When I started this weight loss journey I was in such a hurry to lose 100lbs and feel great again. Something I learned along the way is that you have to want to put the work in to see the results. It’s funny when you need to lose weight, every special potion, pill, and miracle solution sounds so great. The reality is they don’t work. Doing things the right way with hard work guarantees success.
After reading my first blog post, many people have asked if I had considered doing a weight-loss surgery. I have considered everything in order to lose weight. I sat through the courses required and did all the tests to get lap band surgery in November 2011. If you know anything about me, I never want to take any short cuts and challenged myself to lose the weight on my own.
1. Eating Less is Good But Lifestyle Change is Better
With the help of a major hospital in Pittsburgh I started working with their dietitian, doctors, and staff to lose the weight. I lost 75 lbs in 6 months without lifting a single weight and doing a little cardio. I just ate less, 1200 calories per day. But then I gained 75 pounds right back from April 2012 to July 2012.
Ok, it was time to change my thinking and the way I was living. Enter Tom Dowd and GNC. With the help of GNC’s science team, in-store associates, and an overhaul of my diet, the healthier lifestyle I’ve wanted became a reality. My trainer, Dave Hagan, has been with me every step of the way, pushing me in each workout. I plan my meals, control portions, and incorporate supplements to help fill in the nutritional gaps to reach my goals.
2. Prepare for Plateaus. Then Crush Them.
I lost 60 lbs in 4 months with the help of the GNC team, products, a customized diet and a lot of hard work in the gym. Now the numbers are coming off, but there have been multiple plateaus along the way so far.
For instance last month I had only lost 7lbs with one week to go before weigh in. My mind was racing, “how this could happen.” More determined than ever, I did cardio 7 days in a row until weigh-in. The GNC team decided that they wanted to try getting my body into ketosis (low carbohydrate intake gets your body into ketosis) to help me to push through the plateau. It made me nervous to do it over the holidays but I found it to be rather easy to eat fish, chicken, and veggies. Next thing you know I checked in with my best month ever at 19.8 lbs lost. Losing 19.8 lbs from December 15 to January 15th was such a great feeling on a personal level. The main thing I learned here is that if you feel like you are hitting a plateau, change up the routine and it will work for you.
3. Know Your End Goal
I never thought I would look forward to a weigh-in and the thought of putting on spandex shirts and shorts in front of a camera. This month I am excited. I have never wanted to succeed so bad at something in my life. Getting back to my college weight, and then high school weight by this summer is what has me focused.
I thank God for my friends who encouraged me to start this weight-loss journey. This has given me some of my identity back. My advice for anybody that is too heavy to walk or do cardio right away, take 30, 60, 90 days to get yourself in position to be able to walk. Don’t hurt yourself. Go see your doctor and don’t be afraid of what you might find out. Use the GNC website as a tool, and take the Total Lean Challenge.