In this weight maintenance series, we interview some of our Lost It participants who have previously shared their successful weight loss stories. In this series, we revisit some of their fitness and eating habits, and find out how they really keep up with maintaining their new bodies and mindset.
The Numbers: Current weight: 180 pounds and a total weight loss of 125 pounds over the years.
After Losing The Weight: If you thought losing weight was hard, maintaining it is an even bigger battle. You find yourself constantly examining everything you’re eating. Yes, it’s a good habit to have, but for myself I found it to become an obsessive hobby.
One thing nobody ever told me about losing weight in the first place is the psychological side effects of self-judgment on a daily basis. You don’t notice how bad it is until you talk to someone about it and you hear what you’re actually saying. You will never be exactly how you want to look, and you’ll tell yourself you could’ve eaten better. You put yourself down for the smallest things, even though you do feel and look great. Your mind is your biggest enemy.
"There isn’t much I would change about my weight loss, as it was one of the most positive experiences in my life."
Most reactions to my weight loss were shock for the most part; many people didn’t realize the transformation I went through. Overall, everything was very positive. People felt inspired by my story, my success, and what I had to say.
Your New Mindset: I totally feel like a new person. It’s almost like a rebirth. That may sound a little dramatic, but you’re given a chance to start over. Losing weight allowed me to transform into a person I wanted to be.
My weight loss changed my day-to-day lifestyle as I found my days planning around my eating schedule, meal planning/prep, and when I would get to work out. As someone who has a busy life, living a healthy lifestyle has become a priority. You and your health come first.
"Eat fresh always! I can’t stress this enough!"
As much as I love my body and the transformation I have undergone, I am still currently undergoing one of the hardest parts of a transformation and that is the toning process. There isn’t much I would change about my weight loss, as it was one of the most positive experiences in my life. My only comment would be that I wish I didn’t discipline myself so much mentally.
The Food Element: To this date, there are many foods I don’t eat. Fast food being first and foremost on that list. I’ve completely cut out white breads, pop, store-bought juices, and processed or manufactured foods as a whole. Eat fresh always! I can’t stress this enough. This is one of the keys to changing your lifestyle. I’ve also found myself eating less and less red meat.
My typical meals for breakfast would include a fresh green juice, which I have during the work week. I get people asking me all the time what’s in my juice as it’s been my secret weapon to getting fit. When I’m in a rush and on-the-go I’ll even shake up a Vega smoothie, which also works as a great boost to your current smoothie or juice recipe.
On the weekends I’ll sometimes have steel cut oats with superseeds and fresh fruit, avocado toast on a slice of ezekiel bread, or an egg white omelet with fresh vegetables. Lunches vary from leftovers, soups, salads, or even a Vega protein shake. I like to keep my lunches filling but also light. The most important thing is ensuring you’re consuming a protein of some sort with your meals.
"Ensure you’re always wearing the right gear when working out as well."
For dinner it’s always been a plate portioned with three different items. These include one protein, such as chicken, fish, turkey, and two vegetables. I usually like to keep one vegetable green. When I'm not making these types of dinners, I would make some of my favourite dishes like stir-frys, pizza, or burgers, and flipping them in a healthy way, eliminating what was bad about them. For example, when you’re craving a hearty pizza, but want to eliminate all the carbs, make a cauliflower crust pizza dough. One of my favourite places for recipe inspiration for meals like these has been by Catriona Smart on her blog, Coco & Cowe.
Of course I have cheat days, who doesn’t? I don’t think I would be able to make it through this process without them. I think once every week one meal should be a cheat meal. You have to be happy and enjoy the life you’re living!
Portion size is also key! The amount of food you consume can dictate how likely that workout was worth it. So if you’re going back for seconds, or your plate looks like you’re dining at an all-you-can-eat buffet, there’s a big problem. I learned by researching from experts in the field and even tried a meal prep delivery service that specialized in this. Eat. Train. Live is amazing at this!
The Exercise Factor: I have remained true to my original workout strategy of three to four times a week for about an hour or more. I typically like to start my workouts with stretching, followed by about 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of weigh training, from abdominal workouts, to arms, chest, and legs.
"My weight hasn’t changed much because of muscle gain, but I have noticed a difference. I learned a very important lesson the hard way, which is to stop looking at the scale."
Ensure you’re always wearing the right gear when working out as well as there’s nothing worse than wearing the wrong shoe for a run and causing pain to yourself.
I’m not an expert in exercise by any means, but I am someone who was driven to learn, and accomplish this on my own terms. Of course, there are people who help along the way and give you advice. The best people I’ve found to be fitspo leaders and influencers have been individuals like Sasha Exeter, Eva Redpath, and Jose Lopez, who all provide inspiration, motivation, advice, tips, tricks, and more.
My weight hasn’t changed much because of muscle gain, but I have noticed a difference. I learned a very important lesson the hard way, which is to stop looking at the scale. It has become an obsession and it’s not as accurate when you’re toning and defining your body. What’s most important is how you feel and look, not what a number tells you to feel.
My fitness goals today mainly include finding happiness in loving my body for what it looks like.
The Current Day-to-Day: These days I feel like my accomplishments are astounding. When I see old photos of myself, I can’t believe the person I was. I still amaze myself at my progress and success. It truly reinforces that you can do anything in this world if you set your mind to it.
My biggest concern right now about maintenance is less of a concern and more of an obstacle. I find maintenance has been harder than losing the weight itself. It is a lengthy, time consuming, and tough battle, tacked on with trying to further lose weight and tone my body in the process. It’s not easy, but I’m always up for a challenge.
There have definitely been some slip-ups where I’ve gone back to older habits. It’s going to happen, but like I mentioned it’s taking a step back, seeing what you’re doing and changing it.
Do you have a weight loss maintenance story to share? Send us an email at CanadaLiving@huffingtonpost.com to be featured on our Lost It series.
Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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