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Losing 20 Pounds and Maintaining It

Disclaimer: I am not a professional. This is just my story and what has helped me. Everybody’s body is different and so this may or may not work for you.

Weight. It’s a pretty hard subject to discuss in today’s society. People are also very sensitive to talk about it. I used to be one of those people. Every time someone brought up the subject of weight, I would clam up and try to change the subject. It made me feel uneasy and small. Living in a society that mainly focuses on physical beauty, it is hard to not want to look like your favorite actors/actresses and models. There are a lot of people who are happy with their weight and physical beauty, but for those who want to change, they should — in a healthy way. 

(I love Phoebe Tonkin. She’s all for being healthy and fit.) 908

I am a fairly tall girl, 5’11” to be exact. Lucky for me, when I gain weight, it is not too noticeable (unless you KNOW me and see me often). I’ve never really struggled with my weight. Throughout middle school and high school, I had a very high metabolism and at times I couldn’t even gain anything. To be fair, I was very active. I danced, biked, ran, and occasionally swam. Before entering college, I didn’t think about my diet or how my active life would change at all. I weighed about 135lbs prior to freshman year. As most of you know, the Freshman 15 is a thing. Except for me, it was more like the Freshman 30. There, I said it. It’s embarrassing, but it happened. This happened with time, so I didn’t notice it right away. Countless nights eating a shit ton of processed foods and ordering from Pizza Hut. I lived in the dorms and the gym was a 5-minute walk away. Did I bother going? Hell no. I would go with a friend when we both had time, but it was pretty rare. Even during winter break, when the family went on a cruise to the Bahamas, I felt beautiful in my own skin even when my mom and aunt stared at my body in disbelief. My roommates were all very active and healthy and I had every opportunity to be like them. Buying my own food didn’t help either. I never planned out my meals so every time I made a trip to the grocery store, I would only buy snacks that I craved (Pro-tip: never do that). Eating out was a big thing too. I had a job so I had money to spend on food. I ate out 3-4 times a week. It was only when summer came and I was looking at the photos from the Bahamas that it really hit me. I was overweight.

(Pictured above: Me as a freshmen.) 0996

I started to eat less, but that didn’t help much, because I was still eating a lot of unhealthy foods and binging on snacks. Close to the end of summer, I started going to aerial and pole classes. I fell in love and started to go regularly. Growing up dancing, the gym never appealed to me (I’m sure dancers can relate). I love a workout that requires free movement and expression. All that clanking and groaning at the gym turns me off immensely.  

It wasn’t until this year that I started eating healthier. My meals are not consistent and they may change day to day. I still don’t meal plan, even though it is probably a good idea. A normal day for me consists of:

Breakfast: A cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, homemade mantou (Chinese steamed bun), one or two hardboiled eggs, and a banana.

Lunch: This really depends on where I am. If I am on campus, I will buy either a sandwich or a salad with chicken. At home, I can eat noodles, rice, leftovers, etc.

Dinner: This varies as well. I usually eat dinner at home (I try to eat before 8pm). It is usually a bowl of rice, broccoli, tofu, fish, and green beans.  

Snacks: baby carrots, fruit, sometimes chips.

(Broccoli is good, ok.) 5944

Never, ever skip breakfast. It boosts your metabolism and gives you a nice kick off to your day. There were many times that I skipped breakfast freshman year and I found out that I would eat a lot more during lunch or dinner. I was also less energized. If you’re an on-the-go kind of person, try to grab a granola bar or fruit on the way out. For my meal portions, I try to eat more for breakfast and lunch (not to the point of a food coma). I eat half of that for dinner. I’ve also been trying to cut out red meats from my diet for the past two weeks. I’m happy to say that I’ve stuck to it so far. I do try to eat all my protein during breakfast and lunch. Dinner is more of a romance with leafy greens and legumes. Eating out has kind of become a thing of the past. I’m not saying that I never eat out, but I have definitely cut down. Another important factor is that I have completely cut milk and soda out of my life. I have not had soda for a good three months and it feels so good. Cutting out milk was mainly for my skin, but it is more fattening than almond and soy. I don’t have a perfect diet and there is no such thing as a perfect diet. As long as I am eating healthy, that is what counts.

(This will never be false.) 1334

For my workout, as I mentioned earlier, I am a regular at Onyx Pole and Aerial Fitness. Since I quit ballet and Chinese dance, this has been my outlet. I go to the studio 4-5 times a week. There is some cardio involved, although not much. Most of what I do there is strength training. On my off days, I will sometimes go to a small gym and do weightlifting. Weightlifting is also very helpful in boosting your resting metabolism. I train for 1-2 hours depending on the day. I also have a dog that I walk for 30 minutes every day. For the past year, since I’ve started pole and aerial, my love handles have disappeared and my muscles are more defined. I am far from my goal, but it is always nice to see progress from my hard work.

(Dear aerial gods, please lend me strength.) 134

I’ve lost 20 pounds and it feels amazing. I am not my goal weight yet, but at the moment I am really happy with my physical and mental self. I want to thank my mom and Serena for pointing out how much weight I had gained. I really needed that. Weight is not everything; as long as you are happy with your body. This is just my story, progress, and goal.

A girl studying Journalism at the University of Utah. When she is not writing, Nina enjoys novels, her cute dog, dancing in the air and buying excessive amounts of skincare that she doesn't need. 
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