Monday, December 14, 2015

Guest Post #1: Sam, on Weight Loss

Today's post features a close friend and partner in crime, Sam. (Get to briefly know Sam in my Charlotte --> Charlottesville post). Here she talks about her struggles with weight, confidence and attitude and all she's done to overcome. So proud of you, Sam! 

Before you read her story below, check out these AMAZING before & after pics!!

December 2014 (left) vs. December 2015 (right)
November 2014 (left) vs. October 2015 (right)

February 2014 (left) vs. December 2015 (right)

On behalf of Sam;

I have really missed writing, but I am far too lazy to have my own blog so I asked Alyssa if I could guest write a blog post. She agreed, so I am essentially the beer pong celebrity shot taker right now.

Fun facts about me:
 I have known Alyssa since braces, and I have lost 52.2 lbs since January 2015.

My weight loss program is no secret, and follows no fad diet programs. I don’t count calories, points or track my steps. It is comprised of Motivation, Goal Setting, Accountability, Conscious Decisions and Sweat.

Motivation: My “you seriously need to lose weight” wake up call came somewhat randomly. It wasn’t looking into the mirror and seeing a pale blob, or sucking it in so hard so that even your biggest size pants won’t button. Nope, it came watching a show called the Mindy Project with my husband. Spoiler Alert! The main character Mindy Lahiri becomes pregnant. Mindy was having a conversation with her good friend, coworker and OBGYN, Peter, when conversation becomes awkward. He was informing her that she is considered a “high risk pregnancy” due to her weight and that she was going have to eat healthy and take care of herself or her and the baby could be in danger.

That slapped me in the face. I am 25, married and in my “child bearing years” (which repulses me to say due to the fact that children terrify me). Regardless, my husband and I want to have a family eventually and I was terrified that if Mindy was having a “high risk pregnancy” at her size, then I would be in even more trouble. So there you have it, my intrinsic motivation for weight loss is to have a baby. My extrinsic motivation is that my sister is getting married March 2016 and all of the other bridesmaids are all tiny as hell, so I am trying to look good next to them.

Goal Setting: The BMI calculator is the biggest joke I have ever heard of. In order for me to not be overweight at my height (5’3) I need to weigh 140 lbs. This seemed very daunting at an obese 221.6 lbs but I decided that I no longer wanted to be even considered overweight. My goal was set, at the BMI healthy 140 lbs. I broke this out in 10-15 pound goals and each time a milestone is met I celebrated and then got back after it.

Accountability: I could not have lost the weight without this step; first thing every Thursday morning was Sam vs. Scale of Truth. A text message would go out to a few of my closest friends with the results. A few of them participate with me and will send back their results as well. It is a total judgment free zone, full of positivity, laugher and a few “we will get back after it this week”. This helped tremendously since a large aspect of weight loss is the mentality you need to get it done. Texts back and forth to each other trying to limit “Binge Eat Sundays” and now I also never miss a Monday workout.

Conscious Decisions: This started by becoming informed. Once I learned scientifically how the body breaks down food, it became clear for me… I needed to ditch most of the carbs. I started by using the basis for the 17 Day Diet that I had failed miserably at a few years ago. I knew that there was no way I can sustain extreme carb cutting so I made a few “swaps” and eliminated a lot of processed foods. The conscious decisions aspect comes in play every time I put something in my mouth. I don’t count calories, or carbs but I will read nutritional labels and make the conscious decision of whether or not I actually want to eat that or if I can find something else that is healthier. I drink a ton of water, limit alcohol to the weekends and only occasionally have Diet Coke if I really need the caffeine. It really is that easy.

Ex) Day in the Life

Morning- 1-2 Coffees, 2 Eggs with Side of Fruit or OatFit Oatmeal
Lunch – Jimmy John’s Turkey Tom in a lettuce wrap (UnWhich) or HT Turkey Spinach Wrap
Dinner – Chicken and veggies over brown rice (Hibachi Style, Mexican Style, Chinese Style) or Tilapia and asparagus or ground turkey chili.

Sweating: Find something you enjoy, something you are willing to spend 3+ hours a week doing and something that you actually feel guilty if you miss a few days.  For me, that is 3 Words- Orange Theory Fitness. I hate working out, hate, hate, hate! I am naturally lazy and would much rather do just about anything else but I now understand that the benefits of a good workout are bar none. I did a free trial at a studio gym called Orange Theory Fitness and I signed up immediately after the class. It is a high intensity interval workout that kicks your ass. It combines treadmill interval training with water based rowing and a TRX suspension system, and then dumbbell or body weight workouts. You wear a heart rate monitor that is linked to a TV screen during the class so you can see what “zone” your heart rate is in. Their “Theory” is if you stay in specific zones for x amount of time then you will continue to burn calories after the class – also known as the “after burn”. Essentially being the lazy person I am, I learned that if I bust my ass during the class then I will continue to burn calories outside of the class. Yahtzee! The class itself has a trainer who is there to tell you what to do (so you don’t have to think), how to do it (so you don’t hurt yourself) and motivate you throughout the grueling workout with a great playlist. An unexpected benefit of the studio is making friends and seeing people grow and get better, faster, and stronger every day with you. I try to go to OTF three times a week and do yoga at least once a week. A lot of breweries are offering yoga classes on the weekdays in Charlotte and currently Thursday nights at Free Range Brewing is my favorite. Oh, and sweating in cute workout clothes helps too!

As of today I still have about 30 lbs. to lose to reach my final goal. It is a daily struggle but I love all the compliments I receive and the new clothes I get to wear! Alyssa has been helping me dress with trendy styles since I was always too big (in my mind) to wear latest trends.  

Thanks again!

#OrangeTheoryFitness #OTF #SplatPoints #Afterburn #ActiveWear #Goals #Motivation #Accountability #NoFadDiets #LowCarb #LowCarbLifestyle

Hahaha I don’t know about those tags but I was throwing it out there.


Yes, I left the last sentence because it was just too funny not to share. Keep on keepin' on, Sam! How amazing does she look?! Do any of you have a secret to your healthy lifestyle?