But how did you lose the weight

I just realized I spend a lot of time talking about my progress but not enough time talking about HOW I've lost the weight.  I'm going to tell you what works for ME.  Just because it works for ME does not mean it is right for YOU.

The first thing I did was join a gym.  I joined a gym to see if I could stick with it.  I worked out on my own for five months.  About three months in I began to change my food slowly.  First I just tried counting calories.  Then I met my trainer and I got a little more serious about my calories. 

One day it all clicked.  You cannot lose weight without eating right. This meant a complete overhaul of my food.  Abs are made in the kitchen not the gym.  The first thing I did was join a private Facebook group with other women trying to lose weight.  We made a pact to eat clean and log all of our meals, along with photos to share with each other.  For me tracking my food is necessary.  I use the My Fitness Pal app and it works wonders. I tracks my calories, my protein intake, my cholesterol and sugar.  I had to learn how important protein was.  For my body and workout load I need 105 grams of protein a day.  I had to learn that my trainer was right, focusing on weights was far better at burning fat then cardio. I typically spend five days a week going hard on weights alternating upper body and lower body every other day.  Once a week I do a strictly cardio day. Once a week I try and get in a good hike or a long walk with my dog.  I make sure to use every possible muscle during my workouts.  I learned to squat at least seven different ways, all of them working a different area of your legs.

I made the change to clean eating.  The first big change was eliminating almost all processed foods, anything artificial and anything with fake food dye in it.  However I don't eliminate any other food.  My morning protein shake has a quarter cup of raw oatmeal in it.  At lunch I have a half of a whole wheat flat bread with my avocado and toppings.  I splurge on cashew butter. I keep chocolate chips in the freezer in case I get an insane sugar craving.  I don't eat eggs which means I had no problem giving up cookies or cakes.  The lack of eliminating foods makes this so feasible.  My morning protein shake includes organic chia sees, unsweetened coconut milk, organic plant based protein powder, frozen fruit, or sliced apples, and some Stevia.  I snack ALL DAY LONG.  I honestly probably eat every hour or two.  Raw cashews, apples, fresh cherries, avocados, and hot sauce are staples in my daily life.  I subscribe to the Graze Calorie box for good clean snacks when I really really need a treat.  The biggest hugest change I made was cutting out all coffee creamer.  I now use unsweetened coconut milk and Stevia.  Nothing else.  If I have a late night junk food craving I eat a quarter cup of good vanilla yogurt, sliced strawberries and ten chocolate chips. On the rare occasion I have oatmeal or granola for breakfast it is filled with at least a quarter cup of fresh blueberries, and topped with coconut milk. I cut out ALL soda.  I only drink water, sparkling water and coffee.  Nothing else.

I make sure to have protein AFTER my workouts so I can replenish my muscles. 

I workout often.  When I cannot workout I do things like sets of 100 squats while watching TV.  I focus on my planking in all positions to help my oblique, core, and the rest of my body.

I do not exceed 1200 calories.  I also track my workouts on Run Keeper which imports my calorie burn to my Fitness Pal so I can see what my calorie deficit is for the day. I wear a Polar Watch to track my daily gym burn. 

I've eliminated cereal, cookies, ice cream, ramen, from my regular foods.

If I am out and about and need a quick breakfast Whole Foods helps

At night to cleanse my system I add this to boiling water and drink it, along with a shot of apple cider vinegar.

At work when I'm in the middle of my snacking I usually turn to this as a quick fix for carbs, and healthy fat.

Whole Foods rescues me for lunch sometimes too

I keep these protein bars in my gym bag for a quick clean protein fix after my work out.

My morning oatmeal prep

How I pack for work

Quick dinner ideas, Portobello, avocado and seasoning

I work out hard.  I do not screw around at the gym. I don't chat, flirt, or behave lazy.  I go there to do work.  I have a trainer who taught me all of the muscles in my body and which order to work them so I don't fatigue myself.

This has been over a year long journey and honestly it never ends.  There was no quick fix. I refuse to join some program or buy into a meal replacement shake. I just eat clean as often as possible and work out as much as I can.  I subscribe to the 80/20 rule.  That means 80% of the week I eat on point and 20% of the week stuff like dining out happens.

I've stopped rewarding myself with food. When I hit a goal I do something for myself, a pedicure, new work out clothes, etc.  I never reward with food.  If I have a bad day where I mess up and eat some chips I don't panic, I just continue on my path.  There are no gimmicks, no pills, no quick fixes.  This is the healthy right way to live and it works.  I hope you finally wake up one day and realize you are ready for a change also.  Because this has been the most incredible thing I've ever done for myself.

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