That thought has me reflecting a little. I have been on my fitness journey for about 4 years now. I am NOT at my goals. You may be wondering WHY I haven't been able to reach my goal weight in 4 years. Well, first off, It took me over 10 years to pack on the pounds. I am fully prepared to take the time to lose the weight the correct way, and in a way that I can KEEP IT OFF. The truth is that I did reach my original goal weight. Last year when I FINALLY hit (and dropped below) 150 pounds, I reached a milestone goal for myself. However, by that point in my journey, I had reevaluated my goals and set my goal weight LOWER. Over the last year, I have been struggling with some health issues, and my weight is creeping back up. More importantly than the number on the scale, I am just proud to say that I have stuck with the consistent, healthy behaviors that I have developed. Which means that WHEN I do eventually hit my goal weight, I will be able to EASILY maintain it (barring health complications) because my habits will not change drastically just because I have reached a goal. I am so proud to have FINALLY gotten over the mentality that you NEED to diet to lose weight, and when the goal is reached, you can STOP dieting. SO NOT TRUE!!!! Well, somewhat true. Of course, you can lose weight when you "diet". However, if you don't completely CHANGE your habits, your weight will just pack itself back on. A few permanent changes that I have made in my lifestyle include:
- NO MORE SODA. On very RARE occasion, I will have a glass or can. I used to be a can a day soda drinker (sometimes more). I couldn't go a DAY without my soda, especially since I had AWFUL caffeine withdrawal. How did I do it? I made myself switch to coffee. I am still getting my caffeine, but with far fewer calories....even when I add a bit of creamer to my coffee.
- I can TURN DOWN sweets. I have finally beat the idea into my head that I do NOT NEED to have dessert. I can go to parties and events and turn down the sweets. It is rare for me to have cookies, donuts, and even birthday cake. I may try a small bite, but most times, I will decline altogether. The biggest point I want to make about this change is that I DO NOT FEEL DEPRIVED when I turn down sweets. I will admit, turning down brownies is still a challenge for me.
- Reduced breads. I don't say reduced carbs because I have learned that low carb eating does NOT work well with my metabolism. I have also learned that the yeast in breads does not make my digestive system happy. Therefore, I try not to reach for breads. The reality is that I DON'T MISS IT.
- I avoid alcohol. I enjoy a good glass of wine as much as the next person, but I don't feel the NEED to have a drink. Last year, my husband, Jeff, and I made a decision to cut back on any alcohol consumption. Occasionally, we will crack open a bottle of wine, or he may have a beer (I don't drink beer), but overall, we just don't drink. I can probably count on one hand how many alcoholic beverages I have had in the past year.
- I exercise regularly. Most weeks, I get in 5-6 workouts a week. Some weeks, I may only fit in 2-3. However, the key is that I am consistent, and I NEVER give it up completely. My body actually craves the movement. Even when I am not feeling like a heavy duty cardio workout, I still feel like I need to do SOMETHING. I will usually pop in a quick ab workout DVD, or a short PiYo or yoga workout. I always feel better when I finish!
- I am NO LONGER a VICTIM. I know that is an odd thing to consider when it comes to health and fitness, but this is actually a HUGE deal. I do NOT blame others for my food/exercise choices. I do not blame genetics on my weight and ability to lose it. I do believe that factors in my genetics can make it more complicated, but NOT impossible. I do NOT let others guilt me into a cheat or treat, that I do not really want anyway. I don't make excuses for my fitness. When I decide to cheat or skip a workout, I own up to it. Time is an issue for fitting in a workout on some days, but I also know that MOST of the time, I could still manage to fit in that workout if I REALLY wanted to.
- I have a positive outlook. Since I have become a fitness coach, I have surrounded myself with such positive, like minded people that my confidence has skyrocketed! I am not afraid to talk about my journey and my experiences with my weight and health. Personally, I don't believe that there is any excuse that can not be overcome, if a person really wants to live a healthier lifestyle. The ONLY excuse that will stop you, is simply NOT WANTING to.
Since I am not impressing you with my next set of progress pics today ;), I am going to leave you with some simple weighted ab exercises you can try at home. Don't forget to always engage your abs when you do ab exercises - that means suck your belly button in and up (toward your spine and heart). Keep a tennis ball gap between your chin and chest. Did you know I have a youtube channel where I post exercise ideas? Check it out https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBViuTnGxmpGu-ZvZ6ej4Zg/feed