Hhhhaaaa…I am taking a deep breath…because I have been thinking for a while now whether I should blog about my fat loss journey or not. Even though it takes some courage for me to share my before pictures, I decided to write about my journey because it is more than just about losing pounds – it is my personal story of change, empowerment, challenges, victories, good -, bad -, weak – and strong days and I always feel inspired and motivated to see people who came out on top.
Most importantly, I hope that YOU will find some motivation and inspiration from my posts and that they may help you in becoming a bit healthier, happier or fitter than you already are. And if you are already a fitness goddess, I hope you can pick up the one or other tip and also let us know about what has worked for you.
I truly believe that EVERY woman has something unique and beautiful about her no matter her size or shape. Often we are influenced by what the ‘ideal body’ should look like and that is truly a shame because there is NO single ideal body. Some prefer being curvy, skinny or muscular and as long as it works for you – I am the last one to judge! We are all very different in shape and size and what may work for me may not work for you and vice versa. There is nothing more beautiful than a confident and happy woman! However, I also know that we are often our own biggest critics (I am totally guilty of that) but the only person I compare myself to or want to be better than – is the person I was yesterday. The reasons I wanted to make a change were predominantly intrinsically driven (which I believe is a big factor when it comes to motivation and ultimately success in the long run).
SIDE NOTE: For the first 22 years of my life, I used to live in Europe. I would say I was never slim nor really heavy. Until my late teens I used to dance, play soccer and be moderately active.
After having moved to the US about 4 years ago I feel like I started getting bigger. I wasn’t used to free soda refills and big portion sizes plus I wasn’t really working out either.
However, I didn’t really realize how big I got until….
WHEN did I start:
…I was visiting New York for the first time – I remember how swollen my feet were after spending the whole day walking around and exploring the city. After coming back to the hotel, I sat down to go through all the pictures I took that day and that was when it hit me. I was pretty devastated and so unhappy in this situation. Looking through the pictures of me in NYC (this one in particular) made me realize that I have to change something.
HOW did I start:
- INTRINSIC MOTIVATION – after I was feeling down for a bit and feeling miserable for myself, I had this aha moment in which I got up and said to myself:”I can either continue to feel sorry for myself and feel miserable OR I can get up and make a change right now. Changing my body is something that I – and only I have the power to do. ” Thinking about it this way felt very empowering. It is a great feeling knowing that I can change this situation and don’t have to rely on anybody else to do so.
- HEALTHIER CHOICES – That evening I made a promise to myself to do everything I can to become healthier and happier with my body. A promise is kind of a big deal, isn’t it? Since I was on my vacation in NYC, I tried to opt for healthier choices such as salads rather than fries, I took the steps rather than the elevator,…
- RESEARCH – I went online and googled about nutrition and fitness. I like to understand not only which exercise or food may be good for my goal but I also want to know the why and what it does to my body.
- PERSONAL TRAINER – Once I went back home, I felt that finding somebody who is a professional in this field would be beneficial for me (at the beginning).
- GROUP WORKOUTS – I also started Pilates classes – one of the most challenging yet satisfying fitness classes I have ever done.
WHY did I start:
- HEALTH has been and will forever be my primary motivation. Before I started my journey I wasn’t able to run more than 0.3 miles without gasping for air and sweating as if I just ran a marathon. I wasn’t able to do a single push up (yes, not even the easier version). Health is something we often take for granted but it is the biggest gift we have and I wanted to become overall a more healthy person.
- CONFIDENCE (in a humble manner) is a woman’s best asset and I have never really felt confident with my body. I wanted this to change and become an overall more confident woman.
- PROVING MYSELF that I can do anything I set my mind to and prove myself that I am stronger than I thought I am.
- FITTER AND STRONGER BODY – I wanted to feel good in my own body! I would consider myself as being a spiritual person and I love feeding my mind empowering and positive thoughts. I wanted to start doing that with my body – feeding it healthy foods that make me feel good and allow my body to perform on a high level.
There are a lot of things I have learned along my journey that helped me tremendously. A lot of us are looking for that quick fix, that instant gratification of losing weight (and trust me I have been there as well) but after all those failed crash diets, diet shakes/pills…I can tell you that there is nothing more satisfying than looking in the mirror and finally liking what you see and knowing that YOU achieved that because of all that hard work, dedication and your will to succeed.
Your reality today is not your future…you have it in your hands. I want to share with you all the different things that have helped me to become healthier, slimmer, more toned, more confident and strong. A lot of these aspects have been beneficial in several other areas of my life as well.
I know first hand that it may be scary and overwhelming when there is so much information out there and you don’t even know where to start but trust me when I say that you’ve already made the first and probably the most difficult step towards a healthier YOU by understanding that you are not happy with the current situation and by truly wanting to change and committing to do so.
Below you will find different categories that I want to talk with you about because I have found them to be very important and helpful during my journey. I have so much to share about each individual category, so I will talk more in depth about each one in separate future blog posts. You can also leave me questions below in the comment section about what you want me to address or talk more in depth about.
MY PATH TO SUCCESS
- Realizing that you are not happy with the current situation.
- Be committed and stick to it.
- Make your lifestyle change a priority!
- START NOW because a year from now you will wish you’ve started today.
THIRST FOR KNOWLEDGE
- You may think that you already know a lot about nutrition and working out – but do you really?
- For example: You may think that choosing a salad for lunch is a low calorie and healthy option. However, certain pre-made dressings or processed ingredients can be loaded with calories and sugars. You may think that fats are bad for you because that is what we have been told for so long. However, healthy fats are important in order to lose fat and so necessary for your overall health (skin, heart, blood – pressure…
- Always do your own research (articles online or in fitness/health magazines/books)
- You can find inspiration from other bloggers
- Don’t fall for fads or anything that promises you unrealistic results by only drinking shakes or taking pills.
- Nutrition plays one of the most important roles:
- in losing fat, becoming healthier and more toned, providing fuel and recovery, pre/post workouts, it may prevent diseases and make your skin look more radiant,…
- Especially when you are starting off with your journey (and feel overwhelmed with working out 4-6 times a week) make sure you get your nutrition right:
- 75% (nutrition) + 25% (fitness) = fat loss + muscle building
- When you are more intermediate (you’ve already adopted better eating habits) concentrate on a detailed workout plan.
- Opt for smaller portions
- Opt for 6 small meals/snacks rather than 3 big meals (it increases your metabolism).
- I believe in a balanced diet – Try to eat fresh, whole, homemade and organic foods that nourishes your body and cover all your macro nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats)
HELPFUL APPS FOR TRACKING YOUR NUTRITION
- When you start off, it may be a good idea to track your nutrition. That helps to stay on track and actually see how many macronutrients, calories, sugars, etc you eat in a day and than make changes accordingly
- Lose it
- My Fitness Pal
SMART SNACKING/BE PREPARED
- Be prepared and have healthy options at hand for when you are on the go. Especially if you are a sweet tooth, like I am.
- Besides nutrition being active is a major key factor to living a healthy life.
- I used to hate! (and I very rarely use this word) working out and could not in a million years think that one day I would love it so much.
- I now love lifting weights, doing cardio and taking Pilates classes – all for different purposes. I find that switching up my workouts keeps my body challenged and I see the best results.
- Most importantly find a workout that YOU enjoy and will most likely stick to. Are you a group person – than maybe a fitness class is for you? Do you like to be in your own zone and do your own thing? Do you prefer being outdoors? Try out different things!
- Find a workout partner to keep yourself accountable and motivated
- HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is the most effective workout to burn fat.
- Don’t be intimidated by weights – they won’t make you bulky – they are great to get a toned body.
- If you don’t know what equipment to use at the gym or how many repetitions you should do – find someone who may help you getting started (e.g. personal trainer; a workout plan online, follow a fitness blogger,…)
- It is a big deal changing your life style. At the beginning you might feel as if you want to give up or you just can’t do – but don’t quit, you will later thank yourself for that.
- Once you’ve committed to making that change – stick to it.
- Stay accountable either to yourself or another person, start a blog, post pictures…
- Don’t deprive yourself. I believe in a 80-20 approach. Eating clean 80% of the time and indulging 20% .This is approach is more successful for you in the long run.
MENTALITY (NO TIME & SPACE FOR EXCUSES)
- Don’t make excuses! We are all busy but if you really want to make a positive change – find the time to workout.
- Wake up earlier and get into the gym
- Workout at home
- Workout time = your personal healing time
- Invest in yourself!
- Get ready for work at the gym (take all you need to get ready for day with you)
- Be consistent
- The longer your break in between workout sessions the more difficult it is to get back into it
- You will see results much quicker when you are consistent with your workouts
- Be patient
- Fitness does not only involve training your body but also your mind
- Positive affirmation will help you in becoming stronger, both physically and mentally
- Become more focused and energized
- It may increase your endurance
- Achieve your exercise goals
- For example: Tell yourself everyday before you go to bed “I live a healthy lifestyle! I am dedicated to make healthy changes!…”
- Try it out for a week and see how you like it.
- Be kind to yourself – tell yourself what you like about your body.
- Set small goals that are achievable – train towards achieving 10 push ups, 3 chin ups, running for a mile or what ever you want to improve. Once you achieved that goal – set another one.
- Don’t focus too much on the number on your scale – rather measure your body fat %, the inches on your waist,…
- Listen to your favorite music while working out.
- Keep going even if you do not see immediate results .
- Find like minded people
- If you workout in the morning – the night before going to bed, put your workout clothes where you can see them once you woke up.
- Get yourself nice workout clothes – you will feel more motivated and confident.
- Think about weight lifting gloves to keep your hands from getting callus
- Don’t forget the music!
- Use resistance bands.
- Make your hard work worth it – challenge your body with every workout you do!
- You will feel sore but you will be so proud of yourself. Soreness = muscle in progress
- Increase the weight if necessary but always keep in mind that good form is more important than how heavy your weight is.
Keep an eye out for some detailed future posts on each category I have mentioned – I really hope you enjoyed this post and found some helpful tips or/and motivation.
Share this post if you think it could benefit anyone else to start their journey.
And I also would really appreciate your feedback, thoughts and experiences below in the comment section. Let’s chat!
START TODAY to make that positive change because if I can do it – YOU can do it!