I’ve been meaning to post a weight loss journey update post, after posting about reaching my goal weight. A lot has changed since then – my goals, my mantra, my attitude, and my focus.
So today, I’m sharing with you what has happened since reaching my goal weight, in hopes that I’ll again inspire many of you who are on a similar journey.
Spoiler alert: there are some before/after bikini pictures!
As a refresher, in case you didn’t read my original post, I started off around 170 pounds. I was a yo-yo dieter for most of my life and ranged from 188 to 128. Actually, Women’s Health magazine featured my story, in case you want more details. I had set a goal weight of 140 pounds and I met that goal in January of this year.
And you can track my sweaty post-gym selfies on my @GetInspiralized Instagram, if you aren’t already.
WHAT HAS HAPPENED SINCE REACHING MY GOAL WEIGHT
If you asked me what I weighed now, I couldn’t tell you exactly – I’d probably guess between 140 and 145, and let me tell you why I somewhat ditched the scale.
After reaching my goal weight, I also fit comfortable into a size 4, size smalls and could re-wear a lot of my old clothing that I had tucked away deeply into my closet.
I treated myself to some new clothes, which awakened in me a new sense of style – I was proud to show off my body and my curves and I ditched the flowy tunics for slim fitting sweaters and t-shirts. I easily buttoned low-rise skinny jeans and wasn’t afraid to show off my arms in tank tops.
I found myself content. I went from a size 31/32 to a 26/27 and a size Large to a Small. That was a huge accomplishment and I decided that before I reset my goals, I’ll easy up on the intense workout schedule and build in more leniency in my diet.
Most importantly, I enjoyed going out and wearing my cute new outfits and instead of looking around the room and feeling out of shape and uncomfortable, I felt the exact opposite – I wanted to move about the room, go out more and see more people!
At my bachelorette party in May, I wore my bikini proudly and didn’t feel one bout of insecurity. In the bikini picture (eek!) below, the right shows me at my bachelorette and the left shows me in July 2013:
When I went to events, I wore loud dresses, because I was proud of my body and my physique and felt confident. There’s no greater feeling! Here’s a before and after from two separate weddings (before on the left at 163 pounds and after on the right, about 145):
My biggest piece of advice for anyone who is on a weight loss journey and wants it to last: enjoy your goal milestones. You deserve it! I’m not saying that for every pound you lose, you go out and eat a cake. I’m saying that if you set yourself a big goal and you reach it, give yourself a bit of a break and enjoy your new body.
It’s important to love our bodies at every stage of the game. Without self love, all we have is hatred, resentment and disappointment – which are not encouraging feelings when you’re trying to be the most confident and happiest version of yourself. When I think back on every time I housed a bag of Pepperidge Farms cookies, it was because I was stressed, unhappy or disappointed in myself.
So, self love = a better, happier, stronger, fitter and more positive you!
As a woman, I can’t recommend enough to incorporate strength training into your routine. Honestly, lifting weights has given me a newfound confidence and inner strength. I love seeing my muscles defining, it’s empowering and frankly, a more fun way to focus on incremental body change:
Now, what happened when I became a bit more lenient with my workouts/diet? I teetered between 140 and 145 from January to now.
That’s it. Five pounds.
Clearly, I had found my comfortable weight, the weight my body says, “Okay, we can do this.”
Then, I started plateauing. The dreaded plateau. Plateauing is when you reach a point where either the scale doesn’t move or you don’t see a visible change in your body. Plateauing can definitely be discouraging – you’re putting in hours a week at the gym, but the scale won’t budge or your arms don’t seem to be any more toned.
So, I took to Instagram. I started looking through older pictures when I was at my goal weight and pictures of my 145 self and realized: I was gaining muscle and toning up. That extra weight was from muscle! My shoulders were more defined, my arms were stronger and my booooty was lifting up!
I started amping up the weight lifting and training sessions. I started doing more Tone It Up workouts after my 30 minutes of cardio. I did abs, arms and more lower-body HIIT moves to rev my metabolism and get that change I wanted. I definitely started beating that plateau and seeing progress, like with my arms in this:
However, I was still yearning for a bigger change in the way my body looked and felt. In light of my impending wedding and honeymoon, I knew that I wanted to tone up.
I wanted strong legs, strong arms, a strong back and a higher metabolism. I wanted to have strong arms in my wedding dress and then rock that bikini on my honeymoon!
SETTING GOALS AND WHY THEY ARE ONLY TEMPORARY
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my body and mind are a work in progress. Although I reached my “goal weight,” I knew I had a lot of work to do before I reached my so-called “dream body.”
My goal weight was exactly that: a goal. It was a goal made at a certain time in my life when I needed a number on the scale to keep me motivated toward slimming down. I needed that number, I needed that reassurance that my body was indeed changing, no matter how minute. The scale was my friend, not my enemy – and we became closer, the harder I worked.
Something that’s important to keep in mind is that our bodies are different every single day. They react differently, they look differently, they perform differently and they feel differently.
So, even though I made a goal weight of 140 back in January of 2014 doesn’t mean that today, at 7:00am on May 28, 2015, I have that same goal. My body has changed, different milestones in my life have happened, and my goals are now a bit different.
ACCEPT YOURSELF AS A WORK IN PROGRESS
Don’t ever say “by this date, I will have my dream body.” Just forget it! Instead, say, “by this date, I will be a healthier version of myself by X, Y and Z.”
For example, “by July 1st, I will be a healthier version of myself by eating clean meals during the week and making it to the gym 5 days a week.”
Incremental changes are more powerful than that end goal – take it from someone who made it to their “goal” and was more moved by the smaller victories than the big one.
If you let yourself reach a certain goal, you’ll lack inspiration to push forward and keep being a better version of yourself. Every day, you should strive to be a better person – that doesn’t necessarily need to be about health, it can be about anything (work, family, relationships, etc).
Regardless, we’re all works in progress – embrace it!
RESETTING YOUR GOALS
My new goal is based on this point in my life: my wedding is in a little more than 3 weeks (23 days to be exact!)
Instead of saying, “OMG, I have to lose 5 more pounds before my wedding or I’ll dieeeeee!” I’m saying this:
My goal is to increase my workouts to 6 days a week (now I’m at about 4, maybe 5) and incorporate each of the following into every workout:
- At least 30 minutes of intense cardio or HIIT
- At least 30 minutes of lifting and toning exercises
So today, I start that goal – I have 23 days to reach this goal. Let’s see how my body can change in those 23 days! Follow along at @GetInspiralized, always.
I’m going to call it my “fit” journey instead of my “weight loss” journey.
I’ve realized that throughout starting Inspiralized and starting my own weight loss journey, something I’ve enjoyed most is inspiring others to reach their health goals. Every time I see a post on my Instagram that says, “I saw this picture and then I went to the gym!” I smile and feel a rush of happiness immediately. Maybe I was a health coach or a personal trainer in my previous life, because I really enjoy helping others feel great about themselves.
To be totally honest, sometimes, when I’m unmotivated to make a workout or eat healthy, I reread the comments from my weight loss journey blog posts and I see how I’ve encouraged others – this kicks my butt in gear! So, THANK YOU for helping me in my journey.
With this, I’m curious – would you like to see more of these updates? I’ve been fooling around with the idea of starting a small offset of this blog that would be dedicated to more health and fitness – from the perspective of someone who isn’t a certified fitness instructor.