How I Lost 20 Pounds + Regained My Health

You’re reading this blog post for a reason.  You’re probably at a standstill when it comes to your health and my friend, I get it.  I totally understand.  I was exactly where you were about a year ago.  Frustrated.  Overweight.  Unhealthy.  Tired.  Embarrassed.  And honestly, not sure what to do to make a change.  This blog post is not a quick fix it.  What I did to change my health around took months and I still, one year later, work at it every single day.  So, if you’re looking for a quick answer, read no further.  I’m not your solution.  If you’re willing to take the time and commitment it takes to truly get healthy and you’ve made the decision to get healthy…please, read on.

Let’s be honest.  Deciding that you’re going to make a change in your lifestyle is the easy part.  Laying down the new habits to support that choice is when it gets hard.  We are creatures of habit and so when we need to change a habit that has been ingrained in us for a long time, it can be incredibly difficult.  If you don’t believe me, take a look at some habits you may not even realize you have.

  • Do you sleep on the same side of the bed at night?
  • Do you have a morning routine?
  • Do you drive the same way to work each day?
  • Do you frequent the same grocery store?
  • When you’re at the grocery store, do you walk up and down the same aisles, in the same direction and fill your cart with about 85% of the same foods each week?
  • Taco Tuesday, anyone?

Get the picture?  We tend to fall into the habits that we’ve created for ourselves.  Whether those habits serve us or not is a question we need to ask ourselves.

I’ll share my story from last spring to illustrate my point.  I had fallen into some habits that at the time, I didn’t realize were having an impact on my health.  For the last year and a half I had let myself believe that being a busy mom and business owner, I didn’t have the time for myself.  I wasn’t exercising.  I was snacking throughout the day (hello, homemade chocolate chip cookies).  I was “needing” wine by 5 in the afternoon after a stressful day.  I was staying up late and thus getting less quality sleep.  Ultimately, these all contributed to gaining weight, having low energy, experiencing dull headaches, skin break outs, and feeling exhausted all of the time.  It wasn’t until I saw a photo of myself after a 5K race that I realized how unhealthy I had become.  It was the visual of the weight gain that triggered it but the self assessment of my health was the catalyst for me to make changes.

First step:  Take Radical Responsibility for Your Health

I want to throw a truth bomb out at you for a moment.  Your state of health is likely a result of the life choices you have made.  Estimates vary but experts agree that around 85% of all health issues are a direct result of lifestyle choices.  So, owning that truth will be the first step.  Why?  Because if it was your choices that got you here in the first place, it will be your choices that can impact who you are in the future.  And if your health is a result of the 15% of things we can’t control, I know for a fact that your body and health will be better regardless if you make better choices.

Second step: ask yourself WHY you want to make this change.

I didn’t decide to take control of my health for any reason other than me.  I had to want this strongly enough that regardless of what life threw at me, I knew that I would be able to stick with my new routine.  It couldn’t be my kids, my husband, the dress I wanted to fit into, bathing suit season, or the influence of others in my life.  My primary motivation had to be internal.  Absolutely, I wanted to be able to keep up with my kids and be an example of what healthy can look like.  However, other reasons like how I look in a pair of jeans or fitting into a certain dress….those are superficial.  The reasons to wear the jeans, bathing suit or dress will pass and come the next season, I would need another form of motivation.

Don’t get me wrong. I feel hella GOOD when I see my reflection in the mirror now.  I love how my jeans fit and how my ski suit doesn’t pinch when I bend down.  But those motivations aren’t enough to keep me going. I want to be healthy for ME.

Third step:  determine WHAT your rules are.

This may seem boring and restrictive but my friend, if you are committed to making radical shifts and changes in your life, you’ll need some rules to follow.  Here’s what I committed to.

  • I cut out 95% of alcohol (save a handful of celebratory drinks spread out over a few months)
  • I cut out 85% of sugar
  • I increased my water intake significantly
  • I kept to three meals a day and any snacks were veggies + guacamole or an apple with peanut butter or Perrier with citrus essential oils for flavouring
  • I had a Fab Four Smoothie each morning or an omelette if I had time
  • I stuck to a variety of different salads for lunch (or an occasional soup)
  • Dinners were mindful with regards to portion sizes
  • My food sources were what felt good for my mind + body.  Namely quality sources of animal proteins, vegetables, fats, minimal fruits, and minimal grains.  My body thrives on these sources.
  • I moved every single day.  I walked, did body weight work, lifted weights, ran occasionally (learned I hate running unless I want to get out some aggression), and kick boxed.
  • I went to bed usually around 9 PM and woke up at 5AM
  • I committed about 90 minutes each morning to my mental and emotional health with gratitude, meditation, stretching, reading, and journalling
  • I used essential oils to support my physical and emotional health.

If this seems overwhelming to do it all at once, pick the one thing you know is going to move the needle the furthest for you.  For most women, that’s their nutritional choices.

Fourth step: determine HOW you’ll do this and hold yourself accountable

This is where the “A word” comes into play.  ACCOUNTABILITY.  Who will you hold yourself accountable to?  If just yourself – awesome.  If you have enough strength to let yourself be the ONLY person you check in with, my friend, you are stronger than I am.  I had a dear friend who was going through similar struggles and so we held one another accountable.  We were brutally honest with each other, cheered one another on, gave one another a kick in the behind if we needed it, and legitimately supported each other through our plans.  We had different WHAT’s and WHY’s but our HOW’s were in alignment.  I’m forever grateful for her.

Accountability to myself was how much I weighed.  Before I get raked over the coals and told that “weight is just a number”, I want to explain why I embraced a scale.  I will use the analogy of getting out of debt.  If you know that you’re massively in debt but refuse to look at how much in debt you have, how can you possibly make a plan to get out of debt OR see how that plan is working once in place?   The answer is, you can’t.  If your weight is an issue, my friend, buy a scale.  It might shock or sting the first time you step on it, but when you begin to make changes and commit to yourself and that number starts to drop, it’s a great motivation and accountability factor to keep you going.  It also helps you stay on track if the number stalls or creeps back up.  It’s a quick check in to see if you need to make more changes in your lifestyle.

Fifth step:  celebrate your success

When you reach milestones along the way, PLEASE celebrate!  Buy yourself some new running shoes or workout clothes.  Get a ticket to your favourite band or comedy show.  Buy yourself a book.  Get a pedicure.  Do something FUN that puts a smile on your face!

If I can offer any encouragement, it’s that you’re worth it.  If you’re wanting a SHIFT in your health, just commit.  Commit to your health.  Commit to your health.  You’re worth it.

{ If you have an hour, I have a YouTube video that details more about the WHY, WHAT, and HOW of taking control of my health.  You can check it out HERE. }

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