1. I joined a Facebook fitness challenge.
My sister’s friend Michelle started an 8-week fitness challenge group on Facebook based on this one from the Six Sisters blog.
It’s very similar to a diet bet:
-You chip in $20.
-You earn points for healthy behavior (drinking water, exercises, fruits & veggies, etc.).
-After 8 weeks, the person with the highest percentage of weight loss and the one with the most points each win half the prize money (It was $400 per category in our first group).
Who couldn’t use an extra four hundred bucks? Having my sister in the challenge made me feel even more competitive. Game on!
2. I got into a healthy eating routine.
Breakfast options: 2 Activia yogurts, a banana, and water; a fruit smoothie; or cage-free eggs and a whole-wheat or sprouted grain English muffin/toast.
Lunch: I work for a university and thankfully the cafeteria has tons of healthy options. I’d go to the salad or vegan bars (different smoothies and salad concoctions every day!) or the grill. And I always piled on the grilled veggies!
Dinner: lean meat, lots of veggies, whole grains (I’m obsessed with those steamer bags of microwaveable veggies.) And don’t even get me started on the wonders of quinoa!
3. I worked out for 45 minutes, 5x or more a week.
I got really into YouTube workout videos, and my go-to was Dance Fitness with Jessica.
And Gold’s Gym Cardio Cinema motivated me to work out more than anything else. There’s something about having a movie on the big screen that serves as the perfect distraction. I trained with Rocky, escaped dinosaurs with Chris Pratt, won a football championship…you gotta love it!
4. I incorporated exercise into my vacations.
My brother talked me into running a 5k when I was visiting him in SoCal.
He failed to mention that the first mile was UPHILL. Luckily there was a water station at the top of that hill. And then, there were glorious downhill sections!
My friend, Laura, and I also road-tripped to the Grand Canyon and hiked down into it. The livin’ was easy on the way down. But stren-u-ous on the way back up. #WorthIt
I also ran a 6k with my mom and sister in Pennsylvania to raise money for clean water in Africa through World Vision, which was super-motivating. And I love getting a good walk in at whatever zoo I happen to be nearby when I’m traveling.
5. I had someone keeping me accountable (aka kicking my butt as needed).
My sister and I FaceTimed, texted, emailed, or called each other every day. (We got points in the challenge for contact with a teammate.)
Also, people would post yummy recipes they’d tried and liked (hello, chocolate-banana smoothie, I’m looking at you!) or a fun workout to check out online.
6. I told everyone I knew that I was doing it.
It’s kind of hard to stuff your face in front of people if you’ve just told them you’re doing a fitness challenge.
I told my coworkers.
I told my family.
I told my friends.
I told everyone who would listen to me talk about it for 2 minutes. It helped so much!
7. I gave myself breaks.
Helloooo, cheat days! We weighed in on Sunday mornings, so Sunday afternoons and evenings were for DELICIOUS treats.
When you only gets sugary goodness one day a week, you don’t want to waste it on crap. I’m a pretty big fan of Talento’s salted caramel gelato, so that made the list for sure.
And some days, all I could muster the energy for was some low-key yoga, but I still kept the commitment to myself to exercise that day.
8. I read/watched other people’s stories for motivation.
Arielle’s Buzzfeed post was the inspiration for this post! I was incredibly moved by her story and her persistence in getting to her goal.
Weight Loss Stories (@wlstories) on Instagram has tons of before-and-after pics and stories you can relate to.
People Magazine’s articles about people who’ve lost significant amounts of weight are another favorite of mine.
And Lauren of “Lose It Like Lauren” on YouTube shares her story of losing 147 pounds with humor and grace and such realness.
9. I tracked everything I ate and drank (and the amount of time and type of exercise I’d done) on the My Fitness Pal app.
My Fitness Pal has so many food items already in their system that you pretty much just have to do a quick search, click on it, and you’re done. Once you get in the habit, it’s an easy way to keep yourself on track!
10. I changed what I was drinking.
I swapped out skim milk for unsweetened almond milk and water for soda. Having a huge plastic water glass with a straw helped a lot! It’s amazing how much better I felt when I started drinking more water.
I’ve maintained this weight loss for a few months and now I’m challenging myself to get back on the weight-loss train! If you’re just starting out, hang in there! You CAN do this. And if you’re seeing success in your efforts, way to go! It is definitely a process, and I’m so happy to look back on where I’ve come from to where I am today. You can follow along with my weight-loss journey on Instagram at @iruninheelsblog.