Ok I’m writing post on HOW I LOST WEIGHT. this post is not so much about beauty, but more about health. Whether we like it or not, the 2 will always be intertwined. You look good, you feel good.
Now onto something personal. I have struggled with my weight all of my life. For a long time I’ve hated exercise. I have never been truly “fit”. Last year, when I decided with my fiance (at the time, now husband) to get married, I wanted to lose weight for my wedding day. Now I had a reason to motivate myself.
I don’t remember why I combined the two, but for whatever reason I combined Pilates with doing Zumba. At the peak of my exercising routine, I exercised every day. I can honestly say to you that I’ve since lost 3 inches off my waist, and so far 20 pounds!!!
I think that when people think of exercise, they think they must exercise for hours at a time. No! Unless you want to. IF you do pilates, you only need to do it for 10, 15 min each time! AND in the comfort of your own bed. Most people buy a yoga mat, but I prefer to do them in bed.
And honestly speaking, pilates will kick your ass. Pilates like other exercise routines, focus on a group of muscles at a time. For i.e., if I do a pilates ab workout for 15 min, my muscles may hurt me for a good 4, 5 days afterward. The workout IS intense. And it DOES help you get rid of cellulite.
You can pick up a pilates dvd if you’d like, there are lots on Amazon, but you don’t need to. There are lots of pilates videos on youtube for FREE!! Search whichever muscle group you want to focus on, search i.e. ‘pilates abs’, ‘pilates thighs’, or ‘pilates arms’, etc. It’s all free to watch so search for it!
Here’s leading to my favorite fitness instructor on youtube: Cassey Ho. If you search pilates on youtube, you inevitably will find her pilates videos that she does at home. She also has her own blog, & separate website where she sells fitness related clothes, yoga mats, dvds, etc. She does have a large fan base & conduct classes in person, which are usually attended by hundreds of people. Her blog is www.blogilates.com. To see her videos on Youtube click here: Pop pilates
The key to losing weight: you must combine muscle toning (this case pilates) with cardio of some kind in order to lose weight. If you do only cardio, you will only lose ‘water weight’. She recommends doing pilates 3 times a week, for me once or twice is enough. (depending upon how much my muscles hurt ) Do any kind of cardio that you prefer, whether it be jogging, swimming, cycling, etc. For me, my cardio has been, you guessed it: dancing.
And I have to mention… Zumba! Zumba is another lifesaver for me. I don’t like to exercise & perhaps I never will. But my motivation to exercise is that I love to dance. And THAT motivates ME to get into shape. Why not work out & have it be fun? I had never known these dances before, but now I can salsa, merengue, do the cumbia, samba… and that’s all because of Zumba! Go to zumba.com to find a class near you. I found a place that offers Zumba classes $10 each time! If you’re like me & like to exercise in the privacy of your own home: the Zumba dvds on Amazon start at around $50. If you can, try to buy it without their toning sticks. (You can get regular weights for like $5 elsewhere) and that will shave off the price.
Let me throw some facts in there: as Americans we are the fattest country in the world!! And whether we like it or not, people tend to get FATTER as they get older. (Unless you’re an Olympic swimmer, or have amazing metabolism) According to statistics, 2/3 of Americans over 20 are overweight! Nevermind the fact that obesity can lead to things like heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer. So why not get into shape now?
And finally, your diet. I will highlight a few things here, for if you DO want to lose weight efficiently, you have to eat right. My husband was diagnosed with high cholesterol a few months ago, and was put on a strict diet by his doctor. His triglycericides were high, which means he also eats too much sugar. I can give you the inside info on his low fat, low sugar diet.
-Refined carbohydrates: white bread, white rice, & pasta. Opt for whole wheat bread & pasta, & brown rice.
-Desserts, candy, & chips: Sorry I have a sweet tooth so this one hurts. BUT there are lots of fruits out there in the world to try! The only ‘desserts’ that are considered OK are like frozen yogurt, & sorbet.
-Processed meat & fat: Sorry, no more marbled beef. Also no more ham, sausages, or bacon. Also avoid eating animal fat/butter. I can’t stand the stuff but he has a penchant for it. Only lean cuts of meat: lean towards white meat & seafood.
-Bottled juices & soda: These are some of the hardest things to avoid, I find. Don’t drink processed juice. (Bye, Welches) Blend your own fresh juice, & make your own combinations. If you MUST have sugar, use sparingly brown sugar or honey. Soda is also one the biggest causer of cavities. We have a soda stream machine & we can make our own seltzer water. We make our own sodas at home, & sometimes we combine them with natural juices. (Think of sparkling pineapple juice.. mmm!) If you don’t have a soda stream machine, just buy regular seltzer water. Just because you want to lose weight, doesn’t mean you can’t be creative!
-Dairy: if you must have dairy, buy low fat dairy. (We don’t realize it but milk & cheese are really fatty) Buy low fat milk & cheese. If you love ice cream, buy low fat, or just have frozen yogurt & avoid it altogether.
-Eggs: If you like eggs, stick to eating egg whites. (Egg yolks are high in cholesterol)
I will mention that after sticking to this diet, my husband lost 15 pounds alone!!! (Not even exercising!!)
Another thing that would be great for your body if you considered it: vegetarianism. We went vegetarian for a week, & I noticed I felt lighter, looked & felt less bloated. You will need to find alternatives for protein (soy milk / tofu is a great one), but I’m allergic to it, so I still drank regular milk & ate eggs.
Be a motivator for yourself. Back in July of last year, Elle Macpherson (who’s no stranger to fashion) posted a pic of herself on instagram in a bikini. Mind you, the woman is 50 years old, and still looks amazing. I think that’s a great inspiration: not to only look good when you’re young, but to look amazing at every age.
I think that’s the key in life: look great, feel great, be great.
find a zumba class: www.zumba.com
(By the way: Below I’ve included a link to the most effective pilates video I’ve done. Try it!) Pilates abs by Cassey Ho