Well, it’s finally happened! *Excited squeak* I am finally at (pastish) my halfway mark in my weight loss journey!
YAAAAAYYY!!!!! Seriously, seeing those numbers flash across my scale was the ultimate birthday gift (yup, that’s the day I reached my halfway mark, my 30th birthday!)
Getting to this point took about 3 months longer than I wanted it to, but I’m not upset about it at all because I’ve learned a lot about what works for me for weight loss and what doesn’t. I’m heading into the last half of my weight loss journey armed with a well-thought out plan to get me to my ultimate goal. It’s going to be great!
Then and Now
So, before I get too much farther into what I’ve accomplished and what I’ve learned on my journey thus far, I want to do a quick comparison of myself from last summer (a few months before I started) to this summer.
|Date: Summer 2017
Weight: 211.7 lbs
How I felt: depressed and regularly self-loathing; physically exhausted all the time; “hungry” all the time; slave to cravings; sugar addict; hopeless; zero energy to play with my (then) 3-year-old and new baby; zero sex drive; no interest in personal improvement or my physical appearance; basically on the verge of giving up…at TWENTY-NINE!!!!! Not good.
|Date: Summer 2018
Weight: 168 lbs
How I feel now: HOPEFUL!!!; noticeably more energetic; increased focus; increased confidence; more desire to succeed and work for what I want; excited to reach my ultimate goal weight (it no longer feels like a fleeting dream); enjoying more quality time with my girls; more in control of my eating habits; I feel like I am worth my own time 🙂
While I have more work ahead of me, looking at these two pictures and the difference I see between them gives me the proof I need to know my efforts are not in vain. I am making progress, no matter how difficult it is to see at times.
Now, I have to mention two very important people in regards to my progress because everyone needs a role model (or two) to keep them focused!
First, Gin Stephens, author of Delay, Don’t Deny and Feast Without Fear, is the person I credit with giving me my official start into the intermittent fasting world. I’d dabbled a bit between pregnancies but didn’t really feel like it was a lifestyle until I read her first book, became a regular to the podcast she co-hosts, and really started implementing what she teaches (*ahem* fasting clean).
Just some things I love about Miss Gin Stephens:
She is completely relatable because she’s real. I’ve been a member of Gin’s intermittent fasting support groups on Facebook for almost a year n0w and I see her actively engage with people on a daily basis. We love her!
She tells it like it is. Gin is definitely not afraid to lay it out and provide corrective guidance where needed. And she always does so in a respectful manner.
She is a wonderful example of balance. Gin lives a very healthy lifestyle but still enjoys her Doritos when she wants them. The whole premise of her platform is that denying ourselves is excessive and unhealthy. Rather we need to learn to listen to our bodies and truly nourish ourselves while still enjoying life and all of our favorite things (in moderation). Because balance is key to overall health.
Gin doesn’t pretend to have all of the answers. She is a very knowledgable individual but is never afraid to say she doesn’t know if she doesn’t. You can bet, though, that she will do whatever she can to find an answer if there is one!
I cannot recommend following Gin Stephens enough. She has been such a wonderful influence in my life and it’s very likely she will be in yours, too.
Podcast: The Intermittent Fasting Podcast
Instagram: Gin Stephens
Books: Delay, Don’t Deny
Second, I must credit Adam Schaeuble and his podcast The Million Pound Mission (aka Transformation Coach) for his inspiring take on what he calls “strategic thinking”. He’s also author of The Third Component, a book currently on my reading list that I have yet to get to. But when I do, I’ll be sure to add my notes!
Adam has some serious knowledge on the psychology of the “fitness frustrated”. Rather than focusing his efforts on promoting the newest, flashiest workout routine, Adam uses his podcasts as a means to assist his audience in discovering their own “danger zones” and walks them through the process of developing personalized action plans in order to overcome said danger zones. He also willing shares his own “Jedi Mind Tricks” and “Success Formulas” (as he calls them) with listeners.
And, let me tell you, these tools are priceless! It’s with Adam’s “Battle Plan Workbook” that I was finally able to blast off of my plateau and make the final push toward this elusive milestone I’ve been circling for months. Having a customizable map to navigate the ins and outs of my personal plan has proven to be the missing link between my fitness goals and success.
Also, Adam is very involved with his audience. He goals live on social media every week (more than once, I think!) and is very active in conversations with his followers.
Adam has massive amounts of resources available for people looking to improve their health, so definitely Make sure you check out Adam’s website at TransformationCoach.Me and tune into his podcast! You’ll love it!
Podcast: The Million Pound Mission (transcripts/SoundCloud/Stitcher/iTunes)
Facebook: Defeat the Cheat
Book: The Third Component
Losing 41 Pounds
At this point, the answer to how I lost 41 pounds is quite obvious, so I’ll focus on more of the technicalities of my fasting to give you a more detailed idea of what it looks like from day to day.
To be frank, I have been a bit of a scatter-brain with my fasting. For the first 7 months or so, I hopped around from protocol to protocol thinking I needed to try any and all of the different ways of doing IF. While, obviously, this didn’t keep me from losing weight, I feel it did hinder my progress a bit (like anextra 3 months worth).
Essentially, though, I followed a 20:4 protocol (meaning I fasted 20 hours, then had an eating window of 4 hours). Every couple of weeks (sometimes every week) I’d throw in a 36 to 48 hour fast just because I loved the extra confidence and motivation these extended fasts provided.
With my fasting, I aimed for increased nutrition, meaning I drank more water and ate more vegetables and real foods.
Side note: Celery (or any vegetable really) and Chiz’s ranch dressing are the ULTIMATE munchy snack when you’re trying to overcome serious cravings. YUM! So filling and full of flavor! For anyone living in the North Western Untied States, if you can find the Chiz’s brand near you, TRY IT!!!!! So good!
Okay, back to the point. Along with my intermittent fasting lifestyle, I also followed a very loose fitness routine, meaning I’d go to the gym 4 or 5 days a week, but never really planned out my workouts. I’d do what I felt like doing for the day (sometimes it was just red light therapy and a massage…). Most of the time, though, I made sure I did at least 15 minutes of HIIT and 10 – 15 minutes of strength training.
Though my exercise was very unstructured, I know that overall, it did help me with reaching this half way mark. In the future however (meaning now) I am giving more of my attention to a well-planned fitness routine because my aim is pointed more toward losing inches now than losing pounds (although I am still working for fat loss which will innevitably result in pounds lost).
Having learned from those first few months of fasting chaos and a lazy fitness focus, I feel I have finally landed on a routine that is working well for me and don’t plan on deviating from it until I have to!