Q&A Friday: How did I lose 80 pounds?

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One of the most interesting moments that I have had the past few months was a situation that went like this:

“I was teaching cycling class and wasn’t the regular instructor.  I knew this, everyone in the class that regularly attended knew this too.  However, there was a new person (new to me) one morning who was nice enough to introduce himself…and I say this was some sarcasm ..so read into that a bit.  During his introduction I had about a 10 minute dissertation of who this person was, how they are so great, what their accomplishments were and what they expected from me that morning.  It is 5:40am.  I was being lectured at by a stranger who obviously thought that they are better than me and wanted to make sure that I knew this information and that they weren’t too pleased that I was teaching…although they had no idea who I was or what I had done.  Then the question came, “Well, what got you into this spot? (meaning the instructor).  Now…this was also said in front of a room full of other people.

How in the world do I answer this question?  I could talk about how I have been trying earnestly to work at this place and it felt like an uphill battle every step I took.  I could let this person know the things that I love to do that have made me successful with my journey..if I start talking about strength training I won’t stop though :).  I could even talk about the races that I have been a part of and how those gave me confidence to do other things I’ve never tried.  But then, he spoke again…

“I’m trying to lose 10 pounds.  My brother said I should.  That is what I’m trying to do now so you better make this class worth it.”

My reaction was, “well, I’ve lost 80 pounds so I think I can help you out.”

The mouth dropped and then the question came…”how?”

I never answered this question fully because I seriously can’t sum up all of the choices that I have made, all of the things that I have had to change in 60 seconds.  That was how much time I had before the class started and I couldn’t sum up the past 3 years in that time span.  Sorry.  I will answer the question for you though.  Here it goes in a way as brief as possible:

Q.  How did I lose 80 pounds?

I honestly and truly think that everyone has a journey.  Some people were born skinny but are a skinny body of fat and eat like crap.  Some people were born and have always been on the chubby side and try hard to do what they think will bring results but might be stuck in the never-ending diet craze and then “Oops…I just gained 10 pounds”.  Others could care less about their looks and will just eat whatever they want and whenever they want and are perfectly content to never move at all.

There is one last category of people though…and it includes every body shape, various heights of people and any BMI range…but all of the people in this category WANT to change and are trying to change.

That is how I lost the weight.  I WANTED to change and I was not going to let myself fail.

don't give upThis has not been an easy journey and losing weight is one of the toughest things that I have ever done but it is also so much fun!  There are moments that truly suck…and I really don’t like those days…but I WANT to see results and that is what drives me to keep moving forward, to wake up early and to push myself hard during each workout.  Nothing is better than putting on the next size down of clothing…and when it happens and you can zip up those pants without needing to suck it in you feel like a million bucks!  No lie.  🙂

No one can make this journey for you or handhold you through each individual decision you have to make when it comes to food or exercising.  I’ve tried to help others and have learned many times now that if the WANT isn’t there…the changes won’t happen and the excuses will be there instead.  This is really something that you have to think about, pray about and really decide if this is the right time for you to make changes in your life.  You have to WANT to do this for you and not let anything get in your way.

If you decide that now is the time… your journey starts with you making one choice.  I made small choices…about 1 a week…and then just stuck with those choices throughout as best as I could.  Here are a few examples of choices I have made:

A choice to…

  • start moving.  Actually going to the gym each week.  At first it was 30 minutes maybe 2 times a week.
  • not eating that extra serving of dinner when you are already full…or, even taking a moment to think if we are really hungry before we sit down for dinner tonight.  If we aren’t hungry then why are we making a choice to eat?
  • look at the ingredients on what you are buying at the grocery store.  If you don’t know what those ingredients are that you are fueling your body with you are at least taking the time to figure it out.  Pretty sure Adam & Eve didn’t have high fructose corn syrup in their fruit salad.  Wait…maybe it was part of the secret recipe of the forbidden fruit and that is why they weren’t supposed to eat it.  😉
  • take the stairs today instead of the elevator at work or park your car farther away than your usual spot when you go to the grocery store.  Just a few extra steps each day will help!  The next time you have to walk stairs because a motel doesn’t have an elevator or the elevator at the mall is too busy with moms and strollers you will actually not dread walking up those stairs.  Trust me!
  • actually doing a workout today…it could even be Workout #1 that we have available for you.
  • calling your friend to see if they will help you be accountable with doing your exercises.  You know…you can always get in touch with myself (Jessica) and Cori.  You can find out how to contact us on our About page…and yes, we will write you back!  The Journey is on Facebook too and you can send us a message there also!
  • see what your waist measurement is and record it on a piece of paper (notice I didn’t mention the scale…if you don’t know why...read this)
  • take a before photo.  Stand at a mirror in some shorts and tank top or swimsuit (your choice!…mine was shorts and tank) and keep it somewhere so you can compare it in a few months.
  • love yourself…yes, even those parts that might be squishier than others.  I’ll be writing more about this topic soon cause it is a biggie!
  • be realistic and set some small goals that will help lead you to the big picture of your journey.  Cori just wrote about this today and had some great points.  You can find her article here.

And most importantly…

  • actually start this journey..because you CAN do this, you already know that it is possible…you really just have to make a choice if you WILL do this.

photo (34)-Jessica

To view my story about the journey I’ve been on and my weight loss, phase by phase, click here.

To view one of my workouts and see what it is that I actually do in the mornings…click here.  Now remember…I used to be 80 pounds heavier than I am now and I used to use the pretty colored weights.  I have been lifting weights for a few years now and have a long ways to go to my goals but I do know that those pretty colors don’t come on the 40 pound dumbbells.  🙂

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2 thoughts on “Q&A Friday: How did I lose 80 pounds?

  1. Kristine

    So in essence, when someone asks you “how did you lose 80 lbs” and you only have less than a minute to answer….’because I wanted to’. 😉

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    1. mominminnesota Post author

      Yep! My WANT is for quite a few different reasons (family history, my own medical issues, kids, etc.). So…yes, I wanted it and because of that want I made it happen. I could have stayed on the couch and continued to eat fast food and other crappy food…and I know I would be sad, depressed, most likely diabetic by now and still not able to walk up our stairs. Playing and running with my kids and being a part of their activities would not be happening either.

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