Happy Friday! Today I’ve got a fabulous guest post lined up for you. One of my best friends from college has totally transformed her exercise routine and her eating habits and she’s here to tell you all about it! She’s been KILLING IT! Be sure and leave her some love!
Hello Sarah’s friends!
My name is Elizabeth and I currently live in Murfreesboro, TN. I know Sarah from our time spent together at Lipscomb University. She is a precious friend and I am so happy she asked me to guest blog! I am a 5th grade teacher, working on my M.Ed in Reading Specialty with an Administration License, avid Bachelorette watcher, and Barre enthusiast. I have a story to share with you all about how I’ve lost 25 pounds since January 2015. I’m thrilled to share with you all how I did it and what finally kicked my butt into shape!
My fitness journey started about a year a half ago: In January 2014, I started taking Barre classes at Barre 11 Fitness in Murfreesboro, TN. I soon fell in love with these classes as they are a mix of yoga, pilates, stretching, strength training, weights, and barre work. They also offer higher level classes that include cardio. The ladies who work there are so encouraging and made me feel right at home. Also, I was good at it so that helped me like it. 🙂
I could feel it working, but I wasn’t losing any weight. I could see some toning, but I definitely wasn’t seeing the results I wanted to. I never made the connection that you had to eat correctly in order to see results. My metabolism had been pretty good before now and I had never needed to change my eating. I thought if I kept working out hard enough, it would eventually happen for me. I ate whatever I wanted to and at least drank 3 Diet Cokes a day. I was 142 pounds, tired all the time, went to bed at 7 pm (no joke), unhappy, migraines every day, depressed, and anxious. I had never made the connection that the food you eat totally affects the way you feel and look.
Well, fast forward to January 5, 2015. Barre 11 was doing a “New Chapter Challenge” and for 6 weeks you had to commit to doing Barre 5-6 times a week as well as follow their clean eating meal plan which included only drinking water, no dairy, no grains, no alcohol, and no added sugar. They took measurements and did not want you to get on a scale until the end of the challenge. Whoever lost the most inches got a free month of Barre classes and a $100 Lululemon gift card! Well, OF COURSE, I signed up! Those prizes alone had me hooked! So I signed up for the challenge and thought, “Hey! Why not give it a try and see what all the hype is about?” Whole 30 and Paleo were big at this point with it being the new year and I was already going to Barre 5 times a week as it was. The only “challenge” for me was the eating. Well, I DRASTICALLY changed my diet! I started reading the labels on things, started eating a ton of fruits and vegetables, stopped eating pasta (#KilledMe), stopped eating all desserts (ice cream, cake, cookies, candy, etc.), and stopped eating pizza. I say all of this because up until then, that was all I ate pretty much.
So I stuck to it from January 5 to February 15 (when the challenge was over). I did not cheat but a handful of times (which is an act of God for this girl’s sweet tooth). Meal prep and drinking 1 gallon of water a day were my saving graces. I honestly couldn’t see much of a difference in the way I looked, but I could totally tell a difference in the way I felt! I had energy, I wasn’t wanting to go to bed at 7 pm, my migraines had disappeared, my stomach wasn’t bloated all the time, and I was generally so happy ALL DAY LONG!!! So by the end of the challenge, I had lost 11 POUNDS and 6 and 1/2 INCHES! WOW! I seriously couldn’t believe it! I won the challenge and got my free month of Barre classes and my $100 Lululemon gift card. (PS I got a pair of black Wunder Under Crops and a Free to Be Wild tank in grey for those of you who wanted to know #ProbablyNoOne. It was my first Lululemon purchase so I felt pretty cool!)
Here I am rocking my Free to Be Wild tank in the Lululemon dressing room #classy (don’t act like you don’t take pics in the dressing room).
Since February 15, I have continued doing Barre at least 6 times a week and have now taken up running. I was able to run my first 5K in May (The Color Run- Nashville, TN), and it was the most fun thing I’ve ever done! I seriously loved it. I’m doing my next 5K in July (The Glo Run- Nashville, TN). (PS- Yesterday, I ran a 32 minute 5K which may seem like nothing to you super fast runners, but it was a huge deal for me!)
Overall, I’ve lost 25 pounds and who knows how many inches (I stopped measuring #lazy). I went from 142 pounds to 117 pounds in about 5 months. I am 5’1″ so 142 pounds was definitely overweight for me and I am in the normal range with my BMI now.
Before and After: January 5, 2015 weighing 142 pounds to June 1, 2015 weighing 117 pounds. You can see the toning Barre had started in the before picture but in the after picture is when it really shines! Of course, I’m still having problems with my abs showing. I can feel them and I’m starting to see them, but they’re still hiding. If anyone has some tips for getting them to show, I’d love to hear it! (PS ignore my too big shorts… it’s expensive buying a brand new wardrobe #SavingUp
Before and After: Left picture, 142 pounds, April 2013. Right picture, 117 pounds, May 2015. I went from a size 4/6 to a size 0!!!
I’ve since added dairy and grains back in my diet in the form of plain, non-fat Greek yogurt, whole wheat grains, and brown rice. I’m still staying away from milk, cheese, butter, sour cream, etc. as I’ve discovered through all this I think I’m lactose intolerant. I’m still avoiding added sugars, sugar substitutes, and alcohol. Although now I’m able to enjoy those things a little more when I go out with friends (#Wine, #Cupcakes)! I hope this post encourages you and shows you that anyone can lose weight. You just have to have a plan, a support group, and dedication. I lost the weight while teaching and going to graduate school for my M.Ed so being busy can’t be an excuse! You make time for what you want to make time for. Make time for yourself!
My tips for losing weight:
1. Drink 1 gallon of water a day. (You will feel so much better from this alone!)
2. MEAL PREP!!!! This is the only way I survived my busy schedule and trying to eat clean. Every Sunday I would spend about 2 hours cooking chicken, green veggies, cutting up fruits and veggies, making salads, etc. for my lunch and breakfast. It helped me so much!
3. No dairy, no grains
4. Find an exercise you really, really like. Then stick to it!
5. Allow yourself ONE cheat meal. JUST ONE.
6. Don’t eat after 7 pm. Give your stomach some time to digest your food before bed.
7. Keep a food journal! It doesn’t have to be a fancy app or on your phone at all. Just get a spiral notebook and write down every single thing you eat. It will keep you so accountable!
Now go out there, you sassy, beautiful, confident human being and kill it! I believe in you!
(For healthy meal ideas, meal prep, exercise, etc. follow me on Instagram or Snapchat: @hooperea)