One Year. Two Words. One Year, Three Hundred Sixty Five Days. One Year, out of (almost) Thirty-Five Years. It kind of seems pretty insignificant, right? But, in many ways, I think it was my best year and one of my most accomplished years yet? I don’t know? It’s hard to reflect back considering today is my anniversary and this is an ongoing lifestyle change for me. It was one year ago today I committed to a healthier lifestyle. I set out on April 1, 2013 to lose weight. I was sick of myself and the way I felt and looked. I decided to start moving beyond my regular spin class, cycling, walking, etc. routine that I did. I decided to start counting the calories I was putting in my body and taking stock of what I was eating. I wasn’t at a healthy weight and I certainly was NOT losing any weight. I knew I had to make changes.
Yes, embarrassing. Left is summer 2012, right is Feb. 2014.
It was very hard to get started. And honestly, I feel like I am constantly learning new things and still trying to figure everything out. I mess up, I feel like a failure, I have “fat” days, I get down on myself. Obviously, I’m not perfect. BUT, I certainly feel (mentally and physically) so much better than I did in early 2013. My weight loss efforts have been refocused into fitness efforts and a healthy lifestyle. I’m sure this post will be wordy, but I really want to reflect on the past year the best I can.
I can’t recall the date of the before on these photos but it was into my weight loss efforts. The afters were last week.
Christmas 2012 and Christmas 2013
Some Tips to Get Started on Weight Loss
- Don’t negotiate – schedule your workout and meal planning/prep into your calendar. Treat it like an appointment.
- Take pictures – obviously you can see I am a fan of the selfie. If the scale isn’t moving, it is so motivating to look back where you started. I have hardly any photos of my start time and I regret that now.
- My FitnessPal or LoseIt app – use one of these, or a similar app to track your food and physical activity.
- Tell your loved ones – my husband has been my #1 supporter. If they know you are on a mission, they will cheer you on.
- Find rewards for milestones – if you reach a weight loss or fitness goal reward yourself. Probably NOT with food, but new workout clothes or a mini trip somewhere.
- Join a gym or group – I’ll touch on this later but these people will support and encourage you. They are fighting the same fight you are.
- Get rid of old clothes – throw out, donate or sell your old clothes once they fit you. You aren’t going to need them again. Why have them sitting around, just in case you fail? You aren’t, give them to someone who can use them.
I sold a bunch of my clothes online. I loved them and it was kind of hard to part with them. But I’m not going back. I don’t need them anymore!
- Use a heart rate monitor – I am obsessed with my Polar HRM. I use it for every single workout I do. I track my workouts and I love seeing the numbers. Kind of weird. But, this tool will measure your heartbeat and how hard you are working. It also measures your calories burned. I have heard they aren’t 100% accurate, but it is a tool for you to use. Currently I use the Polar FT7 but there are fancier and less fancy versions out there. Mine was about $70 on Amazon. They are more expensive at Scheels.
- Doctor – visit with your doctor about getting started on exercise. I know as an overweight person, one of the last things I wanted to do was go to the doc and get on a scale. No thanks! But obviously, they want the best for you. Ask what you can do.
- Commit to your exercise – challenge yourself to change yourself. I don’t care if it walking or CrossFit or whatever. But do it! It drives me insane when I see people at the gym who are not putting in an effort or just visiting. You are there to work, so work. Visit afterwards.
- Just move – go for a walk. Stand up more. Start little and build from there.
Losing weight is obviously a physical battle, but it is also very much a mental one. Sometimes I see photos of myself and I don’t recognize myself right away. I sometimes feel I am in my old body still. I find it curious that I take up a much smaller space in the seat of my vehicle or my work chair. Some of these differences just seem to appear overnight while I know it is because of efforts over a year’s time. I KNOW I am a different person but my mind plays tricks on me for sure. This is still a daily struggle for me. I am better about exercise – that comes easier to me. I love to sweat and I love the endorphins and the feeling afterwards. I struggle with my food and that whole mentality. I am not the type of person to have a cookie or two and walk away. Just a handful of chips?! I don’t know how my husband can do that. I really hope this gets better with time and my self-control kicks in a little bit. But for now, it is easier for me to not keep those things in the house. That is tough as you know from this blog, I love to bake. I don’t want to be like that, but I am. I still struggle with overeating and undereating. I’m definitely not “normal”. I am a work in progress, no doubt.
Left is January 2013 in Vegas, right is January 2014
Also, I am truly terrified of gaining the weight back. You’ve seen it countless times. Both on myself and other people. Sometimes I think I am a bit obsessive about it and I get really grumpy if I have to miss a workout. I need to get better about this and let myself live.
Left is March 2013, right is March 2014
I am extremely proud of myself and I realize this whole post probably sounds like a huge brag. I guess it kind of is? It took me a lot of sweat and tears to get here and I hope I can continue. I do want to share the one negative aspect from the past year is that not everyone will always support you. I have had people question me – how much do I work out, how much do I weigh (do you REALLY think I am going to tell you that?), when will I be “done”, etc. Done with what? Being healthy? Exercising? Certainly no one spoke up when I was piling the pounds on my ass, so it really stuns me that people question my healthy habits. Otherwise, things have been great and I am happier than I have been in a long time. Since college, maybe? I feel extremely relaxed, I sleep well, I don’t worry as much and I feel confident. I am about the size I was in high school and I never thought it was possible so I look forward to continue challenging myself and see what else I am capable of in the next year.
Some people have really helped me along the way.
Beulah Fit Club – this is the gym I attend in the winter. It is in Beulah, 10 miles from Hazen. I consider myself to be a shy person (at first) and the first class I went to here, I felt at home. When Mark & I moved to Hazen, we knew NO ONE here. My parents are 40 miles away but we knew no people and I can assure you it is very hard to make friends as a childless thirty something old female in a small town. I still don’t really have a lot of friends and definitely not any like my Fargo friends. But I really feel “at home” when I go to the Fit Club. I certainly don’t know any of my fellow gym goers personal information, but they ask where I’ve been if I have been gone and they are all there to also get fit. I truly feel like working out is my hobby and my me time and it makes me happy. My husband hunts or goes to his buddies places, etc. I have my fitness time. My spin instructor, Bridgette, is amazing. She is always pushing us and giving us motivational thoughts. I just love her and her enthusiasm. She is a very special person. My Insanity teacher, Chandra, is also great. Insanity is new to me and she is a great instructor and has done a great job of showing me the ropes.
I am with Bridgette on the left at the Fit Club; Christmas 2012. This picture made me ill and was a motivator for making change. On the right was yesterday working out at my work’s gym.
Above is our group of spinners at Halloween. They are a fun time!
Mark – better known as Mr. FeistyEats. He isn’t a fan of social media or being online so I will keep it short. He is my #1 supporter (my sister is right behind him) and he will never know how much it means to me because I am not much of a talker and have a hard time explaining my feelings. He is just the best for me.
For anyone embarking on a weight-loss journey or get healthy journey I have one final, helpful tip. Don’t cut anything out of your diet. I think it is hard to just be one day: no sugar, no flour, no pop, no fried foods, etc. This really sets you up for failure as it is overwhelming, drastic and generally not feasible. Slowly make changes. Cut back on soda, limit desserts, etc. I think at first I focused more on processed foods/snacks since I would know the calorie range and now I’m more focused on whole foods. Do what is right for you. And do the best you can do. I never thought I could lose 65-70 pounds! Focus on a few pounds at a time or a few changes at a time. It becomes your lifestyle and I promise you do begin to crave healthier foods and exercising because you feel so much better. I’m not saying it is so easy and you won’t be discouraged or scared – but remember, it is for your lifestyle and your mental and physical happiness. You are worth it and you deserve it! I love life so much these days!
March 2013 on the left and March 2014 on the right.
Some more recent pics of me. In the Old Navy dressing room on the left (ha), Pink concert in the middle and St. Patty’s Day 5k on the right with my lovely dog, Winston.
Getting ready for the gym, March 2014.
A pic of myself in some “normal” clothes this past weekend.
Goals for the upcoming year: continue living my healthier lifestyle and get new undergarments. My boobs seriously shrank and I need someone to measure me professionally.
Had to leave you on a light note!