January 31, 2017

The Secret to My Weight Loss Success

People often ask me what my secret to my extreme weight loss. No, it's not surgery. Really, the secret to losing weight (so far, 172 lbs.) is pretty simple. There are many little things I've done, but a few big, base things are the "rules" I stick to. (I've shared 7 easy tips to losing weight and 7 more easy tips for weight loss previously, if you're interested.) I've hit a plateau since early January and have been feeling really down and discouraged about losing the weight. I'm SO CLOSE to my (new) final goal and working SO HARD at it, yet the scale isn't budging. Despite that, I'm sticking to the rules and I'm determined to kick this fat far away, and to keep it off (the next hurdle after reaching my goal, which brings plenty of anxiety, believe me).

Remember to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more frequent updates, before and after pics and a closer look into my weight loss.

1. No excuses
Start now, stick to it and if you fall off the wagon, get right back on, immediately. Not tomorrow, not next week, not after that upcoming event...Now. No excuses about not having time, there being a party/birthday/holiday either. If it's what you really want, you'll make the time. Yes, it is hard. Very hard. Very, very hard. Do it anyway!

2. Don't do anything you can't do for life
If you're not going to be able to never eat carbs or sugar again, don't cut them. If you're not  going to drink a special shake every day for the rest of your life, don't rely on that. If you're not going to count every single carb/protein/etc. for life, don't start. If you do, once you hit your goal and go back to normal, you'll gain the weight right back.

3. It has to be a total lifestyle change
See #2. You're changing your life, for life. You're resetting how you think about and eat food, from how much to what. You're trading in old, bad habit for new, healthy ones. Since it's a lifestyle change, it won't be fast, either. Slow and steady has the best chance of working long term.

4. No gimmicks, fads, quick fixes, etc.
Maybe it's not popular to say, but I am totally against any of the shakes, wraps, meal systems, etc., you see all over the place. They go against the whole lifestyle change and doing it for life belief that really is the core to losing weight. They're also crutches. If you are really serious about losing the weight and keeping it off for life, walk away from all that stuff. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.

5. Count calories
Either in a notebook or an app. I use both. Calorie counting is super important. This is one thing that you're going to have to do for life and stick to or the weight is liable to creep  back in.

6. Weigh and measure all food
That helps you get the correct calorie count and resets your brain to what a true portion is. This is the second thing you're going to have to do for life, and keep up, to keep the weight off.

7. Find good support
The person who will listen to you when you're defeated and need help to stay on track, when you need to vent, when you are reaching your goals -- find the person who will help you and be there through it all and don't let them go. They're vital to your success.

8. Lose for you
You can have tons of reasons to lose, but the heart of it has to be that it is for you. It's a big commitment. It's hard. It is not  fun. You have to WANT it, deep down, and be willing to fight for it.

9. Set attainable goals
I have my big, wonderful, final goal of course, but set smaller ones along the way. Five pounds, ten pounds, etc. For big ones, I gave myself a reward, too. Such as getting new clothes (I didn't get new ones at every single size). Pick whatever works for you and will keep you going.

10. Set a calorie range and stick to it
This has helped me so much. I know I have to stay in that range, so if my options are each one cookie that is going to leave me feeling hungry or something healthy that won't have me wanting to reach for food when I'm already at my limit, I'm more likely to go for something healthy. It's helped me to learn to balance healthy vs unhealthy food, so that while there isn't anything I won't EVER eat, I eat certain food less often and in smaller amounts.

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January 10, 2017

Extreme Weight Loss Update

If you've been following the blog, you know about my natural extreme weight loss. So far, I'm down over 50% of my original total body weight. To be exact, 169lbs. Since last year at this time, 85lbs. I'm ONE measly pound from my original goal and a normal BMI classification! After I hit that, I'm planning to lose another 5 to 10 pounds to account for any fluctuation that happens. Seriously, I can easily gain 2lbs. in one day just by eating too much salt. So, I need that cushion so I'm not always feeling I need to be losing and can instead focus on maintaining within a 5lb. range.

For the first time ever, I didn't gain over the holidays. In fact, I lost a couple pounds. Not much, but since I usually gain at least 10, that's pretty huge for me. I also finally got my wedding rings resized. They were literally falling off even my middle finger. No wonder, I went from a 7.5 to a 5.5 (sized to a 5 3/4 to account for summer swelling and bloat). When I got the rings back, I honestly thought the jeweler had messed up. Big time. I pulled the rings out and they looked so small I didn't think they'd ever fit. Surprise, they did!

Another surprise is my size 12 jeans starting to fall down. For the heck of it, I tried on some size 10 pants and jeans at the store. They fit!! I have never before fit a size 10. I skipped right to misses sizes, no juniors, and even at my lowest weight only fit a 14. I never expected to fit a 10. If I had skin removal surgery (my new parlor trick is being able to fold my arms in half and I can almost fold my legs in half) I'm sure I'd fit at least an 8. I was also shocked to find I fit in a medium shirt now. With skin removal, that'd probably mean a small. Skin removal surgery isn't going to happen, though, so I'll take my medium and 10. Both are far from the has-to-run-big 3x and at least 30/32 (I outgrew the 28s and never tried larger) that I used to wear.

It's also fun to shop the juniors section, even though I'm a L or XL there. I never got to shop that department before. For some reason, the juniors sections seem to have the most and the best leggings for the cheapest. I'm wearing those now, too. Another thing I would never have dreamed of doing before because I always felt like a sausage cramming into clothes and never, ever wore ANYTHING form fitting.

Being so close to my goal, I'm buckling down. Upping my exercise, planning out meals the day before, counting calories carefully -- the works. I'm determined to hit my goal. Even more so, I'm determined to beat the odds and keep the weight off. I don't want to go back to the person who had health issues, couldn't fit in clothes, couldn't keep up with the kids, couldn't fit in so many things, couldn't move comfortably, couldn't breathe as easily -- so many couldn'ts! I want to stick with the CANs from now on.

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January 6, 2017

Transitioning from SAHM to WAHM

I haven't been posting as much the past few months because life has had a big change: My stay-at-home life isn't only as a mom anymore, I'm also a work-at-home mom. I started a job in September working from home part time. It's been quite a change to combine being a SAHM and a WAHM, along with keeping up with all my household management duties, being a wife and being myself. A big part of the "me" side right now is my weight loss. (Happily, even with this life change and the crazy holidays, I've kept up the weight loss.) To add to it, we spent a week visiting family out of state for Thanksgiving, had the kids' birthdays, mine is coming up, Christmas craziness and family visiting from out of town. Crazy chaos!

Adding being a WAHM to the mix, which I do while taking care of the kids -- no babysitter or nannies -- has left me trying to find a new balance with all the all aspects of my life. I'm still trying to find a balance. It seems to be a week-by-week thing, which calls for plenty of organization and planning.

That's meant I've had much less time for blogging, since this is more of a side project for me now. It's much easier for me to post on Instagram and Facebook, so be sure to keep up with me there! I'll still be blogging, just not as often. Posts likely won't be as long and I'll be writing when I truly feel moved to write, instead of the "I must post X number of times a week to keep up with the blog" I had to do when this was my source of income. That also means better content for you, since I won't be feeling forced to come up with something, ANYTHING, to write about rather than letting creativity take over. Speaking of sources of income, for now I've ended sponsored posts and advertising.

To be honest, having a steady job that pays regularly is a better use of my time. I was getting burnt out with how much time I was having to put into making a small amount of money. Really, it equated to $1 an hour, before taxes. I was putting so much into blogging with little return and the only way to grow and make more money would have been to put MORE time into it. The job offer came at just the right time and has been an amazing opportunity.

I get to work entirely from home, working hours I'm available. Even better, I'm working as an admin assistant for the COO of the company, who also happens to be my best friend of over 20 years. The owner if the company (his  boss) is awesome as well. It's a team of dedicated, smart, creative, truly amazing people. I'm excited to grow with the company, I seriously can't tell you how lucky I am to have gotten this job! I won't be going into more detail here about what I do or the company for the sake of confidentiality.

Next up, I'm working on an update post about my extreme weight loss, so keep checking back so you don't miss it!

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