Anyone who knows me knows how much I love to be in great shape. By now I’ve finally learned how to workout and eat healthy so that being fit isn’t very difficult for me. I get asked all the time how I stay fit so I’d love to share how I got to where I am now. First, let me give you a little background about my weight.
I was always naturally thin (115 lbs.) when I was in high school. In college, I gained the good old freshman 15. My weight would yo-yo a lot, but I was still only a size 6 so didn’t do much to lose the weight. In my mid 20’s I started dating my now ex-husband and got all the way up to 160 which was a size 12 for me (i’m 5’3). It finally hit me that I was unhappy in my own skin so I started working out. I lost 20lbs on my own then hired a personal trainer who taught me how to lift weights and helped me lose the last 25 lbs and get back to 115. I’ve always had issues with food because I didn’t really know how to eat right. My trainer helped me get started on how to eat healthy, but it was still an ongoing struggle for me to stay thin. I would eat somewhat healthy during the week then I’d gorge on the most unhealthy food on the weekends. I’d gain about 5 lbs on the weekends then spend the whole week trying to lose it. It was a vicious cycle. At one point I was so determined to be even thinner that I got down to 108 lbs by eating lots of smoothies and working out sometimes 11 times in a week. Yes 11. I looked great, but I was starving and it just wasn’t something I could obviously keep up so I went back to my typical vicious cycle.
Fast forward to last year. I was going through some personal issues and started skipping the gym and eating unhealthy. Before I knew it, I was up to 140. I was determined to lose the weight at the beginning of this year, but I refused to go back to my usual “workout like crazy during the week and eat like crap on the weekends” cycle so I started to look at alternatives and I discovered the book that changed my life. Natalie Jill’s 7 Day Jump Start.
I actually discovered Natalie Jill on Instagram. There are tons of women in great shape with books and advice on how to lose weight on Instagram, but I chose to buy Natalie Jill’s book for one simple reason. She’s in her 40s. I believe 45 to be exact. All the other girls were in their 20s and I thought “Well shit, who ISN’T thin in their 20s?!” 😂 I knew I needed someone who’s metabolism had slowed down like mine. This book is all about teaching you how to truly eat healthy so that being fit isn’t a struggle anymore. It’s the best money I’ve ever spent because it’s been the easiest way to not only lose weight, but maintain it. In her book she talks about eating gluten-free (it’s not that hard I swear), organic, and unprocessed foods (anything that ISN’T in a box/bag). She also shows you some workouts you can do at home. I lost 15 lbs in a little more than two months plus more! Here are some useful tips on how I personally lost the weight:
- The first 7 days are the hardest of this book. After that the recipes in the back are a lot more delicious and easy to stick with. I followed the 7 day eating plan about 99% of the time for the first week.
- The workouts in this book are great if you’re not a gym person, but I am. I go to the gym and lift weights 5 days a week and do cardio for 3 days out of those 5 for 20 min after I get done lifting weights. Sometimes I go in to the gym once on the weekend and just do 45 min of cardio. I swear by the stairmaster because I have bad knees so it’s the only cardio machine I use. Remember earlier how I said I got up to 160 and lost the first 20 lbs by myself? Well that was by doing the stairmaster for a month and that was before I even started eating healthy. Start slow with the stairmaster if you need to, but make sure you build yourself up. Currently I warm up for 3 min at level 5 then I alternate every minute between level 14 and level 5. When I go up to level 14 I hold on for 15 sec then I let go for 30 sec and then hold on again for the last 15 sec. I do this for a total of 20 min if I lifted weights right before or 45 min if I didn’t. I know not everyone knows how to lift weights. I learned a lot from my trainer so I can lift weights by myself now. If you can afford a trainer then I highly suggest it. Even if you just hire one for a few sessions and pay close attention and remember what he/she shows you so you can do it later on your own. If you can’t afford a trainer, there are tons of different exercises you can learn how to do online or even on Instagram. A great app to download is JEFIT. It shows you tons of workouts and has a log so you can keep track of how much you’re lifting. Also get a gym buddy so you have someone else to hold you accountable.
- I didn’t drink for the first 30 days. I actually think it was 33 days. I know this is going to be a tough one for some of you, but drinking adds so many unnecessary calories that will either prevent you from losing weight at all or make it VERY slow. Just suck it up for at least a month, longer would be even better. If and when you go back to drinking try vodka soda with a crap load of limes or splash some grapefruit in there.
- CONSISTENCY IS KEY. I was sticking to this for a good 4-6 weeks and got down to 120 lbs and a size zero again! I actually wanted to post about this for awhile, but wanted to wait til I got some abs and attach an amazing photo of myself 😂 At the rate I was going I was 100% sure I’d have abs by summer. Unfortunately, that never happened. Why? Well I started dating someone and the consistency went out the window. I started going out more and drinking and eating out too often. I don’t blame him. I blame myself for not making better decisions. I’m not saying you need to be a hermit and never go anywhere or see anyone, but try as best as you can to stick to this new way of eating because that’s what this is.
- This isn’t a diet, but a new way of eating and a different way I think about food. As long as I eat gluten-free, organic (try your best), unprocessed food then I don’t yo-yo on the scale anymore and it’s just easier to be and stay thin. The recipes in this book really are delicious and filling and if you get tired of them then discover new ones on Pinterest. Just make sure that they meet the general guidelines.
- Make losing weight your priority. Earlier I said this book is the easiest way to lose weight, but that’s only if you make it a priority and are dedicated. A lot of people say the same thing about losing weight. “I just don’t have time”. Whether they say they don’t have time to workout before work or don’t have time after work to go grocery shopping and cook. Well if you’re one of those people I hate to break it to you, but we ALL have time. Some people just don’t prioritize losing weight like others do. When I first started this eating plan, it was at the very top of my priority list. Instead of going out for drinks with my friends on the weekends I would go grocery shopping and cook for hours to have meals ready for the week. Having meals already prepared for the week is perfect for you guys out there that say you’re too tired after work. You may think you don’t have time, but I bet there are a lot of things you could skip or put on the back burner to focus on losing weight. Skip the baseball game or concert that your friend invited you to and go grocery shopping and cook something healthy. Pass on happy hour and go to the gym.
- Don’t rely so much on the scale. There were times that I’d weigh myself and I was shocked that I’d only lost a couple of pounds considering how healthy I’d been eating and how hard I was working at the gym. When I first started this plan, I tried on an old pair of shorts that used to fit me. I struggled so much to get them over my thighs that I was sweating and they definitely wouldn’t button. Every 3-4 weeks I’d try on the shorts to see my progress and soon enough those shorts fit me perfectly despite what the scale said!
- Don’t be discouraged. Have I fallen off sometimes? Of course. No one is perfect, especially around holidays 😬 In fact I’m currently a few pounds heavier than I’d like to be because I’ve been veering off what I should be eating, but I’m getting back to it and after a about a week of being consistent I should be back to where I was. So don’t get down on yourself if you fall off the wagon. Just make sure you get back on it.
Remember that you didn’t gain weight overnight so you won’t lose it that quickly either. The time is going to pass no matter what so just stick with it and before you know it you’ll be at your goal weight that you can easily maintain! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments. Good luck!
Natalie Jill’s 7-Day Jump Start: Amazon