I gained some interesting insight into my own health journey today. In the past, if I sneezed one time at my desk, the gym was not an option for that week. Today, I went to the gym even though I was not feeling 100% and got basically zero sleep last night. It seems like a simple thing, but the reason I tell you this is because it represents such a dramatic change from the person I used to be. I am continuously trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Some days are harder than others, and I have failed a lot on this journey. I’ve fallen. But I continue to get back up. My weight has fluctuated since I became more aware of my health 2 and a half years ago, but the important thing is I always got back on track one way or another. I have lived by the theme trial and error my whole life. And let me tell you, this weight loss journey has produced a lot of errors. But the positive results show that I am learning.
I’ll give you a little insight into how I lost the weight this time around. Note, I have no research or backing behind my results. I just found what worked for me. But here are important factors to health according to a girl that has no idea what she’s talking about:
- Water – Okay, this one I know is fact. Water is where the root of your health stems. Seriously, look into the benefits of drinking water. You might be surprised. The rule of thumb is to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. So yea, do that.
- Protein after a workout! I can always tell the next day when I took protein after my workout and when I didn’t. Protein shakes play a huge role in my fitness routine.
- Cut sugar out of your diet for awhile. What got me back on the wagon this time around honestly was going to Suriname. I wasn’t able to access questionable gas station hotdogs (my weakness) and sugar like I could in the U.S. So when I came back I had less cravings…although the first thing I wanted when I got back was a Mt. Dew and greasy American food. But even then, the cravings weren’t nearly as crippling.
- Eat vegetables – If I can quit drinking, I can eat a vegetable a few times a day. Grow up, Rachael.
- Preworkout works wonders.
- Workout even if you don’t feel like. It will become as routine as brushing your teeth. You will get to a point where you won’t even think about it…You don’t go without brushing your teeth, do you?
- Supplement if you need. Get the nutrients your body needs regardless of your lifestyle changes or beliefs. I don’t care if you do keto; I don’t care if you are a vegan. Just make sure you get the nutrients your body needs. And if you decide to move forward with these extreme lifestyle changes, make sure you supplement those missing nutrients in your diet…Do the research to see what your body will be missing… and by the way don’t judge people based on what they eat. Let meat eaters be meat eaters, and let plant lovers be plant lovers. Let pizza people do their thing too. (I just had pizza today. What’s up?)
- Don’t sweat the scale. I would literally become obsessed with it and get so discouraged at times.
- Surround yourself with people that motivate you. My coworkers (and good friends) play a huge role when it comes to my physical health. For example, one has extreme breathing problems, but ALWAYS makes it to the gym. And kicks ass while she’s there. Two other coworkers have had babies (yes, plural) and lost all of the baby weight and have maintained healthy lifestyles. If they don’t have excuses, I can’t have excuses.
- Live with balance.
- Give yourself a break. Sometimes we fall back into bad habits. Just pick yourself up and start again. It’s not a big deal.
- Figure out your weaknesses and why they exist. Your relationship with food is important.
So, the photo on the left is the photo where I decided I couldn’t deny the lifestyle I was living anymore. It was taken around February of 2016. I remember dreading this picture being taken. I was so disgusted with this photo, that I refused to share it with anyone until today. I was full of excuses and such an unhealthy version of myself. The photo on the right was me today at the gym. Even though I wasn’t feeling the greatest and could have easily missed the gym, I still made it.