Let me just first preface this article by saying I am in no way, shape, or form a weight loss guru. I would even go so far as to say that although I’ve been on this journey of creating a healthier lifestyle for about 2 years, I am still very much a novice. This being said, there have been a few important things I’ve learned about healthy, lasting weight loss and if they can be helpful to anyone, then hey I’ll share what I’ve learned!
So, here’s the dreaded before and after picture. On the right, in the fall of 2014 I was about 165-170 pounds, a size 12, and very unhappy with my body. At the time I was eating pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and bags of kettle cooked salt and vinegar chips as weekly (embarrassed to say sometimes nightly) snacks and then hating how I felt and looked. Now in the fall of 2016 I am 140 pounds, a size 4-6, and so happy with where I’m at with my weight, body, and lifestyle. So again, to reiterate what I said earlier I am 110% not an expert but I did lose some weight as a busy college student and trust me, if I can do it with my love of dessert and the occasional greasy cheeseburger, then anyone can!
So many weight loss resources are always saying “you can’t out exercise a bad diet”, and honestly, I’ve found this is so, so true. But, no worries collegiettes! This doesn’t have to mean sad salads for every meal and forcing chia seeds into every glass of water (although they really are pretty good, give ‘em a try). For me, it’s all about little improvements and snacks; I literally take healthy snacks with me on campus every day to fight cravings and keep my energy up. As for little improvements, look at how you can change your favorite meals into healthier alternatives. As the title shows I love tacos, but now instead of making them with beef, cheese, sour cream and tortillas, I’ll make them with ground turkey, low sodium seasoning, and peppers and eat it on a spinach salad. Another huge change that helped my weight loss was taking a closer look at my portion sizes. I was overeating at most of my meals and I didn’t even realize it. These little improvements really can make a HUGE difference.
Ugh, exercise. This was something that for a long time I really struggled with. Not that I didn’t like exercising. I now love seeing my body improve in strength and skill but going to the gym and running on the treadmill every day and doing free weight exercises was something I dreaded with every fiber of my being. And guess what?! That made it so easy to skip workouts! Now I’ve really focused on finding workouts I get excited about doing. And they don’t have to be boring gym workouts! Try yoga, go hiking, do a workout class with friends. Find what gets you excited to go and you’ll want to stick with it!
This is a similar idea as exercise, find what you like and gets you excited for the process. For me this is a scale and taking pictures. I weigh myself daily, which I’ve read isn’t maybe necessarily recommended, but again, it works for me! It might work for you, it might not, play around with it. Also, progress pictures are great and really let you see how your body shape is changing even if the scale isn’t moving.
These are a few little gems I’ve learned about weight loss that work for me as a crazy busy college student so I sincerely hope they can help someone looking to make a healthy change! It really, really is all about finding what works for you, your interests, your schedule, everything. Make some small improvements, eat a cookie every now and then, and you’ll be so impressed with what you can accomplish.