Monday, August 19, 2013

How I did it: 8 quick & easy tips.

Hello there. If you're just now tuning in, I'm Ellen, and I've lost 13ish pounds in 15 weeks.  (Wooooohoooo!) If you're curious about how this mystical thing happened, I'd love to share what I did. Maybe this will be helpful to you and maybe it won't. Remember, I'm not a nutritionist, or Jillian Michaels, or really any kind of expert whatsoever. So, take these tips how you will. Hopefully they work as well for you as they did for little ol' me :)

1. Be consistent!
I can't stress this enough. It's not going to do you any good if you have a good week, followed by two bad weeks, followed by a good three days...etc. Everyone makes mistakes and has bad days. Don't let it turn into a month-long food frenzy/lazyfest. Get up, get moving, and remember that one bad meal won't make you fat, just like one healthy one won't make you skinny.

2. A little bit of exercise, a lotta bit of food modifications.
This one is probably controversial because, as I know, every body is different. For me, this philosophy worked really well. I worked out almost every day, but I usually burned less than 300 calories. To balance this out, I ate 1200-1400 calories every day. I assure you, this is plenty. Especially if you get plenty of protein (Something I still need to work on.) Other girls might go to the gym and burn 600-700 calories working out and lose a ton of weight. GREAT for them. Seriously. I just hate exercise and have fairly good self-control when it comes to food intake. Do what works for you.

3. Count your calories (Try MyFitnessPal!)
It kind of baffles me when people try to lose weight but don't have any idea how many calories they're burning and eating. When it really comes down to it, weight loss is about math. Of course the quality of foods and the type of exercise can make a difference, but nothing is going to matter as much as input and output. I almost flunked pre-cal, but this math is simple enough even for this right-brained girl. It's really helpful to use MyFitnessPal. Just plug in your info and it'll tell you how much to eat every day. Easy as that.

4. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.
No, I'm not saying to eat a chocolate bar after every carrot. I'm saying, be like Bobby Deen. He always says he lives on the 80:20 ratio. 80% of what you eat has to be healthy and sensible. 20% of it is the yummy stuff that allows you to fully enjoy life. You can't be silly enough to think I, Ellen Dairylover--that's not really my last name, guys--went an entire summer without eating ice cream, pizza, and cheese. It happened, I assure you. The point of this tip is: eat things that make you happy every once in a while. It will help you enjoy your life. And it'll make sure you don't get so burned out on health food that you give up altogether.

5. Think of the bigger picture.
I like to use this ridiculous photo I made on to remind myself of the goal I'm working towards. You may not notice that .4 pound difference on the scale, but just keep thinking about how it all adds up. (It's fine, you can laugh. Laugh at the photo, please.) But in addition to the bigger picture body-wise, think of the bigger picture emotionally. Think of how confident, healthy, and amazing you will FEEL (and look) when you reach your goal.

6. Get a support system.
Talk to your loved ones. Tell them how you feel. Surround yourself with people who will pat you on the back and act like you're the skinniest person in the world even if you just lose half a pound. It's hard to keep motivating yourself. So find some people who will help you out and always be there for a kind word and a hug when you're having a tough time. This journey is not easy. A lot of it isn't too fun. But you can do it. (P.S. If you need a supporter, let me know. I'd love to be there for you and help you through the ups and downs of getting fit! :))

(Maybe your support system could be Ryan Gosling.)

7. Learn to love yourself.
If you've read my blog, you're probably like I get it already. Inner beauty. Blah blah. So I'll try not to be too repetitive! Guys, I just want you to always remember that you are awesome. You're loved. You're brilliant and inspiring. And the way you look in a bikini (or mankini, I don't know) will never change that! Get healthy and look good. But, more importantly, look inside yourself and realize that you are a beautiful, amazing person, regardless of your appearance.

8. Have fun, be safe!
At camp, our final rule was always HAVE FUN, BE SAFE! It works for 5-6 year olds, and it'll work for you, too. Find exercises you love (Um, hello, zumba? Kayaking? These things make me smile.) Make fun healthy recipes that don't taste like cardboard (Here's the link to some good ones!) Laugh at yourself when you fall on your ass during a barre class, and remember that this journey doesn't have to be all work and no play. And of course, be safe. Don't undereat or overexercise. Don't do anything that's too advanced for your fitness level. Do take risks. Do be adventurous. You will be a lot more successful if you learn not to take yourself too seriously!

(Clearly, I greatly enjoy Mary Poppins.)

That's all I've got. Enjoy. Hope this helps out some way, somehow!

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