My weight loss story isn’t something you’d see on an episode of “The Biggest Loser.” I didn’t go from a size 20 to a size 2 or slim down to half my original size.
I believe the concept of being overweight is a personal frame of mind. If you are happy with your body having a little extra cushion, then don’t sweat it. My weight wasn’t ever out of control by regular standards, but I felt unhealthy and my old clothes didn’t fit me anymore. My face was round, my stomach was flabby and it was getting harder and harder to see pictures of myself.
You wanna see the embarrassing proof for yourself? Ugh… fine.
How Did I Gain The Weight?
A couple years ago, a work trip took me to France for about 2 months. (Tough life, right?) When I returned home, I stepped on the scale and could not believe my eyes. I had gained about 20 pounds in that short time. I guess the daily croissants and petit-fours had to go somewhere! I got to work immediately after this.
South Beach To The Rescue!
A friend turned me onto the South Beach Diet. We adhered to the strict South Beach Phase 1 together for 6 weeks, and I lost about 20 pounds in that time. The South Beach Diet is a fairly common sense diet that will get you results. I have several friends who have lost 20 or more pounds on South Beach.
My diet during Phase 1 of South Beach consisted of:
- Lean protein sources (protein shakes, eggs, skinless chicken breast, fish, etc.)
- LOTS of vegetables–zucchini, spinach, carrots, celery, cucumber, salads, etc.
- Snacks: a handful of nuts, hardboiled eggs, a fat free cheese string or a few strips of beef jerky (watch out for sugars in jerky!)
I stayed away from:
- Starchy vegetables (corn, potatoes, etc.)
- Carbs (chips, crackers, bread)
- All sugar sources—no fruit, candy or desserts
Skip The Fad Diets
I’m not a supporter of “fad diets” or crazy extreme measures to lose weight, because all the weight loss pills and cookie diets usually just cause you to put the weight back on immediately upon resuming a regular routine. I don’t think it’s healthy or normal to lose more than a few pounds a week. Diet products which claim you can lose crazy amounts of weight in very short periods of time kind of freak me out.
The purpose of this intense diet phase is to shock your system into processing food properly. This diet targets weight loss from trouble areas and I assure you—it works. After I lost the 20 pounds, I slowly incorporated good carbs into the picture (brown rice, quinoa, fruit, dark chocolate, etc.) Most importantly: I never gained it back.
I eventually began exercising more and more and have successfully gotten my weight down to below what it was when I started dieting.
I would not recommend South Beach for people who exercise a lot, as I’m a firm believer in some good carbs (quinoa, sprouted grains, fruit, etc.) for energy. Honestly, I was so busy during my time on Phase 1 that I actually did very little exercise, but I still lost all that weight. It took lots of determination, and no cheating!
Like many women, I have a body that takes a little work. My genetic code hasn’t determined that I be naturally super skinny, but I take great pleasure in eating well and exercising daily. Working out is now something I love to do—and trust me, I used to hate it.
Go At Your Own Pace
If you need to, start out with just 10-15 minutes a day, a few times a week. Work your way up to longer time periods and more challenging exercises. I love the Nike Training Club app for the iPhone because it has voice-guided workouts ranging from 15 minutes to an hour in length. It’s great for beginners and workout fanatics alike.
Be consistent. Don’t give up on yourself. Once you start to see results, you’ll become hooked on bettering yourself.
Whether you’re trying to lose 5 or 50 pounds, make a plan. Attacking your weight loss goals from a more healthy angle will ensure long-term results.
If I can do this, anyone can. Explore some of our exercise and healthy eating ideas here on the site, and feel free to write in if you need help meeting your goals.