Over the years of creating life, I’ve packed on quite a few pounds. I gained a normal amount of weight with each pregnancy, lost about half of it following birth and then slowly regained. As my weight crept higher and higher, I started to care less and less about it, and was starting to accept that this was my reality now. In the past when I’d worked REALLY hard to lose weight, it came off at a turtle’s pace with such astronomical effort that I really didn’t have the willpower to maintain it long-term. Back in 2008 I was working out with a personal trainer regularly, and she kicked my ass for each workout. I trained for and ran a half-marathon. And over that year, I lost maybe 10 lbs. In a WHOLE YEAR. It was very discouraging. I just thought my genetics have doomed me and it was time to accept I was destined to be large and in charge. So how did I shed 14 pounds in 6 weeks? “What’s your secret?” The question everyone asks when you lose weight. So here it is:
The secret was me.
I changed my mind about weight loss. This is step number one that I was ALWAYS missing. Everybody talks about eat this, eat that, don’t eat this, do Crossfit, do yoga, etc. And yes, all those things can be effective. But if you don’t first change your mind about fitness, weight loss, health and your internal dialogue with yourself about body image, you’re doomed to yo-yo. I read the most AMAZING book, Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. While the entire book is fabulous, there was one chapter about her weight gain and subsequent loss that was the most relatable experience I have ever read on weight loss. I’m paraphrasing here, but what she basically said was that she had made a choice to be overweight, by performing what she comically dubbed “veal practice.” Her weight was constantly on her mind, but she wasn’t taking any action to change it. She got to a tipping point where she made herself decide: say yes to being overweight or say yes to getting healthy. Hearing her point of view just really shifted something in my mind. I also thought about my weight frequently but took little consistent effort to actually change it. So, after I digested what I had read, I decided that I was going to say yes to being healthy. I was going to stop talking down to myself about my weight, because it wasn’t serving me at all. I was going to find a method that worked for me and stick with it.
How I Lost the Weight
The primary catalyst to my weight loss was a mindset shift but changing your mind without changing your actions still gets you nowhere. So, I had to change what I was doing to get different results. Here’s what worked for me.
- Quick, enjoyable workouts – I did a 6-week challenge with 9Round 30 Minute Kickbox Fitness. The workouts there are tough, but totally doable for people of any fitness level. It’s kickboxing-based circuit training and there is a trainer who rotates between class members and gives you tons of individualized attention. The workouts are totally enjoyable. They’re a great way to release tension and at about 30-35 minutes per workout, by the time you’re really starting to feel worn out, the whole workout is over. I like that they don’t have class times. You just come in whenever it’s convenient, do your 9 stations and leave. There’s no excuse to punk out on this workout. For the challenge, they asked that you did 3 workouts a week.
- Sticking to a meal plan – The 6-week challenge came with a meal plan customized to my nutritional needs. While I have signed an agreement not to divulge the details of this eating plan, it was basically just eating clean, healthy, real foods. If you want your own personalized meal plan, I highly suggest contacting this gym. This is probably the only meal-plan that I have ever complied with almost 100 percent (I did have a few off-plan crackers here and there, if I’m being honest). Part of the plan was also consuming several protein shakes per day, and the 9Round brand of protein was surprisingly tasty.
- Accountability – As part of the challenge, there were weekly weigh-ins and body fat checks. So, when I felt like not going to the gym or not eating on the plan, I thought about that weekly weigh-in and composed myself again. My sister also did the challenge, so I had accountability at home too. Most importantly, because I had shifted my mindset about weight loss, I was now accountable to myself.
- Hydration – I drank 2 gallons of water every. Single. Day. This did require quite a few (hundred) trips to the bathroom each day, but you really do feel better when you’re well hydrated. It takes genuine effort to consume this much water, but it’s well worth it for the boost in metabolism.
- Supplementation – In addition to eating whole, good-for-me foods, I supplement with a daily multi-vitamin, antioxidant coffee and a nitric oxide booster.
If you’re struggling to lose weight, I hope you take something helpful to your journey from this. There is no one path to losing weight. You have to just find what works for you and do it over and over again until you hit your goal. I’m still 62 pounds away from my ultimate goal, but after losing just 14 pounds I feel more energized, stronger, healthier, more confident and ready to take the consistent steps I need to take toward being the healthiest I can be.