How I lost 20 pounds

Remember how I was on this journey to lose some excess pounds? Well I did it! And that is why I’m bringing you a completely different blog from the usual. All in all, I think I have lost a good 20 pounds or so (I don’t weigh myself, it just makes me too obsessed) and by now I have found I really am noticing a difference. So I figured it would be a good time to tell you how I did it.

Summer 2016 | Fall 2017

My weightloss journey started at the end of the summer of 2016: at the beginning of that academic year to be precise. For 2 – 3 years things just hadn’t been working out and my eating and workout patterns suffered accordingly. As I gained more and more weight, I decided I had had enough. I decided to make better choices. Not because I thought I was fat, but because I wanted to improve my overall health and fitness levels. Good health is important to me and I decided it was time to make some sacrifices for the better good.

And I didn’t sacrifice that much to be too honest. I just made better choices: ordered less takeout, ate less sweet stuff and worked out more. My main goal was to make a sustainable impact and not one that would be quick and easy in the short term. Which is why it took me quite some time for there to be a noticeable change. Sure you can lose this much weight in 3 months, but I wanted to make a change that would last. Last September, I first started noticing the first real difference.

Since I don’t weigh myself, my benchmark was my pair of Levi’s 501s that I bought years ago and that I fit into on and off over the years. I decided that fitting into those jeans comfortably was my goal. I tried them on at the beginning of my journey and couldn’t even get them past my hips. Then in February I tried again and noticed I could pull them up but not close them. Just before summer, I could get them up AND close one button. And just this week I tried them on again and they buttoned all the way up and looked great on.

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So how did I lose 20 pounds (10 or so kilos) without dieting? The answer is easy: I took a note from my own 2013 book. If you go back to blog posts from that year, you will read that I was on a severe health kick. I tried out lots of foods as I found I had a low intolerance for wheat and that lead me on a journey to finding foods that worked. In the process I lost weight and through regular workouts, I ended up in the best shape of my life.

My main motivation for this journey was that I could do it, as I had already done it before. The point was to be less strict and take it easier on myself. And it worked! Because while my focus has been on good healthy meals on the daily, I still get take out every now and again. I don’t pass up on cake when I’m at a birthday and I will have that glass of wine thank you very much.

I didn’t ‘deny’ myself one single thing. And that was the key. I went on trips where I had every burger I fancied, visited festivals where I lived on kebabs and beer for three days straight and indulged in my sweet tooth from time to time. The difference was that I pulled in the reins after these ordeals. I cooked more meals at home during the week, focused on wheat free salads and smoothies for lunch and just balanced out my diet a lot more. That whole 80/20 rule I swear by. I’ve just come to accept that the 80 percent can sometimes last 4 weeks and the 20 2 weeks, rather than an even distribution throughout the week.

Regular workouts have always been a thing, but I cracked it up a notch after the summer of 2016. I varied my workouts more, skipped them if I was tired or running late and had a few staples in my routine that I wouldn’t skip. Again: it is all about that balance! Last spring I found a routine that works for me and I intend to stick with it. It consists of a Yin Yoga class once a week, a dance class once a week plus a Bodypump and Bodycombat class a week. That way I throw in a bit of everything: agility, resistence and cardio training as well as some much needed relaxation.

For me this seems to work and I am still working on getting back into the swing of things now that I’ve moved. My routine has been completely different, but for the better: I now ride my bicycle nearly 2 hours every week just to get to and from places and that adds in bonus workouts! Plus I am home earlier from work which means: more homecooked meals. All in all, I am feeling great again and that is all that matters.

How do you maintain your weight?

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