
I tried to buy a new vegetable or fruit that I had little to no experience with every time I went grocery shopping. I also started to run out of healthy meal ideas real fast. So, I took to pinterest and started cooking a lot of foreign recipes. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring! Every week I make more foods I haven’t tried, than foods I have. My favorite is Indian food! I love the spices and the textures.There is so much variety to be had with healthy food, no need to stick to same old chicken and vegetables. (More on healthy eating here)
3. I Tried New Physical Activities
I had tried going to the gym on and off ever since I graduated high school. It sucked, I hated it, I didn’t really know what I was doing and I was very self conscious. So I started to join different classes to find things that I did like. I already had a home yoga practice but I took a yoga foundations class to get better at it, I took a rock climbing class, pilates class, zumba, self defense, and a number of exercise classes. (Not all at once, this is over the course of several months). Classes can be found at universities, within the community, at the gym, and basically anywhere you look! I grew my understanding of exercise, the body, and my own self efficacy. I started going to the gym again but this time I was able to create plans, make goals, implement changes and enjoy all of it.
4. I Made Goals and then I Remade Goals
Goal setting is a learning process and it is so much more than just writing the goal down. (Although that is certainly a great start). I would make goals and try to follow them for a few weeks and then end up having to reevaluate and change the goals slightly or sometimes completely. Life happens. School happens, moves are made, jobs change, and we change. At first it was very frustrating for me, I felt like I needed to do everything perfectly if I wanted to reach my goals but it isn’t all or nothing. Life is about learning, growing, and adapting. I also did not make all of these changes in my life at once. They happened over the course of months. I changed slowly and by doing so I have made more lasting differences and stronger habits.
Keep In Mind
The difference between these two photos is 30 pounds, but that is the only difference. I also wanted to show what is the same, which is that I am happy. Don’t get me wrong, it feels great to have that weight off. I feel more confidant and I can wear all my old clothes. I love all things health, but being happy is the best thing you can do for yourself. It can be all too easy to get lost in the physical parts of health, of which I am completely guilty. Don’t get so lost that you forget to enjoy the process and rock your body at every size!
Be kind to yourself! Enjoy life!
“I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.” – Audrey Hepburn (My idol)
Let me see your before and after photos in the comments!