For a lot of women, their “weight loss journey” might feel absolutely endless. If I’m being honest, my own journey has been in motion since my college graduation on May 17, 2014 and I only very recently started seeing results. For the first year, I thought exercise alone would take off all those late night donuts and easy-to-make pasta dinners at school. Spoiler alert: I was wrong.
Over the past few months I’ve looped my eating habits into the journey and I’ve really started to see results on and off the scale, so I’m always looking for tips from others to keep the progress going. Here are a few of mine:
Learn to knit (seriously, I’m not kidding)
Knitting–or any kind of hobby/craft–that keeps your hands busy is a great tool to help you lose weight. You might be thinking something along the lines of “Uh…are we 85 years old?” and my answer is no! (Though if you identify with 85 year old grandmas you and I probably have a lot in common.) You don’t have to be old or boring to enjoy knitting, I promise. It’s productive (can anyone say customized scarves???), it keeps your hands occupied with a non-food/eating activity, and it’s honestly fun. You learn a new skill that comes in handy for those DIY Christmas gifts when your budget is low and, once you master it, you’ll be really proud of yourself.
Eating in is the #1 thing you can do to speed up your weight loss. It’s sad but true: even “healthy” takeout is 9 times out of 10* less healthy than the same meal cooked at home. When you prepare something yourself, you can measure exactly what ingredients go into a recipe to ensure that no extra calories or grams of fat are sneaking their way into your food. Not to mention that food tastes way better when it’s freshly cooked by your own two hands 🙂
Try a new exercise (or gym class, or yoga sequence, or running route)
If you can manage to have fun while sweating then you’re doing. it. right. Working out can be torturous enough: you’re hot, your muscles hurt, and your belly is jiggling in front of the cute guy or girl on the treadmill next to you. All of that frankly sucks. But if you find an exercise that you love, then all of that suckiness floats away and you just feel like a bad bitch getting work done. Try out that power yoga class that has always intimidated you or go for a bike ride, even if you’re normally a runner. You never know what will capture your heart (spinning for me) and worm it’s way into your brain as an absolute obsession! And whatever new class or weight lifting workout that you try, do me a favor: do it twice. The first time is always slightly scary and awkward, but the second time is what it really feels like (whatever it is).
Take progress photos!
Have a pair of jeans that your love handles kind of spill over? Put them on & take a picture. In 4 weeks, take another one. In 4 more weeks, take another one. And so on and so forth because one of the most motivating things in your weight loss journey that I SWEAR will keep you on track is SEEING the physical progress you have made. From day to day you might not realize that those love handles are disappearing and that extra fluff around your thighs is shrinking, but a photo will hold you accountable and prove to you that your hard work is paying off! No better feeling than starting off a morning with a great transformation that YOU created by yourself FOR yourself.
Bonus tip! NEVER. GIVE. UP. ON. YOURSELF. Have a bad week with a lot of pizza and not a lot of spinach? No biggie. Channel your inner Jillian Michaels and remind yourself: “Giving up on your goal because of one setback is like slashing your other three tires because you got a flat.”
*Statistic I totally made up, but I think it’s probably mostly right.