Last week I shared a post about my weight loss journey and received so much positive feedback and encouragement! From the bottom of my heart – thank you! I also received many questions and requests to share what I’ve been doing to be able to let go of 15lbs in 2 months. Now, a lot of this isn’t news or any sort of groundbreaking kind of information. Much of it also isn’t glamorous – there is a lot of hard work that went into this process. There is no shortcut, no way to “cheat” into a healthier lifestyle. You just do it. This may anger some, especially those who love excuses to not do it (spoiler: I was one of those not too long ago). Some people will call this “diet-culture-y” and that’s okay. These are the things that have worked for me. I hope these recommendations are helpful for those who are ready to cut excuses and take ownership of their habits. I also give credit where it’s due and honor the leaders in the holistic health arena who helped me on my path.
- TRACK IT. When I decided to get real about my health and my weigh, I began with food journaling. This was something Dr. Mariza Snyder is adamant about in her “The Essential Oil Hormone Solution” book. As someone with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), I loved this book and its approach to naturally healing the hormonal imbalance in women. So, I started writing down what I ate, just for the sake of awareness. Awareness is always the first step.
- COUNT IT. Writing down what I ate gave me a realization that I simply ate too much. While I may have been eating healthy(ish) stuff – my portions were too big, and my snacking was out of control. Thus, the next step for me was downloading MyFitnessPal and setting my goals. With my current weight and goal weight, and my daily activity levels the app calculated a daily caloric allocation for me – 1,320 calories. Great, I though! Let’s do this. And when I actually started to log my foods and see their caloric content – that’s when my head went “kaboom”. What do you mean there’s 60 calories in a tablespoon of honey and 90 calories in a tablespoon of olive oil??? How are there 120 calories in half of an avocado, are you serious??? The numbers started adding up so fast that the first few days I was left without dinner. I needed to adjust how much I ate and also what I ate – to ensure that I could have 3 full meals a day and fit them inside the 1,320-calorie allocation. Sometimes I go to bed hungry, sometimes I need to not give into cravings – but it is all worth it.
- PREP IT. This is probably the least glamorous part of the whole process. Yes, you must become diligent with meal prep. Yes, you must be okay with eating similar foods all week. Every Sunday morning, I buy my groceries and then spend couple hours making 5 breakfasts (I eat breakfast at work) and 5 lunches. I make a big dish (big pot of coup, a crockpot meal) to then heat up at dinner once I’m back home. It is very possible that I have only 3 meal options all week: the same breakfast for 5 days, the same lunch for 5 days, and the same dinner for 5 days. This is the only way I have found that I can stay away from quick stops at fast food places or leaning on unhealthy snacks. In addition to being healthy and within my caloric allocation – this method also saves me a lot of money. I use the cycle syncing protocol outlined in “Woman Code” by Alisa Vitti and buy ingredients each week for that phase of the cycle and make my meal prep with them!
- DRINK IT. This was the one I had to tinker with for a long time. The importance of drinking enough water has been shouted from the rooftops for a while, but I just could never get myself to do it. I would set my water bottle in front of me and just forget it. Having ml markers on the bottle didn’t help either, and setting an hourly times was annoying as hell. Drinking 64oz of water is one of my 2021 self-care goals that I set as part of my yearly Beautiful Life Lab program by Ange Peters, so I was determined. The solution came as this HydroMate bottle with time markers! That’s what really did it for me, knowing how much water I need to drink by a certain hour of the day. And even if I skip an hour, by the next hour I still have a chance to catch up. Drinking 64oz a day for a few months now has helped me flush toxins and stay fuller in between meals. Results include a lighter body, clear skin, more energy, and a more regular period (very importance for all PCOS babes).
- WORK IT. I also began incorporating weigh training in addition to all the yoga I was doing. Now that I have a full-time job I do not teach as much so I needed something else to stay active – but in a smart way. Two 1-hr weightlifting sessions a week aren’t too much of a burden on my schedule but have made all the difference. Muscles burn more energy than fat so, once you start building muscle, it is easier to keep your metabolic rate up. Building muscle also helped me tremendously in improving my yoga practice and teaching. Feeling stronger and leaner feels incredible.
- GET BACK TO IT. Of course I fall off the wagon. Of course I have a treat every now and again. And sometimes, during PMS, I cheat all damn day. But I never treat these isolated incidents as an excuse to stray off my path completely. One blueberry muffin is not a good enough reason to throw your hands in the air and be done with the whole project. Just get back to it the next day. Small steps towards progress is what counts.
That’s most of it. I count calories, I meal prep, I drink a ton of water, I work out. It ain’t magic that made this happen. There are, however, little rituals that I have that may be helpful in aiding the process. I share these below:
- I add a drop of Turmeric, Cinnamon, and Cardamom essential oils to my coffee every morning. Turmeric offers daily antioxidant support and is taken internally to improve immune response. As metabolic support, Turmeric oil is great when trying to get back on track. Cinnamon has been used for centuries to help support metabolic function and help curb cravings. Cardamom is an ancient plant that has been used to support the digestive system by many generations.
- I add a drop of doTERRA Slim&Sassy oil to my water daily. This also helps support metabolic function. I use the Slim&Sassy gum when cravings hit really hard.
- To stop associating food with rewards I developed a different reward system. I use my baths as rewards (love adding Epsom salts with some essential oils such as AromaTouch or Serenity), I use walks outside with my puppy as rewards, etc.
- Surround yourself with supportive people. My partner is incredibly supportive: he is really into weightlifting and he developed my workout routine for me, he also meal preps and counts calories (although he is trying to bulk, ugh!). So we really keep each other accountable and motivate each other to stay on track. If you don’t have a partner or they aren’t supportive – ask a friend to be your accountability buddy!
Hope this helps! Leave me a comment below if you have any questions or to share your own journey!