Real Talk: I’ve had body image issues for as long as I can remember. Growing up in Florida, pool parties were the norm. I remember, as a kid, I was always so embarrassed to be seen in my swimsuit. And my biggest insecurity was my belly. I’ve never been one of those girls with a tiny waist and well defined curves. Then, as time went on, so did my weight battle. The scale was constantly fluctuating, and I tried every diet under the sun. I gained; I lost, and this viscous cycle continued for more than a couple decades.
In fact, this time last year, I was only 2 months into my weight loss journey when I realized that I finally found something that worked for me. The 2-month mark was pivotal because that’s when I allowed myself to step on the scale (I refused to weigh myself for the first two months of my journey because I didn’t want to obsess over it)… And after my first “weigh-in,” it became clear that the pounds were literally melting off.
If you would have told me that I’d be posting a shirtless pic on my website a year later, I would’ve said you were crazy. And yet – here I am: 5 pounds under my original goal weight, and 35 lbs down total. I never thought I’d be in the best shape of my life at age 39, either. But I’m here to tell you (and show you) that anything is possible.
Here are my biggest takeaways from my weight loss journey, along with some steps to success that I hope you’ll find helpful:
Step 1: Make the Commitment to Change. The power of your mental state is everything! Get clear on your goals and what you want to accomplish. And don’t go crazy. Start small. Consider hiding the scale in the beginning too. Focus on how you FEEL instead of how you look.
Step 2: Create a Plan that’s Sustainable and that Works for You. Different things work for different people. Take my younger sis for example. She’s big on calorie counting, and she writes down everything she eats. She lost 60 pounds, and that’s what works for her (but I fell flat on my face with her method).
As for me, I practice a clean ketogenic lifestyle. What does that mean, you might ask? I eat low carb, high fat, and foods that are nutrient-rich (meaning loads of leafy greens, organic low carb veggies, sustainable seafood, eggs, nuts and berries). I also practice intuitive eating, which is just a fancy way of saying that I only eat when I’m hungry and if I want to do a carb-up because I feel low energy, I’ll do it. Intermittent fasting also works really well for me. And bulletproof coffee gives me life. It’s just a tablespoon of grassfed butter, a tablespoon of MCT oil, almond milk, coffee (and cinnamon if you want) in a blender. That will keep you full all morning, and it promotes mental clarity.
Side Note: I know this may be a lot to digest (pun intended) – so you can pop into my Keto Fit Tribe Facebook Group to learn more. We’ve got some great free resources in there, and it’s just a good, old-fashioned community-based group intended to support one another. Good vibes only!
Prior to starting the Keto Diet, I tried everything and I constantly felt like I was failing. Plus, as a group fitness instructor and performance artist, I put a lot of pressure on myself to be fit for my job and I was beyond frustrated.
The reason Keto was a game-changer for me is because, by being fat fueled, I stayed full longer. I was no longer munching and anticipating my next meal. I’ve also never felt deprived. Case in point: I eat chocolate every day. It just has to be 90% cacao or higher. Or it has to be Lily’s – my favorite sugar-free chocolate brand – (and no, I’m not endorsed by them but I totally want to be so they’ll send me free chocolate ;).
So… here’s my recommendation: Do some research on different diet plans to determine what will work best for you, your lifestyle, and your body.
Step 3: Move Your Body! Fitness experts agree that you’re much more likely to stick with an activity that you enjoy! In other words, you don’t need to do workouts that you hate in order to get the results that you want. Trust me… if someone told me that I was only allowed to run, for example, instead of doing the exercises that I love (like hula hooping and kickboxing), I’d be feeling frustrated all over again. But when you find an activity that excites you… you’re going to want to keep doing it! Did you know that, according to the American Council on Exercise, hooping burns an average of 420 calories an hour?!? Yep! And you get to smile the whole time you’re doing it. I’ve even got some free tutorials to get you started, and here’s where you can purchase a great priced beginner hoop.
Step 4: Meal Prep. Regardless of what plan you choose to follow, be sure to plan out your meals so you aren’t in a situation where you’ve got “nothing to eat,” in which case you might opt for food that’s not on your plan. That can put you into a downward spiral so super fast. You don’t need to be an award-winning chef to prep healthy food either. There are plenty of quick and easy recipes that you can find on Pinterest. I always keep a variety of raw nuts, string cheese and seaweed snacks on hand for quick grab-and-go situations, too. But take the time to plan out your meals and portion them so you don’t have to worry about it.
Step 5: Lay off the booze. Seriously. If you want to see real results real quick, ditch the alcohol. If you do decide to indulge, opt for low sugar drinks (like vodka/ soda) or a glass of French Bordeaux. Notice how I said glass and not bottle?!? 😉
Step 6: Don’t Give Up! Even if you fall of track, pick yourself back up and start fresh again the next day. And with the holidays just a couple short weeks away, my suggestion is to START NOW.
Honestly, I think starting a diet plan before the holidays will set you up for success in a massive way. You will feel UNSTOPPABLE after refraining from temptation during the most indulgent time of the year. I cut out sugar the week before Halloween, and I was so proud of myself for doing that. It helped me keep the momentum up! So, get your head right. And if you can make it through the holidays and stay on track, you’ll have a huge jump on things in the New Year! Again, whatever you do… don’t give up!
I hope you found this helpful, and I’m sending you so much love and positive vibes. You got this!