A few weekends ago we took our engagement photos and it was an absolute blast. We love our photographer and she made it so fun. At the end of the shoot, she snapped a quick iPhone picture. I looked at it that night and for the first time, really saw how much my body has changed.
I asked you guys on Instagram if you’d be interested in a longer post all about it, so here you go. DISCLAIMER: I am not a health or fitness professional. Far from it. I’ve done a lot of research and after about 10 years of struggling with finding the healthiest ways for me to eat, this is what I’ve landed on that’s working.
I’m going to walk you through my:
- General tips
If you haven’t already, read my first update here, then come back to this post. So, let’s jump into it:
For the first 3 months I counted calories very strictly. This helped really teach me about the food that I am eating. If you’re someone who is new to tracking calories and macros, it can be difficult. Kate Lemere has a lot of really helpful info on her blog, The Four Percent. She also has great insta stories. I recommend a follow.
It’s really, REALLY important to understand what works for you. If counting calories is an unhealthy behavior for you, then don’t. Just write down your MEAL, not every ingredient. If at any point you start to feel like it’s not a good practice for you, then stop.
For me, counting calories was the best way to make sure I was meeting my nutritional needs without going over. However, your macros are actually more important than your calories. For example, below are two days where I was within my calories, however, one day was much healthier than the other:
Calories can be deceiving for this very reason. Like sure, you could eat 2 Snickers and a Big Mac and be in within your “calories” for the day, but that’s obviously not healthy. I’m now at the point where I’m not counting calories. I can almost track my calories in my head and I know that if I’m having a fat for breakfast (like avo toast), I’d want to avoid a fat for dessert (like PB and an apple).
Below is pretty much what I’ve eaten for the last few months. Obviously if you’re someone who requires more variety, then work on finding ways to hack your food. To make a long-term change work, you can’t deprive yourself. You have to find ways to integrate what you love, while still meeting your goals for long-term success. My other tip for food: just because you have one meal that may be unhealthy, doesn’t mean your whole day is shot. You have at least 2 more opportunities to try again.
Also, save these pics to your phone or Pinterest when you need some ideas! It makes grocery shopping a lot easier.
You can find my vegan burrito bowl recipe HERE.
I work out at Fitwall 9x per month, so about 2x week. I try and get in 2-3 more workouts at my apartment. To me it can be daunting to think, “I have to work out 4-5x this week.” So I like to
- Plan: plan your week at the beginning. First write down all work/social obligations. I also include TV shows I like to watch live in my schedule. Sometimes I even think “If I wash my hair on this day, I’ll do cardio that day…” I PLAN PEOPLE. Yes it’s annoying but taking time to plan your week, writing out what you’ll eat and when you’ll work out really helps you have a less stressful week.
- Trick myself: Find 1 free class in your area for the week (Sundays at Lululemon, work out in the park…it’s not hard). Now you only have to work out 3 more times. Make 1 of those times a walk while listening to your favorite podcast or walk on a treadmill while catching up on a TV show. Now you only need to seriously work out 2 more times. 2 is easy. Make 1 cardio, 1 weights. Done.
Remember, you will not crush every workout. That’s ok. You tried and you’ll try again. Just. Keep. Going. It will get better.
This one you gotta figure out on your own. What’s your “why?” If you don’t have one, a legitimate one, then this won’t work long term. Once you figure out your why, then you can move on to your “what.” What is going to help you meet your goals? Maybe it’s…
- A new planner to help with your schedule
- New shoes because your old ones look like crap (go get sized at a store by a professional)
- New pans to cook with
You might need to invest a little to meet your goals but in the end, it will be so worth it.
So where has this left me? Well, I’ve lost a lot of weight, which is cool, but more exciting for me are the non-scale victories:
- My wedding dress falls so much nicer
- I am lifting 15-30 lb weights vs. 5-15 lb weights
- It takes me less time to recover from workouts
- My jeans, that were quite tight last summer, have extra room
I’m going slow and steady with this. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve done every diet fad there is and SHOCKER SHOCKER after 10 years of trying various detoxes, teas, 12-day programs, smoothie diets and more, EATING RIGHT AND WORKING OUT ACTUALLY WORKS.
I hope that some of this info was helpful. Fitness can be intimidating because I feel like there isn’t a middle ground for people who are like, “yeah I want to be fit but also I need to stop at Wendy’s to get French fries on the way home,” ya know? So if you have questions, let me know, I can do my best to answer, but this is about all of the knowledge I have poured into one post.