HuffPost Canada's Lost It series chronicles the stories of everyday Canadians who have struggled with their weight — and won. We talk to people about what they eat, how they exercise and generally, what their healthy lifestyle is to maintain their weight now that they've lost it.
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Name: Lindsay Gillott-Christopoulos
Occupation: Recreationist in a long-term care residence
City: Binbrook, Ont.
As a kid I was scrawny — I always played sports through high school. The weight gain started in my late 20s, early 30s; I was filled with anxiety, had low self-esteem, no motivation, no energy, and was drinking alcohol often to cope.
Now I am less concerned with what's on the scale and rely more on how I feel, progress pics, and how my strength and stamina have improved.
The final straw:
I was tired of feeling sad, anxious, and depressed and wanted to feel strong and happy when I looked in the mirror — Instagram really helped motivate me to try something new.
The plan of attack:
While scrolling through Instagram I discovered BBG (Bikini Body Guide by fitness guru Kayla Itsines) — I was hooked almost immediately. The first couple of weeks I tried it I literally felt like I was going to throw up, but I kept at it and started noticing internal progress — feeling happier and stronger, and had more energy.
A few months in, I started noticing slight changes in my physical progress pics — that fueled my motivation to keep going.
I usually only focus on three resistance workouts and one LISS (low intensity steady state cardio) — I adjusted the program to fit my life and make myself successful at it.
I have been doing BBG since June 2016 but I should mention that I have always been active — basketball as a teenager, cardio kickboxing and jogging as an adult, and BBG is something that I have been able to stick to consistently and has given me the best results.
Why I share my story on social media:
I decided to share my journey on Instagram because I wanted to hold myself accountable — it was really difficult at first to expose myself so openly, but as time went on, I started to see my confidence go up and feel so empowered.
I also continued to follow fellow BBG girls as well as other fitness inspirations and it helped with my progress. Early on, I would scroll through my fitness feed to motivate me to get out of bed and start my work out. Now I don't even think about it — the alarm goes off and I'm ready to go (after pressing snooze a few times first haha).
Kayla Itsines is the co-creator of the sweat app (BBG) — she is the most positive, motivating person. I am so grateful to her and all she has done to empower women and allow them to find internal and physical strength within themselves.
She featured me once on her Instagram, as she does with BBG girls all around the world, and it was such an amazing moment for me, to see how far I had come, both physically and mentally, and to be recognized for my hard work, dedication and determination.
The hardest adjustment:
Finding my own routine and putting myself first was hard. I was so used to planning around other people's schedules that it took a bit of time to create my own.
At first I started working out right after work, eating something little right before, and I did this for at least half a year but found that I was limited to time with friends and family, so I slowly tried working out in the morning. It was a challenge but somehow I managed to create a routine and now most of my workouts are done in the morning before work. I find I have more time this way and it works for me.
Story continues below.
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In a million years I never thought I would be that person getting up before work and working out but here I am, so nothing is impossible. We are often our toughest critic yet we have a hard time realizing that we are so much stronger than we think — we just have to put the hard work in and believe in ourselves.
The food element:
I started to limit processed foods, increase my vegetable intake, and eat healthier carbs — whole wheat instead of white. I didn't cut out any specific foods — I still drink wine and beer but limit the amount and try to save it for the weekend.
I still eat chocolate, chips, and desserts but again I to try to pick and choose when I eat it. I am more aware of portion sizes, and save cheat meals for food that I absolutely love.
A typical day involves me trying to eat clean food throughout the day and save a snack (cookies or something similar) for my evening craving — it might not work for everyone but it helps me stay accountable throughout the day
The exercise factor:
I use the BBG sweat app and all my exercises are done at home. I really feel BBG works for me because I can do it when it's convenient for me and when it suits my schedule.
How I stay motivated:
I am motivated by how I feel, how I look, and positive feedback from family, friends, and Instagram.
The reality is a lot of the time I don't have motivation but I do it anyway because I have made it a part of my routine, and I love the feeling after a great sweat session, feeling strong, empowered, happy, giddy, and proud.
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When I am struggling to work out I remember the feelings I have after and that helps motivate me as well as the feelings I have when I don't work out: regret, disappointment.
I continue to do BBG in the morning three times a week, eat healthier options most times and spend time with family and friends.
What I'm most proud of:
Looking back now, I am most proud that I have stuck with this program. Since I started in June 2016, I have only missed two weeks (one for honeymoon, one when I was sick). To me that is incredible and shows that I truly have made this my lifestyle and not just a quick fix.
My advice is to start small and cut back slowly. Don't do it on your own — ask for help, go to a professional, such as a counsellor or personal trainer, or find a partner to help keep you accountable.
Progress takes time but it does happen with hard work, determination, and a well-balanced diet, and most importantly, believe in yourself!
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