When I first announced this challenge, I had no idea who would join in and if they'd keep up. It could have been two of us, five of us, hundreds of us... I had no clue if it'd be successful or not.
I had 40-50 people who were interested, and 16 people who committed until the end! To all of you- thank you. Thanks for joining me, making me feel special, and holding me accountable. It was the motivation I needed and I can only hope that you got the same in return. According to your emails [that I have printed out and will no doubt keep forever], you're grateful for it all too!
First things first, the winners!
CONGRATULATIONS to MIKE who lost over 30 pounds [holy wow] and STEVEN who had the most social posts!
And since everyone had their own way of doing it, here's his:
As for me... [it's MY blog after all, duh]
When this started, I prepared myself for a lot of things. People thinking differently of me because all of the sudden I'm trying to be healthy when I'm typically all OMG LET'S DRINK AND PARTY AND EVERYTHING'S GREAT. I also prepared myself for some hate. Beyond that I knew I'd have to stick to my diet and workouts with no excuses because people were counting on me to do that. What I didn't expect, is so many people hating me for being "the skinny girl who thinks she's fat."
Before I go any further, I really wanna address that. I thought about putting up a whole blog about it at the time, but ended up avoiding all of that and instead responded to people individually. In no way did I say I was some large, super fat person. What I said was that I feel uncomfortable in my own skin, which is a really unfortunate feeling. It sucks to hate every picture you take. It sucks to go up a flight of stairs and think you're having an asthma attack, especially when you've been a gymnast for most of your life. It sucked even more to have someone tell me I shouldn't feel the way I did. When someone feels this gross about themselves, no matter what size they are, they should do something about it [without harming yourself, of course]. If you don't feel good about yourself, everything else in your life will suffer. That is what had happened to me and I couldn't let it keep going. Still, I needed a little more motivation than living a better life. Crazy, right?!
Six weeks later, I am so much happier. Sure, I sacrificed a lot of time and beers, but I'm ready to conquer more than I was ready for before. I've officially lost 8 pounds [only about half of what I'd like to lose], but I think it's pretty noticeable physically and mentally/emotionally.
[a nice beginning of summer tan helps too :)]
How the hell does one lose that stupid tire right below the belly button?! It's such a cruel thing to do to a body. Also cruel: losing some booty when everyone is showing off their big ones. And all I really did when working out was cardio and booty exercises. Sigh.
What DID I do?! In case you're looking for help or new ways of doing things, here's an overall look at my workout/food plans.
- First of all, I just had to get there every day. I've always made excuses for why I didn't have time, but I can't do that anymore. There's a gym in my building. If I had 15 minutes, I'd go for 15 minutes. Or for a mile. OR... I'd even force myself to do 1am workouts.
- My goal was to burn at least 500 calories a workout. I've always done the elliptical, but I started doing fast walks at an incline for at least 30 minutes [while watching Empire on Hulu cuz ya girl needs a distraction]. Turns out- that burns more! Sometimes I'd add ankle weights, but that ended in a pulled calf muscle, so maybe don't do that... or just stretch more than I do.
- I do a lot of body weight workouts. As a gymnast, that's what I grew up on. It's what makes me the most sore and what feels the most *right* to me. I have a bunch saved on my Pinterest page over here. Like I said, I concentrated on my booty the most, abs second. Arms if I was bored.
- Keep some ankle weights or resistance bands in your office. I walked around with the weights all the time and when I was standing in the studio, I'd do squats with the bands. It's easy, it gets you moving when you're bored, and it burns a couple extra calories!
- My GOD it was hard to stop eating so many sweets. I couldn't give them up, so I let myself have one kind of sweet a day, normally after lunch. No more than 40 calories worth, just enough to satisfy the craving. Though this may not seem that important to some people, I have a serious chocolate craving, so this was my most important.
- I'm already a fairly healthy eater, but I had to stick to some core rules:
-Only one meal out a week. Even if you think you're ordering the healthy salad, I learned after working in a restaurant that there is a lot more butter/ingredients going into things that you can't account for. Just don't eat at restaurants unless you have to.
-Limit the carb intake after breakfast.
-Drink 2-3x more water than usual
-Absolutely no carbonated beverages. [No beer was tough... luckily I'm a big fan of blueberry vodka and water. As for caffeine: I'm really dependent on Mio Energy. It has become my Mountain Dew replacement and I'm in heart with it.
- BREAKFAST: Was always one of two things. A protein english muffin with PB&J plus extra cinnamon, or overnight oats- which I just discovered to be very lovely.
- LUNCH: Typically something with egg whites. Extra protein, not extra calories. It may sound ridiculous, but I really liked having an egg, turkey, and guac on rice cakes, with some fruit. OR I'd do eggs with tons of peppers, onions, and veggies in general with salsa and/or avocado on top.
- DINNER: Salmon and chicken are my go-to's, and always have been. On busy days, I'd just put a chicken breast in my favorite Lawry's marinade and cook it in the toaster oven at work with microwavable veggies, or I'd pick up a salmon from Giant that's already got some marinade on it. Some of my *fancy* Sunday dinners are pictured right over there if you wanna click them for the recipe! [The spaghetti squash discovery could be a real life changer.]
- SNACKS: Again, I became a bit reliant on rice cakes. I'd smoosh bananas and cinnamon onto them for "dessert," or spicy guacamole. Almonds are also the quickest way to satisfy the hunger with a quick couple bites.
- METABOLISM: I have no idea if any of these things actually helped speed it up, but I once read it on the Internet so I tried them. I chugged warm lemon water as soon as I woke up, took one cayenne pepper pill every day, and drank one cup of blueberry green tea. I also added a lot of cinnamon and spices in general to all my foods.
There are no words for how things like this make me feel. It's more than gracious, and I'm beyond amazed. It's cool what the Internet can do to bring people together after a 3am idea.
I wonder what the next random idea will be.....