How I Lost 45 lbs on My Journey to Wellness
As promised I’m going to be sharing more of my and occasionally Ed’s health journeys this year. If you’ve read some of my previous posts on this topic you know that for me it has never been about attaining a certain number on the scale. I started because I was uncomfortable. Uncomfortable physically, mentally, and emotionally in my own skin. I didn’t feel well and was always tired. It affected every aspect of my life whether I was completely aware of it at the time or not. Does any of this sound familiar?
The reason I refer to this as my health journey and not a diet or whatever is because while I started taking control of my health and taking care of myself almost 2 years ago it’s something that will a life long, ever evolving journey of overall wellness.
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How I Got Started
I also want to mention as a disclaimer I am not a health professional. I’m simply sharing what has worked for me in hopes that it may help someone else. I took the slow approach to getting healthier by making simple diet changes each week or so when grocery shopping. I felt that if I were to try completely change everything all at once I wouldn’t stick to it. If you stop buying junk you’ll stop eating it! It’s literally as simple as that!
Trust me I know how addicting food is! If we buy a bag of chips we’ll eat them until they’re gone. If I bake some cookies I’ll eat a cookie every time I go to the kitchen and see them sitting on the counter. You have to get real with yourself and set yourself up for success by not bringing that crap into your house!
I started eliminating processed foods, especially processed carbohydrates from my diet little by little and replacing them with clean options. The reason I mention processed carbs is because I know people get hung up on the carb thing. A lot of fad diets revolve around eating little or no carbs including those in fruits and veggies. I don’t count or keep track of carbs in fruits and vegetables. Personally you’ll never convince me that were aren’t made to eat things that grow because those are the things we would have the most access to in a natural environment.
But I also want to mention that the other thing I did change immediately was portion sizes. So when I say I don’t count carbs I’m also not eating a bag of grapes a day lol! Everything in moderation!
Something else I most definitely should say is that my first attempt to eat cleaner failed, and so did my second. I failed A LOT! But that’s okay! If you have an unhealthy eating meal, or day, or 3 days, you can still start over with that next meal or next day! Don’t be too hard on yourself just jump back on the wagon until you stay there! 😉
I’m starting with this because it’s single most important change I made. Because the amount of water I consume completely makes or breaks my day. I am not exaggerating! I can’t stress this enough! Drink more water! I know many people have told me they don’t like water. I understand not liking something, but drink it anyway! Haha! I bet if you keep it up long enough your body will change your mind! Before you know it you’ll crave it as you learn to listen to your body. 99% of the time if I’m having an off day, or I have a headache, or I’m tired it’s because I haven’t had enough water. The days I feel the best are when I make sure I’m drinking 100 oz+ per day!
Something else that helped me in the beginning (and I still do it sometimes!) was to add fruit to your water! Whatever fruit you prefer! Fresh or frozen! If you have a cup you can shake it makes getting lots of flavor easy and you’ll have the benefits of the fruit!
Aside from my morning cup of coffee and the very rare afternoon cup of green tea, I don’t drink anything else! Eliminating processed drinks is a huge step in taking care of yourself. Water is life y’all! Drink up! 😉
As we establish a homestead I want to lean into a more plant based diet from the foods we’re able to grow and persevere. I know not everyone can plant a big garden but I wanted to mention that because it’s where my journey is heading.
I practice intermittent fasting daily 5-6 days a week. We eat dinner around 7pm and then I break my fast usually around 10:30am the next day. I don’t count my coffee. I have one cup of coffee with a splash of Natural Bliss vanilla creamer around 8am after taking care of the animals.
A typical food day for me looks something like this:
Breakfast (Break Fast)
2 farm fresh eggs cooked in organic extra virgin olive oil, with a big handful of spinach, some ground hamburger or a piece of bacon, and some baby tomatoes OR depending on my mood a banana with organic peanut butter (without added sugar). And prior to this and before lunch I drink a 30 oz yeti
Between 1-2pm I might eat an a baby spinach salad with a chicken breast and a clementine OR if I didn’t eat eggs for breakfast I might have a salad with 2 boiled eggs, some almonds, and fruit. I like to keep lunch light or else I feel sluggish the rest of the day. Again prior to this and before dinner I drink another 30 oz yeti or more!
Dinner is typically my biggest meal of the day. I’m pretty active all day and expect a lot out of my body. Dinner to me is when I make sure I’ve eaten enough of the right stuff so my body and repair and recover for the next day. My dinners are always based around a salad. I like to eat a big helping of greens whether they be baby spinach, romaine, a garden spring mix or all of the above.
Then I pile on any combination of handful of almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, avocado, strawberries, dried fruit, chia seeds, black beans, or any other bean, roasted chick peas, cheese, and some sort of animal based protein like ground hamburger or chicken. Then I top it off with a vinegar and oil dressing. So basically lots of veggies and other things that grow plus a little extra protein.
Cravings and Cheat Meals
Do I still crave stuff? Absolutely! We usually do one cheat meal per week and I always keep dark chocolate bars on hand in the freezer and eat a little square almost every night after dinner 🙂 We enjoy cooking together so our cheat meals are sometimes just yummy stuff that’s still derived from mostly clean ingredients, but lot of times it’s pizza and wings haha!
This is something I personally want to work on more this year and stop buying freezer pizzas. Why? Because when I eat like crap I feel like crap. Almost always if we eat junk I regret it because of how I feel after. I usually end up hungry too. I know there are plenty of ways to eat amazing food that is also healthy! So this years diet goal for me is to get better at that!
We meal prep on Sundays. We cook a Sunday breakfast and then go right into meal prepping for the week. But when I say meal prepping I just mean cook ahead. We don’t actually make 5 different breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, and then put them into cute little tupperware. Nope we’re not that fancy lol! We just cook things ahead so things are ready to grab and make meals of through the week.
We’ll cook up all the eggs for the week so that we’ll each get 2 eggs per day. We’ll boil a few eggs to keep on hand for meal. We usually cook 5 lbs of 80/20 ground hamburger and a package of chicken breasts or thighs. I have a really hard time eating chicken anymore, which is another reason I’m moving away from animal proteins a bit.
Having a refrigerator stocked with fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and all those proteins already cooked up gives tons of mix and match healthy meal options. If everything’s ready to go there’s no excuse and it adds so much time back into my days.
I shared some other meal prep ideas HERE!
Something else worth mentioning is eating out. I basically eliminated eating out from my diet. Even our cheat meals are made at home. We might eat out once a month or every other. Living in the country makes you think twice about making the trip all the way to town for bad food haha! And then there’s the whole pandemic thing too.
Everyday I take a multivitamin, elderberry gummies, Vit D3, and collagen.
I have everything I take linked in my Amazon storefront HERE!
This is the another big thing I want to work on this year. I would like to get stronger, more flexible, and toned all over. Oh and I’d really like to lift my flat booty lol! I am active everyday because of my job and lifestyle but I’ve added yoga to the mix. I’m committing to doing yoga at least 3 times per week. Yoga is the best! I always feel so good afterwards both physically and mentally. I bought a yoga DVD series from Target that has different levels of difficulty. I’ll be starting from the beginner level and I’ll share about this as I go.
I was asked if getting healthier physically has improved my mental health as well. In a word yes. It has profoundly changed my mental health.
I can’t remember exactly how long it took, but one day it was like a fog lifted and mental clarity was left in it’s place. People preach about self care all the time. The ultimate self care starts with what you put into your body and when you take care of your body you take care of your mind.
A Dark Place
We’ve collectively had an immensely trying year. I was in a dark place for a while last winter and into spring. I didn’t even realize how dark until being on the other side of it. Those who are close to me wouldn’t even know this because I’m very good at hiding it. On a personal level this year was and still is immensely challenging. We altered our entire lifestyle moving here. Then I changed careers and started a small business in the middle of a pandemic y’all lol! These are things I worked hard for and am so grateful for, but they also cause stress because change is stressful. Your brain likes safety and security and knowing what to expect, but no growth comes from that 🙂
With a different perspective now on the other side of that dark place I was in I see that I made it through because of those stresses. I love what I do. I am privileged to do it. Waking up on this farm is a dream come to life and the animals in my care are the joy of it. Living here has revealed me. I don’t know if I would have made it through had we not made those changes and gotten to this place. And I don’t know how I would have been able to handle it had I not already been in a physically and mentally healthier state.
If you’re in a dark place please hang on. Know that it will pass, but don’t be afraid to ask for help. Take care of yourself my friend.
How I Lost 45 lbs on My Journey to Wellness
Now, I can honestly say I feel better than I ever have. I’m excited to keep listening to my body and making changes that will continue me on this journey of health and well being. Putting these pictures of myself on the internet is a bit nerve-racking, but I decided to do it anyway because I wish I had taken them 2 years ago. Since this is a journey not a destination I thought maybe I’d regret it again. I’m also proud of how far I’ve come thus far, flat ass and all! Lol!
I don’t want to make this about numbers, but I also know numbers talk. So for reference I’m 5’2″ and currently weigh around 115 lbs, which means I have lost and kept off almost 45 lbs. Like with all things consistency is key! Keep making healthy food choices, keep drinking lots of water, move your body and get outside as much as possible!
I hope this article was helpful! I’m also sorry it was so long! Lol! They won’t always be, but I will give updates about the things mentioned, share recipes, and more as I go along!
As always thanks so much for stopping by the blog today!
Love hearing about your food choices & I understand why it works. My food train was totally derailed Christmas through early January. I rarely get to enjoy the fruits of my labor over the holidays, & since I had almost 2 full weeks at home, I chose to enjoy without guilt. Time to get back on track. A little over 2 years ago I started taking supplements & they made a huge difference healthwise.
Same here sister! I indulged the whole holiday season without guilt, but reigned it back in after New Years. ❤️🙌
Congratulations, you should be proud of yourself!! I am one who hates water, so my question is, is sugar free flavored water as good as plain?
Thank you for sharing your journey,
Hey there! First of all thank you! And secondly I would check the ingredient list just to see what chemicals it has in it. Oh I just thought of something and I’ll add this to the post too, but when I do get tired of plain ol water I add fruit to it! That would be my suggestion! Depending on what you like you could add some lemon slices or any other kind of fresh fruit or grab a bag of frozen fruit! I hope that’s helpful ❤️
Congratulations! This sounds like a very common sense and healthy way to live! Thanks for sharing! ❤️
What an accomplishment and for all the right reasons!!! I can’t imagine how all the diet programs work for the long term when you’re not on a strict regimen. Your approach is definitely the best, getting rid of processed foods, then slowly eliminating others. I wish I was better at exercising alone at home which I should be a pro by now with the pandemic…what a great accomplishment…
Thank you! Oh I hear ya! It’s hard to be disciplined enough to carve out time to workout when there’s always so much other stuff to be done at home. I’m hoping by sharing on here I”ll be holding myself a bit more accountable! 😉
You’re doing great! I started on a low carb lifestyle 2 years ago and I love it! I lost over 35 lbs and now I just do it to maintain but more importantly for health reasons. I was suffering from severe back pain, knee pain and chronic migraines. Now I hardly have any of those issues and I sleep better and have more energy. I keep a jar of sugar free chocolate chips in the pantry for a treat😍
Yesss! You go girl!! It’s hard to explain just how much better you feel overall! The other day I picked up a 50 lb bag of chicken food and thought holy moly no wonder I feel so much better and have more energy! I’m not carrying around that extra almost 50 lbs!!
Good for you! And thank you for sharing before and after pictures it makes your situation very relatable❤️ And that is much appreciated. How did you get Ed on board with meal changes? My better half always wants to lose weight to feel better but is a tough customer when it comes to healthier meals.
Hey there! I’ll be sharing Ed’s take on it soon. He actually went a completely different route diet wise and started a couple months before I did. He’s much more of a meat eater than me so we actually don’t eat the same thing very often.
I think you just have to find what works for each of you 🙂
You look amazing!! Eating out is so tough when you have kids! 4 teenagers and they want to eat out some. We cut way back on that a year ago when we started Dave Ramsey, but maybe I’ll reduce that in our budget even more and it’ll force us not to!!
Yes! I imagine that’s hard! Budget is a whole other discussion when it comes to eating out! We save so much money by not and to be honest we cook a lot better food at home anyway 😉 Good luck my friend!
Thank you for being so open about your journey. You are truly an inspiration.
You’re so kind! It’s a bit weird putting myself out there, but I also think there’s a lot of power that comes from deciding to love yourself no matter where you’re at in your health journey and young girls are always watching 😉
Amanda, I hardly recognized you in the first picture ! You look really great then and now even better. Thank you for all the tips.
That’s what I think when I see older pictures of myself! I’m glad it was helpful!
Thank you for sharing your inspiring journey – focusing on lifestyle and your mental and physical health versus the scale makes so much sense. I began a similar journey about 7 months (for health reasons) & altho I “backslid” over the holidays I am back on track. I too found drinking enough water to be a huge factor and you have inspired me to try some food prep. Congratulations on your success!!
Thank you for sharing your journey. I struggle with the balance but I did so much better this last year. Who knew… 2020? But, the pandemic stopped most of the fast food, restaurant, and stop and grab eating. I have health issues that make exercise difficult and limited so no help there🤣. We do pretty good healthy meals at home, but the eating out kills us. I managed to lose 49 pounds so far!
Well done. Thankyou very much for this post.
It is inspiring. The photos were a generous addition. It’s good to be brave. !
You look strong , heathy and years younger.
I myself have to get back on track after my husband and I went through a brutal attack of Covid a week before Christmas. After that all I’ve done is eat and eat but not the good stuff and we’ve been ordering take out food like crazy! I’m not a big water drinker either so I ordered one of those water bottles that have words of encouragement on the different levels on the side
Great article and so relatable. You look amazing.
Thanks Aunt Debbie! Hoping to get more toned and maintain a better headspace with yoga and meditation 🙂
What an inspiration you are! That was such a great read. I have treatment resistant Bipolar which has caused (due to medications) a huge amount of weight gain and honestly just really poor eating habits to boot. I am at a point where something HAS to change. I am mentally and physically just drained. Reading your story gives me hope that even small changes, over time, make a big difference.