Confessions of a Fitness Junkie

How did you do it?

Posted on: July 19, 2011

Two things inspired this post today…the first was the posting of the link to this article, courtesy of Urban Active and Yahoo! Health: 20 Habits that make you fat 
The second was a Facebook post by fitness smarty Jessica Smith: “Frightened and incredibly saddened over the amount of pro-eating disorders and dangerous diet blogs/social media out there… wish there was a way to help these girls!”

If you’ve read my About Me page, then you already know a bit about my exercise and weight loss “journey.” I loosely call it a “journey,” because I don’t feel like I’ve made so much progress as to qualify it as such. My weight loss/body fat percentage loss/inches lost numbers aren’t the most astounding in the world. (I think my hubby’s accomplishments – at 50 pounds lost now! – are much more impressive.) Adding more exercise to my life and decreasing my fast food intake hasn’t felt like that huge of a sacrifice.  (I guess I’m one of those crazy people that actually likes to go to the gym, so I don’t see it as much of a “sacrifice.”)

Yet, if you look at any pictures of me from this time last year, you can see a difference. So, I guess that’s what has prompted the multitude of “How did you do it?” and “Are you doing ok?” questions.

My answer to the second question is easy. Yes, I’m doing great. (I’m totally healthy – my husband and I decided last year to get healthier, at which point we started working with a personal trainer who has really helped to shape our eating and exercise habits. I promise I’m doing this the healthy way.)

The answer to the first question is a little more complex. It’s really hard to pinpoint exactly how we’ve done it. I’m sure it’s a combination of everything my husband and I have been doing that has added up to our success. We’ve been working out 5, sometimes 6, times a week, doing a combination of weight training and cardio, about an hour each session. For me, my time in the gym equals out to about 45% weight training and 55% cardio. (Though, I really think the weight training was the big catalyst for all of my “losses.”)

As for diet, one of the biggest changes for me at first was eating smaller amounts more frequently throughout the day, and of course, not eating fast food nearly as often. It’s only been within the past couple of months, as I’ve gotten closer to the goals I’ve set with my trainer, that I’ve started counting my calories. Since I’m pretty much in “maintenance mode” at this point, I really want to make certain I don’t undo anything I’ve done! MyFitnessPal is an amazing tool for watching what you eat. I love that it also breaks your diet down into protein/carbs/fat consumed. Great for those of us not just looking to lost weight, but to be healthier all-around!

But, it would take me forever to list out everything I do, everything I’ve changed. The article above from Urban Active and Yahoo! Health is a great in-a-nutshell read, and many of the things they’ve listed are changes my hubby and I have made in our lives! Most notably:

#1 – Getting out of the low-fat/no-fat habit (I’m doing pretty good on this one, except for salad dressing and ice cream!)
#2 – Not getting nutrition advice before – The trainer was GREAT for this. I hope I can help to spread my new-found knowledge!
#6 – Skipping meals – it sounds counter intuitive, but this really is so bad!
#13 – No more white bread – we haven’t completely cut this out of our diets, but we have greatly decreased our consumption of it.
#15 – Drink more water – ’nuff said!

There’s something to be said for taking the weight loss “journey” slowly and healthily. You do it the right way, and you will have a greater chance of keeping it off – because you’re changing old, bad habits and making new, good ones part of your regular lifestyle!

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1 Response to "How did you do it?"

Mindy – thanks for this inspiring and informative post! Your journey sounds a lot like my own was/still is – slow, steady but manageable, realistic, and above all healthy! Congrats to you and your husband for making lifestyle changes – and not just doing another ‘diet’ 😉

Thanks for being a healthy role model and inspiration for all. My only hope is that those girls (or anyone) struggling out there can find a more positive and healthy body image and start celebrating their health through a balanced, nutritious way of eating and enjoying movement – instead of seeking ways to destroy it in the name of being thin…

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