Over two months, I intentionally put in place new practices to help me lose weight. I also found techniques along the way that I wouldn’t have thought of implementing that ended helped me immensely. I grew more as a person in those two months than I ever had before. After I lost the weight, I felt so much better mentally, physically, and socially. I felt like I was at the place where my body was meant to be, where it thrived. I was no longer bloated 24/7 or feeling sluggish. I was healthier than ever, and in turn, nicer to the people around me. As a certified personal trainer, here are some things that I implemented that actually worked for my body.
1. Eliminating Unneeded Stress on the Body
For the two years, I carried an excess of 25 pounds on my body. During this time, I was working out harder than ever. I was doing a minimum of two high-intensity workouts a day and my body had no time to relax, and in turn, it was constantly in a state of stress. The best thing I did was swap out my second workout for a walk. Walking has a much lower impact than running or jumping. I found I could go longer distances without fatiguing fast but still increasing my Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). As someone who loves to count steps, I set myself a personal goal to hit each day and kept raising it a bit week by week to make sure I was progressing and continuing to challenge myself. Since my muscles weren’t under nearly as much stress as before, my muscles could get more rest and recovery while still keeping moving as much as I could.
2. Eliminating Stress on the Mind
During these two months, I took up different activities that would allow me to minimize the stress receptors in my body that prevented me from losing some of the weight. I found my biggest stress reliever to be taking walks in nature with my friends and family. I became so much closer to the special people in my life. As an introvert, I become stressed by the idea of having to make time for my social life, so the fact that I could kill two birds with one stone really helped quiet my stress receptors, and in turn, release the death-like grip my stress had on the excess fat I was trying to lose. For those into the science behind stresses relationship to holding onto weight, I suggest doing research into the hormone Cortisol. It is the stress hormone in the body that can promote body fat, and it can possibly make it harder for you to lose weight when there is too much cortisol released, as was in my case.
3. Letting go of my Morning-Bird Dreams
During these two months in my life, I was finishing my personal training certification while getting ready to move across the country. As I had been doing for years previous, I was busy and waking up early, which wasn’t going to work if I wanted a total of eight hours of sleep or more. I instead took the pressure off myself and started waking up a bit later. I got more sleep and felt more energized, which lowered eventually lowered my cortisol.
4. Removing the Bloat
I am someone who has struggled on and off with gut issues my whole life, yet I had never gotten a food sensitivity test to see if it could be an underlying cause. A couple of weeks before I started my weight loss journey, I got a food sensitivity test. It turns out I had a long list that, once avoided, diminished my bloat significantly. I hadn’t remembered what it was like to not be bloated, and it felt better than I could put into words. Some of the things on my sensitivity list were not even foods; three of which were in the toothpaste I had been using since I was a child. Yikes! Nevertheless, I don’t think I would be where I am today without that test. Most tests are expensive, but if you deal with bloating and have tried everything as I have, I highly recommend taking the leap because it’s truly changed my life.
5. Measuring Over Weighing
I grew up in a household that never owned a scale, so at most points in my life, I only had a vague idea of how much I weighed. I would instead go off of how I felt and how my clothes fit. Although I was grateful to see my before and after weight, I am glad that I resisted weighing myself in between the start and finish of my weight loss journey. Knowing myself, I’m almost positive I would’ve formed an unhealthy habit and become obsessive over it. Instead, I resorted to my good ol’ handy dandy measuring tape. It was satisfying to see my progress each week, and it kept me going much more than a fluctuating scale would have.
Overall, I would recommend implementing fun physical activities that relieve your stress and get you moving throughout your day. Everyone is so different, and something that makes one person stressed will make another relaxed, vice-versa. At the end of the day, just do what you know works for you and if you don’t know what works for you yet, experiment. Don’t stay stagnant doing an activity or diet that doesn’t bring you joy. Just because a famous fitness or health influencer follows that exercise regime or diet doesn’t mean it will work for you. At the end of the day, your body knows what’s best for you, so don’t resist your signals, follow them and relieve the stress you’re putting on your body by not listening to its cues. You don’t have to eat a certain way or take out a long list of foods; instead, just focus on eating foods that come from the earth and moving your body as much as you can in ways that you truly enjoy. Make it a social event, and share your feelings with others. Once you let go of the resistance you put on your body, your body will be much more willing to let go of that extra weight.
Just remember at the end of the day, “Losing weight is not your life’s work, and counting calories is not the call of your soul. You surely are destined for something much greater.” — Healthyplace.com