I wasn’t going to share the story of my weight loss journey quite yet, but I surprised myself by fitting into my goal dress with 10 more pounds still to go!
I’ve been pretty quiet about my weight loss journey on social media and in real life. However, the last month or so it’s been hard to keep quiet for a few reasons. One, people who have known me for a few years NOTICED there is a lot less of me and would ask me questions. Two, I’m pretty darn happy with how I look now, so I am happy to talk about it. Three, once I compared an old picture to a very recent picture the comparison BLEW ME AWAY, so again I am happy to talk about it.
Here is a side-by-side comparison of an old photo I found of me on set doing hair with some makeup artist friends, model, and photographer from September 2014 versus at the barn after a ride in mid-May 2016, just a few weeks ago . The photo on the left was five months before I started my weight loss journey but completely spot-on with how I looked and how heavy I was for many years.
Starting weight: 192.2 pounds
Current weight: 137.6 pounds
Current loss: 54.6 pounds
Goal weight: 127.2 pounds
Goal loss: 65 pounds
I had the intention of not even blogging about my weight loss journey until I reached my goal weight, but I felt compelled to start sharing my story since I consistently get people asking me to. I am on my last approximately 10 pounds, which typically takes the longest for many people. That’s okay. THIS IS NOT A RACE. THIS IS NOT A COMPETITION. WE CAN ALL GET THERE IF WE WANT TO. And I am happy to share the knowledge I’ve accumulated. It worked for me; if you find it helpful and it works for you too, awesome.
Q: What’s your secret?
A: Bacon. The secret is bacon. No, seriously. I follow the low-carb diet and keep to 20 grams of carbs or less per day. This also requires a high amount of fat than the standard American diet since your body now uses fat as its energy source instead of carbohydrates. The body on this way of eating is in ketosis (not to be confused with ketoacidosis) which, put simply, means it is burning fat. It burns dietary fat and body fat and is very efficient at doing so.
This also means that I eliminated sugar and processed foods, bread, rice, pasta, etc. from my diet. This segways into question 2.
Q: I could never give up bread/pasta/sugar. Was it difficult?
A: The first three weeks, YES. Of course! But how bad do you want to change your life? I wanted to change mine BADLY. I was in constant pain, I felt uncomfortable most of the time, I hated the way I looked, and no matter how much I ate I was ALWAYS HUNGRY. Even bending over to do my pedicures made me grunt and cut off circulation, and it was difficult to breathe. Even my boobs had rolls. My rolls had rolls. I HAD IT. So, yes, giving up addictive sugar and carbs was difficult, but it gets easier after a few weeks once your body adjusts. Trust me.
Q: Was it hard to eat out or with friends/family who eat carbs, etc.?
A: See question 2. Plus, unlike a certain very-famous 12-step program that encourages people to avoid/eliminate situations and people that are tempting, we simply cannot (AND I REFUSE TO) avoid seeing/smelling/being around carbs in daily life. I WANT to spend time with my friends and family. I WANT to see movies at the theatre. I go out in public. Guess what? Movie theatres smell like popcorn, many places serve candy, friends will continue to eat chocolate ice cream in front of you, and ads in public places and social media will have amazing food photos and videos. That is life. I learned to deal with it and came out unscathed. You can too.
Q: Did you have to hire a personal trainer or work out at the gym?
A: NOPE. Seriously, NOPE. I hate the gym, and I don’t have the finances to hire a trainer (nor do I want to or need to). My thoughts? Do what you love and do it LOTS. Why? Because you’ll ACTUALLY DO IT. If you LOVE the gym, awesome. Go to the gym. I don’t like the gym, and I know MANY people out there are in my boat. Don’t waste your money on something you’re going to dread and groan at within a few weeks because you will STOP GOING. Like I said, do what you love and do it lots. I am a very active person doing chores at the barn five days a week and horse back riding between 4 to 6 days a week. It’s my favourite thing to do, so I do it. LOTS.
Q: What are you going to do once you hit your goal weight? Are you going to go back to eating the way you were? Wouldn’t you just gain it all back?
A: Once I hit goal, I WILL TELL THE WHOLE DAMN WORLD AND PARTY LIKE IT’S 1999. Hell, no, I am not going back to eating the way I was; I would definitely gain it all back. I will increase my carb allowance to likely 40 carbs a day for maintenance. For the health benefits ALONE, I love this way of eating. The first non-scale victory I had once I switched my diet was PAIN RELIEF. The low to medium level pain in my muscles due to inflammation was constantly there. It went away after a mere two weeks on this way of eating. It was life changing, and I don’t want it back.
Q: Do you have cheat days?
Q: I’ve gotten some negative/nasty/discouraging comments on my weight loss. How do you deal with it?
A: It doesn’t matter what people think. They are not living your life. Also, negative comments usually stem from something going on in THAT person and are not a reflection of you. Think about it. People who are secure, happy, and NOT ASSHOLES don’t feel the need to put others down. You don’t have time to deal with their jealousy/mommy issues. You have health to build. Next!
Weight loss doesn’t happen overnight. As you can see my loss has been slow and steady over almost a year and a half. This is a healthy rate. Was I impatient and wanting to see significant results within a month? Yes! But that didn’t happen. It’s not about huge, massive efforts for instant results. It’s about adjusting and training your body to a new lifestyle, acclimating to that lifestyle, and then consistent efforts over a long period of time. The reason I see results is I simply KEPT GOING. Many people on “diets” simply give up after three months (or three weeks even) and claim “it doesn’t work.” It doesn’t work because you quit. DON’T QUIT. Also see question 6 because cheating is quitting. Literally, you will get kicked out of ketosis and have to start all over again. No, thank you.
Here are some resources I used to get started. I found them very helpful, so hopefully you will too, whatever path you decide to take. I love sharing knowledge, so feel free to leave comments/questions. I post recipes/reviews here on my blog, and my instagram is chockfull of food I eat that is all on-plan, at home and out with friends.