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This first week has been quite the journey already and we are starting week 2.
Honestly, I think the first week of any "diet" is the easiest AND the hardest.
I had to do a lot of adjusting and learning. A lot of people set a plan and think if they stick to it from day 1, they'll get results within the first few weeks. This is true, but the reality is...this is a hard goal. I made plans and had the motivation, but life happens, and you realize going on a strict new plan requires time and preparation.
I experienced several challenges:
1. Adjusting to a New Meal Plan
Not going to lie, my diet s u c k e d up till now. Even after week 1, I think it still sucks. I don't eat well, and I don't eat often. I eat around 1000–1300 calories, which sounds really little and I should lose weight from that. However, these calories come from absolute crap. I also have slight hypothyroidism and my metabolism is just terrible. I also have a history of eating disorders in my past, which ruined the way my body responds to food.
Before continuing I want to share a visual example of how food affects my body:
A 1 year difference
Picture 1: I was in a bad place, and I relapsed into dangerous eating habits. I decided to shed pounds and I did so through constant cardio and minimal food intake. The jeans I'm seen trying to squeeze into is size 0. The "before" and "after" were taken one month apart. I looked like I was getting fit and healthy, but the following pictures will show why you need to fuel yourself properly to maintain a healthy weight loss.
Picture 2: I was exercising still, but I started eating "normally" (1500–1600 daily caloric intake). My body responded by retaining anything and everything. I fueled my body with crap again and despite my efforts to work out consistently, it was just not happy with me and the pounds starting packing on.
Picture 3: I found out May '17 that I had hypothyroidism. Discouraged by the way my body felt, I stopped working out for about four months. Within that time frame I gained 15 lbs. Even worse, I lost muscle mass like no other. A 5 lbs dumbbell felt heavy, and my stamina was horrible. My metabolism was even slower and my body fat went from 25% to 32%. For the first time in my life, I was recommended by doctors to lose at least 15% of my body weight (21 lbs).
Why did I show you these three pictures? To share what I personally learned.
1. Starving yourself ruins you, and it's hard to be "normal" because it'll be a huge mental and physical battle once you're on that road. If you are a reader contemplating starving yourself for those couple pounds to melt off quickly...please don't. It's not worth it.
2. Your mindset is most important when losing weight. I thought I had no chance of being "slim" when I heard I had a slower metabolism due to hypothyroidism. This is not the case. Whether you have mild or extreme hypothyroidism, or you have a slow or fast metabolism, your mindset is what will determine your results. Effort will never fail. Invest in yourself and love your body even if there's little hiccups. Not doing anything will only lead to the condition getting worse.
Okay, let's get back to the main topic of this post.
[Challenges from week 1 resumed]
2. Knowing What Kind of Workout I Need
I am lucky to have an amazing trainer who is working with me to create a training program tailored to my needs. However, if you don't have a trainer, don't feel discouraged! I learned while working with Josh, my trainer, that you just really need to do a lot of trial and error to see what your body responds to. For me, I need a good mix of weights and cardio. I need to do a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio 3–4x a week to shed fat. Any less and my progress becomes stagnant.
When figuring out your workout program determine what you need.
If you lose weight easily, you might need to focus on weight training to make sure you're not losing muscle.
If losing weight is hard for you, no matter how much weight training you do, you might need to up your cardio to burn the fat.
Be patient with your body and listen to it. Love it. Don't despise it and you will slowly find that "sweet spot" workout regime.
3. Being Discouraged by the Numbers
I'll be honest. I actually hit 132.9 lbs at one point last week. The only reason I set this week's progress to a 5 lbs loss is because that number never showed up again. I figured that 132.9 popped up only because I had one nice trip to the bathroom. My true weight loss stayed consistent around 135 lbs.
However, seeing that 132.9 made me so happy and seeing 135 the next day made me so sad. I started to ask myself "why?" Realistically, there's no way I gained 2 lbs of body fat overnight. I realized I am still at times sensitive to the numbers. This is what triggered my eating disorders.
In order to keep my mind healthy and on track, I started taking pictures. You see your body every day and you don't see a change because you're used to how it looks on a daily basis. However, when you take pictures and compare even just a weeks worth of progress, you can definitely see the difference. The picture on the way top is my 140 – 135 one week progress picture. You can clearly see that I definitely lost around my waist and arms.
Okay, now is the time to share my current body stats:
Height: 5 ft 0.5 inches/153cm (proud of that 0.5 inch)
Weight: 140 lbs (BMI 26.9 – classified as overweight)
Body Fat Percentage: 32%
Waist: 30 in / Hip: 38 in / Thigh: 22.5 in / Calves: 14 in / Arms: 11 in
(Respective: 76.2cm / 96.54 cm / 57.15 cm / 35.56 cm / 27.94cm)
Height: 5 ft 0.5 inches/153cm (still proud of that 0.5 inch)
Weight: 135 lbs (BMI 25.9 – classified as overweight)
Body Fat Percentage: 30%
Waist: 28 in / Hip: 37 in / Thigh: 22 in / Calves: 13.6 in / Arms: 10.75 in
(Respective: 71.12cm / 93.98 cm / 55.88 cm / 35 cm / 27.3cm)
Week 1 – Week 2 Summary
Weight: -5 lbs
Body Fat: - 2%
Waist: -2 inches
Hip: -1 inch
Thigh: -0.5 inch
Calves: -0.4 inch
Arms: -0.25 inch
How is your fitness journey going? Stay positive, and let's keep running this race together!