How I lost 20 pounds in 1 year
You look great!! How did you loose so much weight!?
This is the #1 question I’ve been asked about on Instagram for the past 2-3 months and I wanted to answer it in the best possible way by sharing why & how I did it, in case it will help anyone out there. Maybe 20 pounds in one year doesn’t sound like big of a deal to you, but to me it’s a great deal because it’s a direct result of a lifestyle change and that’s what I want to focus on.
I want to start saying that I’m not a fitness person or a nutritionist. I simply started to educate myself about food, hormones, workouts etc, and decided to implement some small changes into my lifestyle little by little. That’s all.
It all started with a new years’ resolution on January 1st 2018. I wanted better lifestyle habits, go to the gym and just to eat healthier in general. My now husband (then boyfriend) is a very healthy person and I wasn’t really taking care of myself properly. It felt selfish to live this kind of life while he was treating his body properly. I didn’t want to get sick down the road and have him taking to care of me.
I’m 5 ft 4 and my weight was 143 lbs. Not at all overweighted, but I didn’t really feel good nor look the way I wanted to look. During the first 6 months I think I only lost 5 pounds. My skin changed a lot and I did look and felt a lot healthier and with more energy, but for me, that wasn’t enough.
I was eating healthier, barely any junk food, but I wasn’t really keeping track of my calorie intake and didn’t really understand much about this whole fitness world. I was also not being consistent with my workouts. I was very good during the week, but went a little crazy over the weekends.
You see, I hate the gym (notice the present tense) and we go very early in the morning which is a huge sacrifice, so I really needed to see what the heck I was doing wrong. I wanted to look more fit and strong and after doing much reading and watching every Sascha Fitness YT video, I realized there was a difference between eating healthy just for the sake of being (which I was already doing) and eating healthy to loose fat. So, I embarked in the wonderful adventure of learning about hormones, macro nutrients, super foods, workouts, etc.
That was 6 months ago. That’s when I started seeing major results. I went from doing occasional gym classes to lifting weights 6 times a week. From eating healthy foods to eating tracked healthy foods, which only means that I watch what I eat to make sure I hit my daily protein, carb and fat daily goals plus all the vitamins, fiber and micro nutrients my body needs to function optimally.
So, what changes did I do?
- I started making sure to go to the gym 5-6 times a week. On the days I didn’t go, I’d make sure to play tennis or do some kind of physical activity.
- I started going grocery shopping on Mondays and Fridays. Having healthy food in my fridge for the weekend has made a HUGE difference! The weekends can be dangerous if you don’t have good food around you.
- I also started to measure myself and take photos once a month. I wish I would have started doing this sooner, but my first set of photos was in October and I will share them in a couple of weeks along with some other stuff ;).
- I started eating every 3 hours and I have 5 small meals instead of 3 big meals and 2 snacks. This really helps me feel full all the time. You really have to avoid being hungry. I can’t think straight when I’m hungry LOL.
- I cook 90% of my meals. I only eat things that come in a package when I really don’t have time or I’m on the go, but even then I try to take fruits and nuts with me. There are processed stuff that are decent options, but I don’t rely on them. If I can cook I will cook.
- I plan my meals and I meal prep a couple times a week. It’s easy to eat healthy when you have everything handy.
- I cut down alcohol. I was drinking way too much and way too often, and when I learned and understood how much this was affecting my fat loss journey, I had to slow down. And honesty, I don’t miss it. I still drink every week, but I control the quantity and instead of having a few cocktails, I’ll have a glass of wine or two.
- I started keeping track of my calories and macros. I tried and tested many things/foods and made a lot of mistakes along the way (more on those mistakes in a different post next week). Right now I’m eating 1750 calories and hoping to increase that number to 2000 as my body fat percentage goes down. Right now according to my scale my weight is 123.7 pounds and my body fat is 19.3%. My goal is to bring it down to 15-16%. The weight I don’t care that much about anymore.
This whole thing is a trial an error. You need to be patient and learn what works for your body. I will keep sharing more changes as I implement them, but I feel like the ones I just mentioned above, were the ones that have had a bigger impact in my journey.
I hate complaining, I really do, but I have my insecurities and wanted to dedicate a part of this post to let you know that it’s fine. It’s ok to have them, but it’s not ok to loose sleep over them. I truly love myself and I simply see the parts of my body I don’t like so much, as a motivation to work harder and get better in a healthy way. (Although I dealt with a body dysmorphia situation that I’m still working on a little bit and will share more details as I feel ready).
I’m sharing them because if you are working out hard and doing everything right and it takes longer to see changes in certain areas, that’s perfectly normal. Don’t get discouraged. Remember you are doing this to be healthy. The physical part is just a bonus, although they usually go hand in hand.
The things I’ve struggled with during this journey are:
My arms: I’ve always wanted toned and lean arms, and this is the first time I’m working on it. But, it took me 2 months to see changes in my measurements (and just 1/2 a centimeter) and 6 months for them to start looking a little different. This has been frustrating because I work out my upper body 3 times a week! My triceps have gotten stronger (I’ve seen it because I can now lift way heavier than I did at the beginning), but I still have those wings to work on LOL.
My back & shoulders: With my back I haven’t seen much of a difference besides fat loss. I’m working very hard on having a nice, lean back area which is often forgotten by many women but I think it’s important and it looks super sexy. As for my shoulders and biceps, I have seen an improvement in how they look and how much I lift, so it’s not all bad news with my upper body hahahaha.
My butt: I kind of have a big butt and since it was mostly fat it has gotten way smaller which feels kind of weird. But what bothers me is that it’s not very firm right now, so that’s something I’m taking care of. I hope it gets a little bigger, but this time with muscle and not fat LOL.
My inner thighs: These guys love each other so much, that they still touch when I walk, even after 6 months of losing weight and going to the gym… Anyways, I’m hanging in there, because they will eventually say goodbye to each other. I think my thighs and triceps hold my most stubborn fat, so I have be patient with those 2 areas.
Truth is, there’s stubborn fat and we all have it and it’s different for everyone. What am I going to do about it? KEEP WORKING HARD! My body will get it eventually, you know? I know exactly what will happen if I go back to that couch potato life.
Cellulite: I still have a lot of cellulite. This is the one that I have to admit, I’ve let steal my joy a little bit and it’s one of my biggest challenges. It has gotten way better, especially when I started to watch my sodium intake, but I still have a lot of hard work to do.
The only two accounts I follow for fitness & nutrition advice
I also read a lot online because I like to educate myself and understand how my body works. This really helps. I don’t see any food as the enemy, but I’ve learned what effect certain food has in my hormones and hormones control everything in your body. That helps me make better decisions when it comes to my eating habits. I rarely crave junk or a cheat meal any more.
I’m reading a book called “Woman Code” and it has been very useful. I’m learning so much with this book and I cannot recommend it enough.
Well, right now I feel amazing. I’m going to keep working out and challenge myself at the gym and continue to eat healthy. Once I reach my goal, I will work on learning how to maintain my body fat percentage and what’s my ideal calorie intake.
It’s all about loving yourself as you are, yes, but I believe it’s also about being the best possible version of you. And being the best version of you, involves being active and looking good from the inside out, which involves eating good food.
I only did all of this because I was not feeling good. I wasn’t giving my body good food and I had a sedentary lifestyle. There’s a lot of cancer in my family, that according to me, it’s because of bad food choices and lifestyle in general, so I wanted to do my part and start treating my body better. I understand that I have no control over what will happen, but at least I can live my life in the best possible way. That’s a decision I make every single day.
I also wanted to do this because we are leaving to travel the world for 2 years in July 2020 (God willing!) and while traveling full time it can be very difficult to eat healthy. Since we first started planning our trip, my #1 concern was gaining weight, so I decided to act on it with enough time in advance. You can learn more about this crazy decision of ours via @waysoftheworld_ 🙂
If I started working out and eating healthy as a lifestyle before leaving, I knew it was going to be easier to maintain it once we are on the road. That’s also why I want to bring down my body fat % to 15-16% because this means I can eat more calories every day, which is very useful when you are not cooking all your meals like I do now. We will still be healthy and workout of course, because it’s a part of who we are.
I’ll be sharing a bunch of healthy recipes, what I eat every day, monthly progress posts with before/after photos, weight, measurements, etc. Everything I’m doing, I’ll be sharing in here.
Why? Because I want you to feel inspired and start living your best life. It will make you feel with so much energy and positive, and when everything in your body is working properly, you feel like you can conquer the world and live in your purpose.
Anyways, sorry for the long post. I hope I’ve explained myself good enough (and if I didn’t please leave your questions below).
I truly hope this post encourages you to start transforming your life little by little. It’s not easy (although it starts getting easier as you move forward) and it takes a lot of discipline and patience, but it’s worth it and you will be SO PROUD of yourself once you achieve your goals. Just start today and change something small every week.
Stay tuned for more healthy posts!!! Thanks so much for stopping by!