Weight Loss – Struggles & What Worked For Me
Lately I have been hearing a lot about the struggles and frustrations that some are having with their weight loss.
Weight loss is a journey that will undoubtedly grow increasingly frustrating over time.
It’s hard, especially with age and other pre-existing conditions, to lose any given amount of weight, and to keep that weight off.
Now, I’m not a doctor, but honestly I’ve found more help in the advice of others who have been through the same thing than from my doctor who’s been a size two probably her whole life.
Weight loss is physical, but it’s also incredibly psychological as well, and the psychological part doesn’t always appear in your text book.
In this post I want to share with you my biggest concerns with my weight loss, where I started and where I am now, as well as how I am dealing with all the after-effects. I’ll give you some of what worked for me, but what you chose to do is entirely based upon your own capabilities and preferences, remember that.
This is going to be word heavy, sorry.
I don’t mind telling everyone now that I used to weigh a little over 250 pounds. At the time, I would’ve liked to say that I was anything under 200, but I’m sure that is what goes through the mind of anyone who is over weight.
I was not ALWAYS heavy, I was actually pretty small as a kid, and then when I got into my early teens I sort of just always ate and always gained. I was always bigger than my friends and I knew it, but I wasn’t ready to do anything about it. This is key, when you are ready you will do it.
When I met Eric we sort of just always stayed in and ate crappy food because you just never really pay attention to stuff like that. After all of that careless eating I got up to my highest, which was around 257.
I joined a gym and got down to around 240 pounds, but I stayed at 240 and didn’t move from there.
A friend of mine suggested a newer program at a different gym called the Weight Loss Challenge, and we decided to take the plunge and join. Now it’s not always a good thing, but I am a pretty competitive person, so I really think, for me, this was the best way to help me get this weight off.
I completed the 12 week program, one of the hardest things I ever did, but it was done.
I reached my initial goal of getting under 200 pounds. I lost a total of 41 pounds over the 12 weeks, bringing me to 199.
The two photos above are a couple of months after the end of the challenge. I took matters into my own hands and tried to replicate all I’ve learned, and I lost another 20 on my own. I decided then to join the challenge for a second time, coming in this time not at 240 but at 179.
This challenge I put EVERYTHING I had into my weight loss. I stayed at or under 1200 calories a day, worked out for at least an hour every day, and kept my mind set on the very end. If you keep telling yourself that you can do it, and stop discouraging yourself, you will have a better outcome. I think that if I spent my time saying negative things, I would’ve never ended up successful.
The last couple of weeks of the program, I dropped to 800 calories a day, eventually getting down to around 400 to really push that weight loss. I don’t recommend this to anyone, because I had never felt more just tired and uncomfortable than those days. I did this purely for the challenge, and I really wanted to win.
I was up against a guy, around the same age as myself, who was consistently in first place, but I pushed like crazy, including being at the gym for 3-4 hours a day.
I amazingly ended up pulling through the last two weeks and winning the Gold’s Gym Weight Loss Challenge at 138 pounds. The photo above is from a week after the challenge when we celebrated the team’s victory.
It took nearly two years to get to where I am at right now, from a size 20 to a size 4/6 and from 257 pounds to now 144.
My biggest advice to people struggling with weight loss can be summed up quite easily…
Weight loss is hard. There is no easy way around it. If you think you are going to starve yourself and turn into a model you are wrong. Your body will leech every single bit of nutrition you do consume and make it ten times harder to lose anything. You need to find an appropriate balance between diet and exercise. I suggest being at the gym or being active for at least an hour a day and keeping your food intake at about 1200.
You want to focus on eliminating Trans and Saturated fats and taking in more protein. Keep sugars and sodium at an all time low.
Your workouts should be centered around cardiovascular exercise. You need to burn the fat before you can start to tone any muscles.
You don’t lose a ton of weight and suddenly become perfect either.
If I splurge, I will easily gain weight, I’m not immune to it now. It’s still a constant battle between me and the menu, and that’s something I’ve accepted. I also have accepted that if I don’t work out like my body needs, that I will lose any tone/definition I gained over the course of doing the challenges. I already noticed that when I stopped running my legs were not as strong, so I have since picked running up again.
With rapid, dramatic weight loss, you aren’t going to always look amazing. You will have skin to tone, you will have stretch marks from your weight gain prior to your loss. This is another constant battle that you need to come to terms with.
I can tell you that I lost over 100 pounds, but I am still working every day to tone and fix all the damage I did to my body while being over weight.
So this wasn’t the cushy “Oh I lost weight yay”, I’m going to straight up tell you that a weight loss journey is never over, even when you reach your ultimate goal. I’m still not at my end goal, I have about 15 pounds to go.
You have to be ready and willing for it, and when you are, you will have all the success in the world.