Losing weight can feel like this ominous thing, amIright?
Should I really stay away from all desserts?
Do I need to join a weight-loss or food club of sorts?
How much exercise does one actually need to do to make it happen?
No? Just me? You got me. I’m the total let’s-do-things-the-easiest-way-possible girl.
But even the least resistance possible girl can make a change.
11 pounds and over 10 inches down.
Rewind back to this past summer. I was working full time outside the home and I had NO energy to cook anymore. Depleted and exhausted, all I had the strength to muster was pleas of “Can we just go to Chick Fil A?” repeatedly to my husband.
So Chick Fil A we did. And pizza. And no working out. I was tired, slightly cranky and (yay!) getting more plump by the second.
A more normal routine. Taking walks. Things like chopping my own stinking veggies in my own kitchen versus, um, not eating many veggies (Panera salads once a week weren’t cutting it).
My small frame (I’m 5’2″ and small/averaged size boned) was put on pound after pound. In the spirit of total transparency (I don’t know anything else. #sorrynotsorry), I gained 10 pounds. On the body of the girl whose happy/comfortable weight hovers around 120-125, that was sooo not okay. I got up to 137, which for me, was the weight I’d be at if about a month after having a baby.
(Sidenote: we all have different starting points. I share transparently so you can get a full picture. Please don’t beat yourself up if your starting point is a lot higher than 137. Take away principles, not necessarily numbers.)
Everyone is motivated by different things, amen?
I’ve done seasons of working out at home, the DVD’s of pristine people who have 9 packs and teeth that blind you. But for me, a good ol’ gym motivates me.
There’s something about being in the environment. Having to pay a crapload of money knowing that if I don’t go, I’m being a horrible steward of my money and not doing my muffin top any favors. Yeah, ouch.
We joined a community Rec center which is a heckuva lot cheaper than a fancy gym. Ours has a sorta-fancy feel (which I’ll be honest, I love) and childcare is included in the price when you buy an annual pass. So Jason and I bit the bullet and bought a YEARLY membership, because, well, we’re all-in folk like that.
We wanted a place with childcare because if we didn’t do that, we’d sacrifice seeing each other for getting hot bods. Not worth it (well, not really). If a $10 a month gym works for you, do that! If your mom is willing to watch your kids or you can sneak out of the house early morning or after goodnight prayers and snuggles — do that! If a workout DVD works for you, do that!
This is what worked for me.
Weight loss shows always tell us (because, hello, who doesn’t get their information from reality TV? Duh.) that it’s 80% diet and 20% exercise. Y’all. So. Stinking. True.
So here’s what I did, food-wise:
- Majority of mornings, I’d drink a protein shake with Young Living Protein Complete in either vanilla spice or chocolate flavor. I love this one because it’s smooth and not chalky like a lot of protein powders, it’s high in protein, and low in both calories and sugar which you need to lose the weight. I’d mix in unsweetened almond milk, half a frozen banana and a large handful of spinach for added nutrition and staying power. Blend that sucker up and DONE. Bonus? DELISH.
- I cut back on my portions
- No more leftovers for lunch
- I took a powerful, healthy probiotic from Young Living called Life 9 which gives your body the good bacteria it needs and keeps things moving
- Monitored my water intake and drank a ton of water with 2 drops of Young Living lemon essential oil every morning (is cleansing + has antioxidants. Please don’t buy your oils from the health food store, whatever you do. They have nasty fillers that can counteract with your body. Trust a sistah on this 2-year journey. Young. Living.)
- Said goodbye to desserts and excessive evening snacks EVERY night, but not all nights. I let myself enjoy small portions of dessert maybe 1-2 times a week.
- Made a lot more of my own food again, especially for dinner (I love Against All Grain and Lexi’s Clean Kitchen for yummy, healthy recipe ideas!)
- Ate a mid-morning snack and mid-afternoon snack to keep my metabolism up (things like an apple, carrots or cucumbers and hummus, a piece of ham deli meat wrapped around string cheese, a hard boiled egg or a clean granola bar, usually the Kind brand)
Here’s what I did for my workouts:
- 4-5 days a week I’d hit the gym
- 5 minute warmup on the treadmill, walking a medium-fast pace (that’s going to be different for everyone depending on your height and level of fitness when starting)
- 30 minute walk/run (to start, I’d walk for 3 minutes, run for 1. Now, I’m doing about a 1:1 minute ratio)
- 3 incline — burns more calories! I’m at a 4 incline now
- Bumped it up to a 10-12 incline when walking for a minute
- 5 minute cooldown, walking slowly
- Weights: legs one day, arms the next (I used the machines and free weights. Pinterest and Google workouts, find what works for you)
- Abs and stretching: would always stretch during weight sets but then would get on a mat and stretch more (flexibility and helps reduce injury) as well as some ab work
My biggest pieces of advice:
- Find what workouts will actually work for you. Be honest with yourself. Will you actually press play at home? Then get a good cardio, sweat-your-booty-off DVD. Not 100% pilates, yoga or for the love, ballroom dancing. You need to SWEAT and burn maximum calories. Like to swim? Run outside? Do that. Whatever works for you.
- Stop kidding yourself that you can eat whatever you want. You can’t. Start pinning or saving easy recipes that you can make ahead of time.
- Ask yourself if your work environment is conducive to a healthy lifestyle. If not, it may be time to make a change. I’m so thankful to be back at home sharing about things like Young Living oils and products that I adore and in a community of like-minded women who’ll build me up. When you do something healthy and life-giving, it shows.
- You’ll have to make sacrifices. Don’t fall for the “get skinny quick” schemes. They don’t work in the long run and cost you waaaay too much money. Losing weight and keeping it off is hard work. I know this from my father who taught health and fitness for decades. You gotta put in the work and have the mentality that this your new lifestyle.
- You decide how much freedom/cheating to do. I give myself plenty of freedom and am not rigid, but am smart about the decisions I make. If I would’ve stayed entirely away from certain things, I’d probably be down 15 pounds right now instead of 11. But I like to eat and enjoy things, so I let myself do so from time to time.
If you’d like to give the protein powder Jason and I used a whirl along with that yummy lemon oil for your water, my biggest recommendation would be to join our fun oils tribe/community and get a Premium Starter Kit (11 oils, including the lemon and a diffuser for putting oils in your home atmosphere) with a wholesale membership. You’ll get access to all of our team resources and seriously the most support and encouragement of.your.life.
The link to find out more/sign up is here: www.lifeasaloewen.com/GetHealthyWithLaura
Let me know what questions you have, because you all know I’m a total open book!