Boom. 20 Down.
[zephyr_dropcaps style="withbg" firstcolor="#333333" bgcolor=""]Yesterday was a huge unexpected milestone for me: I've officially lost 20 lbs. since December 1, 2014.[/zephyr_dropcaps] I could hardly believe it when I stepped on the scale. Let me go into a little more detail here. You see, this is the first time I've ever succeeded with long-term weight loss the old fashioned way: diet and exercise. I've usually had very short-term success with shortcuts. I've been a sucker for so many weight loss fads and bullshit gimmicks over the years that I had just had enough of it last year. I wanted to do things the right way, the long-term sustainable way.
For the diet part of the weight loss equation, I've found that a loose version of the Slow Carb diet works the best for MY body. It's basically a type of Paleo diet that focuses on meat/protein sources, legumes and vegetables for six days a week and a cheat day one day a week where anything goes, in any amount (the more the better actually). I should have gravitated towards a low carb diet right away when a doctor told me six years or so ago to stay the hell away from bread. This is before I had ever heard of the word "gluten". Turns out, gluten sensitivity was to blame for my vicious sore throats, IBS, horrible allergies, and random skin rashes. Anytime I pig out on bagels and pasta on a cheat day, the next day I'm guaranteed to have what I call a shitty "food hangover".
My main point here that I think will help others like me, that struggle with the diet part of weight loss, is that you have to experiment and find something that works for your body - whether that's gluten free, full-on Paleo, vegan or just counting your macro-nutrients. I think once we take the pressure off ourselves to find THE diet to end all diets, it lets us tune into our bodies more. For example, in college I experimented with being vegetarian, but unfortunately, my body just craves and thrives off of animal protein, and that's just the way I feel I'm built. That being said, I feel like I always have the option to try something else. No diet is set in stone and lets be real folks: there's only so long anyone can go without peanut butter, Oreos, bacon and/or DONUTS.
Just like I had to find my personal fit for a diet, I also had to find a bearable, fun form of fat burning cardio that I could actually do consistently. In the past, I had relied on the elliptical machine and group classes like Zumba but neither really ever got me hooked. Eventually I fell in love with running and it's become my go-to for cardio. Running is great for getting fast weight loss results, but the thing is, I've found to make it sustainable for my weight loss, I have to keep switching the workouts up. I try everything - treadmill, outside, long runs, short runs and even sprints with walking breaks. A combination of a few of these things always seems to help blast through my weight loss plateaus.
Again, my theme is here is that I experimented. I still do all the time with exercise. I've also found that adding in some yoga makes all the difference too. I'm always experimenting with kettle bell workouts too.
I hope this helps some people that like me, thought that they could never lose 20 lbs. I'm still on the journey since my goal is to lose even more, but I'm celebrating the small goals as I hit them. Even though it's taken a little over six months to hit this goal, I'm proud that I've done it in a healthy way. It kept be from mentally beating myself up over the holiday meals, learn what works for me, and most importantly: eat chocolate ('nuff said right?).
I'll be back with a post in a few days about some tips, tricks and apps that have also helped me!