One of the things that I get asked the most about recently is how I managed to lose weight, why I did it, blahblah. I thought that I’d post this up both as a means of answering these questions and helping people who’re interested in getting into shape. As an awkward, extremely uncoordinated, unathletic girl I know how hard that can be.
In the span of around 4 to 5 months, I lost 32 pounds. I began working out at 137 pounds and now weigh around 105 pounds. 🙂
Click under the cut for the full skinny on FAQ like workout programs and all that jazz.
1. History / Background Info
Stats. I’m pretty short. I’m 5 foot 1 and so that doesn’t leave a lot of room for me to gain weight. My normal BMI is from 100 to 118. I also have a loose left knee from an accident in which I dislocated it back when I was 11. Unlike muscles, torn ligaments don’t heal so that keeps me away from contact sports because if it gets dislocated again, I’ll need to undergo surgery and wear a cast for 8 months which I definitely don’t want to do. Even if my accident was more than 10 years ago, the trauma is super fucking fresh and I never want to undergo that ever again in my life. I also experienced knee pain when I was heavier, which was one of the main motivations for me to lose weight.
Weight fluctuation.My weight has definitely fluctuated throughout my adolescent/young adult life. The most stable it’s been is 115 which was from 2006 (fourth year High School, I was 15) until 2010.
After that, however I gained a lot of weight because I got really depressed. I won’t go too into the details of why but let’s just say that a lot of things fell apart in 2011 and sometimes, you just gotta fucking drink.
When I started exercising last March (2013), I weighed 137 pounds which is pretty damn overweight for my height. Photo below (because nothing should keep you from outfit selfies, if you want to take them).
Unfortunately, turns out that drinking all those college cocktails does make you fat. No regrets, though.
Athleticism. I’ve never been a very athletic person although I did take up martial arts late in High School up until halfway through college which is probably why my weight stabilized back then. I took up Jeet Kune Do because my brother used to teach it. I also did some Hip Hop Abs and basic yoga–never in public, mind you. I’m definitely more an individual activities kinda girl.
There was no gigantic reason for the moves toward weight loss, in my case–which is why I’m sure that if you have a big reason to do it, you can definitely achieve it way easier than I did.
As for the I suppose typical reasons why people do these things: I already had a boyfriend who was fine with my kinda chubby bod, so I didn’t do it for a boy. Also, I’d just pretty much finished with my old blog which dealt with personal style so ironically, I did this at the end of the whole “dabbling in fashion” part of my life. Personally, I think that these two things can be done whatever weight you are although I also understand the pressures some people feel re: these aspects of life so I thought it would be important to mention.
So why did I decide to start working out? I suppose I just wanted the outside to match the inside. You know how sometimes you can feel like you’re this kind of person on the inside but it never translates on the outside? Before all my shit fell apart in 2011, I was a very light-hearted person and my body seemed to reflect that too back then in that I wasn’t overweight.
When I was in a pit of depression, I became less friendly and also was more reluctant to do things other than drink or read/write/watch sad movies and that also seemed to reflect itself physically. Once I’d recovered or at least decided that it was time to get a move on with my life, I’d taken a lot of steps toward pulling myself out of the rut I was in–I had become a brand ambassador for Zalora, we started MoarBooks, I was near graduation. Things just didn’t match up anymore and I wanted them to.
Also, my dad has a lot of health problems because of his weight–heart problems, kidney problems, diabetes. And when I was reading the health manual it said that the closer you are to the low range of your BMI, the better you can avoid these risks. Let me tell you: I’ve seen my parents go through old age and my mom, who is quite slim for her age doesn’t have any problems; my dad, who is overweight has almost every possible disorder sans cancer. Obviously, I would prefer to age like my mother but you can never tell with these things so I figured it would be best to make sure.
3. Course of Action
While there are methods of losing weight which don’t involve exercise, I really don’t trust them–never have, never will. You can sip on all the diet tea you want but if you don’t do something to get rid of the extra calories, good luck: weight loss then will be mostly due to dehydration (hello, caffeine) as caused by chemicals and periodical diarrhea.
When I began looking for work out programs to do, my requirements were the following: it had to be fun, inexpensive and I had to be able to do it at home (I just don’t like gyms). While Hip Hop Abs may have been possible at this point, I was the heaviest that I’d ever been and so I didn’t think that was going to be an option since it’s pretty mild.
I found out about Jillian Michaels’s 30 Day Shred through a fitness video that a beauty vlogger (beautycrush) talked about in her fitness videos. She was also quite chubby and had lost some weight so I thought hey, why not? I really liked this video as a start-up for working out because it was pretty mild but still challenging. Jillian’s videos are typically around 30 to 35 minutes long and consist of 3 to 4 circuits that combine strength and cardio.
While the 30 Day Shred was fun, I felt like I needed something more comprehensive and long-term in terms of keeping the weight off. For those of you who might not know this, the way to keep weight off is to build lean muscle. You don’t have to be a body builder or anything (heller) but you just have to tone your body because muscles burn fat even when you’re at rest.
Some research brought me to Jillian’s Body Revolution program which is a 3-month program that ups the ante every two weeks. This is the best. I followed the schedule that came with it pretty faithfully re: exercise. It’s six days a week and that can be tough but it’s doable because the videos are so short. 🙂 The program is designed for you to lose around 3 to 5 pounds a week if you give the videos your best.
There’s also an eating plan that comes with it which I’ll talk about in the next part.
Here’s the thing most people are reluctant about–the truth is that if you don’t eat excessively, you won’t gain weight unless the problem is hormonal. Eating too much also bogs down your metabolism: fat is a result of unused energy aka overeating. So eating definitely does factor into fitness/weight loss. The thing isn’t to not eat–it’s to eat smarter.
As I mentioned, Body Revolution comes with a meal plan. I didn’t follow this because the ingredients were crazy fucking expensive. So here are the things that I did do, food-wise:
- Stop eating fries at McDonald’s
- Stop eating “snacks” past 9 PM
- Substitute chips with popcorn (lightly salted or kettle corn)
- Drink coffee black (it just takes some getting used to but I now haven’t had a sugared/creamed cup of coffee in about a year)
- Ixnay juice or anything with high fructose corn syrup
- Drink soda from the can (this way, the portions are controlled)
- Drink a lot of water
- Drink Almond Milk (almonds have a component that combats saturated fat)
- Drink Vitamin C (same)
- Try eating veggies/fruits at least once a day–if you like meat, eat it with meat but try to get something green in there
- Don’t get drunk–drinking is okay but don’t get to the point where you’re super tipsy; two to three glasses/bottles of beer is enough
My initial plan was to keep doing Body Revolution six times a week after I finished the program the first time. However, I found out as I began work that I couldn’t do this because I got way too skinny. I almost dropped below my BMI which I definitely don’t want. The program is really meant for you to lose weight so doing this six times a week definitely isn’t advisable for when you’ve already lost the weight unless you want to eat more to compensate which is difficult for me because a) money and b) time.
So what I decided to do is to work out thrice a week at the least and six times at the most. I plan to do Body Revolution possibly forever because it addresses the problems of plateau-ing, injury (Jillian Michaels is amazing at explaining) and entertainment (the videos are super fun).
5. Other Programs
In between finishing Body Revolution the first time and going at it the second time, I tried out Insanity (oddly enough, this was developed by the same guy who developed Hip Hop Abs).
I liked it for the cardio but didn’t like it because there were no weights. I got super skinny but I didn’t feel strong. I did this for about two weeks before stopping and returning to Body Revolution.
Also, whereas Jillian is meticulous about form, Sean T doesn’t elaborate on it enough, I feel so if you’re doing this from nothing maybe it would be best to start with something like Body Revolution because if I had began with Insanity, I definitely would’ve gotten injured.
In between bouts of Body Revolution I find it’s good to have a two week period for your body to reset itself. In that time, I do Jillian’s (I’m not sponsored, I swear–I just love her shiz) Yoga Meltdown because it’s good exercise but is a lot more tame than circuit training.
And there you have it! 🙂 If you guys have any questions, just leave me comments. Hope this helps you guys out!