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Fitness

Row Machine.

I thought it would be fun to do a series of posts outlining and critiquing the various things that I have tried at the gym. Some thing I love, some I don’t. I am not a professional trainer, so all of these posts will be my own opinions, and personal findings.

The first post was dedicated to cycling, and can be found here.

So for this post I am going to focus on rowing.
Description: The row machine looks like this:

rowing

source

 It is a stable machine designed to mimic the motion of rowing a boat. The handles are the oars, and the seat moves as you push your feet. It’s kinda hard to explain while typing, so here is the video that I learned proper rowing form from:

I was actually a little intimidated to try the rowing machine. I wasn’t sure if I would know how to do it right, I thought I would try and then everyone in the gym would be starring at me while I was doing the motions completely wrong. This video really helped, and now I feel pretty confident about my skill level.

Duration: I usually row in increments of 10-15 minutes, but you could definitely do more. On days that I don’t have a class to attend I will do circuit like workouts, and rotate between strength exercises with 10 minute cardio blasts in between each set.

Level of like (10) or dislike (0): A 9 or maybe even a 10. I love it for short, quick cardio blasts. I find that I work harder when only doing it for 10 minute sessions, compared to 30 minutes all at once. But that’s just me.

I will usually do intervals, go really hard and fast (TWSS) for about 30 seconds, and then I will slow it down for 15 seconds. Repeat.

Benefits:
-It’s a great low impact cardio option. Because you  sit while you are working, I find it not to be as difficult as running, but my heart rate still spikes. Plus I don’t worry about injuring my back or knees as much as I do with other activities.
-It utilizes a lot of muscle groups. My legs, my upper body, and working to stabilize my core.
-Its a great aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Your body is dealing with resistance while utilizing your oxygen supply with repetitive motions.

Advice for first timers:
-Make sure to use your legs to really drive the motion. Your legs hold the power more than your upper body. Not to say that you don’t use your upper body, just don’t neglect the legs, they are your biggest muscle group.
-Be prepared to get calluses on your hands. Or at least I get them. But that could be because I lift dumbbells first, then row, then lift, etc. A lot of friction is put on my hands in a small period of time.

Fitness

Cycling.

I recently wrote a post about my love for fitness. It took me a long time to love fitness. I have tried a lot of classes, exercises moves, and machines in order to find a combination that I enjoy. And my work out routine is constantly changing because I get bored easily. I thought it would be fun to do a series of posts outlining and critiquing the various things that I have tried.

So for this post I am going to focus on cycling. 
Description: A dim lite studio with rows and rows of slim bikes (usually these bikes are better than what you will find in the normal gym area). Each bike is adjustable, so you can get the perfect fit for your body. The instructor is on a bike in the front of the room, facing the rest of us. At my gym, the choreography and music of each class is decided by each individual instructor.

Duration: 55 minutes

Level of like (10) or dislike (0): 6-8. Some days I really love cycling. Other days I really hate it. For a long time I really loved cycling. I never missed a class. But then I got bored, and I stopped going as frequently. The problem for me is that the time seems to go by really slowly. Although lately I have found an instructor who plays great music, and sets up the choreography so it feels like the class is going by pretty fast. The best part about cycling is after the class is over, I always come out feeling really strong, and proud.

Benefits:
-Cycling is a great low impact exercise, and easy on the joints, such as knees or hips.
-Even though it’s low impact, it’s a high calorie burn, and can jump start the metabolism.
-It really tones up your leg muscles. I definitely noticed a difference when I started cycling.
-It’s really great on the heart, and lowering chances of heart disease.

Advice for first timers: Be prepared for a sore tushy! Don’t be afraid to ask questions. For cycling to be really effective you must have the perfect fitting bike. I think it’s really smart for people to ask the instructor for help adjusting the bike. It’s a really easy class to modify. You can adjust your resistance to whatever number is challenging for you, and the best part is that no one has to know what your resistance level is! 

Fitness

Why I Love Fitness

My relationship with the gym is a very love hate kind of thing. All throughout my life I have hated, HATED, working out. It seemed like a hassle. Who the hell wants to work up a sweat, have a racing heart, and be out of breath? Nowadays the answer is me. But back then I thought of fitness as stupid and unnecessary.

Then fast forward to October 31st, 2011. The day that I decided it was time to get my ass in gear. The day that I got my gym membership. The day that changed my life in more ways than I could have ever imagined.

I originally started working out to lose weight. Because I had to. I was tired of being fat, and I knew that fitness was going to get me to where I wanted to be. Food plays a big role as well, but I have done plenty of bitching about food on this blog, today is about fitness.

So when I started, the only thing that was motivating my work outs was getting the fat to melt off. Which it did not do. My weight loss journey has been very slowwwww. Which is okay because I think it means that the weight will stay off.

Anyway, in the beginning I still did not like working out. It wasn’t until I found some fitness classes with awesome instructors that I kinda started to like fitness. And still, I only moderately liked these classes. I would still have preferred to be sitting on my couch. These classes were just more fun than the elliptical so I continued to go.

Then something started to happen. My endurance started to go up. The classes that once were so challenging were becoming doable. I could physically feel myself getting stronger. And I liked it. I started craving these classes. I wanted to attend them. And with every class I was becoming more and more inspired by the instructors that were pushing me past my limits.

When I started working out I could only complete 8 push-ups, on my knees. I could only do 1 on my toes. And even that 1 push-up was a challenge.

I have an instructor who insists that the class does push-ups on toes. She truly believes that everyone is capable. I used to think that she was full of shit. But I tried and tried to do push-ups on my toes and not my knees.

Then one day I was working out on my own, and I was able to bust out 10 push-ups on my toes. And that is the moment when I realized that I loved fitness. That was the moment that I was finally inspired with myself. Yes, the instructor is the only reason that I even tried to do push-ups on my toes, but I am the one that did them. I am the one who built up my strength. I am the one who can now do tons of push-ups on my toes and not even give it a second thought.

That is why I love fitness. Because with every passing day, my body is changing. I have not lost a pound in nearly 8 months. Not one. But I continue to work out because I love it. Because I am constantly challenging myself. I am constantly in competition with myself. And even though my weight is currently in a plateau, I know my body is changing.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are some days when I would rather lick a toilet than go to the gym. Seriously.

Some days I am not in the mind set for the gym, but I go anyway. And every once in awhile, if I am lucky, something completely amazing happens. I start my work out and suddenly I stop looking at the clock. I lose track of time, and I am in my own world. I am unaware of the people that are around me, and I am captivated by my work out. I am completely connected to every single set, and rep that I am doing.

Then suddenly 2 hours have passed and I leave the gym feeling strong, proud, and happy. This is why I love fitness. I have found nothing else in this entire world that makes me feel this way. That makes me feel confident, and humble at the same time. That makes me feel like I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. That is why I love fitness.

Not only has fitness changed my body, it has changed my mind. In the last year I have become much more optimistic. I feel happy more often, and I don’t feel the need to compare myself to others. This is my journey. My life. My work out. And I am completely thankful that I have found such a love for fitness!

Fitness

Oh What a Year!

I started blogging at around this time last year. I obviously do not blog on a regular basis, just when I feel like bragging, or complaining. I remembered last year I wrote a post about being in a plateau, and needing to have limits on certain foods. A year ago I was so new to the dieting world. I was confused and I did not feel confident with my eating.

I finally feel like I have everything figured out. I mean, I am still currently in a weight plateau, but I am done stressing about it. I wish I was thinner but I no longer hate my body, so I just need to take a chill pill (do people still say chill pill?) and relax a bit. I have the tools to be successful, so I just need to pipe the fuck down, and be happy with how far that I have come.

In order to do this I am going to attempt to stay off the scale until the end of March. This could be a great plan or a really bad one. It will be really depressing if I step on the scale in April and I’ve gained 5 pounds, but then I will write a post bitching about my metabolism know that I have to weigh myself more frequently.

But it’s interesting reflecting on the last year, and what sort of changes have come about. I feel and look like a different person.

I no longer feel like I am trapped in the body of a fat girl. Prior to starting this journey I did not find myself attractive. I felt like a lot of guys were off limits to me because who would want to be with some who was obese? 

I no longer feel that a lot of guys are off limits. I no longer feel like a fat girl. I no longer feel ugly. I still have a very, very tough time admitting that I am attractive. But if a guy tells me that I am pretty I no longer think he is lying, so there’s that.

I know that so many people say that they get fit for themselves, but that is not why I started. In all honesty I was tired of being the fat friend. I was tired of looking for equally fat guys to date. I was tired of being turned down by the equally fat guys because society still accepts fat guys more than fat girls. I was sick of putting on clothes that were too tight. I was sick of looking in the mirror and hating myself. So I may have started this journey for vanity reasons, but does that matter? It gave me the kick in the ass that I needed and now I am a healthier version of myself, physically and emotionally.

St Patrick’s Day: 
2012: 226ish lbs 
2013: 177ish lbs

I look at the above picture and just shake my head. My face was so damn round. Like double chin and no jaw definition. And I had already lost like 20 pounds. The girl on the left was so unhappy, don’t let that drunken shit grin fool you.

Since this picture I have lost around 50ish pounds. I have also changed my make-up techniques, a lot. First of all, look at the difference coloring my eye brows makes, it totally defines my face. I have also learned how to define and contour my face. All of this may sound superficial but I don’t care because I like the person that I have become, and that is all that matters!

Oh and I did not do well with drinking on a diet this past weekend. So much damn beer, and a shit ton of jello shots. But I had a fucking blast. I love day drinking. It’s probably better that I am not weighing myself today…..

Fitness

It Finally Happened

I have been driving myself absolutely crazy waiting for the scale to move. Every time I would step on the scale I would see nearly the same thing:

179.2
178.8
178.6
179.1
178.5
178.6

Every.Single.Time. For a month. And I was eating so damn well. I know that I should expect plateaus but even when I hit them, it’s still so frustrating.

I was losing all my ambition to work out. Instead of being excited for the gym, I was feeling dread. Part of that could be due to the obscenely cold weather that Minnesota provides. It’s not obscene by Minnesota standards, just my own. Knowing that I have to scrap ice off of my car, and wait for it to warm up, just to go to the gym, is very discouraging.

I was also starting to lose all dedication to eating well. I even allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted last weekend. And I was planning to eat a nutty bar this weekend. Don’t ask why. I get really weird cravings from time to time. And no, I am not pregnant.

I bet that I have not had a nutty bar in over 7 years, but for some reason I suddenly wanted one. Last week I was craving goldfish, another thing that I have not had in years. I don’t know why I suddenly start craving things, maybe it’s sly marketing that subconsciously gets into my brain.

And in order to avoid uncontrolled binging, I set myself a date for when I can eat something. That way I feel more in control and I have spent days deciding if it’s worth the calories.

Anyway, my weight plateau was driving me up the wall, and I was starting to lose my mind. I am just so sick of tracking every thing I eat. I know what is good for me and what is bad for me. I eat for fuel. I no longer eat empty calories. I just hate, HATE having to second guess everything. And write everything down. By having to track every single thing, I don’t feel like I am living a lifestyle, I feel like I am chained to a diet.

So, after weeks of just wanting to see the scale move, it finally happened last night. Finally!

I stepped on the scale, and did not believe what I saw. I stepped off and got back on to double check. 176.6! Holy shit! Two more pounds gone, and 70 pounds total! YES! Finally! Oh my god, it finally happened!

Now, it may not stay at this weight. This could have been a complete fluke. But thankyajesus, it finally happened. The scale finally moved!

The only problem is now I have more willpower and I am really doubting my want for a nutty bar. I realize this is not a real problem, it’s a first world, dieting problem. But it’s hard to be a fat girl in transition. Damn cravings.

Fitness

Feeling Alone

I think the reason that I love the weight loss blog world is because I feel like I can relate to people. In my real life I don’t have anyone that I feel like I can relate with on my food addiction/obesity/binging.

I might not have food addiction, but there is so little research done on this topic that I think it is hard to say. I also might not officially be classified as a binger, but I am pretty damn close. The only thing that I can say for sure is that I was classified as obese.

In any case, I do not have anyone in my life that struggles as much as I do. I feel completely alone. A lot. And I feel people don’t always take me seriously in how much I struggle. When I feel taunted by the smell of pizza, I think people think I am being over dramatic.

When I say that I need to attend the gym instead of going shopping after work, people think that I am just trying to blow them off.

I know the people around me get sick of my never ending whining about being fat. Because it has been a month since the scale has moved, I am so fucking frustrated right now. So my whining has gotten even worse. And I feel like I am going completely insane.

I am trying everything that I can think of. This past weekend I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted. I mean, I did not binge, but I did buy a frozen pizza, which I have not done in ages. I preplanned to eat fatty things.

It was not out of control binging and it is not something that I regret. I was even okay with gaining a pound or two because I was hoping that it was shock my metabolism into doing something. I just want to see the scale move again.

I currently just feel really defeated. And alone. I am struggling to remain sane. So in this moment I am going to try and focus on some non-scale victories. I do not want to fall into a slump.

1) Last night I was in a High Intensity Interval Training class, which is then followed by a Circuit class. It is hard work. The class started with around 30 people and only 12 remained at the end. It felt awesome to be one of those 12 people. To know that I have the endurance to make it through such a tough class was a really rewarding feeling.

2) Even though I ate really fatty things this weekend, I started out Monday morning eating healthy. It’s soooo wonderful to know that I can have days where I eat poorly but I can wake up the next morning and jump right back into the healthy eating lifestyle. I honestly never thought that I would make it to this point in my life. I always thought that I would be a binge eater, but I am not.
 
So, now I am going to try my best to remain positive, and continue to work hard. And I really hope to see the scale moving again. Maybe I can try sweet talking the scale, beg, and plead with it!

Fitness, Lifestyle

Things I Wish That People Would Have Told Me

I was at weight lifting class called Chisel last week. It’s a class offered at the YWCA in Minneapolis and I have been going to for almost a year. It’s lead by one of my favorite instructors. She has taught me everything that I know about fitness, weight lifting, and endurance.

I am going to be sappy for a minute and say that she is a huge reason as to why my weight loss has been so successful. She showed me what hard work was and she never let me say “I can’t.” She doesn’t read this blog but someday I would like to express to her what an impact that she has made on my life.

This same instructor teaches a Turbo Step class right before Chisel, so I first started out by going to Step. Her Step class is super intimidating because she has no routine and just shouts out moves from the top of her head. At first you feel like she is speaking jibberish, and you are trying to move so fast that you feel your legs are going to fall off. After the initial shock period you actually get the hang of it and start to love it.

I can still remember the first time that I was foolish brave enough to go to Step and then stay for Chisel. It is an intimidating class, but the benefits are incredible. She makes me lift more than I would on my own and she forces me to do exercises that I would not do on my own. Like lunges, I hate them, so much.

Last week a new girl walked in. I could tell that she was knew because she walked in and looked really spooked. She clung to the wall, and quickly walked to the back, hoping not to be seen. I knew exactly how this girl felt.

We started the class and within 15 minutes she walked out of the room and did not come back. Again, I knew exactly how she felt. I walked out of a cardio class once and I felt embarrassed, defeated, and ashamed.

It got me thinking that I wished there were things that people would have told me before I started working out:

1) Getting the gym membership will be the hardest step you will take to changing your life. I thought about walking to the YWCA to get a membership for probably a solid month before I did it. Just go. Get it over with.

2) Going to the gym for the first time will be the second hardest part of the journey. It will feel foreign, and uncomfortable.

3) Not losing weight as quickly as you thought you would will make you want to quit. But don’t worry, it will start to happen.

4) Walking into your first cardio or weight lifting class will be intimidating. You are going to be disgusted with yourself for being so out of shape. But when you finish the first class you will feel victorious.

5)You will feel like people are judging you at the gym. And they might be, but who gives a fuck? If they are going to judge you for shaping up your health, it’s their own problem. I am a rather judgmental person but I think that is what helps me not to care so much.

6) You are probably not working to your full potential. I started out on the elliptical for 20 minutes. I didn’t monitor my heart rate, and I did not give my work outs 100%. When I finally started working hard, I saw results.

7) If you go to a class and hate it, don’t completely rule it out. I only like going to Step class with the teacher that I listed above, other instructors are too slow for my taste. I also only like going to certain cycling classes due to instructors.You just gotta find the person that you mesh with!

8) There will be days when you don’t feel like going to the gym. Go anyway.

Fitness

Running? Me? What?

I did something last Thursday night that I never thought I would be able to do or want to do. I went for a run. Yes, you read that right, I went running. By choice. No one was chasing me. I just felt like running would clear my head. And it did. And guess what? I want to go running again. Gasp! Who would have ever thought? Not me, that’s for sure. But let me back up a little bit, and explain why the thought of me running is such exciting thing!

I hate running. No, I loathe running. I always get shin splints, my knees crack and parts of my body jiggle that I would really prefer not to jiggle. In high school when we had to run the mile, I would walk. Yeah, I was that kid. I thought it was better to walk and get a slow time than run and still get a slow time. So a year ago, when I began this magical journey to weight loss, I had no false hopes that I would become a runner. Did I wish that I could run? Yes. I so desperately wished that I was one of those people that found running to be therapeutic. But I was not. Running was painful and embarrassing.

I have 2 friends that go to my gym and both of them can run. I always wished I could sign all 3 of us up for a 5k race, the only problem was that I needed to start training. So in attempt to test my running ability I tried to run around the track at the gym. Awful. It was a complete disaster. At the time, my boobs were much larger than they are today, so with every stride my chest would pound down and it felt like the wind was being knocked out of me. Lovely, right? I made it one lap around the track and gave up.

Ever since that failed running attempt I have slowly been trying to run more. My Monday night Circuit class starts out with running laps around the gym, and this used to be the hardest part of the class for me. Actually, I didn’t even try going to this class for months because I dreaded having to run, even for 3 minutes. However after months of running laps in class it became a little easier each week. It may have helped that I have since dropped 3 whole cup sizes, so now it doesn’t feel like I am going to collapse from air lose. But parts of body still jiggle that I would prefer not to jiggle. Oh well, I must remember to cheer the small victories!

So when last Thursday rolled around I had no intention of going for a run. But I had a pretty bad day at work because I was working on a deadline, and was being tempted with donuts that someone had brought into the office. At the end of the day I left work in a complete funk. I was not in a good mood, I felt so out of it, and going to the gym was the last thing that I wanted to do. But I knew that I needed to do something. If I had sat at home I probably would have binged. It was just one of those kind of moods.

And all of sudden I had an aha moment and I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to run. People are always talking about going for a run to clear their heads, and that was just what I wanted, clarity. So I strapped on my tennis shoes, secured pepper spray in boobs, and set out to the wealthy part of my neighborhood. I figured that the bad guys would be casing houses, not looking to mug me! And I was right, I didn’t get mugged. So they were either casing houses or I was too fast and they couldn’t catch me! HA! That’s unlikely.

I started out with a fast paced walk, which quickly turned into a jog. I was able to keep up a moderate jogging pace for about 4 blocks. Then I walked for a block. Then I started running again. Then walked. You get the drift. Even though I didn’t run the entire time, I ended up running more than I walked. And for an overweight, non runner that is pretty triumphant! As I was running through the neighborhood I passed several other people that were running, and I even got a head nod of approval from a couple that I crossed paths with. I must have fooled them into thinking that I was a legitimate runner! If I can fool other people, maybe I can also fool myself into thinking that I am a runner. One can only hope.

And to avoid those dreaded shin splints that I figured I would get, I spent the rest of the night icing my shins. It worked, I woke up the next morning with minimal pain! Hooray!

 

Fitness, Lifestyle

It Was Worth It.

Here I am today.
A year later.
54 pounds lighter.
Down 3 cup size.
Stronger than I was a year ago.
Stronger than I was yesterday;
Mentally. Physically. Emotionally.

And after completing a whole year of dieting, exercise, and moderation,
I can honestly tell you that it was worth it. Every single minute of it.
It was worth every single squat, lunge, plié, and dead lift.
It was worth every cookie that I didn’t consume and every happy hour that I skipped.
It was worth every minute spent on a boring elliptical machine when I could have been on the couch.
It was worth it.
It was worth working through every weight plateau.
It was worth every workout that I finished when I wanted to skip it instead.
It was worth every bowl of vegetables that I ate instead of ice cream.
It was worth it.
It was worth every workout that I wanted to walk out of but stayed because I don’t quit.
It was worth all of the times that I was so sore I could barely get out of bed.
It was worth every drop of sweat and every heavy breath.
It was worth it.
It was worth every time that I felt like I was going to puke. Or pass out.
It was worth every tear that I cried when I felt like I couldn’t do it.
It was worth every dollar that I spent on gym clothes, a gym pass and healthy foods.
It was worth the perseverance that it took to get me where I am today.
It was worth it.
It was so worth it.

It was worth it because I can fit into clothes that I haven’t worn in 4 years.
Because I can run just a little bit further than I could last week.
Because the number on the scale keeps moving down and the number on my dumbbells keeps moving up.
It was worth it because I have gained self confidence.
Because I am proud of the body that I worked for, not the body I was born with.
Because I love photos that are taken of me instead of being critical of every photo.
It was worth it because now I love looking in the mirror.
I love seeing my body change with every passing day.
It was worth it because I worked my ass off and got results.
Because I no longer have fat girl arms.
Because now I have self control.
Because my body can do things that I never thought I would be capable of.
It was worth it because I am living a healthy, and happy lifestyle and I never want to go back.
It was worth it because today I look like this:
better

And not that:

halloween

Fitness

Quick, Easy, Fast. . .

. . .rapid, simple, effortless. These are words that should not be used to describe weight loss. Yet, the last time that I was trying to chose a magazine, these are the exact words that were used to advertise diet and exercise.

“Simple new foods to get rapid weight loss results!”

“Quick 10 minute workouts to see the results you want.”

“The simple way to lose 10 pounds in two weeks!”
“Easy exercise tips to get six pack abs.”
The only way that getting a six pack would be considered easy was if you were to use this little contraption.

Being that everyone and their brother are trying to lose weight, it only makes sense that retailers are trying to cash in on this growing fitness industry. And since we tend to be obsessed with instant gratification, it’s no surprise that weight loss is advertised as quick and painless. But whether an individual is trying to lose 200 pounds, or that last 5 pounds, weight loss should never be disguised as easy. If it were easy, quick or fast, we would not have such a high rising obesity rate.

Losing weight the proper way is not easy or fast. It’s very, very hard and frustrating, and discouraging. And if you have a good amount of weight to lose, there will come a time when you will want to give up because you won’t feel like anything is working. When you have reached a point of desperation, you are willing to believe anything. And against your better judgement, you find yourself thinking that using the shake weight for 6 minutes is going to work. Exercise is not meant meant to be quick. A real workout should never be 10 minutes or less. It’s called a workout for a reason. You have to put the hard work in to get the hot body that you desire. I have learned to embrace fitness and hard work, but when I started I had no idea just how hard I would have to work.

In the beginning, I had visions of my weight just pouring off. I thought I would be losing at least 5 pounds a week, if not more. I blame this vision solely on society and the false advertising that is done for weight loss. Luckily there was a voice inside telling me to keep working hard but I think a common reason for weight loss failure is unrealistic expectations when it comes to beginning a diet and exercise routine. If you set out thinking that something is going to be easy, and then find out that it’s not so easy, chances are you are going to fail and eventually quit.
 

Workout equipment like this provides unrealistic expectations of real exercise.
Spending only 6 minutes a day working out is not going to get you buff.
And when is the last time you heard someone say, “oh yeah, I actually lost 50 pounds by using the shake weight for 6 minutes a day!”
Now don’t get me wrong, I am sure the shake weight could provide some great benefits when added into a daily workout regimen, coupled with a healthy diet. However, the advertising leads us to believe that 6 minutes of simply holding a moving object is all it’s going to take to get big, bulging muscles. This ad makes it look like the girl and guy both only used it for 6 minutes a day, yet by some miracle he was able to get muscles triple her size. It’s magic really.

Equally there are many crash diets on the market that I think purposefully set people up for failure. The more that people crash diet, the more money they are going to spend on products like the shake weight and the ab lounger. It’s a vicious cycle.

“Conduct this 7 day cleanse, and you will lose 10 pounds.” 
“Use this relaxing body wrap and watch the inches melt off of your waist!”

A diet in which you have to cleanse starve your body for a week is not going to provide you with real, sustainable results. You are not going to maintain that 10 pound weight loss. You have simply deprived your body and lost some water weight. This is a quick fix; a temporary solution. Participating in a cleanse for 4 nonconsecutive weeks is not going to result in a total of 40 pounds gone. Similarly, taking an all natural diet supplement is not going to cause you to drop 30 pounds if you are still stuffing your face with a Big Mac, and considering adjusting yourself on the couch to be exercise.

Though some diet supplements may aid in weight loss, they usually only work when added to an already healthy diet, and exercise. When my weight loss plateaued, I had considered taking a diet supplement, but I stopped and asked myself, “do I want to take this supplement for the rest of my life?” My answer was no. So now I ask myself this very question every time I consider buying a supplement. And if my answer is no, which it usually is, then I typically won’t start taking that specific supplement. I believe that if you are going to maintain weight loss, you need to find a diet that you will be able to sustain for the rest of your life. I have heard that maintaining weight loss can sometimes be harder than actually losing it. So why not start with the hard stuff, make it a lifestyle and then live that way forever?

So when you find yourself debating buying that trendy piece of workout equipment or participating in a fad diet, ask yourself “am I going to be able to keep this up forever?” “Is this an actual lifestyle change or just a quick fix?” Weight loss and a healthy lifestyle should never be a fad or a trend. And if you find yourself overwhelmed at the thought of never getting to eat a large bowl of ice cream ever again, ask yourself “can I do it just for today?” Because chances are you can. You are stronger than you think. And then ‘just for today’ quickly becomes a month, which quickly becomes 6 months, and before you know it, you no longer feel chained to ice cream or junk food in general. 

You are strong. And you can do this. 
Break your weight loss journey into more manageable chunks. If you love bread, brownies and french fries (I am guilty of this), you don’t need to stop eating all of them at once. But you also don’t need to have all of them in the same week. Moderation is good. Crash dieting is bad.