Anyone that has experienced it can tell you just how weight loss isn’t easy. And while it’s totally okay to *not* have weight loss among your workout goals, the truth is that many people want to reduce some weight for a variety of reasons ranging from better health to simply attempting to feel much more comfortable in their skin.
That’s why we asked people in Shape’s #MyPersonalBest Goal Crushers Facebook group who’ve successfully lost weight to share the things they wish they had known at the beginning of their journey, along with what they would tell themselves at the start if because of the opportunity.
Unsurprisingly, their responses were much less about looking in a certain style or perhaps a specific type of eating that was game-changing, plus much more about nourishing their bodies, getting their heads hanging around and feeling their finest. Here’s what they’d to say.
For those just starting out on their weight-loss journey, Rachael Lenzmeier Jencks, 43, wants you to know that cutting calories blindly, without thinking about the nutritional impact from the foods you’re eating, isn’t the answer. “The one thing which i would tell myself is that skipping fruit and veggies in order to save calories isn’t EVER likely to do the trick,” she says. “What you devote the body does matter and no amount of exercise can undo a poor diet.” (Need some inspo? Browse the best pre-workout snacks.)
“Anyone can function out and slim down, but when you do not cope with the six inches between your ears, you’ll miss the most important part of the process,” says Janelle Spady, 35. “What brought you to where you’re at? What has caused you to definitely struggle? When you can get to the heart of the matter, anything else follows suit.”
Marie Rose Yardis, 38, wishes she’d known from the beginning that there’s you don’t need to go to a minimum with calories. “I worked with a trainer that told me I needed to increase calories to aid my workouts,” she says. “It felt impossible, however i made it happen and lost enough weight as a result! We all see in media that cutting calories equals a smaller body. But when you are combining your nutrition habits with tough workout sessions, you can really do an injustice for your body by underfeeding it!” (More on that here: 25 Methods to Cut 500 Calories each day)
“Probably the most important lesson I’ve learned is that it is a constant struggle, but I’ve also found that I am not alone in the battle,” says Cara Lynn. “I’ve were able to find like-minded people who battle the same demons and who slay similar dragons. The fitness community is much like no other That i have ever been a part of, and I’m thrilled to possess thought it was.” (Here’s more on how joining an online support group could help you meet your purpose.)
“I’ve exercised regularly for over 3 years now but for the first couple of and a half years, my weight didn’t move,” says Tara Bird, 38. “It wasn’t until I consistently started tracking exactly what I ate that I saw the size start to go down. I figured out what my maintenance calories were and created a deficit of 300 to 400 calories. Progress continues to be slow, but I’ve lost 23 pounds in the last year. Ideally, I would like to lose another 15 pounds, but I’m pleased with my progress. Steady but very slow!”
“About a year ago, I went to the doctor in my annual exam. I’d just turned 30, and also the number on the scale was the highest it had ever been, and my cholesterol was high,” says Lauren Zarzour, 31. “I joined Dieters and ClassPass. I’m now 30 pounds lighter and also have developed a better understanding of nutrition and a desire for a fitness center. I’ve learned how much more you value food when every day isn’t an indulgence, and how amazing it is to be strong. If only I’d have known how easy it may be, but I don’t think it would happen to be easy if I hadn’t had that epiphany.”
“I woke up every single day and made a promise to myself to make good choices for on that day,” says Samantha Huyett, 41, of methods she met her weight-loss goal. “I would tell myself: ‘Tomorrow I would not exercise, I might eat cake, but today will try my hardest.’ I never started anything with my diet or exercise that I couldn’t do for the rest of my life.”
For Gretchen Schupbach, 40, the key was sustainability. “I started with a life-style vary from eating at restaurants every single day to once per week. I started walking every day. When that got easy, I’d add five more minutes until I worked myself as much as an hour or so. Then, I began weight lifting every other day. I swapped white bread and rice for wholegrain. I tried to include more vegetables and fruit into my day, and brushed my teeth immediately after dinner and so i wouldn’t eat after,” she says. By looking into making these slow, steady changes, she was able to meet her goals.
Yup. This is what Josie Brady, 36, would tell herself about hitting the gym at the outset of her journey: “It’s not really a chore anymore. Your legs are going to look and feel great. Keep focusing on that pull-up game. This journey will probably be throughout your lifetime, so if the results you would like take a little longer, so be it!”
“No matter how bad off you are when you begin, you may still achieve success,” says Dawn Sabourin, 50. “Don’t take a look at how far you need to go because you will become overwhelmed and quit.” And playing the long game can help you feel more in control. “Accept where you stand starting and take one step at any given time in the right direction. They will build, as will your confidence and success.” (Next: 10 Trainers Share The things they Wish They might Tell Their Younger Selves About Fitness)