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Do you remember the moment you realized your weight had gotten out of hand? (read more)
I remember, vividly. It was that picture, the one at the top of the post. A couple of girlfriends and I had met up in Orlando to spend four days at Disney World and we got the Photopass package.
We took a ton of pictures. Gotta make that money count, after all!
Only, when I got home and looked at the pictures, I was shocked. I couldn't believe how heavy I looked. It wasn't just my arms, though they had definitely grown, but my face. As my nephew so nicely put it, "You look like I look when I get stung by a bee."
He has a bee allergy, and he's off the Christmas list. :)
Cue me going home and googling things like, "How to lose weight in your face."
Now, let me stop you before you stop me. I'm a small person, I have never really had a weight problem, and at 5'4" tall I have hovered between a comfortable 125 and 135 pounds for most of my life. I have curves that I love, and I am not someone who feels the need to be extremely thin. So before you start thinking things like, "You're not fat, you're not even close to fat. There's no way you can understand what I'm going through," just slow your roll.
Feeling bad about your weight is feeling bad about your weight, no matter how much weight that is. It doesn't matter if you're working on losing that last 10 pounds, losing that last 15 pounds, losing that last 20 pounds, or losing a lot more.
I'm not comparing me to you, so do me a solid and don't compare you to me. One of us doesn't have it harder than the other, and while YES it might take a heavier person more time to lose more weight, the process is invariably going to be the same.
I'm going to tell you how I did it, and I promise, it'll work for you. (And, since it's totally free, I'm even offering a money back guarantee!)
CAN GAINING WEIGHT MAKE YOU FEEL SICK?
This girl's trip was in July of 2016. That's important because by this time I already knew I had a weight problem, I just hadn't gotten to the point where I was serious enough about the issue to want to fix it.
See, back in April of the same year I started to have health problems. I was tired all the time, I was having odd aches and pains, and I was dealing with a persistent stabbing sensation just under the right side of my rib cage.
In the 11 years since I've had kids, I think I've been to the doctor four times. Once for a cracked rib, once for walking pneumonia, once for a lump on my throat, and once for this. My point is, I don't go to the doctor, not unless I think it's a really big deal.
I was absolutely convinced, when I walked into that doctor's office, that there was something wrong. I knew I was living healthy, I worked out 3-4 times a week, how could this be in any way related to the choices I was making?
No way, not possible.
Then I did the "before the doctor sees you" thing and I stepped on the scale to get weighed.
Holy crow, what the what? No way that was right.
The doctor saw me, I told her what was happening, but by that point there really wasn't any need.
As soon as I stepped on that scale, I knew what the problem was. I'd managed to gain 25 pounds in the course of a year (or less) and my body was not happy about it.
Still, even with that information in front of me and a renewed desire to change my ways and lose that weight, I didn't' quite believe it.
I messaged a friend of mine and we complained back and forth about how the scale sucks, makes us feel bad, blah blah blah.
It still wasn't my fault, even though I knew I'd caused it, somehow I was stuck in the, "It's not fair, I can't lose this weight, I'm just curvy," mindset. Losing weight as a middle aged woman must be harder, somehow.
Which is why I was still heavy in July.
I went home, told my husband about the horrible appointment, and, still convinced that somehow that dang scale was wrong, I decided to do the ultimate test!
I was going to try on some slacks that I wore the day I graduated from college. They are form fitting, have absolutely no give in them, and I loved how I looked in them. I'd always been able to wear them and had definitely worn them to a Christmas party a year before, so I knew they fit.
Standing in front of my full length mirror, I held the slacks up to my waist and eyed them, "I can still wear these, surely."
One foot in, the other foot in, tug, tug, tug.
These things weren't going past my hips.
Tug, tug, TUG!!
Okay, past my hips, now I can zip them.
That wasn't happening. Getting them past the hips was one thing, getting a zipper past my newly found fat rolls was a whole other thing.
Hanging the slacks back on the hanger, I put them on the rack and stepped in to my spandex laced jeans, then I looked at myself in the mirror again.
"Have I always had this muffin top?"
"Has that roll under my bra always been there?
"Are those dimples on my arms?"
All these things that had been staring me in the face for months were finally hitting home.
Still, it wasn't enough. I talked to my husband again, complained loudly about weight, eating, how there's no way I ate enough to gain 25 pounds. I went on an on about how there was just NOTHING I could do about it.
Then I probably sat on the couch and ate some Oreos while googling, again, "how to lose 25 pounds fast, how to lose weight fast", etc.
What I didn't do was make any changes.
WEIGHT GAIN COMMENTS
After the Disney World picture, I realized how upset I was with the way things were going. I was frustrated with myself, I didn't like how I looked or felt, and I was pondering buying bigger clothes, something I swore I'd never do.
Okay, full truth here, I did buy some bigger clothes.
I'd been a Beachbody coach for three years before I stopped coaching, I'd heard every.single.sob.story known to man. I'd seen grown women deny their culpability more times than I could count, and now I was sitting here doing it myself.
The final straw came when I met up with another set of girlfriends. One of them I only saw once or twice a year, and she knew that I had previously been big into exercise.
"Have you been lifting? Your arms look bigger, beefier or something."
She wasn't being mean, she wasn't being snide, but holy cow, did that moment suck.
I went home that night and made up my mind. I was losing that weight, no two ways about it, it was coming off. I mean, it was ONLY 25 pounds, how much effort could it possibly take? How long does it take to lose 25 pounds? I was even exercising regularly, so how long does it take to lose 25 pounds with diet and exercise? A month, two months?
I'll tell you. It took me a solid year. A solid year, a lot of complaining, more setbacks than I can count, and a dedication to accountability I'd never experienced before.
If you've gotten this far, good for you.
Now, let me tell you exactly what I did.
HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT EXERCISE
1. LOSE IT - Does Lose It actually work? 100% yes! Get on your phone and download this app. It's FREE, completely. You can pay for an upgraded version, but you don't need it.
2. STOP WORKING OUT - Or stop working out so much. Can I lose weight without exercise? 100% yes! Your weight loss is going to happen because you're eating healthier, not because you're burning a bunch of calories you're ingesting later on because you're starving. I'm actually going to sit here and tell you that if you jump on the workout wagon when you decide to lose weight, you might be doing yourself a disservice. Here's why: You workout, you get hungry, you want to eat more because you're working out.
Sure, take walks, get moving, but keep it light. EXERCISE IS NOT HOW YOUR WEIGHT LOSS IS GOING TO HAPPEN AT FIRST! Once you've got your daily eating habits changed FOR GOOD, add in some exercise, you'll be better prepared and you'll need less to feel full because you'll weigh less when you start.
I've seen way too many people get absolutely demotivated when they want to lose weight because they workout so hard that they simply cannot moderate their eating and not feel ravenous.
3. IT'S OKAY TO BE HUNGRY - Yep, let me demolish the idea that you can lose weight without being hungry. You might feel like you're always hungry while eating healthy. The idea that you'll always be full isn't real. With changing your lifestyle comes hunger, that's just how it is. Hunger is part of the equation, realize it's going to happen and you'll be a whole lot less frustrated when it does. Get friendly with your water glass, it really goes a long way to curb hunger pangs between meals, and it's good for your skin.
4. DON'T TELL YOUR FRIENDS! - OMG seriously, unless you have amazing friends who have ZERO weight issues, keep this to yourself. There are a lot of overweight people in America and many of them aren't ready to change. So, if they bring donuts and they can get you to eat one, well...that's just one more person they can compare themselves to and feel less bad about their choices.
Now, I have some fantastic friends who knew I was losing weight and were absolutely supportive, no questions asked, but I've seen the opposite happen so many times, it's just the rule instead of the exception.
4. DON'T GET MAD - Seriously, getting irritated at people who share their stories (like this post), people who aren't overweight, people who have lost a lot of weight, people who don't have beefy upper arms, etc. It's pointless. You can tell yourself over and over that it's not your fault, but let's be honest.
It's your fault.
IS TRACKING CALORIES WORTH IT?