Guest Post: Lyndsay’s Top 6 Tricks to Jump Start a Better You!

18 Jun

Good morning and Happy Tuesday!!  Especially happy for me off in vacation-land :)  I’m having an awesome time with Adam and his family, lounging, tanning (with sunscreen), and surprisingly getting a little fitness in too (think group fitness videos – it has been hilarious)!  I’ll be back to the real world soon enough, but until then I wanted to share an inspiring guest post from my real-life friend Lyndsay!  I stumbled upon her blog a few weeks ago (I didn’t even know she was a blogger!) and fell in love with it.  Check her out at alltheshinythingsblog. Enjoy her healthy-living tips and inspiring journey to a healthier state 0f being!

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Say hi to Lyndsay! Man alive – even her pictures are fabulous!

hello readers of races, reps, & ramblings! i write to you today over from my little world at alltheshinythingsblog!

kelly was kind enough to share her space for a day so i could share with you a little about my own weight loss journey over the last year, which has really ramped up over the last 6 months or so. i hit my first major milestone a couple weeks ago, 50 lbs down! my weight loss journey has been mainly motivated by a desire to ramp up my health & avoid the long term consequences of obesity {a word i don’t like to throw around lightly. but i was, by definition, obese. that still hurts to admit}. i was first inspired to share my journey by my own readers, who have been so overwhelmingly supportive of this journey. and i received such a positive response to my tips & tricks for my own weight loss, kelly thought it might be something her audience would like as well!

so here they are…

my top 6 tips&tricks to jump start a better you!

1. start slowly, but strictly. i downloaded the my fitness pal app, and it was a lifesaver. i didn’t know what i was doing when i started–things i thought were lowfat/lowcal still ended up being 600+ calorie meals. i set my goals, pretty aggressively, and limited myself to 1200 calories a day. the app is great because you can add in various workouts, which alter your calorie limits to include them. and it has a really useful database with most foods, or you can add your own. it also lets you track your progress, and i still enter my weight in there, to keep me honest and on a steady downward trend. i think this helped me lose my first 10 lbs or so, and quickly. its a great place to start.

2. cut down your portion size substantially. i wasted some food when i first started, and it was a price worth paying. i know people say “with all the hunger in the world, how can you WASTE FOOD??” actually, the question should be–“how is you eating more of whats on your plate going to solve any of the world hunger problems?” answer: its not. so stop kidding yourself. for me, if i ordered a sandwich or a salad or whatever when i was out and there was no one to share with, i ate half and took half home. immediately. asked for the box before i even started eating. and if it wasn’t reasonable to take home? i threw half away. cue the gasps. but let me ask you this: is your future diabetes/cardiac problems/high blood pressure/etc worth the maybe $5 you threw away? absolutely not. its a very small price to pay for health. for me it was worth it. {note: i’ve gotten much better as i’ve gone along about learning how to get smaller portions, so i now rarely waste food. but if that’s what it takes when you’re starting, do it!}

3. take your own food with you. after i started tracking calorie counts in my fitness pal, i was amazed that there really aren’t any healthy takeout options—i know kelly&adam noticed this when they were on the p90x meal plans. maybe there are a few low-cal {and high sodium} soups at various places, but in general, all meals are 600+ calories. and it sucks, right? so i started making my lunches at home and was able to keep my meals closer to 300 for a meal plus a couple 100 cal snacks throughout the day. in the end i consumed the same, but i ended up saving money and strung them out over the day so i was never hungry. i still do this all the time, and i always always always have a luna bar or a banana in my bag in case there is nothing healthy around.

4. later in this process, i started having some stomach issues and discovered i was lactose insensitive/intolerant {not allergic}. so i cut out dairy to feel better. and let me tell you–the weight FELL. OFF. i was amazed at how much of my diet had consisted of dairy–cheese was a staple for me. cubes, sticks, slices were my favorite snack. i added to every salad, sandwich, eggs, you name it. i ate tons of things with butter in them. my only redeeming grace was that i consumed skim milk {drop in the bucket, no pun intended.} so when i cut it out, the first 3-4 weeks were really hard. my food tasted so bland, and i felt like there was nothing in my house i could eat. but then, my taste buds readjusted. my pantry became filled with things that were friendly to my stomach and my waist line. and i honestly–HONESTLY–do not miss it. i thought i would never enjoy eating again. i was wrong. so if you’re desperate for a quick trick: cut out dairy for a while. it will help you. {ps. make sure you’re still getting appropriate nutrients. i felt very comfortable calculating my own and replaced things with soy/almond milk and tofu as appropriate. if not, make sure you see a dietitian/physician before making any drastic changes.}

5. don’t eat late. along with my lactose issues, i was having problems if i ate much food in the evening. i couldn’t sleep and i felt awful. so now i pretty much stop eating sometime between 4-6pm. if i get hungry after that i allow myself to still drink anything i like–i find dark chocolate almond milk is usually my go to choice, since it has enough substance to quench hunger, but doesn’t hang around long enough to hurt me. many of us consume 1/3-1/2 of our calories after 5pm–we go out to dinner, have a drink, have a bedtime snack, etc. they add up really quickly. if i removed those hazards as an option, i found i stuck to my diet so much better. also, knowing that i would stop eating early in the day made my early day choices better–i made sure i ate a well balanced breakfast and a nutritious lunch, because they were my primary meals of sustenance. it worked for me.

6. most importantly: don’t freak out when you have a bad day. in the beginning, i would get so discouraged when my weight would creep back up a pound or two or even five sometimes. but that’s the way it goes. no one is perfect. {well, some super fitness people are, and kudos to them. i’m not one. i’m super normal.} but then the next day i would get back at it, and not try to balance my bad day by starving myself, although sometimes i would eat a little less the days following until i was back on track. now i have a pretty good cadence going where about 4-5 days of the week i’m pretty good, and i always have a few days of the weeks where i eat something bad. the last two days i haven’t been able to get enough chocolate. but today i’m okay. and i guess i’ve learned to give in when i need to for the sake of the long game.

you’ll notice i don’t have any points in here about working out. why? well, to be honest, i didn’t change my fitness regimen much at first. now i run a little more, i do some fitness dvds now and then. to this point, i was enough above a healthy weight that diet changes were enough to get me here. but i’ve noticed its slowed a lot the last month, and i know whats coming: the last 25 are going to be pure sweat. i’ve been reading a lot about kelly’s experiences with p90x and getting the bug to maybe sign up for another 10k {i ran one with my dad a couple thanksgivings ago & it was SO FUN}.

i hope some of these tips help you if you’re struggling or just looking for a way to be a little healthier. i used to read all these blog posts about successful weight loss stories and wonder if i’d ever get there—and i did. and you will too!

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Lyndsay before beginning her healthy-living journey.

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Here you can see her progression.

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BOOM! Here she is now. Pretty fabulous I’d say.

Hope you enjoyed Lyndsay’s story – it was pretty amazing to get to see it happen in real life!  I can’t wait to see what she does next.  Have a wonderful Tuesday!

-Kelly

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5 Responses to “Guest Post: Lyndsay’s Top 6 Tricks to Jump Start a Better You!”

  1. hkzwart June 18, 2013 at 10:30 am #

    You are SO right on! Weight loss is 70% nutrition and 30% exercise. I’m a big fan of P90X and other workout programs, but the eating right part is so crucial. And it’s not about dieting… it’s about a lifestyle change. Congratulations on your transformation!

  2. Becoming the Best Me June 18, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    You are so awesome! And you look fantastic! I completely agree with the dairy free. I had to cut it out of my life 2 1/2 months ago (also when I started my journey to a healthy lifestyle) when I found out my daughter is severely allergic to milk and she is still breastfeeding. I had to remove it from my diet so it didn’t go through my milk (which she isn’t allergic to thankfully). You would be surprised how much has dairy in it. I know I was. It makes it easy to avoid crap like cakes and cookies because most has dairy LOL

  3. LO June 18, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

    thanks ladies! and good luck with your daughter–she’s so lucky to have a mom so aware of her needs! :)

  4. megbek June 19, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    I absolutely adore these kinds of stories, because what human doesn’t love a success? You are fabulous, dear, and this is proof that you are. :) I have a best friend who has taken a similar life route and it has paid off like crazy! You did it for all the right reasons, too, which makes this even more exciting to read! Kudos to you and your weight loss – that’s hard work turned into amazing results. You’re living proof that anyone can do it! <3 Thank you for sharing!

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  1. Guest Post: P90X from a Guy’s Perspective | Races, Reps, and Ramblings - June 20, 2013

    […] an awesome guest post from Lyndsay, engagement pictures, and vacation – could this week get any more exciting??  The good news […]

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