Focus On What Works

Through the years I have had my ups and downs with my fitness and weight.  It is often challenging to figure out which health rituals and health foods are really healthy.  Does eating peanut butter and greek yogurt really help you lose weight?  What is the best plan of action?

I think that each and every one of us has wisdom from our past experiences.  There are general guidelines that can help us lose weight, but you need to figure out what works for you and your body.

“Take the BEST then leave the rest.”

I have a history of being an overweight child.  I was chubby in grade school then in middle school I started swimming.  Staying active and making healthier food choices helped me to get healthy and lose the baby fat.

From the 6th grade through about 11th I suffered from an eating disorder.  I was a size 0 for many years, but I always thought I was fat and I hardly ate.  I was obsessed with the scale.  Luckily, the summer of my Junior year, I finally started to eat more.  I was working 4 jobs and needed energy and fuel to keep myself going.

My weight gain began again in college.  I put on the freshman 30.  I wasn’t drinking and partying, but I was a lot less active and I wasn’t making the best choices in the college cafeteria (aka the COG).  2nd semester of that year I broke up with my first boyfriend and started working out.  I think that I dropped 25 pounds in one month.

The summer of my 18th year I was training for outdoor school.  I don’t remember how much I weighed when I got back from outdoor school, but I know that I was at an ideal point.  That school year was stressful and I rapidly jumped up in weight especially after my accident.

Then the next 4 years I became the heaviest that I had ever been.  My self-esteem was shot and my confidence at an all-time low.  In addition, I was losing my hair.  I was in a bad situation and more stressed than I had ever been.

At 22 I was very heavy, but I felt the joy and euphoria of being alive.  I started working out and going to zumba classes with my mom.  In January I decided to register for my 1st triathlon.  It had been my dream for 11 years and I was going to make it happen!  In April, I started working out with a Personal Trainer and my friend Lyndsie suggested that we read the book “Skinny Bitch”, keep food journals, and meet each week to talk about our nutrition habits.  I stuck with it and it got me great results.  I was feeling great and losing weight, but I was at a loss on what to eat.  I honestly must have spent the first two months living off of chips, salsa, and hummus, and almond butter and jelly sandwiches.

I stuck with the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle for over 2 years and I think it was a pretty good fit.  One year 2012 I was taking care of a friend who was recovering from a double-knee replacement and they were playing the Food Network channel constantly and always talking about mouthwatering thanksgiving recipes.  I had done just fine with the Tofurkey Thanksgiving the past two years, but for some reason, I wanted actual Thanksgiving Food.  So that Thanksgiving, I started to eat meat again and also started gaining weight.

I had also spun into a deep depression and lacked the energy to do anything.  It was a struggle for me to get out of bed in time to coach at 5 pm.  At the beginning of 2013, my life was turned upside down.  I was able to function because I was in survival mode, but I put on a ton of weight.  At the end of that year, I continued to put on weight.  Food and junk food was the fuel that was getting me through each day, but I was over-indulging.

In 2014 my car broke down and I started to take the bus so I was walking more.  I felt like I had hit another all-time -low and I wanted to stop feeling so bad about myself.  I also wanted to have energy again.  I had a friend who gave me nutrition and workout advice and would motivate me via texts.  It made a huge difference and changed my life.  On July 4th of that year I ordered my first Isagenix 30-day system.  I stuck with it and rapidly lost weight over the rest of the summer.  It definitely worked, but it is very expensive.  I stopped subscribing to the products that November.

2015 rolled around and I was feeling down, but I wanted to get healthy.  I started running with my friend Kodi twice a week and working out with co-workers for 30 minutes 3 x’s a week.  On weekends I went on long walks and learned new exercises.  It felt great to get back on track.   I was also making smoothies with the Nutri-bullet that Christopher gave me for our first Christmas.  On top of all that I was dancing and taking Mixxedfit/Zumba classes as much as possible.

In May of 2015 my boyfriend and I got our first house together.  He is super fit and health conscious and those healthy habits rubbed off on me.  We were making kale soothies every day and eating clean.  By August, I was at my lowest weight!  At that point I was running at least 3 times a week and Christopher and I would go on daily walks.

In September I started a new job and in November he started a new job and by December my eating habits were terrible.  I was stressed by all the changes, a lot more sedentary, and coping with food.

In January of this year 2016, I got a gym membership and started working out.  I had also created my “Transform Your Life Project” and started doing my “Workout and Word of the Day.”    I got great results and felt great.  By Mid-march I was feeling fantastic.  We got that puppy and I kind of used it as an excuse.  I was also stressed out about a lot of things and didn’t step foot in the gym for over a month.

Now it is nearly the end of May and I want to take better care of myself.  I know that the way that I feel and the way that I feel about myself keeps me from accomplishing as much as I can.  When I feel exhausted, lack energy, and feel bad about myself; I don’t feel motivated to do anything.

Below, I will list some of my habits at my heaviest and my fittest.

At My Heaviest I:

  • Did not workout.
  • Beef Jerky, Greek Yogurt Parfaits, String Cheese, Pizza, and Cheez-its were staples in my diet.
  • I ate a lot of fast food for convenience.
  • I stayed up late.
  • I ordered high calorie coffee drinks and milkshakes.

At My Fittest I:

  • Never skipped breakfast.
  • Drank lemon cayenne tea first thing in the morning.
  • Did a foam-rolling routine in the morning.
  • Ate fruit for breakfast on an empty stomach.
  • Kept a food journal.
  • Ate healthy snacks throughout the day.
  • Went running.
  • Went Swimming.
  • Did Weight training regularly.
  • Stuck with a routine.
  • Cut out dairy.
  • Ate lots of veggies.

I am going to implement all the strategies that have worked in the past and stay aware of what didn’t work.

What habits have worked for you?  Comment below to share your nutrition and fitness tips!  I would love to hear them!

Love, Joy, and blessings Always,

Alana xoxoxo

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3 thoughts on “Focus On What Works

  1. From your writings above, it seems you also did your best when you had a workout buddy or friend to exchange notes with!

    I always do my best when I don’t eat past 4 or 5, and dinner has to be high protein. Bread and pasta are not my friends. Ironic, eh? Lol 😀

    1. Thanks Paula! I think that is a Great observation about having a workout buddy. I didn’t even think of how effective it has been in the past. I will have to try not eating past 4 or 5. That sounds especially challenging, but I bet that it would help. And I do love bread and pasta, but I can see why distance is a good thing. Thanks for the tips! I hope you’re having a wonderful week!!! 🙂

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