I’d like to call myself the most unconventional success story ever, but that’s not even enough to describe it… For those of you who didn’t know, I lost about 100 pounds from 2011-2015, gained 30 pounds back in 2015, and am on the track to lose those thirty pesky pounds and get back into my best shape!
Here’s where the “unconventional” comes in. First, I didn’t give up anything. Nothing. Not one thing was ever cut out of my diet. All of my best friends proclaim very loudly that “Jen lost 100 pounds eating Mcdonald’s everyday.” That is not a lie. When I lived at my parents house and didn’t pay rent, I ate Mcdonald’s about 6 times a week. I would leave the protein shake shop, go next door to the Mcdonald’s and get a McDouble… I also never for one day gave up pop. Yes, I’m pumping my body with the chemicals in Diet Coke on a consistent basis. I completely understand that WebMD tells me due to this I’m going to develop cancer and die at 27 from pop. I get it. I’m doing the worst things possible to my body, blah blah blah. But I’m going to die happily sipping on my Diet Coke, so save it. During all of this unhealthy eating, I would lose weight consistently and I was one lucky chick.
I never crash dieted, never followed a diet program, never hired a personal trainer, and never self medicated with any types of diet pills. Why? Because you don’t have to. You literally do not need to make insane unhappy changes in order to see changes in your body. (We must understand though that every single body is different, will react differently, and will change at different rates) I have gotten about 14 Facebook messages from girls who were mean to me in High School asking me to help them lose weight (and many messages from girls who were good friends, or great acquaintances… I didn’t hate all of you) While my Mcdonald’s weight loss days are over, and I have changed my diet habits a LOT in the last five years, there are a few things that I feel are tried and true to my fitness. So I decided to give you a little insight on my go-to fitness “life”!
#1: I wear CHEAP clothes
Once, I took a workout class with Chelsie and wore my typical Old Navy leggings. Half way through the class I was informed that my butt crack was on display for the entire YMCA. While Chelsie got an extra ab workout from laughing at me, I got a chilly draft on the booty. That was the end of that! It’s important to wear “good” workout clothes, but not important to spend $65 on pants. (No offence to those who wear Lulu because they have a bank account that can support that habit…) So, here is an “typical” workout outfit for me…
- Shoes $85.00 average
- Shirts $12.00-20.00
- Pants $18.00 THIS WEEK ONLY
- Sportsbras $16.99-20.99
- Hydration $7.99-9.99
It’s cheap, it’s not something I wear ALL the time so there’s no reason to spend money on it. Plus, you sweat and it all starts to smell. You replace workout clothes regularly, so why spend extra when you don’t need to? Let me mention that IF you’re going to lose weight, you don’t want to spend a ton of money on things that will become TOO big for you. The best workout pants I’ve found have come from Old Navy and Walmart. Honestly, until you’re at a size you’re comfortable in, try to find cheap alternatives for workout gear. TJ Maxx can also fill your life with cheap and QUALITY workout clothes!
#2: Food is MY best friend
I’m not actually going to give you the “key” to losing an insane amount of weight, but I’m going to tell you the only diet tip I have, and have ever had. Count your macros. Don’t take those pills that say they fix your hunger and make you skinny in your sleep. Don’t eat 1200 calories cause Pinterest said so, and think that you’re going to be set. Don’t punch yourself in the face when you don’t turn down the donut. People say “look at food ONLY as fuel for the body”. I say SCREW THAT. Food is happiness. I won’t look at food and think “oh this spinach is going to make me sexy”, because spinach makes me want to throw up. Vomit is not sexy. You know what’s sexy? Throwing down a beefy 5-layer burrito from Taco Bell. That’s why Dylan chose me, I swear.
So macros… In short, I count my carbs, proteins, and fats. There’s no super restriction, no crazy 0g of sugar a day, I’m not starving my body, and I’m happy. I eat cookies, I eat fudge pops, and I eat good food. But I also give my body a lot of protein, I make sure that I eat things that will make my body happy as well as my mouth. There’s never been a “don’t eat this” in counting macros. If I know Dylan & I are going to eat out, I make sure to get the extra protein shake in so that when I eat a carb and fat heavy dinner, my body still works well. The only downside to this is that a food scale will replace many of your human relationships. I weigh chicken, I weigh corn, I weigh cheese, I weigh literally everything that goes in my mouth. It’s time consuming, yes, but so worth it. If you meal prep for an HOUR on Sunday, you don’t have to cook ALL WEEK LONG. My body is happy, and heck I’m PUMPED to keep eating what I like. THIS IS IMPORTANT: PLEASE MAKE SURE WHEN YOU DIET THAT YOU ARE EATING ENOUGH. YOUR BODY DOES NOT WANT TO STARVE. YOUR BODY WILL NOT LOSE WEIGHT IF YOU’RE IN A HIGH CALORIC DEFICIT AND IT NEEDS EVERY CALORIE TO SURVIVE. EDUCATION IS IMPORTANT. USE GOOGLE. (end rant)
If this is something you’re interested in, I would check out this website and read more about it! I’m a living testament that it DOES work.
#3: I can’t afford a gym membership
When I used to have a gym membership, I rarely used the machines. Rather, I found online workouts to structure for myself, my skills, and my desires. Ali & I used to pull together tons of Pinterest pictures that gave us a super great burn, without sticking ourselves on the weights floor or on a treadmill. Here are a couple of old favorites that you can use at home, in your bedroom, on a Friday night… (because of course none of you have Friday night plans either, right?)
(Pictures have been deleted to save my ass from copyright laws. Go Pinterest at home workouts. Thanks.)
Also, can I mention that posts that say “burn 500 calories FAST” and tell you to do like 500 jumping jacks, 100 squats, and run in place for fifteen seconds do not burn 500 calories. Stop letting someone with a photo editing app lead you to believe that you’re burning insane amounts of calories. WE ALL HAVE DIFFERENT BODIES, WE CAN’T ALL BURN THE SAME CALORIES. Truth is, without a heart rate monitor, you don’t really know. (Also, I have never had a heart rate monitor… So…)
#4: The scale is a b-word
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re a female. (Holler to the dudes who read this… aka Hey dad, Dylan, and Andrew Lee <3) If you’re a female stepping on a scale, you’re probably unhappy with the number you read. I’ve actually never met someone who’s like HELL YES, ONLY GAINED 3 POUNDS TODAY. (Unless you’re bulking, which props to you cause I couldn’t do it) While weigh-ins are the “numerical” way to measure progress, I personally do not believe it’s the best choice. When I owned a scale, I weighed myself four times a day, gaining about 3-5 pounds throughout the day. I would get so down on myself! FOR WHAT?! I came to find that my best measure of progress came in the form of photos. I never, ever used them when I lost the bulk of my weight, which kinda stinks cause SHOOT I’ve changed. Recently, when I started Farrell’s, I started taking progress pictures. After ONLY first week, I took a second picture and looked DIFFERENT. While the scale at the gym told me I gained three pounds, my pictures showed that I did not. After only one week I was leaner, my stomach was shrinking, and I could SEE changes. Changes that the scale couldn’t reflect… The scale does not hold your worth, don’t let it determine your progress and success!
#5: There’s no magic formula
My body is a lucky one. I put it through a lot of crappy food, and it still rewards me with looking decently. Some bodies don’t have high metabolisms, and therefor don’t lose weight easily. Some people hold their weight in their stomach, their faces, their thighs, etc. There’s no spot-reducing formula to target just one area, no matter how many Pinterest posts promise to get rid of your stomach in six easy steps. I promise. I can give you all of these tips and tricks and some of you just won’t react the same that I do/did. You can read tons of articles, but even the internet can not show you how your body will react…
Honestly, I just love to post all of these things because I’m not 115 pounds, not 15% body fat, and not heavy lifting. I had a lot of success in losing weight being a big girl with a little determination. I’ve never worked out for more than an hour a day, I’ve never skipped out on a party or a function because of workout, and I’ve never given up. There’s so much out there telling you that you need to have a 6 pack, be low body fat, and we all sit there not knowing where to start and starting out feeling defeated! I’m honestly telling you that I was there, I am there some days still. I promise you, if you can give yourself twelve weeks to really just try, make sure you’re eating ENOUGH, and believe in yourself you WILL find success. This CAN be your year.