Reblog if you are an animal crossing blog. I must follow more AC blogs!
Frequently asked questions! (aka really helpful tips)
What was your starting weight/how tall are you?
- Just over 185 lbs in December 2011.
- I am 4’10”
How did you do it?!
- Not trying to be a smartass, but do everything your doctor has always told you to do: eat healthy food in healthy portions, drink water, and exercise regularly. It doesn’t take rocket science.
- Cutting out all drinks except for water, green tea sweetened w/ stevia, and an occasional REAL fruit/veggie juice (I drink Simply Nutritious Mega Green).
- Cutting down portion sizes and switching to a clean diet consisting of at least 80% fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats (olive oil, salmon, avocado, nuts).
- In the beginning, I counted calories and measured everything I ate. I was eating at least 1300 calories a day, more if I was exercising a lot. I don’t count anymore because I know what to eat and how much to eat of it. It becomes mindless after you’ve been doing it for so long.
- Eating a big breakfast, a big dinner, and grazing on snacks throughout the day. Eating 5-7 times a day.
- Drinking AT LEAST 8 cups of water a day. On average, I drink 10-13 cups a day.
- Regular exercise and always changing it up/stepping it up to make it challenging. I started with Zumba/Just Dance on my Xbox, the 30 Day Shred, hiking, and intermittent jogging/walking. Then, I joined the YMCA and started taking Zumba, step aerobics, and muscle pump classes there, jogged on the treadmill, and used the weight machines. I took a weight training class and did a free CrossFit class for a month to teach me proper lifting techniques. Now I do Olympic lifting and lift with dumbbells in the gym. I also take high intensity classes like tabata, athletic conditioning, and turbo kick. If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you!
- I signed up for a 5k four months into my journey. Ten months into my journey, I did a 4.5 mile obstacle race called the Hero Rush. This year, I participated in a Spartan Sprint in March, and I am signed up for a Super Spartan in June, Run For Your Lives in September, and Tough Mudder in November. These races are a lot of fun and are a great way to hold you accountable for keeping in shape.
- Not restricting myself from the things I still love that aren’t the best for me. I still eat pizza and Krispy Kreme donuts from time to time. I still have rest days when I am not feeling well. Moderation is key, not deprivation.
Did your tattoos change as you lost weight?
- Yes and no. They still look the same, but they wrap around my body more now. Most of them I got while I was already heavy, so they didn’t really stretch out. They kind of just shrank with my body but still look proportionate. I got the one on my stomach when I was a freshman in college (2005) and weighed probably around 135 lbs. Since my stomach was pretty flat when I had it done and I gained a lot of weight afterwards, it stretched out a lot when my stomach expanded, and the lines blew out. This did not change when I lost weight, it looks the same as when it did when I was big. I plan on getting that covered up once I get my abs where I want them. Based on my personal observations, it seems as though tattoos are more affected by weight gain than loss, but I am not an expert, and I imagine it would be different for everyone since everyone’s skin is different.
Did your boobs shrink when you lost weight?
- Yes. I have lost about 7” from my bust.
What does your daily meal plan look like?
- It varies from day to day, but I tend to graze throughout the day on small meals and snacks. I generally eat about 5-7 times a day.
- Breakfast would be something like whole wheat or rye toast with mashed avocado and a fried egg, overnight oats, oatmeal w/ a spoonful of peanut butter and banana slices, some combination of turkey bacon/a whole wheat pancake or waffle w/ peanut butter/eggs/fruit, or a breakfast burrito on a whole wheat tortilla w/ scrambled eggs, veggies & salsa. Breakfast is almost always a lean protein, a fruit, and a whole grain.
- I graze about every 2-3 hours in between breakfast & dinner on fruit, smoothies/shakes w/ fruit/veggies/protein powder/almond milk/chia seeds, nuts, Larabars, deli turkey slices, steamed veggies w/ marinara sauce and grated Parmesan, sweet potatoes, salads, sauteed or roasted veggies, vegetable soup, lentils w/ whole grain rice or quinoa, homemade chili, or leftovers.
- Dinner = baked or grilled fish or chicken w/ veggies and quinoa, chicken bean chili w/ a salad, grilled fish tacos w/ quinoa and veggies, sweet potato tuna cakes, venison tenderloin w/ a salad or veggie veggie stir-fry w/ Gardein mandarin orange “chicken” - I use Skinnytaste.com a lot for recipes and they have all been excellent so far. Dinner is almost always a lean protein, a veggie, and a whole grain.
- I eat a snack around 10-11 every night, which is usually a frozen dark-chocolate dipped banana, “cookie dough” Greek yogurt (plain Greek yogurt w/ peanut butter, almond butter, vanilla extract, and semi-sweet chocolate mini morsels), chocolate chia seed pudding, a 100-calorie popcorn bag, fruit w/ peanut butter or Greek yogurt, or a Chobani Flip (I LOVE the key lime and the almond coconut ones!)
- I only drink water and hot green tea sweetened with Truvia or stevia.
- I have a 32-ounce Nalgene bottle that I fill up at least twice a day and drink 2 cups of tea on top of that (one with breakfast, one with dessert). I drink between 72-120 ounces of water every day. Water, water, water is sooo important! You should also know that water weighs TWO POUNDS per 32 ounces…that means if you are drinking enough, you will gain 4-6 lbs of water weight A DAY. Thus, the frequent trips to the rest room and an extreme amount of fluctuation on the scale - this is also why measurements and pictures are important…the numbers on the scale can be deceiving.
Do you count calories?
- Not anymore. I stopped counting calories in April 2013 because it was becoming an addiction/obsession and wasn’t contributing to my overall health.
- I use Myfitnesspal to track my water intake and my exercise. I record what I eat throughout the day in my food notes, but I do not track the calories anymore. You can follow my food diary on there, if you’d like. Just add me! http://www.myfitnesspal.com/t1nyvessels
- Most days I probably eat between 1500-1700 calories and burn off 450-650.
- Remember 1200 is not a magic number…you will find that you constantly have to adjust according to what your body wants at the time.
- I am more focused now on getting at least the minimum amount of recommended fruits (2 cups) and veggies (2 1/2 cups) every day and having a balanced diet of macronutrients. I aim for 60% carbs, 20% fats, 20% protein. Calories are just a number, and it is more vital to make sure you are getting the right amount of nutrients and vitamins in your diet.
What kinds of exercises do you do?
- Monday: Turbo Kick/circuit training - 1 hour
- Tuesday: Kickboxing/core work - 1 hour
- Wednesday: Tabata, weight training, core work- 1-1 1/2 hours
- Thursday: Turbo kick/circuit training - 1 hour
- Friday: Tabata, weight training, core work - 1-1 1/2 hours
- Saturday: Athletic conditioning - 1 hour
- Sunday: Rest day or I go for a hike (usually lasts about 2-4 hours).
- Also, get a heart rate monitor. I have a Polar FT7 that tracks my heart rate and calories burned and tells me how long I was in fat burning mode v. fitness mode while working out. It’s very handy and I wish I had gotten it sooner.
It doesn’t look like you have loose skin! I am worried I will have it, what should I do?
- I lost weight very slowly. I have aimed for a 1-2 lbs loss throughout this journey. I lost 10 lbs in the first month just because my body was in shock and dropped weight very quickly, which happens when you go from eating fast food several times a week and drinking sweet tea every day to eating 1200 calories of healthy food and drinking water. After that first month, I lost 5 lbs every month basically for the next 9 months or so. Since September 2012, my weight has hit a plateau. I bounce between 128-130 lbs on a daily basis. This is why taking pictures and measurements is so crucial - the scale helps in the beginning, but when you are replacing fat with muscle, it’s not an accurate measurement of your progress. I used to have a goal weight of 110 lbs, but now I just want to be happy with how my body looks regardless of my weight. That being said, I did not have as much weight to lose as some. I could never have been one of those people who lost over 100 lbs because then I would be at an unhealthy weight. I am fairly sure that if this is the case for you, you might have loose skin in the future. I am also pretty sure that just depends on how fast you lose and also your body, because everyone’s body and skin is different. Your skin also loses elasticity as you age, so age is a factor. I would also like to note that I still have some fat left in my lower stomach - this area has been taking the longest to shrink down for me, since you cannot target fat loss. So, I may have some loose skin after that goes away, it is too soon to tell. There are surgeries that can remove that, which a lot of people have been successful with. Remember, you cannot target fat loss - when you get your fat down to a low percentage, then you can do ab exercises to strengthen your muscle and “tone” those areas. As I’ve said before, I’m not an expert, but this is just what I have gathered through research and from what I have seen on other weight loss blogs. Eating as clean as possible is also very important - remember, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet! This article is extremely lengthy but also very, very helpful and does a lot of explaining. Plus, the guy has a Ph.D - I do not.
How often do you have a cheat meal/day?
- I allowed myself “cheat days” from the very beginning of this journey. These were days I did not exercise or count calories. The purpose was to throw my body off and also to satisfy my cravings to prevent binges. I would do this every Sunday, until I hit my first plateau and then I would just pick a random day of the week.
- Now, I don’t do that. It worked for me in the beginning, but then I found my cheat days were stressful because if I didn’t want to eat junk food I felt like I was wasting my special day. If I feel like having a cookie one day and I’ve been good all week, I will. If I want to get my fish fried when I go out to dinner because I mostly ate lean proteins, fruits, and veggies for the day - I do! Realistically, are you going to eat 3500 calories over your caloric limit in one day? No, so you are not going to gain a pound!
- Every Friday night, I go out to dinner with my mom (sometimes it’s healthy, sometimes it’s not as healthy, but I always get veggies with my meal). We then stop at the cupcake shop or Fresh Market and get a special pastry that we split for dessert. It’s a treat I have to look forward to every week!
- I eat 1-2 squares of dark chocolate every single day. Chocolate is my weakness, so if I allow myself to have it in small portions every day, it keeps me from binging on a giant Milky Way bar.
- Do whatever makes you feel less stressed throughout this journey - the point is to enjoy what you’re eating but also look at food as fuel, not as the enemy or as a comfort.
So I finally went to the gym at my apartment complex yesterday, it’s not too bad!
It’s a very small room, but there’s a good set of what looks like new equipment. There was another girl in there and we were talking about it.
She told me she’s been living here for a few years, and the complex had been receiving complaints about their old gym room. Both that it was too small and the equipment was old and unusable.
It wasn’t until late last year they decided to upgrade the equipment. I’m glad they did, too! That elliptical kicked my ass!