Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Difference Between Skinny and Healthy

During my weight loss journey, and even now that it's over, I love hearing from people and how they are planning on starting their own weight loss journey. One thing I've been hearing more and more is that people are wanting weight loss because they want to be skinny. When I asked them about being HEALTHY too, some people said that wasn't a focus of theirs. Everybody is wired differently and I totally get that, but if all we want is to be skinny, then the weight loss is only going to be temporary.

When I first began my journey, I was told that if I really wanted something that was going to last, then it had to be a lifestyle change. The biggest challenge I faced was my nutrition. But, I was also told that as long as nutrition was my primary focus, I would be able to start working on my fitness as time progressed. As long as I had a goal for better health overall, not only would I eventually become skinny, but I would also have built a foundation that would stay in place after my journey was finished.

Many people think that if you have a goal weight, once you hit it, then the maintenance should stop at that point. You got what you wanted all of this time! Now, go back to the way things were before. Throw nutrition out the window, forget about your exercises, and have at it! I always thought that, at least. As someone who had never been in good shape before, I truly believed most of it was genetics. Someone who is fit probably was just fortunate enough to be born that way and doesn't have to worry about what they eat or how often they move around. I didn't like the idea of having to "work" the rest of my life to become the person that I wanted to be. I wanted it to just happen.

At the beginning of my weight loss journey, I didn't exercise for probably 3-4 months. I wanted to learn how to have my nutrition down, yes, but I honestly was also too big to do anything other than walk. So, I worked up a diet plan that was comfortable for my taste buds, something that I thought was achievable, and I worked on that for the first few months. I drank lots of water, and I juiced once every other day. Just by doing these things alone, I probably lost around 40 pounds. (I was also VERY big so the weight was going to come off faster anyways just because of my size and because I had more to lose than an average size person)

One reason why I'm sharing that is because a lot of people think in order for you to begin a successful weight loss journey, you have to get a gym membership and workout for hours, all while doing nothing but clean eating 7 days a week. You certainly CAN do that, but eventually it's going to become overwhelming. The best way to look at a healthy lifestyle is ask yourself, "Can I do what I've planned out for myself for the rest of my life?" If you don't think you can continue doing what you're doing now at the intensity that you are now, then dial some things back. The idea is to have a long-term focus, not a short-term.

Over time, as I lost weight, I was able to start incorporating small exercises into my journey. They grew into longer durations as time continued. My body's ability to handle more was growing. Eventually, I started craving to be active because I wanted to do things I couldn't before. Now that I'm out of the "journey" stage and in the "lifestyle" stage, a regular week for me looks like this: clean eating 6 days a week and 1 cheat day. 4 days a week of 45 minute workouts and 1 day of a 30 minute workout. It's something that I know I can do long-term without wearing myself out.

Find your niche. Make sure it's something that is catered to what you like. Enjoy the process. Don't forget to have fun. Push yourself and always remember that, like an arrow, you've got to move forward.

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