(Cue Tony Toni Tone "Anniversary" Instrumental) Do you know what today is?....It's my Fitversery!!!!!
On this very day (12-31-16), I started my journey to a healthier me and oh what a journey it has been. I've set out on this same journey several times before but seems like I could never see it through. I would start and stop, lose weight and gain weight but this time I was desperate for change. I was tired of not being comfortable in my own skin.
The funny thing is that I've never been "small", at my smallest (as an adult before kids) I weighed 200 and was a size 14 but I was a confident size 14, I was even a confident size 16 but when my 16 started to spill over into an 18/20 and the scale was basically at 270, I knew something had to change.
"How did we get here?"....Was a question that I asked myself on several occasions- it would be easy for me to blame it all on having children but honestly, I believe it boils down to lack of self-care, self-control, discipline, and consistency.
Due to my previous failed attempts, I knew that I needed a plan of action. I set a goal to lose 40lbs by December 2017. I created a fitspiration board and hung up a dress that was in my closet for years that I could never fit for motivation. My plan included eliminating all sugary beverages (I'm not a pop drinker but I did drink a lot of juice), refined carbohydrates, and sweets. I set goals to drink a gallon of water per day, exercising three times a week, and to create and follow a vegan meal plan. Everything started off great, my workouts usually alternated between step aerobics and Zumba, I was getting my water in and eating correctly- or so I thought, but by the end of my first month I had only lost 4lbs and 0 inches. I was completely bummed out. Like, I did all this and only lost 4 pounds and 0 inches (lol).
I thought that maybe I would have better weight loss success if I signed up for a personal trainer- so I did. He was brutal but amazing! During my first session, I had to take a physical fitness test, which resulted in him telling me that I needed to increase the intensity of my workouts, increase the number of days that I workout, and add in strength training/ weight lifting.
Everything was going great except we could never agree on a meal plan, he recommended that I give up my vegan diet because it wasn't giving me enough protein which he believed was why my weight loss was slow and my fat loss was absent. He told me that I needed at least 75 grams of protein a day, which I was determined to prove that I could achieve this amount while still consuming a vegan diet- and I did! By making a few changes to my meal plan and adding a few vegan protein shakes and bars, I was able to meet my daily protein amount. At the end of my three-week session, I had lost 7lbs and 2 inches from my waist.
After the time spent with my trainer, although I was seeing results, I could no longer afford him (lol), so I decided to take what I learned and continue on my own. By this point, I was up to working out five to six days a week and had a pretty sound workout routine which included kickboxing, running, step aerobics, spin and weight lifting. With my diet change in combination with my exercise routine, I really started to see the results that I was looking for by this time (April/May) I had lost another 10 additional pounds and 1 more inch from around my waist.
After losing 21lbs, I thought I had it all figured out and that the weight would continue to fall off but it didn't, it was like I hit a brick wall and everything came to a halt. At this point I didn't know what else to do so I went to the doctor just to make sure that it wasn't anything else going on that would hinder my progress. I researched and found Dr. Nori at Beaumont Integrative Medicine, I was intrigued to visit her because she came highly recommended and was an MD! On my first visit, she did blood work and ordered a micronutrient test.
When I came back for my follow-up appointment, almost a month later my results showed that my B and D vitamin levels were low- she recommended supplements, and also recommended that I take flax seed oil and to stop eating after 7 pm. She then went over my micronutrient test and explained how my body did not break down carbs and sugars well and to try to monitor my intake of them. I followed all of Dr. Nori recommendations and over time lost another 9lbs.
A Total of 30lbs!
I still have a ways to go before I reach my overall goal, but I'm taking steps to reach those goals daily; I'm happy to say that comfortable in the skin I'm in again! For me, it's no longer about being a certain size, I just want to be in the best health of my life, wherever that leads me is where I want to be.
What I've learned:
Prayer Works: When I think about it, I pray about everything else that is hard in my life- why not exercise? Praying and asking God for strength and to help me to remain disciplined and consistent; I believe is what made this outcome different from every other time that I started.
Get Your Mind Right: Your body can and will adapt to what your training it to do but the real battle is in your mind- get it right and you can accomplish anything.
Consistency is Key: In all things remain consistent; even when you don't see immediate results. Change starts from the inside out, be patient.
Be Patient: At first, I was somewhat disappointed that I didn't reach my goal of 40lbs, but when I look at my year in review I'm proud of myself! I'm constantly reminding myself that weight loss is a journey and to be patient in the process.
Know Your Body: It's so important to know your body, and what works for you. I'm not sure what all changed after having children, but my body requires intense physical activity and a disciplined diet in order to change- it didn't use to be this hard but it is what it is! Lol!
Do It For YOU: DO it for YOU and no one else, this was a battle of MEvsME!
Set Small Goals: My overall goal is to lose about 80 pounds, but if I break that up into weekly/monthly/yearly goals it's not as overwhelming and seems much more attainable.
Running Will Change Your ENTIRE Life: Omgoodness! I've never been a runner and never had a desire to run but when I say it has changed my ENTIRE outlook on life- it has! Just start, start right from where you are now, and watch how far your body can go.
This year I've ran 86 miles total
Completed 4 5k and 1 5k + 1 mile races
Lift HEAVY: Don't be afraid to lift heavy, your strength will build over time. I started out this year using 8lb weights, I'm using 15lb weights now and will continue to increase
Workout Even When You Don't Feel Like It: Never go by how you feel (unless you have an injury lol) if you do you'll never work out. Just do it, don't even think about it. I've never regretted a work out afterward, but I've regretted every workout that I didn't do.
Look Back At Your Progress: It's so easy to look at what you haven't done or look at the goals that you haven't reached- yet, but always take a second to see how far you've come.
- I couldn't run 4 minutes, now I'm up to 4 miles
- I couldn't do a plank to save my life, now I do several different versions of planks
- I'm up to 15 pushups
- I've increased my weights
- I can successfully complete a Coach Kiwi Kickboxing class (lol)
You can follow me on my fitness journey @Brand_New_Mee on Instagram 😁