“It’s more than a commitment, it’s a lifestyle change.”
Recently I posted a revealing photo on Instagram and Facebook, that somewhat documents my journey to reclaim my body. I realized that after I hit 29, the way my body worked had drastically changed. I could no longer eat whatever I wanted too without having consequences to deal with. While, I’ve never been a “junk food” lover, I have always had a complex palate that I felt the need to satisfy, often.
The Struggle is Real
While I was 29, I faced not only the challenge of my body changing, but also those pesky work hours of morning news. Waking up at 2:00 AM for work 5 days a week, will eventually take a toll on your metabolism if not your entire body. That’s when I really started to notice a difference in the way my clothes fit.
Generally working in television, the last thing you want to do is gain weight but that’s exactly what happens when you work under high stress, abnormal hours, and in a face paced environment where there’s little time to take a proper lunch. I’m NOT making excuses, just highlighting how easy it is to pack on 20 lbs without binge eating… and hoping you’ll cut your favorite news personalities some slack.
It took moving to LA for me to realize that this extra weight I’d been carrying around, was renting space on my body at my expense [Not to mention how it affected my energy level and self-esteem]. YOU.. have to make up in your mind that losing weight is something that you want to do. It’s no different than a person addicted to drugs or alcohol trying to “kick the habit”. No matter how many times they go to rehab, they’ll NEVER quit or change, unless there’s something so deep down inside of them that pushes them to do so. Addiction to food is no different.
Taking matters into my own hands, I did some research and started blending up greens such as Kale and Spinach along with a few fruits for taste. The “Green Smoothies” became apart of my normal eating habits as meal substitutions. The first thing I noticed was a change in my skin. It became more radiant and clear. I lost a few pounds the first couple weeks and then a couple more. Great right? Yes, if I planned on drinking smoothies for the rest of my life and going to the gym was very distant from what I “wanted” as a solution.There had to be more to it.
Failure You Can Count On
A month or so later, still with no workout or fitness routine and boredom of smoothies, I gained all the weight back. Go figure. Quite disappointing it was, but I hopped back up on my feet and chased the wagon down again. Every successful person knows what it’s like to fail at something. If “success” were easy, everyone would be rich and in this case, no one would be fat [That’s a key indicator. If a program is too easy, don’t count on it being a successful plan long term].
Understand that this is more than a commitment, it’s a lifestyle change. You have to know and accept that the way you approach food, the way you sleep, and your physical activity has to change. During my time getting back on the wagon, I found a juice bar that was in my neighborhood. After really understanding the culture of juicing, I took the plunge and did a 3 day juice cleanse. Six custom bottles of juice a day for 3 days straight (with no food outside of the bottles and water). I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t hard, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought either. The juices had a pleasant taste. The result; I lost a few pounds in 3 days, but most importantly, I felt AMAZING and had energy. Something was happening with my body [Don’t start a juice cleanse thinking it’s a quick way to shed a few pounds, because you will gain it back if you don’t change your daily habits].
Over the next couple of months I incorporated fresh juice into my everyday life. I traded in my “Starbucks” money for juice money. I started drinking juice for breakfast and lunch and eating a smaller dinner. As time went on, I tweaked my plan a little bit more and joined an all women’s gym. Still to this day I haven’t picked up one free-weight in that building. In fact I only used one machine, the elliptical, one time. Working out is boring to me and I wasn’t too thrilled about spending more money on a trainer to push me. What I slowly got into, were the classes. I LOVE to dance so I started taking the Zumba classes that were included in my membership. I went from once a week to twice a week. At that point I realized another tweak needed to be made.
I reversed my eating pattern. I began eating breakfast (mostly healthy) and having a juice with a somewhat light lunch. For dinner I started drinking only my juice. The change gave me more energy for my Zumba classes. The results really started to become apparent which enticed me to push myself even harder. I started taking another dance class called “Dance it Out” ( Also known as “Dance with Me”) along with the Zumba. Dance it Out is a High Intensity Cardio class created by Billy & Sharon Blanks, Jr. It’s hard core dancing for 50 mins straight.
Carefully listening to my body, I increased my number of classes per week from 2 to 4 and eventually to 5 classes per week. I use absolutely NO weights and do NO floor exercises. That means even the abdominal sculpting that I’ve achieved thus far, has come from purely dancing (and juicing). You work out more muscles and burn more calories dancing than you would lifting traditional weights, not to mention leaning out your body out instead of bulking up.
The juice changed the way I wanted to eat. My cravings are just flat out different. I still eat whatever it is I have a taste for. However, I do it in moderation and I eat much smaller portions. When I go to a restaurant, I DO NOT clean my plate, unless I’m in Europe where the portions are smaller for the most part and even then I try not to. Sleep is just as important (I’m still working on that one). Your body burns calories while you’re sleeping. So try to get a good night’s sleep if possible.
My results are real. I’m not selling you anything. I’m teaching you a lifestyle that will cost whatever it is you think it’s worth. How bad do you really want it? Only you can answer that. Eating right and juicing IS more expensive but you will have to ask yourself, “What am I willing to sacrifice?”. If you want it bad enough, you’ll figure out a away. Even if that means investing in a juicer yourself (which is risky because they are a pain to clean and it gets old quick).
My goal was 20 lbs and I’m still working toward it. Your goal may be 5 lbs or 105 lbs, Whatever it is, don’t worry about failing as long as you promise yourself to get back up and try again. For those that are tech savvy, fitness apps like “My Fit Pal” is a great tool to help you keep track of how many calories you’re consuming and burning. This isn’t easy for me and remains a challenge, however it’s become my lifestyle and I love it. The Mind is a Powerful Thing. You can do whatever it is you put your mind to doing. Now go.. Go Dance your ass off after you read the statement below. 🙂
PLEASE READ: At the end of the day, YOU MUST BE COMMITTED to the LIFESTYLE change or it WILL NOT be successful. As with everything concerning your health, ALWAYS consult with a medical physician before exploring a new diet or exercise (or lifestyle). I AM NOT a medical personnel nor am I acting on behalf of one. This is my journey and I am sharing what worked for me. Keep me posted on your journey. I Love You!