When people think about weight loss, the first words that come to mind are diet and exercise. Now if you are some one that isn't really active and enjoys the luxuries of food, diet and exercise isn't really appealing. In order to get what you want in life, you must first set a goal in your mind and then take action. But who wants to eat veggies and salad all day and eat like a rabbit? Who wants to give up the donuts, chips/crisps or pizza?
In the last week, I have had several people ask me what I have been doing for my weight loss journey. "I see you eating all the time!", "You look like you're having so much fun going away on trips, socialising and yet I can see your figure changing! How are you doing this?" They have all told me that they have been struggling as they can't keep to a strict diet. So I thought I would share what I have done in the last couple of years.
Now first let me make it clear that I am not a fitness model, nor am I a nutritionist. I am merely an average, every day person that has started to find a balance between being able to live life the way I want yet still chase those body goals. For those that knew me before the travel bug hit me, saw that I came back to Australia a much bigger version of "Lilmissmaz". They would also know that since then, I have lost quite a few dress sizes and have got myself back into the world of fitness again.
My progress has been slow and steady. I've been back in Australia since August 2013. I have never gone on a crazy, strict diet in that time and I wasn't a gym junkie. I will admit these days, the gym is my playground and it is the very reason I jump out of bed every morning. I love being there. It wasn't always this way though.
The day I decided I wanted to lose weight, I signed up to a 12 week boot camp. Why? Personally, I felt if I was paying for a service and was held accountable, I would turn up. Also because it was only 12 weeks, it meant I only had to commit for a short period of time. I knew it would at least help kick start my motivation. If I am expected somewhere, I'm the kind of person that will be there. If I signed up to a gym membership, I knew I wouldn't go regularly. Maybe for the first week or so and then get lazy. I knew myself all too well.
I went to the boot camps 3 times a week. At first, I realised just how unfit I was. (Before I put on the weight, I was actually pretty fit.) Just by being aware of how unfit and weak I was made me feel terrible. "I used to be able to do a push up, I can barely do these squats without my legs collapsing." I had to stop my mind from telling me how unfit I was and instead use it as motivation to get fit again.
Yup that's it guys, first thing is mindset. Change the way you think. Instead of thinking of what you can't do and highlighting how chubby/fat you are, thinking you will never look like that fit guy/girl you secretly are jealous of, think of what you could be like. Think of when you will be stronger and when you will look good at the beach. As cliche' as it seems, positive thinking can take you a long way.
I then switched a few things in my diet. I didn't want to eat chicken and broccoli/asparagus every day as I love food way too much to be able to stick to this. I made a few small changes. I changed white bread to rye, wholemeal, anything that was a healthier equivalent. Instead of giving up on pasta (mind you I love pasta), I switched to pasta made from vegetables. There are various brands out there and they actually taste pretty darn good. I personally prefer it over the real pasta. I feel it tastes better and also keeps me fuller for longer. I use coconut oil for cooking and lemon for dressing.
I also ate 5/6 times day to keep my metabolism running. Every time people saw me I was always eating! I didn't want my body to go into starvation mode. I would bring my lunches to work. This saved me money and also prevented me from overeating as the portion was already made out.
I ate food that everyone would envy. Just ask any one that I have worked/lived or still work with. It looks good, it smells and yes it definitely tastes good. I like food with flavour and I like variety. I like to enjoy my meals and not feel like I am on a diet. I don't diet, I just make healthier choices 80% of the time.
It's a journey not a race. Some people are great at diets and self control. I just know I am not one of those people. I feel if I was to go on a strict diet, I would lose weight fast and then pack it back on as fast as I lost it. When it comes to exercise, you don't have to go all out. The smallest of changes is still change. Any progress is progress.
Instead of that 5 minute drive, walk and take in the fresh air. Instead of that glass or two of wine/beer every night, just keep your drinking to one night a week. Have a few on that night! Life is short! Instead of takeaway every day, keep those meals to once, twice or even three meals a week. It all depends on your current lifestyle now. As long as you do something that is better than what you are doing now, just remember that it is still progress. Keep in mind that the more effort you give, the more you will get back. Don't beat yourself up, life is too short to hate your body. Just keep in mind that even if it is a tiny change, it all counts. It is all about moderation.
I will be posting some recipes and food ideas along the way as per the request of some people. (You know exactly who you are!) I also regularly post pics of food I eat on Instagram and snap chat. Feel free to follow me/add me for some ideas. Info is on my IG bio and also found on my website.
Note; I know the photo with this blog is of terrible quality but I didn't exactly take many good quality photos when I was not quite happy with my weight! The photos are one year apart.
( www.thefitnessfreedomflow.com )