Remember Anna P.’s reader success story from November 2010? Well, girlfriend is still kicking booty! At the age of 36, she’s gone from 210 pounds to a fit 137 pounds. Read on for an update on her progress and fitness, plus some of her own realistic weight-loss tips. So proud of her!
No one thought it was possible, but I am proof that with work, effort and commitment, it is possible. It’s not just a personal success, it’s a family one because we have all benefited from the positive changes. Here are a few things I have had to learn the hard way—hopefully they’ll make your journey a little easier.
5 Realistic Weight-Loss Tips
1. Do what makes sense. The key to my realistic weight-loss was to find a plan that I could live with long term and slowly involve my whole family because diets don’t work. I started eating clean because it seemed like a commonsense way to eat and live. This meant cutting out the processed food and opting instead for fresh fruit, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains. When it comes to choosing food for my family and myself, the more natural the better. Food is not the enemy; it is a gift that is meant to be enjoyed and savored. The best way to do that is to eat it as it was intended—fresh, naturally and simply.
2. Involve your family. It was and is important to involve my whole family because I want to teach my children healthy habits they can take with them. My children help plan meals, help with the grocery shopping and assist in preparing meals. My husband, who struggled with eating clean in the beginning, is now one of my biggest sources of support and has gone on to lose 50 pounds himself. We try to make healthy eating fun so that the whole family will want to stick with it—and we have.
3. Make moving your body a priority. When I started my journey, I was very out of shape, but I refused to let that stop me. It was walking that started me on the road to wellness and gave me the courage to take my fitness to the next level. Today, I exercise at least 45 minutes, five days a week. I do equal parts cardio and strength training because it has been proven time and time again that both are equally important to overall health. I make fitness a priority. I see it as a time for self-discovery, a time to reconnect, a time to clear my mind and relieve stress.
4. Be honest with yourself. It’s very important to be honest with yourself about why you are in the shape you are in and how to get healthy. This was hard for me because, for me, eating was more about my emotional well-being than it was about hunger. I came to understand through much introspection that it was okay to feel, and I did not need to hide my feeling under layers of fat or soothe my feelings with food. This meant developing a new set of coping skills and finding new productive outlets for life’s stressors.
5. Focus on being healthy, not skinny. There is no greater joy than being happy in your own skin. I never wanted to be skinny, I do what I do to be healthy, strong and active. Personally, I want to be a good role model for my loved ones and so that I’m able to play a game of tag with my kids once in a while without having to sit down. I also still think it’s really awesome when my children say stuff like, “I like watching you go fast” and “I want to run races like you mommy!”
It’s been years and my family and I are still living healthy. I am not perfect, I have my ups and downs. But in the end I know the path I am on is the right one. I remind myself that it’s not about perfection—it’s about persistence. I don’t know everything about healthy living, but I am constantly learning and growing. I encourage you to do the same. —Anna P.
Thanks for the great realistic weight-loss tips, Anna, and congrats on your new healthy lifestyle! Do you have your own weight-loss success story that you’d like to share? Do so here! —Jenn