Howdy! This is the first post in my new weekly health and fitness series. On Tuesdays, I will be sharing some of the fitness routines I do daily as well as some health tips that I've found helpful over the years. Today I'm going to talk about weight loss and what I did that worked.
To give you the back story, I have to go back eleven years to before I got married. I was going through some health issues that caused me to gain weight. I was also planning a wedding that my fiance and I were paying for ourselves - can you say STRESSFUL?? - which also caused some weight gain. At my heaviest, I looked like this:
|At my heaviest - 250 lbs.|
How embarrassing is it to post a picture of your former fat self?? Uhh, just looking at this makes me cringe, because I felt awful when I was that heavy. I had to lose weight. For the wedding. For my health. For my poor joints which were severely affected by the extra poundage. I immediately changed the way I was eating. I had always heard that if you eat meals off a salad plate instead of a dinner plate, your brain is tricked into thinking you are eating your normal portion. I tried this and along with some walking in the evenings with my fiancé, I was able to trim down 30 pounds for the wedding day. I lost weight so quickly that my wedding gown had to be altered three days before our ceremony!
Then I hit the great plateau. Anyone that faces major weight loss will experience this at some point in their journey. Your body gets used to the diet and exercise you are doing and just goes into a hibernation of sorts. It is depressing. It is frustrating. I had to find a way to wake my body up and get it functioning normally again because I wasn't going to settle for the weight I was at. I still wasn't feeling my best. I was still experiencing crippling pain in my joints (which we later found out was the Addison's Disease and exacerbated by the extra weight) and I wasn't feeling confident in my own skin.
I turned to yoga for help. I had always played around with yoga practice for the greater portion of my adult life, but never really got serious about using it to my benefit until this point. I am not a runner - have never been - and needed low impact workouts that would be easy on my joints but still allow me to get a good stretch and also build strength and endurance.
I began with video games. Wii Fit Plus Yoga was a great starting point for me. Because you have to use the balance board, you are forced to do the poses correctly, focusing your weight in specific areas so you don't fail the game. Wii Fit helped me gain my balance and, to sound cliché, access my center, which is necessary when attempting more advanced yoga poses.
The yoga seemed to be the key I was missing because, along with the walking and eating better, I was able to start shedding the weight again. With continued practice over the last several years, I was able to lose a total of 120 pounds. This is what I looked like:
|Me, at my sister's wedding in 2008 - 130 lbs.|
Finding my happy place.
At my thinnest, I was 5'10 and 130 pounds - lighter than I was through most of my high school years. I was quite thin, was lacking a lot of muscle definition and a few people expressed concern about whether I was eating enough. The truth was, I was eating plenty but my body was burning it way too quickly (another side effect of the Addison's). With some encouragement from my husband (he likes me with a little more "meat" on my bones), I decided try to gain a little weight back. The difference in this transition was that I wanted to gain muscle weight and not fat.
I was currently using the Body by Bethenny yoga dvd which provided some solid yoga routines as well as basic toning with weights. I started focusing on adding toning to my fitness sessions. I purchased three sets of weights, 2 pound, 5 pound and 10 pound. I also reverted back to my dance days and started doing some barre exercises to even my muscles out. You've seen a dancer's legs - long and lean. I wanted to look like a dancer and not a body builder.
Having worked in some toning with weights to my yoga schedule, along with changing my diet to add more non-meat (vegetarian) protein, I was able to gain about 20 pounds and find the spot I felt comfortable at. My clothes fit better and I felt more confident with my body.
|Taken this morning, after rolling out of bed in my husband's sweats :)|
It's been a long, emotional journey and it will continue to be. I expect to battle with weight as I get older and as health issues change. I feel better prepared to work towards my goal now that I know where my happy medium is on the weight scale.
I hope my weight loss journey has given you some encouragement if you are also struggling. In the weeks to come, I will be sharing my current fitness regimen as well as some healthy eating tips and review of the vitamins and supplements I take daily. Make sure you are subscribed to get all the updates!
Have you dealt with a weight battle in your life? Do you have any diet tricks or fitness routines that worked for you? I'd love to hear your tips!
Disclaimer: I am not a health professional and the workouts or diets I have shared in this post are things that worked for me. It is important that you check with your healthcare provider before starting a new fitness routine.
The post Tone Up Tuesday - My Weight Loss Journey first appeared on A Simpler Grace. If you found this article helpful, don't forget to share it with your friends!
Until next time,