I have always been physical, loved sports, and in good shape. I was very active and thin in high school and college. I ate everything in sight and never gained a pound.
It wasn't until after graduation and getting a job as a teacher that I slowly started to gain weight. I went from walking to classes and all over campus everyday to sitting behind a desk all day. I continued eating the same fatty foods but without the activity my body slowly started to change. Even with the decrease in activity I didn't really pack on pounds until I started taking a medication that made me gain 15lbs. I swear I have been fighting these 15lbs for 10 years.
Even with the weight gain, I stayed active. When I left teaching and joined the Army in 1999, those 15lbs melted off but as soon as basic training and AIT was over they were back again.
Since leaving the Army I have had three kids, two of them in two years. While I never got huge with any of my pregnancies, I did retain some weight with each one. Couple the pregnancies with a constantly reoccuring old Army injury and it has been a tough journey.
I have read every book, tried every diet, every pill, and every exercise program available and I feel like I have finally found the keys that are working for me. I should make it clear than I am not a big person by the world's standards and I don't have gobs and gobs to lose but no matter how many people tell me that I look good, I am doing this for myself and I won't be satisfied until I look a certain way.
Since November 2009, I have lost 18lbs. I would really like to lose another 5-10lbs but I am more concerned with how my body looks and how my clothes fit.
OK, here are my tips:
1. I joined Weight Watchers. I cannot say enough about WW. While I haven't always followed their guidelines, the WW program really helped me to understand portion sizes, carbs, calories, proteins, and fiber.
2. I discovered Jillian Michaels. The Jillian Michaels videos are better than any exercise routine that I have had other than Army basic training.
3. I have tried the Jillian Michaels videos before and failed because I was comparing myself to Jillian and the girls on the video. Once I realized that they are paid to do nothing but workout and they are able to stop videoing and do re-takes at any moment, I realized that I needed to take a different approach.
*I do not try to do rep-for-rep. I go at my own pace without quitting for the entire time.
*If there is an exercise that I absolutely cannot do, I do something else just as hard for the same amount of time.
*I switch up the levels, weights, and videos so I don't get bored.
4. I don't get down on myself if I skip a day but I try to do something active every single day.
5. I try to eat a salad at each meal.
6. I drink at least 32oz of water everyday.
The biggest thing that has helped me is that I allow myself to still enjoy life, enjoy dinners, and enjoy a good bottle glass of vino with friends. I love food so much and I have realized that I need to have those times where I enjoy food. In all of the times before, I would try to deprive myself and then fall off of the wagon within a couple of days. After binging, came guilt (and weight). This time is different. NO GUILT!
And just because every post needs a picture, this is the body I'd love to have: