The summer I returned home after my freshman year in college was a good one. I felt better than I have ever felt in my whole life. People took note of how much weight I lost and told me that I looked great. I was nowhere near my goal weight, but it was a start. I knew that I needed and wanted to continue this journey of weight loss, but also knew that trying to be healthy was often harder when I was at home. We were a very busy family and ate a lot of fast food.
I am lucky enough to have an extremely supportive family, who although they are not always the best at it, do value health and fitness. My mother is in a constant battle to try and be healthy and fit. This particular summer, she decided that she wanted to go see a nutritionist and asked me if I wanted to see one too.
Before we sat down with the nutritionist, we had to fill out a form including things such what did a typical day worth of meals look like for us, what were our goals, what kinds of things were we concerned about. Once we filled that out we went to talk to the nutritionist. She was a very nice woman who talked through everything with us.
I quickly learned that I was not eating nearly enough food, especially when it came to proteins. She spent a lot of time helping me work out some easy meal plans that I could make myself. Some of the things that I learned were that fats and grains are good for you. She recommended that I eat an open face sandwich with 1/3lb of meat, real mayo, cheese, and whatever vegetables I wanted on it. I tried this for awhile and let me tell you, that 1/3lb of meat is a lot of meat on a sandwich. It did leave me feeling satisfied, but I definitely did not stick with it. But, there are a lot of things I did take from her lessons. I always include some sort of nut in my yogurt parfaits and I buy whole milk yogurt when I can. I eat whole wheat bread instead of white bread. I also worked on cutting back my sugar in take trying to shy away from things like granola bars and sweetened yogurts.
Ultimately the nutritionist for me was a good starting point into my education about nutrition and the body. She gave me some good ideas about how I could improve my diet, and while I was following her plan I did lose weight.
That summer I also took to the gym. As, I said early I have two brothers who are athletes and summer time is all about training. I was fortunate enough to have a family membership to the local community center. So, for that entire summer 3-5 times a week I would go to the gym with my brothers and my dad. For the most part I worked out independently of them, but they did set me up with some basic ideas.
I did not do any cardio; I hate cardio especially when it comes to things like running or doing stairs. So, I mostly did machines. I spent a lot of time on what I would consider my problem areas. I did a lot of legs and abdominals. I did do arms too, but I have bad shoulders from a boogie boarding accident as well as a lot of years of volleyball, so I often try to minimize what I think will cause them pain.
Throughout this whole summer I lost another 30-35lbs and was feeling great, both physically and mentally. It is amazing how much of a difference in your attitude about life and yourself can change when you feel good physically. It was amazing to go shopping, and boy did I go shopping, because none of my clothes fit and I needed a whole new wardrobe. It was equally amazing to be able to go out with my friends and not feel like I was an ugly, disgusting pig, and they were so attractive. For the first time in my life I thought that maybe boys would be interested in me and was not as afraid to have conversations with people. I was ready to start this next year off as a completely different person.
What I learned:
* Nutritionists can help point you in a good direction
* Having a work out partner especially one that is more motivated than you can be helpful
- When it comes to things like weight loss, increased reps, or running distance it’s always helpful to have short term and long term goals.
- Signing up for classes when you can is a good motivator, but also helps teach you exercises you can than do by yourself
- It’s all about moderation. I know everyone says that, but honestly especially when I lived at home where my parents were in charge of cooking, it was hard to eat as healthy as I would have liked, so just be mindful of how much you are putting on your plate
- If you can do one active thing a day, you are better off. Some days you need a break from the gym, but you could try going for a walk instead. Just do something to get you up and moving.
** in case you’re wondering, I went to Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Here’s the link
*** disclaimer I am not a medical or health expert these tips are purely from research and are self tested. Be sure to talk to an expert for proper health and nutrition recommendations.