Tuesday, September 14, 2010

get down & break a sweat

In the last 8 months my body has gone through some pretty major changes.  I had been unhappy with my weight for along time and back in January of this year I said enough is enough.

I was on a mission. I was going to lose weight.  I hated going shopping and trying on clothes. My self confidence went WAY down. I was ready to feel good about my body again and actually enjoy being photographed instead of hiding from the camera.  Plus I just started dating a guy{Jonathan} with the PERFECT physique.  I sometimes felt uncomfortable when he hugged me because I hated my body.  He work out regularly and this gave me the motivation I needed to lose the weight. So I decided to join a gym and began keeping up with my calories daily.  This is what I did for those 8 months:

-I hit the gym everyday.
-I did 40 to 60 minutes of cardio a day.
         -I did a mix of elliptical, treadmill [walking only], and stationary bike.
-Light weights.
-I used the LOSE IT app on my iPhone. This helped me keep track of my calories.
-I made sure to check the calories of foods at restaurants before I went.
-I ate snacks in between meals.
-I bought a scale. It really helped me to be able to see the progress I was making.

Here is a list of some of the foods that helped me lose & maintain the weight loss

1. Yogurt: My favorite is Greek yogurt! It's much thicker than regular yogurt and has a lot more protein.  But I also love Light & Fit yogurt and Yoplait's Red Velvet yogurt.  And I like to add some crunch with granola on top!
2. Amy's MealsI could live off of these things. They are organic, vegetarian, low on calories, and OH so delicious! They have such a great variety: Mexican, Italian, Indian, Asian, soups, pizzas, hot pockets, breakfast foods, veggie burgers...the list goes on forever! And they are all amazing! You can't go wrong!
3. Cereal: I eat cereal for breakfast just about every day.  I love all the Special K flavors and Fiber One's Honey Clusters.
4. Skim Milk: I made the switch from 2% and I'll never go back!
5. Clif and Luna BarsI love eating them after a workout or just for a snack in the afternoon!
6. Sweet Potatoes: With cinnamon & I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Butter spray!
7. Vanilla Almond Milk: It reminds me of a melted vanilla milkshake but just 90 calories per serving!
8. Progresso Soups: My favorites are: Chicken and Corn Chowder, Italian Wedding, Chicken and Dumpling, & Italian Vegetable.
9. Jello Brand Mousse Pudding: It comes is 3 flavors. Dark Chocolate is my favorite! It's great with Reddi Whip on top!
10. Ice Cream Sandwiches: Most are right around 150 calories! My favorite is Blue Bunny's Birthday Cake Ice Cream Sandwich!

*My father was also trying to lose weight and we are both super competitive! A little friendly competition is always a good push!

I lost 20 pounds in the first month and by May I had lost 50!  Here is the before picture:

Here is a picture of my father in I back in January.  GROSS.

And now for the AFTER picture:

This is us this August.  Seven months later. I am 50 pounds less that the first pictures and my dad is about 30 pounds less. Doesn't he look great? :)  

I'm so proud of myself [and my dad].
It feels good to have accomplished such a tough goal.  Now I love shopping and can't wait to start trying on wedding dresses :) 

And maintaining the weight loss is easier than I thought! Now I:
-Hit the gym 3 or 4 times a week.
-Make smart choices while grocery shopping.
-Don't make any foods off limits.  If I'm craving a cupcake, I'll eat it.  Just not often.
-Get on the scale at least twice a week to keep myself accountable.

I encourage anyone who doesn't think they can lose their extra weight to just try.  You might be surprised, I was! If anyone has any other questions about weight loss or working out just send me a facebook message!


Abby said...

Like I said before, Valerie, you look incredible! Thank you so much for posting this...I'm so inspired and I'm definitely going to follow these tips!

Julie said...

Wow, Val thats awesome! You look fabulous. I love Luna bars too :)

Sarah said...

I saw your comment on Caroline's blog and tried to find a "before" picture of you. You look so fabulous! I am going to need a lot of motivation to loose this baby weight.....and the marriage weight that has crept on the last few years.

Sunkissed and Southern said...

ok i totally stalked your old pics and posts too to find this. such a motivation! i lost 20 pounds for the wedding and have gained it all back! do you still count calories daily?

Becca said...

Wow, I never would have known that you used to be heavier by the way you look now! That is fantastic how you were able to lose the weight and keep it off. I lost about 45 lbs before my wedding (college packed on the lbs for some reason), and I'm still trying to get some more off.