Before I dive into this post I just want to say how thankful I am for each and every one of you who read the first part of my journey and emailed, commented, or reached out via Instagram! I truly appreciate every single one of you beautiful people for your support and sweet comments. I was so interested to hear that so many others really relate to my story. Please read on to find out more about the beginning of my journey.
The initial steps of my weight loss journey are somewhat hard to remember. it has been almost 4.5 years since I walked into my first weight watchers meeting. (if you are just starting out I really recommend starting a blog or journal, even if you never post it, it will be a great thing to look back at one day!) I spent a lot of time talking to my mom to try to rehash the first few steps I took to start my journey. it’s funny to me now because, of course at the time, I didn’t know what exactly was going to happen but I did know that it felt different than any other time I had joined weight watchers.
10 Steps I took at the beginning of My Weightloss journey
REALIZE YOU WANT TO MAKE A CHANGE
As I mentioned in my previous post, I had a very strong realization that I need to make a change in my life and lifestyle. I was done being overweight and I was ready to fully commit to the process and journey. Once I wrapped my head around the concept of change for myself and not for anyone else I never looked back or questioned what I was doing or why I was doing it.
TELL YOUR LOVED ONES
I started by telling my family that I was ready. this was a huge step for me. I was finally, for the first time in my life, the one saying telling myself to join weight watchers. no one had offered me money to do it and or convinced me I needed to join. my parents did offer to pay for my membership but I told them that I wanted to do this for myself. this was a big step for me because it meant I was putting my hard-earned money towards my goals. if I didn’t go and give it my all it was my money wasted. it was a motivator for me honestly, I had my very first real-world job and was making money for the first time in my life. I didn’t have enough money to be wasting it every week – so I made sure that it was going towards something I was fully committed to. money well spent, if I say so myself!
letting your family know what your plans and goals are is seriously an important step in starting a weight loss journey. it automatically gives you a support system and people to turn to who is aware of what you are going through. they might not fully understand but they will try to help in any way possible.
My next step was telling my close friends. I wanted them to know so they could be there to support me as well. my friends actually came with me to a few of the very first meetings I went to.
PICK YOUR PROGRAM
some of you might be wondering how i ended up choosing weight watchers over all the other programs out there. honestly, it was what i knew and had seen work for my mother so it felt like the safest, smartest option to start with. because there are so many programs out there, my advice is to really spend time researching them all and choose one that you can see yourself following for the rest of your life – one that isn’t just a quick fix and will leave you with lessons you can use forever.
My first meeting went by quickly. I remember feeling anxious and shy but knew that this was what I needed to do to become a stronger, more confident woman. I remember calling my grandmother that night in the parking lot with my mom to tell her I had officially signed up for weight watchers and had just attended my first meeting. she was thrilled to hear that I was finally ready to put in the effort to lose weight.
BUILD OR FIND COMMUNITY
I started out at a weight watchers location that I didn’t really feel fit into my comfort zone. I can’t quite explain it but it just didn’t feel exactly right. my mom and I ended up going to a couple of different locations until we found one that felt like home. after finding our weight watchers home, I started to absolutely love going to our weekly weigh-ins and meetings. I formed a special bond with my meeting leader and other meeting regulars. we motivated each other and went through the ups and downs together. I cannot stress enough, how important having a community for me was. it was one of the first times in my life I realized how much I needed these people’s support to get through each and every day.
WRITE IT DOWN
So now I had my program and was in a great groove attending my meetings every week. I mastered journaling and was very good about writing everything I ate down, even the little bites here and there. I still to this day write down everything I eat every single day. Why do I do this? It’s a subtle way for me to see what I eat . it’s a reminder to make healthier decisions, and it’s a way for me to visualize what I’m consuming in a day. I used to mindlessly snack a lot. it’s so important to make myself aware and mindful of what I am eating and the easiest way for me to do that is by keeping a journal. It can be in a notebook, on your phone, an app like myfitnesspal, or even an ongoing email to yourself. Find a way that works best for you and start journaling—I promise you that it will make a world of difference.
BREAK A SWEAT
After about 3 months of strictly following the weight watchers point system in January of 2012 weight watchers changed their program to make fruit and vegetables count as zero points. I will be the first to admit it totally threw me for a loop. I usually handle change, okay but this was really hard for me. I remember feeling like I had finally learned everything about the old program and was in such an amazing groove with my weight loss and now the change. I had to learn the new point system and it was overwhelming. this is when I hit my first plateau. since fruit and veggies were a “free (zero point) food” I started eating tons and tons of fruit, but it was making it really hard to lose weight because of all the natural sugar.
This was when I finally started working out. I had wanted to just change my diet/food intake and see amazing results but the cold hard truth was that I needed to add exercise. my old roommate went to the gym all the time and every time she would ask me to go with her I would say no and sit on my butt and watch tv. then one day I had enough and said yes. It’s not like I had never worked out before but I didn’t love working out however, I knew if I wanted to see more results (which duh, I totally did) I would have to break a sweat.
DON'T BE SHY, ASK FOR HELP
After a few weeks of using my apartment’s gym and hitting trails with my family for walks and attempts at running, i decided to join a gym and hire a trainer. this step was life-changing. growing up I swam and in high school, we had “dry land” practices which we spent in the gym lifting weights—so I had some experience with weightlifting but not really an understanding of how much it could really change and shape your body.
Having a trainer taught me so much and it made me have to go to the gym, even on days I didn’t want to. If I skipped then I would have been out 50 dollars and no way was that happening! It also gave me the freedom to ask questions. I was so curious about certain exercises and what I needed to work on and how much cardio to do. after three months I saw huge improvements in my body. I was far from my plateau weight and I felt amazing.
BECOME A PLANNER
A big part of why I succeeded in my journey and a reason I’m still pushing forward and making improvements is that I plan. I plan my meals, my workouts, and I even read menus before going to restaurants so I can make the best decisions once I get there.
Planning my workouts is especially important to me. even though I like working out a lot more now, I still have days that I would rather just not go. but because I have a schedule I feel like I can’t skip, it’s like having a scheduled meeting at work or an appointment to go get your hair done. it’s in my calendar and therefore I must go!
LEARN TO BE CONSISTENT
I talk about consistency a lot on my Instagram page and that’s because it’s probably the most important step when you first start out to really see results. I had someone email me recently asking how long it would take to see results and i told her that as long as she was consistent with her food and workouts she would start to notice a change in about four weeks. she replied saying she thought it would be faster. our bodies aren’t magic, one day of eating 100% on your diet and hitting the gym like a beast isn’t going to make you 10 pounds lighter. our bodies need consistent actions to see results. they need to be reminded of what we are doing, what we are changing. just because you don’t see change on the outside right away doesn’t mean that something isn’t happening. stay strong and consistent as much as possible. consistency = RESULTS.
TREAT YO SELF
When I was losing my weight I would have a treat meal at least once a week, usually after my weekly weigh-ins, because that would give me plenty of time to get back into my groove before my next weigh-in. I planned my treats because that’s what worked best for me. I definitely think everyone needs to enjoy life and if that means having a scoop of ice cream or eating at your favorite restaurant every once in a while then do it! it will be so helpful mentally if you don’t restrict yourself too much, saying you can’t have something for a certain period of time often makes you crave it even more. remember though just because you have a treat doesn’t mean you need to give up and fall off the wagon completely – have your treat, enjoy it, and then refocus your energy and mind back into the place it needs to be to accomplish your weight loss goals.
WRAP THIS UP LADY, I CAN’T READ ANYMORE!
phewwwwwww that was a lot! this is something I get a lot of emails about though, and I wanted to be able to help as many of you as possible with starting your journey!
If I can do this, so can you! Take it day by day, one step at a time. It might feel hard, it might be painful, and it might take a few tries but just keep going.