I need to lose weight. It is something I have been struggling with for a while now, but seeing as I’m kind of an all-or-nothing type of person, I have to reach my breaking point before I will make the changes required to lose weight.
How do I know this? I have done it before. As a freshman in high school, I weighed as much as I weigh now. One day, I saw a picture of myself, with all of my lumps and bumps, and decided I was going to change.
And I did.
Over the course of a year, I lost 50 pounds the right way, by exercising and eating right. I even kept if off for 3 years. But then, freshman year of college, there was a buffet in the dorms, and I got married, so the freshman and newlywed 15 turned into 40. Add in the fact that over the last 4 years and a pregnancy, my weight is back to where I started freshman year of high school I can’t blame the pregnancy. I actually weigh less now than before I got pregnant. I can only blame myself.
So, I’m going back to my roots. How?
What first started my health and fitness journey was Pilates. My gym teacher in 8th grade forced us to do them, but I found that I loved the control Pilates gave me over my muscles and body. The fact that I became more toned-up everywhere was also a perk! So, my mom bought me a Pilates DVD (that I still have to this day) and I started doing it every night. It got to the point where I had the routine memorized, so I would just do it in my room without the DVD. Pilates gave me control of my muscles, and the rhythmic breathing allowed me to calm my mind.
Of course, I started loving the results I was getting and the way my body looked, so I started watching what I was putting into my body. I was very lucky in that at home we had access to tons of great healthy, organic foods. My mom had a garden, we raised chickens, and had organic milk, so all I had to do was take advantage of it all! I kept a food diary and watched my calorie intake. In doing so, I learned that I could get more volume per calorie eating healthy things than junk food, so the switch to eating better was natural if I wanted the scale to go down and still feel full.
Then, I wanted to exercise more. I kept up with the Pilates, but I started running just a bit. I would walk a few blocks out to a country road with no houses or people to judge me, and I would run as much as I could and then walk until I wasn’t going to pass out. I did this 3 days a week, until I was able to run 3 miles at a time, 3 times per week. I guess I have to add, too , that at the time I was waitressing on roller blades for 6 hours shifts, 5 times per week, so that certainly helped too!
When it was all said and one, I got down to 130 pounds on my 5’4” frame, from 180 pounds! I was thrilled with the results!
But that’s all gone now, and I’m back where I started
- Pilates: See below. This is how I lost the weight the first time.
- Keeping a Brutally Honest Food Diary: I am finally in the mindset to be honest with myself, so once I’ve kept an honest food diary for a week, then I will start looking for places to trim calories
- Not eating out: McDonald’s BBQ bacon burgers are my weakness right now. They’re so ridiculously good! But, they’re not good for my waistline or my wallet. The only exception is Sunday mornings, when we’re in a rush to get to church, we’re going to go through the drive-thru. It’s unavoidable.
- Drinking Water: I have committed to drink a gallon of water every day. My diet and exercise regimen could be wrecked, but regardless I will drink a gallon of water every single day. It makes me feel so energetic, clears up my skin, and makes me feel less hungry!
- Allow easy days: Sundays are cheat days. I can exercise if I feel like it, but if not, it’s ok. I can have McDonald’s in the morning. Mostly I can relax.
- Clean Eating: I do most of my shopping at Aldi (you can read about that here, here, and here) and I really like their prices, so I’m going to continue to shop there. I am however, going to pay attention to what I buy. I am going to buy organic whenever possible, and buy food that are as minimally processed as well! ( eMeals.com has a great clean eating meal plan if you need some help! Get 15% Off Your Order at eMeals.com with Bonus Comfort Foods Brochure! Use code Dinner15)
Going Back to Your Financial Roots
The same principle I am applying to my health goes for finances and financial goals. In the beginning it is easy to make drastic changes. You can quickly see what are wants and what are needs in your budget. You have a mindset that allows you to cut down to the bare bones, and you love the changes you see in your bank account and spending habits. Maybe you can keep the change up for years – likeI did with my weight loss – but then something happens. Maybe it’s time, or a life event, but you fall off the wagon. Small expenses start to add up and you realize you’re overextended again. It can be hard, after such a long time of success to refocus on your goals and make progress again.
If you have an all-or-nothing personality like I do, then this is especially hard because you have to let it get to the point of drowning before you can see that you need to make a change and are able to get your mindset together enough to make those changes.
Our budget is still a point of contention. We are trying desperately to pay down our personal loan by the end of November, because we want things to ease up for Christmas, and right now everything extra we have is going to pay that off. Once that is done I will actually be able to breathe!
But we’re constantly refocusing, trying not to let our finances get like my weight is.
Have you ever had to “go back to your roots” to reenergize, refocus, and hit some goals?
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Josh @ CNA says
Both my mom and my dad struggle with weight. Luckily I don’t deal with that, but I know how real the struggle can be. It’s neat that instead of trying some kind of binge diet, you’re going back to your roots and working on sustainable ways to lose weight…that’s awesome!
Thanks – hopefully it will work!
Josh @ CNA says
I’m sure it will, you seem dedicated!
Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says
Ugh, I can identify: I packed on 30-35 pounds after we moved to our hobby farm. So frustrating after being at my ideal weight for over four years!!! Like you, I’m working on getting back to eating healthy, I’ve started exercising regularly, and am working hard to get healthy again. We can do it!!!
I’m sure all of the work that needs to be done on the farm helps too! Good luck!
Sounds like you have a great plan Gretchen, I hope that you are able to stick with it! For me eating out less and smaller portions have been huge, just trying to be active some way helps, but I can still improve in that area.
No More Waffles says
Losing 50 pounds is a major feat! Because you’ve done it before, I’m sure you’ll easily lose that much again if you keep at it. And I think the easy days are a great idea to keep yourself motivated. Tightening your belt constantly could be discouraging.
Also, big Aldi fan over here! :)
I couldn’t live without Aldi, that’s for sure! Thanks for the encouragement!
Mrs. Frugalwoods says
Good luck to you! And thank you for sharing this–I think it’s awesome that you’re so open about the goals you want to achieve. It’s inspiring!
Thank you! I’m hoping that by being so open and honest about my struggle I will be even more motivated! Thank you for the encouragement!
[email protected] says
I think your goals sound great! Oh yes, it’s so easy to let things get off track. I just got back from a weekend at my in-laws and probably gained five pounds while I was there. Time to get back on track!
They say it’s harder to keep it off than it is to lose it – and I”m finding that that’s true!
Carie Spence says
You have a great plan laid out. You got this! Thank you for linking up to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party. I have pinned your post to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest board.
I hope so! Now just to follow through!
This is my new favorite blog!!
Awwww – thank you! You just made my night :-)
Fitness and nutrition has been a huge part of my life ever since I decided to get healthier and fit. Sometimes I get over my head with certain things and go back to my roots of exercising and eating healthy. I don’t count macros or anything like that. I like to go to the root of being healthy and simply eat clean and stay away from processed meals.
I wish I could do it without counting calories. Unfortunately, I’m a numbers person, so I’m stuck :-)
Jayleen Zotti says
Oh yes … it seems like we are constantly rebooting our budget. Life happens and we have to make adjustments!
I have been trying to get back on track with my weight by going to the gym and maximizing my membership. Not only is it a waste financially when I don’t go, but it also isn’t doing my health any good either.
Alyssa J Freitas says
I have found myself over extended in different areas of my life and definitely had to take a step back! It can be so hard to exercise the self control you once had because you already know how difficult it is, but oh so rewarding.
Alyssa J Freitas
Hello Gretchen, I was wondering what exactly is a personal loan? Also I just wanted to say that this blog is very informative to me and truly an inspiration because starting next fall I will be $100K in debt in college loans. Yikes!
The term personal loan tends of encompass many things. In my case it was a loan from my husband’s grandparents, but it could be a loan from a bank for any sort of “personal reason.” as well. That much student debt is scary, but the fact that you’re paying attention to your finances means you’ll handle it well. Good luck!