Friday, January 4, 2013

A new diet story


I've been going through all of my survey answers this week and taking tons of notes, so thank you to everyone who filled that out. One of the biggest requests I received was to post more about my diet/exercise routine. If you're a new reader to Selective Potential, I lost 35 pounds almost four years ago. It was my 2009 new year's resolution to finally lose the weight I always wanted to lose... and I did it! I accomplished my goal by following Weight Watchers and training for a 5k. You can read more about that story here; today's story is a bit different.


I stayed at my lowest weight for about four months or so when I lost my 35 pounds. Then, I eventually gained some back (it happens) and stayed right about 10 pounds above my goal for the past three years. But, I was content. It was never enough to inspire me to go back on WW and lose it. That was until I got to the 20-pound mark this past year. Obviously, it's been an insanely hard year for me, as many of you know. I turned to one of my good, old friends - food. And something new for me - drinking and going out more often. Plus, when you start to date someone... you gain love weight. I'm serious, it's real! You go for ice-cream, try new restaurants together, grab drinks with friends, order pizza in, order Thai in, make popcorn every night,  hit up a late night diner, the list goes on.

But after this rough past year, I'm ready to move on and get back on track. I've said this to girls before who have asked me, "How do you get your inspiration or motivation to lose? I will stick with it for a week and then give up." Honestly, something in you has to snap. You honestly have to get a little pissed, which I am. I think about anyone who's ever called me "fat" or said I couldn't do something or be somebody. It's such a huge motivation. We'll show them, right? I know a lot of you are interested in my process, so I'm going to start doing a monthly recap post on my experience talking about my personal diet and exercise routine.


To start off the first post, I'm going to share everything I did before I got started. Honestly, it helps so much to plan and prepare for a huge commitment like this. I've warned others before... this isn't for everyone. And I'm a firm believer that beauty is 100% on the inside. BUT, I know what it's like to feel uncomfortable in your body and your clothes and it's the worst feeling. To be clear, I'm doing Weight Watchers again. I loved my experience on it the first time, and the only reason I gained was because I dropped off the program completely for three years. But honestly, it took three years for it to come back on and I basically ate what I wanted all that time. That's why following a real lifestyle change is so important. I tried a 7-day diet last October, lost almost 10 pounds in a week and gained it all back as soon as I went back to eating normal. Not worth it! It's normal and healthy to lose 1-2 pounds per week and it'll stay off longer!



Here is my pre-diet routine:

  • Pick a lifestyle plan that suites you. I personally signed up for WW online. It's affordable and since I already carry my iPhone around everywhere, it's easy to track points wherever I am. This could be something as easy as "no soda" or "veggies with every meal". Pick what will work best for you!
  • Sign up for a race, fitness classes or plan to do a video with a friend. It helps to have something you look forward to. Plus, it holds you accountable.
  • Make a workout schedule. You can always move it to a different day if plans fall through, but at least you have a plan. I strive to work out 4 times a week. I have my schedule booked through May until my 10k I signed up for!
  • Buy yourself some new workout gear! I made sure I had everything I'd need to feel comfortable and happy at the gym. Even if it's just new socks, or a water bottle.
  • Pack and keep your gym bag handy. To the gym, I bring my earbuds, iPhone, Propel Water Zero, workout pants, top, sports bra, comfy socks, tennis shoes and a hair tie. If you pack the night before, you're more inclined to work out the next day.
  • Make a huge healthy grocery trip run. Buy everything you'll need for breakfast, lunch and dinners for the next week. I also stock up on healthy low-calorie foods in case I'm in panic mode. I love WW's Giant Fudge bars and Jolly Time's popcorn bags. Plus fruit and veggies! You can eat as many of those as you want.
  • Pack your breakfast/lunch the night before. It makes it so much easier to stay on track the next day. If you invest in a cute lunch bag, you may be more inspired to pack!
  • Start a private journal. I use a private online journal to talk about my daily diet successes and struggles. I also did this when I lost my 35 pounds and now I love reading back on how I struggled through it. It gives me motivation that I can do it again. And it shows me mistakes I made and how I overcame them last time.
  • Write yourself sticky notes. In my bedroom and at the office, I have an "every day counts" note. It's a daily reminder that today does matter. The night before I weigh in, I write a "weigh in & good luck!" note and stick it on the mirror. Talk yourself through it!
  • Start a Pinterest board to motivate you. Post exercise routines, diet recipes, pictures of women that inspire you, wishlist items, you name it. One glimpse at it, and you'll be inspired again. I just started mine!
  • Create a motivational playlist! I am constantly adding songs that pump me up and motivate me to my Spotify playlist. That way when I get to the gym, I start it on the first song and keep movin!
  • Eat your favorite meal the night before you start your diet. Eric and I went to Olive Garden and I splurged on breadsticks, salad and chicken alfredo. :)
Good luck to all of you on your own personal journey! Feel free to shoot me an email anytime with questions - I'm happy to help in any way that I can! I'll post again at the beginning of February with my results, successes and struggles from January!

56 comments:

  1. Tieka! This is so inspiring! Haha, I wish I could be as dedicated as you. You look great now--I can't wait to see how much greater you'll look at the end :) And as long as you're confident, that's all that matters! Stay beautiful <3
    Rory
    www.WearAboutsBlog.com
    Enter my Fifth and Orient giveaway and check back everyday this week for ANOTHER new giveaway!

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  2. this is SO inspiring! Thanks so much for sharing.

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  3. So glad you shared this! About 3 yrs ago I lost 95 lbs and have kept it off!!! I still haven't been brave enough to post my before picture, but maybe someday!All of the tips you gave are so true and helpful! I still would like to get my last 20lbs off and this year I plan to do it! Glad to have someone in the blog world that can motivate me to keep going! Good luck!

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  4. I love your list! It makes a lot of sense and sounds very doable!
    My husband and I are going tomorrow on that HUGE grocery store run. It really does make it easier when there is healthy food in the house to eat!
    Wishing you the best as you start! :)

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  5. I've been a lurker for a while, but I think I'm going to step away from being a reader while you do this. Best of luck and I hope you get the body you're comfortable and happy with, but diet talk is just not my thing.

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  6. Just started a new healthy diet and exercise routine, so I'll be following your Pinterest board! Although right now it's more just a healthy diet routine because my legs are still sore from my first 30 Day Shred workout a couple days ago. :P

    Good luck!

    -Lindsey

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  7. Good for you! I think sometimes that I'd like to lose just a few pounds, but food makes me happier than losing 10 pounds. I mean, I'm not even fat, but I could use some exercise. Joining a gym is a goal for this year.

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  8. This is so inspiring! I didn't make a New Year's resolution this year to lose weight, but yesterday it just clicked that I need to lose 20 pounds and that I'm sick of having that extra weight. I'm only 4'10, so being 125 is too much for my small frame. I'm definitely going to follow your advice! Thanks so much!
    ~Sara

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  9. I love hearing about your weight lose story. It is also nice to know that there are ups and downs in every story! This is really inspiring. Thanks for sharing.
    Carlee
    Almost Endearing

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  10. Good luck to you!
    This past year I lost 45 pounds and so far I am keeping it off and you really do need to find your own tricks for staying motivated. Good post!

    xo Jennifer

    http://seekingstyleblog.wordpress.com

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  11. Awesome! Glad you're so enthusiastic and excited to lose weight again! I've gone up and down with my weight/fitness routine and although I try to not focus on the number (I'm at the point where when I gain weight, it's hard to tell if it's fat or muscle - makes it a little pointless), I definitely make an effort to "stay healthy" whatever that means to me at the moment. This is an AWESOME list, tons of stuff that I didn't think of. What I'd add to the "be ready to go to the gym," that my friend told me about: she goes to sleep in her gym clothes, so when she wakes up and feels a little crummy, she basically has no excuse about going over to the gym! Also, I found that eating breakfast (a big healthy one!) was one of the best things I could do to start off my day. Any day that I start with a donut and coffee automatically is a huge step back. That way, I made sure that I left out breakfast stuff (delicious and awesome ones - try breakfast pizzas! :]) the night before so I would make sure to eat them! :] haha sorry to write a novel, but great post!
    -Z

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  12. Myfitnesspal.com is a fabulous free website as well for those who don't want to or can't pay! There's apps for your phone as well and they have a great online community! I've lost 35 lbs with it myself!

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  13. Your honesty is so admirable Tieka! I remember reading your first diet post a few years back and it was sooo inspirational! Maybe I can make some changes for the better soon too! :)

    This Lovely Little Day

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  14. You are so inspiring, and I have no doubt you'll get back to your ideal weight. You can to it!

    -Kati

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  15. i think you look great at your present weight, but i totally understand wanting to get healthier! i'm in the same boat, but i need to lose much more weight. i look forward to your posts! :)

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  16. Best of luck that everything works out for you. :)

    And also I'll follow your journey happily along, since I want to loose some weight myself. On New Year's Eve, I saw a picture someone shot of me in summer - and I look just so horrible and ... fat. So, here's the plan: drink more water, eat more fruit, start a gym routine in Feb (as soon as the semester is over). I want to do it this time, I really do!

    Happy weekend, xo.

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  17. Good luck with your resolution girl! I did WW last year, and though it worked fine at first, I couldn't see myself following a program for like all my life. I know it's supposed to be a lifestyle change but as you said it, you gained some weight back after you've stopped. So this year I won't be counting points or calories..Portion control, healthy food and a steady exercise routine is my motto now! Can't wait to read about your results!

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  18. such an inspiring post! you look absolutely beautiful the way you are, but doing this for yourself and making you feel better about yourself is the most important thing. i'm joining you, i have a whole plan written up lo loose my christmas weight. good luck with everything, you can do it!
    xo, cheyenne

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  19. Thanks so much for sharing!
    In 2007 I lost 20 pounds, also on WW. First it was easy to keep the weight, but slowly through the years I gained it back. And last year, when I was a little heartbroken, I gained even more. But I'm determined to loose weight again. I'm excited to read how it will work out for you. Best of luck and dicipline to you!
    xoxo

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  20. Good luck with your new goal! I think you will do a fantastic job as your goal and motivation are all there. You had great tips, too, that I know will help others as well as you!

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  21. Wow, i'm totally impressed. You must be very proud of yourself!

    xx

    WWW.STYLEOFPURITY.COM

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  22. a boy friend or a husband comes with weight! thats true..:)
    viamojo.blogspot.com

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  23. This is awesome. :) Thank you so much for all of your advice! I need to apply it!

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  24. As a relatively new reader to Selective Potential, I am so inspired by your dedication and work ethic. While I'm fine with my weight, I'm definitely going to try to exercise more and I look forward to reading your tips and following your journey too!

    Kathy :)
    dreamersanddrifters.blogspot.com

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  25. Great post! I've been planning out my new diet/workout plan this week (i'm also a victim of love weight gain!) and it's nice to see you'll be sharing your experience! Best of luck!

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  26. Thanks for sharing! I'm signing up for a couple classes for the exact reason that I'll be held accountable for turning up. Good luck! xo

    http://www.jenventure.blogspot.co.uk

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  27. Hi Tieka! I mainly read your blog for fashion and lifestyle posts, so I hope you will still focus on these. Also, I'm asking all my favorite bloggers to please try an outfit with a men's tie this week. I hope you will participate.

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  28. Oh this post is exactly the reason why I love your blog so much! I've struggled with weight a long time but I'm finally getting started with my diet and I'm actually kind a happy about myself! I also started blogging about my style etc too, but people in my country say that I'm not skinny enough or interesting enough to blog about my style. It is really hurtful. But then I come to your blog and read and look at the pictures and I'm happy again because I know I'm on the right track :) Keep on going, you are so amazingly inspirational to girls all over the world!

    With love,

    http://zerxzastyle.blogspot.com

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  29. You're gorgeous dear! Whatever makes you most comfortable is where you will want to be :)

    TIff Ima from http://stylehonestly.blogspot.com

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  30. I find posts like this so motivating! I had read your story before but it's always nice to have a fresh perspective! I realized recently that I am 20 pounds heavier than when I started my blog 3 years ago, so I definitely feel where you're coming from and have vowed to lose it this year. I've spent the weekend preparing healthy freezer-friendly lunches to bring to work so I never have an excuse when I don't have something fresh to make - there will always be healthy backups in the freezer! Good luck, and I'm excited to read your updates!

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  31. I hope it goes well for you. My gym is packed right now with New Year gym resolution-ers. I'm trying to avoid WW this year and just be in control. Good luck with the 10k!

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  32. Stepping out on my own health/fitness journey as of two days ago! My goal event is in February - my first duathlon :-)

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  33. Thank you for this lovely post! It was totally everything I needed to read. Great ideas, personal story, I can totally relate.

    Best of luck! And thanks for the inspiration, youre a beautiful lady!

    Elizabeth Kathryn
    lifeandlaughter.typepad.com

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  34. I love that you are so honest and open about your weight loss. I was on the fence about posting about my weight loss goals this year but once I saw this post I felt compelled to. I too lost weight a few years back and it managed to creep its way back in. Its so frustrating. Cheers to a better and more fabulous us in 2013! I'm rooting for you. Wish me luck.

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  35. First of all--you're gorgeous. Forever. No matter what. But I know what you mean. Sometimes we go through stages where our mind's are on other things and some of our good habits get put on the back burner. But this is life--a time to learn how to keep moving forward and remember what's important (while we make mistakes).
    I've been a fan since you started your fashion blog, obviously because oh how much you inspire me to dress, but mostly because of how brave and motivated you are. Good luck in your quest! Can't wait to hear how things are going and I'm definitely taking some of your suggestions into my own diet and exercise.

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  36. I am so unbelievably happy I found this blog! I want to lose about 40 pounds, my New Year's Resolution was to just DO IT (and I actually feel committed this time - something snapped), I joined Weight Watchers a few months ago (but just started going to meetings), and I just signed up for my first 5k. :) I can't wait to read more of your posts.

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  37. You are so inspiring!!! I believe you will be able to get your life back on track easily with your optimism and motivation!

    Cindy x
    http://www.cindynguyen.ca/

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  38. This is so great, Tieka. Thank you for being a constant inspiration! I don't necessarily want to lose a certain amount of weight, but I want to be healthy again. I know that I don't eat right or work out enough. I'm excited to get back into it!

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  39. OMG great transformation, Congrats!




    xo
    http://pinksole.com

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  40. Girl, you and I both!!! I started using the Lose It app and it's helped me lost about 8 lbs already :) Love weight is the best but also the worst!!! hehee...

    Stay motivated!!! I will try my best too. Joining the gym to give myself more incentive to lose weight.

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  41. Wow, good for you. For me, I am gluten free, avoid processed foods and sugar. Treats are Saturdays only.

    www.justshopit.com

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  42. i loved this post, due to the fact that i've been debating WW recently. i've never 'dieted', only remained active, and that was enough. but the past two years, with a new job, and a new love, i've found myself slowly gaining weight back to the point of 20lbs...

    also, for 2013, i'd LOVE to see makeup posts! :)

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  43. I love this post so much! It's always great to hear how others have changed their eating habits or exercise routines. It's always so inspiring. I agree 100% that beauty is on the inside but there are deff those moments where we feel uncomfortable in our skin and clothes, especially being girls. I'm sure so many people can agree with that. Good luck with your challenge, and I can't wait to see more posts about it. =)

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  44. I actually love when you do these posts! You can keep them coming as far as I'm concerned. I love reading other people's journey's with weight loss/eating healthy and I think it's super motivating. Go girl!

    xx, Katrina

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  45. LOVE this post! How inspiring. It's so true that falling in love makes you fat. I've gained about 40 pounds since I started dating my boyfriend four years ago... It embarrasses me so bad to even type that out. I've been getting increasingly insecure about my body, and I think I've finally hit that point that you mentioned where you just snap and get sorta pissed. I'm feeling more motivated than ever to get off my ass and start eating healthier. I clicked the link for WW Online, and it seems like such a good plan! I think I'm really going to try that.

    Good luck! I can't wait to read along with your journey. :)

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  46. Your story was very inspiring! In fact, I liked it so much that I featured it on my blog. If you want to check out the post, visit http://yourworkistodiscoveryourworld.blogspot.com/2013/01/monday-blogg-madness-05.html

    Anestazia @ Eccentric Delirium

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  47. Love this! And can't wait to read about your success and progress through it all. You are so motivating girl! And these are all great tips!
    xo TJ

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  48. Can you post some of your inspiring workout playlists?

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  49. good luck! and yes, please post inspiring workout playlists!

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  50. OMG Tieka, thank you so much for sharing your progress and history! Reading about successful stories and people starting out again is so inspiring... :)

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  51. I think you're adorable and your style is lovely, but I'm a little disappointed because it seems you only want to lose weight for image reasons? Please correct me if I'm wrong. The before photo of you, frankly, is not terrible. But I also understand that we all view ourselves a certain way and want to be a certain way that makes us more comfortable and happy. I think the fact that you said people are calling you "fat" as one of the reasons to make you angry enough to start losing weight again isn't fair. Because you aren't fat and even if you were, it shouldn't be such a dirty word. Ladies put enough pressure on themselves as it is and your readers are all shapes and sizes. I don't think losing weight is terrible if it is done in a healthy way and because you're being healthy in general, but not because of anger. Especially over being called fat. Anyway, you're a wonderful person, before or after anything, but I just had to put that out there! Good luck reaching your goals!

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  52. This is awesome! I just started a weight loss plan at the beginning of the year, and it is really inspiring to know that it can be done. Thank you so much for sharing your story. :)
    Trish

    www.jellybonesblog.blogspot.com

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  53. Ah, this is so motivational! I love all of your tips. I need to buy myself some sticky notes to put around my house with goals and encouraging notes written on them; I'm going to sign up for the Y today and buy myself some new tennis shoes, and tomorrow will be the first day of change! My goal is to reach 135-140 pounds by my 25th birthday in April. I'm excited to start, and I'm going to bookmark this post to come back to when I'm feeling discouraged. Your weight loss story has always motivated me and given me encouragement that I can totally do it too.
    Good luck re-reaching your goals!
    ~Kristina
    http://www.eccentricowl.com

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  54. LOVE this post! I can't wait to find a race to train for, too. Being able to run 3 miles in one shot will be a good goal for me. Thanks for the motivation!

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Thank you so much for your comment and support of my blog! I try my best to get back to comments, but if you have a question, please email me at tieka@selectivepotential.com! xo