I have never shared my fitness journey on my blog before. If I am being honest, I wasn’t 100% sure that I could do it. I also never liked photos of me, so posting monthly pictures of my progress was my worst nightmare. I am really proud of my progress because I made a lifestyle change. I didn’t do one of those crazy diets or use weight-loss pills. I simply changed my diet, went to the gym more and most importantly, was consistent. I definitely didn’t see results right away—it took a few months—but once my clothes starting fitting better, I wanted to keep going.
I’ll never forget the moment I wanted to change my lifestyle. It was the end of August and I was heading into Old Navy to buy jeans for the new school year. I picked up a couple different sizes, a 6 and an 8. I have always fluctuated between those two sizes since I was in high school so I figured I would have luck with one of them. When neither of those fit, I became devastated. I actually just sat on the bench in the dressing room and watched myself cry in the mirror. I know, so lame, but I needed a wakeup call, badly.
It has taken me three years to go from a size 10 in women’s pants to a size 4. Last weekend I was wearing jean shorts in a size 2 so I have made even more progress this summer than I was anticipating! Notice how I am not telling you how much I weigh? I never once got on the scale. Reason being is because I started lifting. I wanted to gain muscle so that I burned more calories and toned up. You can’t just do cardio. Cardio was great in the beginning stages of my fitness journey, but once I got to a size 6, I realized I needed to step it up by lifting weights.
I also learned very quickly that I needed to change my eating habits. First thing I did was eliminate snacking before bed. This was the hardest thing I had to do. I loved having a little late snack while I watched a show before bed. You don’t burn off those calories because you're not active at the end of the day like you are at the beginning, so the carbs and/or sugar just sit there all night long.
Then I started limiting foods. Yes, limiting not eliminating. I would have carbs (pasta, bread, bagels ugh!) and cheese maybe twice a week. It was the worst, but also the best. Those foods were going straight to my hips and I noticed a huge difference when I cut my intake. Then I replaced unhealthy snacks (chips, Cheez-Its, cookies) with healthier options like fruits, hummus with rice crackers, and my guilty pleasure, a pudding pack (60 calories) with a bit of whipped cream. You have to give yourself something to look forward to or you’ll go crazy!
I also started buying items that were organic and contained ingredients that I actually understood. Look at the ingredients on the back of some of your favorite items. If you don’t know what half those ingredients are, then most likely it’s not good for you. What you put in your body is so important!
One thing to always remember is never ever give up something you love completely. It is impossible to give up candy or ice cream forever, especially if it is one of your favorite guilty pleasures. Give into your temptations sometimes, just limit yourself. Instead of getting a large ice cream, order a small. Instead of 4 cookies, only eat 2. If you just start eating fruits and vegetables and give up everything that’s bad for you, I guarantee you will slip into bad habits again. Being disciplined and consistent are the two keys to becoming healthy and staying fit. I’m not a nutritionist or a personal trainer but I am very proud that I managed to get down to a size 4 (sometimes a 2) all by myself.
I have definitely babbled on much more than I anticipated but I hope my story inspires you to get fit. Not only will you look better, but you will feel good, your skin will be clearer and you'll have more energy! I promise I will stop rambling on and get to the part of the blog post that you actually came here for.
You can read the rest of my post over on my blog at www.nicolesnotes.com.