6.07.2012

My Health & Fitness Journey...In A Nutshell!

Hi lovely people :)
This week is whizzing by, and I haven't had one spare second to breathe. But that's okay...that just makes me appreciate the fact that the weekend is getting nearer!

I've had a lot of questions about my health/fitness journey so I figured I'd give you guys a little look into that!

WARNING: THIS WILL BE A VERY TEXT HEAVY POST ;)

Before I get into the details of my journey there is something I want to share:

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This is so true for me. The only time that I step on a scale these days is when I go to the doctor's office. When I first started losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle, I stepped on a scale once a week to track my progress and make sure that I was meeting my goals. Now that I have met my goals and I am maintaining a healthy lifestyle, I can gauge where I'm at by how my body feels.

My journey...well in high school I was overweight. I'm 5' tall and weighed 143 pounds at my heaviest. You may think to yourself, "143...really that's not THAT much." Okay - wrong. When you are 5' tall, 143 pounds means that I looked like a rolly polly ball. It was not good. I had no self confidence, and I wasn't comfortable in my own body. I knew I had to do something.

The summer between my sophomore and junior year I made the decision to revamp my lifestyle. I was ready to live healthy and love myself. And feel good by doing it the right way. I'd seen close friends and family crash and burn on fad diets, so I knew those were a no-go if I wanted lasting results.

I didn't really know where to start so I just jumped right in. I joined a local gym and committed to going 5 days a week - doing an hour of cardio each of those days. 30 minutes on the elliptical and 30 minutes on the bike. Nothing crazy. And for my diet, I started out by cutting out all drinks except water, cutting out sweets (which let me just tell you was the hardest part for me because I don't have just one sweet tooth, but probably more like 4 sweet teeth), switching from white bread to wheat bread, and changing from 2% milk to skim milk. I also axed all fast food from my diet. 

My eating habits have changed even more since then. I still only drink water, hot tea & coffee...no soda! My sweet tooth has tamed down a lot. Occasionally I'll have a craving and I usually try to satisfy it by drinking a cup of coffee or something like that. I rarely eat bread. And I drink almond milk. My diet consists of a ton of fresh fruits & veggies. I love smoothies :) I eat fish & chicken a few times per week.

That first summer (about 2 months) I lost 30 pounds. 
I'm not a naturally skinny person. 
I worked hard.
I didn't give up.
I ate right.
And exercised.
There's no hidden secret.
Just drive & ambition!

Is it easy? No. Absolutely not. If it was easy everyone would be healthy & in shape. 
But I can tell you one thing...it's worth it!

Since then I have lost 10-11 more pounds and have maintained that weight for over 2 years. It started out difficult, but now I couldn't live any other way. Here are some of the things that I do now to maintain a healthy lifestyle:

(and please note that even though I am "skinny" I am strong. I'm not a little beanpole and I take pride in that :))

I work out at least 6 days a week for 60 minutes each day. And I've come to love it.
My work outs consist of 5 minutes of stretching, 30 minutes of cardio, 20 minutes of strength training, and 5 minutes of cool down stretching. Sometimes when my schedule is hectic, I break up the cardio & strength training and do one in the morning and the other in the evening.

I eat breakfast every day to get my metabolism going (I'm a big on never skipping breakfast). I also eat lunch and dinner every day and one healthy snack in between lunch & dinner. I drink lots of water (at least 60 ounces a day). And I do treat myself on the weekend occasionally- if I want a slice of pizza or a mojito (or both!) I have them. I just make sure to be on my A-game Monday-Friday and keep my "treat" portions reasonable. There's no reason to make yourself miserable! 

I try not to base my day around how many calories I'm eating; instead I try to fill my body with foods that will make me feel good and give me proper nutrition & energy. That along with being active and working out every day = the key to success!

My tips:
Eat lean protein.
Don't skip meals.
Avoid processed foods as much as you can - fresh is best!
Pay attention to portion sizes.
Work out as early in the day as possible.
Change up your work outs so you don't get burnt out/bored.
Go bike riding, play a game of tennis with a friend, go for a swim, just MOVE.
Work out with a friend if you feel like that will motivate you.
Don't ever give up! Results won't happen over night! Make it your lifestyle :)

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I'm known among my friends as "the healthy & fit one" and it took a lot of hard work to get there. But like I mentioned earlier...it comes naturally to me now. Do I have to occasionally fight off cravings? Yes, but I am stronger than my cravings. AND YOU are stronger than yours :)

Seriously, if you want to make it happen, commit yourself and it will happen. My way will not work for everyone, but that's the beauty of living a healthy lifestyle, everyone's is different! You have to find what works for you & your body!

I'm so incredibly excited to continue this journey of mine and pursue my passion for health & fitness by becoming a Certified Personal Trainer. 

Remember ladies...you are BEAUTIFUL :)
If you ever need any encouragement about your health & fitness journey, you know where to find me!

25 comments:

  1. Love this post and love you! You are an inspiration to me :) I was always the super skinny girl in high school and college.. Then I got married and packed on some pounds. I've noticed that I've gained weight and it freaks me out... I was feeling not so great about myself especially when someone told me I was getting chubby and someone asked me if I was due soon!! I started running/walking last week and I don't eat wheat or much dark meat anymore :) and I've pretty much cut out processed foods and sugary stuff. You've motivated me :) so thanks!! And sorry for the book!! Haha XO

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  2. These are great tips to living healthy! I love that you arent scale obsessed - no one should ever do that to themselves!

    xo Teresa
    www.delightfullydarling.com
    *Im hosting a giveaway!

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  3. I loved this post. These tips are great! My husband and I are trying our hardest this summer (starting this month and beyond) to lose weight,so wish us luck! Just a question,I've noticed on blogs,including yours,that people say to exercise as earliest as possible during the day,why is that important? Also,do you eat hamburger meat? Have a great Thursday! :)

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  4. okay...i would pay you to train me if i lived in florida!

    i have a naturally fast metabolism so i'm "lucky" in that aspect. i eat whatever i want. and a lot of bad foods. i just feel so tired/lethargic/blah A LOT. i've been trying slowly to make adjustments..like eating breakfast! limiting soda, trying to eat more salads for lunch.

    how do you not eat bread?? i feel like when i don't eat it i'm STARVING.

    another question, do you bring your lunch to work? what do you bring?

    what do you eat when you eat out?

    do you work out at the gym? before work?

    (okay...you could do a separate post in just my questions hahahaha sorry!!)

    that's all....for now ;)

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  5. Love this post, your passion for fitness will make you a great trainer!

    Carly
    www.lipglossandcrayons.com

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  6. If you saw my post last night, you know why I'm feeling incredibly guilty right now!! I too had a weight problem in high school and dropped 40lbs before the end of my Sr year.. I maintained for a while but it creeps up on my every now and then. My cravings for SWEETS are the worst. But it seems I can have my head on my shoulders right with diet and exercise and then if I mess up on one thing, I mess up on ALL. Back in the game today!

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  7. This is quite pathetic but you have me tearing up right now. I am at the point where you were a few years ago - 5'3" and weighing just a bit over 140lbs. I try and tell myself that I look fine and that I need to love myself but it's just not working because I know I'd just be lying to myself. I am not healthy and I am not fit and I am not proud of the way I look. I don't want to lose weight just to be skinny, I want to lose it so that I don't feel like crying every time I look at the mirror and so that I can gain self confidence back. I have started attempting to be healthier and exercise more but am still having those days when I just say "this is too hard and I don't want to do it anymore, I'll just have to be fine with being fat" but I don't want to live that way either! Thank you for sharing your journey and although I am still lacking that intense personal drive to make a huge change in my life, you are always an inspiration and a motivation to me and I thank you for that Jessica!

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  8. So I'm just really glad were friends!!! You are such an inspiration! I really need to kick my butt into shape one goal that I set for myself this summer was no sodas...6 days in we're doing ok ;). So proud of you an all of your accomplishments and how many people you inspire through your healthy life style. GO YOU.

    LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!
    Ps. I'm back. :)

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  9. Thanks so much for sharing :) I always go by how I feel about myself, not the number on the scale.

    I would love to get into a healthier lifestyle but its hard. I wish I had more motivation! I will be emailing you for advice and what not soon :)

    Have an awesome weekend!

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  10. Thank you for this post Jessica!! You seriously encourage me SO much! Your positive energy literally comes through on every post and you give me inspiration to get healthy and fit and make me feel like I CAN do it. Thanks so much! Keep blogging because you've become one of my favorite blogs!!!

    Thanks again!
    -Kari

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  11. I love this post! I feel like I need to link to this and your exercise routine posts when I write my diet post. Our posts together pretty much make up the best lifestyle EVER. Hahaha! Yes, we are just that cool.

    Keep inspiring other women to take care of themselves! It's something that is becoming more and more rare -- partly because of (in my opinion) unethical marketing and partly because life gets so busy for people, and they need to motivation!

    I love you so much, J! Cheers to good health!

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  12. love this post! so inspiring! i could definitely stand to tone up and lose a few lbs. but most importantly i want to feel healthy and fit. great tips :)

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  13. I LOVE this post! Your approach to fitness is so healthy...you're going to make a great trainer! Thanks for sharing!

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  14. I am 5 foot even too, and yes, 143lbs? Roly poly ball. I was there...and I've been heavier! P90X changed my life, and made exercise a natural part of my day. I work out in the mornings, and I feel like poo if I dont exercise. It's not even worth skipping!

    I splurge on the weekends...but I'm pretty strict during the week. It's how I stay sane.

    I'm loving this fit new me! I'm starting to get into Yoga now, and can't wait to see where it takes me!

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  15. I absolutly adore the fitness quote on this post the scale does not mean anything! Thank you for sharing BTW you look super fit!

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  16. Great post! I am trying to start living a healthy lifestyle and at this point, it is a lot harder than I originally thought. I am trying to stay consistent with running, but also making sure I am listening to my body. I even completed my first 5k this past weekend, with both running and walking. I'm still struggling with the eating right. I try to pay attention to what I eat, but those late evening cravings are part of whats killing me. Any suggestions?

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  17. Thank you so much for writing this. Great, great post! It doesn't matter how many times I read these words I still take them to heart all the time. And you're right, hard work pays off and we are stronger than our cravings! Congrats on all your progress, success and working toward a bigger goal than just a size, weight or body type. But working toward health and making it something you're passionate about as a job is awesome too!

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  18. Love this post. I recently lost about 20 lbs by doing the same things you do. I'm 5'2 so I kinda know what you mean about an ok sounding number on the scale making short girls look like a roly poly. That 20 lbs was huge for me. I've kept it off for about a year, but I just recently graduated from grad school and my routine is shot. I'm still maintaining, but I really need to get back on track with exercising and eating healthier. This post definitely inspired me to get my hiney back in gear!

    -Haley

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  19. I love this post! I don't want to be a roly poly ball either!

    Thanks for your encouragement, you're awesome! :)

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  20. you are so encouraging!! thank you for sharing your fitness journey. i would love to have you for a personal trainer!! :)

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  21. Good for you girl!!! It really is a journey BUT its so worth it if you stick with it! I hope to be able to show my kids a healthy lifestyle so they never struggle like I have! Which certification are you looking into? I've thought about personal training when my little ones go to school!

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  22. I just found your blog via Gentri Lee and love it and love this post. Thank you for your encouraging words. You have definitely motivated me to keeping trying with my weight loss/strength training.

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I love reading your encouraging words :)
Seriously...every comment makes my day a little brighter!
SO THANK YOU for being wonderful!

If you have a question or need a response, please don't hesitate to email me at
jessica@lovelylittlethingsblog.com