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!