Losing 10lb in one month might sound easy…but it's not! I've learned keeping it off is even harder. Here is my story of why I did it, and more importantly, HOW.
Last Summer I hit a breaking point. I was tired all the time. I couldn't remember the last time I read a food label. I was cranky. I found myself spending more and more time on the couch in front of the TV, computer in my lap, filled with the “I'm working” excuse. I wasn't fitting in my clothes well (blamed it on my baby that was 5 months old at the time), and was self-conscious at the swimming pool. My back and neck were falling apart and it caused me so much pain I could hardly sleep. I blamed it on the couch, mattress, and seat in my car, as well as my having had 3 kids in 3 years. I went to the doc, excited to show him my lopsided hips (see “before” pic) and get a quick fix prescription to see a chiropractor. Instead he prescribed me 4 months of Pilates and yoga, telling me the problem was my lack of muscle tone and core (aka “you're out of shape), not misplacement of hips. I was mad and frustrated that he was some hippie doc that wouldn't give me what I thought I really needed.
I went on vacation with my family, and after eating nothing but junk food for a week and missing out on fun because of a useless back, I decided the doctor was right. I shouldn't be this crickety and weak at 27 years old. The only problem with my body was that I was short-changing it from giving it the life it deserved. I was taking it for granted, and treating it poorly…so it performed poorly in return. I decided then and there that it was time to change things.
We got home, and decided to get our family members involved. We each put $25 in a pot and started a challenge to lose 10lb in one month. I let the 10lb challenge spill over on the blog, because I was having trouble getting and staying motivated…so I thought a public display of my progress would keep me accountable. (Note to self – it works.)
Before I knew it the 10lb challenge had caught fire. My Instagram numbers nearly doubled. Readers were jumping on board, getting excited, and were changing their lives right along side of me changing mine. It was magical. I was able to turn to you readers for support, encouragement, suggestions (especially in the healthy food department…yuck. Still bad at that.). And guess what?
I worked my tail off, and I lost the 10lb. I learned a lot about myself along the way, and learned a lot about fitness too. The two main things I learned is:
1) You can't do it alone
2) The simpler it is, the more successful you'll be.
1 – I have tried to lose weight before. In secret mostly, because it's embarrassing and I didn't feel it was anyone's business. I didn't want to hear people's opinions of my body. For me, I'm a lanky body type so people would always say “you don't need to lose weight, what are you talking about”. I felt like I had to defend myself and got no support or understanding. Ultimately, no one understands your body like YOU do. Being healthy doesn't mean being “skinny”. I was (and still am) lanky, sure, but my body (and mental state) were falling apart. My muscles, skin, organs, and even bones, were suffering…even if the number on the scale wasn't too bad. It wasn't until I decided to do this journey with my husband, and my family (…oh yeah and hundreds of thousands of readers…) that I truly committed myself and did what it took to make change happen.
2 – Crash diets don't work. Crazy fads don't work. Running 10 miles per day doesn't work. Why? It's not realistic. It's not sustainable. Sure, you might drop weight fast. But it's not a realistic LIFESTYLE you can maintain, so you're bound to let the weight creep back on, not knowing how to maintain the loss.
So…what did I do to lose 10lb in 1 month?
- Exercised at home 5-6 nights per week, often times at midnight or later. We borrowed a friend's Insanity DVD because I didn't know where else to turn for a good at-home workout. I hated Insanity though, it was soooo boring and was all cardio – I felt like I didn't get toned at all (see below for my new suggestion). *note* The cardio was good for losing weight fast, but now I'm focusing more on toning my core to help get my body in check.
- I did every exercise with my husband, because I knew I would get lazy and slack off if I did it by myself.
- I posted my progress on Instagram and got family involved, to get encouragement and suggestions, and be held accountable.
- I cut back on sugar. I didn't cut it out completely (what kind of life is that??), I just found balance and ate it in moderation. But since I'm a sugar-addict, the cutting back I did was pretty drastic for my typical lifestyle.
- I stopped eating after 7:30 pm. Not a bite.
- I was conscious about that I ate. I didn't use a food log (though, get a cute free one HERE!) or count calories or anything, I just made conscious decisions. I stopped mindlessly eating. I cut out unnecessary snacking, cooked healthier, and made the veggie the largest portion on my plate at dinner.
- I drank more water (water only week, anyone??)
So…how did I keep it off? (…and lose 3 more pounds in the process!)
Three words: Variety, consistency, and fun.
I am not a runner. I hate running, actually. And I have workout ADD (as shown HERE). If I do a class too many times I'm over it. I lose steam and stop working out. I need variety, and I need it at my fingertips. I saved up for a year and paid for 1-year in cash for a membership to our local gym. I wanted a variety of classes, but mostly to have a place with childcare that would allow me to relax in a hot tub and shower in peace once in a while (true story). Plus they have a great pool for kids which is a life saver in the winter. The gym has been fine, but with my busy schedule I usually miss the morning classes (they don't have others throughout the day, really), and often times I wander around the workout floor, not sure what to do with myself.
My secret weapon?
M5 Fitness. My husband discovered it first and now we're both hooked. It's basically an at-home virtual gym, for only $20 a month (but if you refer 2 people you get it for free). They have any type of class you could want, and they are all on video so you can watch at home or take it to the gym on your phone or iPad and use it there.
They have workouts for EEEVVERRRYYTTTHHIINNNG. Treadmill (did you know it's good to go BACKWARDS on a treadmill?? true.), Yoga, core, heck, they even have Kettle bell videos! I got one recently and love it but had no idea how to use it. **Spoiler alert: I like it so much I'm going to give one away within the next week, so stay tuned!**
I like that you can sort by amount of time you have to work out, by the instructor you like, by the equipment you have, or by category. Makes it easy to work out because I can shape it to fit how my day (and mood) looks that day.
I'm not very good at knowing what to do on my own, so I use their fitness programs and it's all covered for me.
After gaining weight on our cruise (doh!) I am working on the weight-loss program this month. I select the program, choose my starting day, and they add it to my calendar for me, showing me what workouts I should be doing (and when) to lose weight (I can change it up any time if I want).
When I click on a workout on the calendar, I can customize my workout choice. I love the cardio dance, for example, so I can choose which instructor (in this case there's only one but usually there's several), duration, or equipment I have on-hand for my workout, while still staying on-track with my fitness plan calendar.
This is what it looks like once you select and start a workout (the photo is actually a 30 minute video that's playing)
For anyone who followed along the 10lb challenge with me, you know that food is where I struggle the most. I just don't really LIKE healthy food. It just doesn't taste that good to me, and I don't know how to cook and eat healthy. They have dozens of nutrition classes that rock my socks and really made it easy to understand.
You log all your fitness activity in your account – whether it's an M5 workout or not (it even connects with your Garmin) – and it keeps track of your goal progress.
The part I'm super excited about is the community aspect of it. You can join each others' “teams” and see the activity other people are logging (like the My Fitness Pal app, but better), and comment/ask questions/give encouragement to your teammates…like I'm doing in this picture…to myself…because I haven't joined a team yet..#crickets
(P.S check back tomorrow for what this aerial silks business is all about. It was SO DANG FUN!)
I just made a FUNCHEAPORFREE team, so jump on it with me and let's do this together! Just use the code 108 to join the FunCheapOrFree team! People are already interacting a ton on there, it's been so much fun and so encouraging!
Honestly, Bubba and I have been really thrilled with M5. I wouldn't tell you about it if I wasn't. I'm not the best at tracking my progress, but I promise I will be now that we're all going to get fabulously fit together. I hope you all give it a try!
You can even try it for free for 10 days using the promo code FCF10…so you might as well, right??
PS there is a money-making aspect to it. As a member, you get $10 for every person you refer I believe, so you could totally make some sweet side-cash by telling your friends and family about it!
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I have never been happier. My back isn't hurting any more, I have energy to get on the floor and play with my kids, and I feel like I've gained a few years back on my life. Sure, I still have lots to work on – drinking more water, getting better rest, eating healthier (still bad at that…) – and still have a few pounds to lose from my blasted (but totally worth it) cruise. But the progress I have made so far has been life-changing. I can only hope for the same for you, and hope that you'll join me on my journey! (Give M5 a try HERE, use code FCF10 to get 10 days free)
P.S – I want you guys to know that I was not paid to do this post. This is 110% my own opinion and passion. (…Not that it should matter because it's always 110% my own passion and opinion even when it's a sponsored post…but I thought I should clarify anyway.) If there is anything I can do for you to help you feel as good as I feel, you better believe I'm going to do it…and I'm only just getting started.
P.S.S – I'm super nervous about this post. Posting pictures of your body for the world leaves me feeling very exposed. So thanks for being supportive with me and holding my hand through this! I feel like it's a weird coming out party of sorts – and it's a very vulnerable place to be (which is why it's taken me 8 months to post this). So thanks in advance for keeping all comments and energy positive around here. Smooches!
LET'S DO THIS! *fist bump * grunt * chest bump * butt slap *