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When you want to lose weight, but have no idea where to start

January 29, 2014


I get asked the question a lot, what did you do to lose weight? That question is usually followed by the comment; "I want to lose weight, but I have no idea what to do or how to get started". Losing weight is so simple, unbelievably simple. However, even though it is simple, it is not easy. To lose weight all you need to do is eat clean, exercise, and stay motivated. It sounds simple, right? Repeat those steps everyday and you will be able to lose weight.

I sincerely believe the biggest obstacle people struggle with is staying motivated. Unfortunately motivation is not something you can buy. There is no magic motivation pill you can pop once a day, nor a surgical procedure you can go under for and be done with it. Motivation comes deep within yourself and it is something that you have to push yourself with everyday on your journey.

When I decided that I had to lose weight, It was a Tuesday afternoon in September of 2008. I was 19 years old. I was at the doctor's office and a nurse had just weighed me and took my blood pressure as they always do when a patient comes from an appointment. I felt numb. I was 19 years old and weighed 276 pounds. I had gained 116 pounds in two years. Throughout high school, especially my senior year, I stayed very muscular and fit. However, I graduated early, and from January 2007 to September 2008, life to me meant nothing but partying, binging, fast food, and skipping the gym. I was at the doctor that September day to talk to my MD about depression. I had been battling it off and on. I would shower with the lights off because I could not stand to see myself naked. I would cry in the dressing rooms of any stores I was in because clothes never fit me correctly. I started to never see my friends because I hated going out with them. I was the fattest and ugliest of the group, so why even bother to go out? I just wanted to stay home and feel sorry for myself. And I wanted food to comfort me. 

When my doctor came in the room to talk to me, I told her what I was going through. We talked for about half an hour and she thought I should see a Psychologist. She was just a small town medical Doctor and she concluded that my problems were better fit for a Psychologist to evaluate. When I left, I sat in my car and replayed the conversation that just ensued and I thought really hard about what I told her. My problems sounded different when I said them aloud. For the first time, I told someone why I was feeling depressed. It was then sitting in my car, that I decided I had to lose weight. I had to change my life. I was 19 years old and I should be in the best shape of my life - having the best time of my life. My depression was not due to a neurological chemical imbalance to where I would need medication, it was because I loathed myself so much.

When I arrived home from the doctor, I started my research. That is how I initially got started. I did a lot of research to make myself learn. I could not afford a fancy weight loss program or a trainer to do all of the work for me and I just follow their lead. I knew that I wanted to learn so my change could be permanent. I went online and looked up YouTube videos for exercise and healthy eating, I would look up clean eating recipes, the benefits of lean proteins, vegetables, fiber, and carbohydrates - and examples of each of those food groups. I learned the difference between a simple and complex carbohydrate as well as monounsatured and trans fats. I would read and print pictures and instructions on different weight lifting exercises and the various types of cardio such as endurance and high intensity interval training. I worked for what I wanted. If I wanted to lose weight, I needed to learn how to do it correctly. I ordered books and magazines on nutrition and fitness. There are also a plethora of weight loss blogs and websites online filled with writers who are willing to help people, such as myself! If you want to lose weight but have no idea where to start, feed your brain with information. 

After I had an idea on what to eat, I consciously made myself make better choices. That evening after I read on nutrition and fitness, I made a clean dinner. My dinner consisted of a lean protein, vegetables, and a complex carbohydrate. I made progress. I was learning, and my first step to a clean meal was successful. Next, I sat down to write out and schedule my days so I could always ensure I have a designated time to exercise. Then I woke up the next morning and had a clean breakfast. Later that day, I said no to soda. After that I avoided picking up fast food on the way home from class. These tiny, insignificant choices that one makes throughout their day completely add up when you are on a weight loss journey. Good choices are constantly made, time goes by, and the next thing you know, it has been a week and you lost 8 pounds. 

If you want to lose weight, you can start right now. If you are drinking a sugary soda, toss it. Grab a glass of water. Are you going out for dinner? Order water to drink and order lean protein such as turkey, chicken, or fish and ask the cooks to prepare it with as little butter and salt as possible. Take an hour from your day to dedicate to exercise. Instead of watching TV, playing Candy Crush, or checking out Facebook, devote that time to a good work out. If you want something in life, it is up to you to make it happen. Excuses will not get you anywhere, and finally on that day in 2008, I was ready to give the excuses up. 

As your weight loss journey progresses, eating clean and exercising will become a habit. It truly becomes second nature. It has been scientifically shown it takes 21 days to create a habit. And it is true. When you first start clean eating and exercise, it is really hard. I can't take the hard away from it. Nor can anyone else. It is just something you have to push through if you really want it. 

Here is when the best part starts to come alive The incredible feelings. The feeling when you are able to be satisfied from food - not miserably full. The feeling of energy that comes from your clean meals. I feel like I am ready to take on the world after I eat healthy. I do not have that "food coma" feeling where I am miserable and want to fall asleep. Aside from proper food choices, you have the accomplishments with working out; be it in the gym, at home, or elsewhere. I pushed through a hard workout and my body is tingling of success (that is one of my personal favorites). Your endorphin's are going crazy. I started off not being able to run a mile, now I can run 5 without stopping. I previously could only do 3 sets of 10 repetitions, 12 pound dumbbell curls, but now I can do 3 sets of 15 - with proper form. I can go harder. I can go faster. I can go longer. I look in the mirror and see myself shrinking. The pants that were too tight a month ago, are now falling off of my waist. I can see my body getting toned. I can flex my arm and see definition starting to appear.  Your hard work comes to a surface. You finally understand and you finally appreciate the hard work you have put in. These are your rewards. And they keep you going. I want to be better than I was yesterday and I can't wait to be better than that tomorrow. 

One of the bonuses about losing weight that no one really talks about is how your accomplishments effect the rest of your life. I find that I want to be a better person at my job. I want to be a better friend. I want to set harder goals. I feel so much better about myself and I have learned to love myself more than I thought possible. I proved that I can work hard and stay dedicated to improve my body and health, and I also happen to strength my mind. My confidence. My self worth. Anyone can lose weight and you get started right now. Start by making healthier choices whenever you can. Do not overwhelm yourself, just take it one step at a time. You will not lose all of the weight you want in a day, week, month, or probably even 2 months. It takes time. It takes dedication, consistency, motivation from within, and if you want to start, take initiative and do it right now. Learn anything you can about proper nutrition and exercise, talk to your friends, talk to a trainer, buy books, obtain free material online - there are millions of sources. Once you gain some knowledge, execute it by making one healthy choice at a time. 

I'm there with you! On November 25th 2013, I had to almost start over. I am building myself up again from a hard year with a lot of obstacles. And I am doing it, one bite and one calorie at a time.
 

59 comments

  1. Great post, babe! You are definitely down the right path and it shows! Keep up the great work!

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  2. LIZ, I LOVE THIS SO HARD. losing weight is nothing that anyone can "wing" - it takes patience, dedication, EDUCATION, research and determination. resistance. will power. ultimately, YOU are the one that is stopping yourself from doing great things. ("you" = general you, not you my lovely lady).

    through weight loss and your own personal journey, you do realize how strong you are, how much mental grit you have and how physically, you can push your body to do amazing things. weight loss is not easy and the hardest part is the starting point but the more information and education you have about what it really means to eat healthy, live a healthy lifestyle etc, the less likely you are to fall off the wagon. information is power because when you know exactly what certain foods can/can't do, you'll always make the right choice.

    keep up your amazing work!!! xoxoxox

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  3. great post! I think starting with small changes is important, because people are more likely to stick to it. going too extreme too fast can burn people out for sure. great post and you're doing so awesome!
    -- jackie - jade and oak

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  4. u are so awesome girlie!!! love the motivation!!! i needed to hear this...

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  5. Great post girl! The mental part is the hardest but when people conquer that part the rest seems easier. It is an every day choice to be better. You are doing awesome and you look fabulous! Hugs!

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  6. Such a great post Liz! It's so true, it's all about finding and keeping motivation. I was so motivated by my fitness competition that after it was over, I found it so difficult to get any motivation back. Now I'm finding my motivation from within to just be healthy and happy.

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  7. Wow....perfectly written.
    I call that the 'lightbulb' moment of when it just clicked that we are the ones in control of our battle. I would have loved to have had that moment at your young age! It didn't 'click' for me until I was 28yrs old.

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  8. amazing, exactly what I needed right now. Super inspirational! Thanks for sharing, I'll be following along from here on out :)

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  9. Love this post! It really is about making little choices throughout your day that really add up. Thanks so much for sharing this!

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  10. I'm so lucky to call you my friend! You are such a rockstar, and NO, I won't EVER stop reminding you of that daily :)

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  11. You look amazing!!! I love seeing your meal posts on Instagram. I just want to go food shopping with you haha

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  12. Motivation is the hardest thing for me! I have a lot of the knowledge I need and the desire to do this, but I have yet to have that ding ding ding go off in my head that gives me the motivation to stick with it. I'm wanting to start trying to have a family in the near future and desperately want to have a healthy and comfortable pregnancy...that's my main reason for wanting to lose so much weight. Finding the motivation for such a long term goal is so difficult. One day at a time though..

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  13. I absolutely LOVE the way you put this... simple but not easy.

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  14. I just found your blog a little while ago and you are truly an inspiration! Great post! Thank you!!!

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  15. Awesome. I love when people are told to just do their research and the work. Everyone wants a quick fix, or a no effort kind of fix. They do not understand the benefits of having lean muscle, and that healthy doesn't mean tasteless. This is awesome. You are awesome. Please keep spreading this message!

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  16. I so needed this post. I have been struggling a lot lately. I just turned 45 and weigh 175. That is the most I have weighed since I was 9 months pregnant with my 3rd child 16 years ago. I never had a problem with dropping weight but when my 40's hit something changed and the pounds just kept creeping on. I know I need to change the way I eat but it is so difficult and overwhelming. My husband and I just started doing yoga 2 times a week and I never realized how much of my flexibility I lost. Its so difficult to stand in front of that mirror and look at myself. I see pictures of me and my kids and think, wow when did I get that double chin. I finally hit the wall last night and made the promise to myself to get healthy (not skinny). I look to motivation where I can find it and I have found it in you. THANK YOU and I look forward to following your lead.

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  17. Great post! You took the words right out of my mouth! There is no magic motivation pill. And I am right there with you. I have gained some of the weight that I lost and I am back to the basics. Making exercise and healthy eating a priority.

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  18. Wow you are so inspirational! 19 is so young and to change and be healthy is awesome and really tough! Love you blog! New follower from Lovely Thursdays Link-up!

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  19. This is a fabulous post and thank you so much for sharing! I too believe that motivation is key! I feel like once you have enough motivation, everything else will fall into place. :) Keep rockin' it!

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  20. SO motiviating. You look fantastic. I'm SO self concious about how OUT OF SHAPE I am. I'm skinny (I'm not going to sit here and lie to get attention.) But after having baby number 2, my body lost some tone and I'm dying to get it back. I started T25 and I'm loving it, but I still struggle because my body can't keep up! I am SO glad I stumbled across this blog!! It's awesome to be inspired by others!

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  21. You go girl!!!! I found you from "that friday blog hop" and SO happy I did! I just had a baby... well 5 months ago! But I am having such a hard time shedding the weight. I am a good 60 pounds over weight and really want to loose it by the time i get pregnant again. Hopefully Spring 2015. I start doing something and then I never keep up with it. I tried T25 but I'm a little too out of shape to start with that. So I walk every day and am using the app "From Couch to 5K" and run 3 times a week. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get coming to your blog every time I don't feel like exercising. I must loose weight and you are definitely a new inspiration for me!

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  22. Simple, but not easy! I love this! It is so true, you just have to put your mind to it and do it. It is so important to start with baby steps and realize that if you make a bad decision, it is ok...just make your next decision a good one and get back on track. Love love love this! You are such an inspiration!

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