You think you’re busy, so busy that you just don’t have time to eat right and exercise? Well, if a young mother of four who works full time and runs a successful health blog can find the time, you probably can too.
Meet Josie Maurer, who, when she’s not busy raising her kids and working every day, keeps up with a health blog. She blogs from the perspective of a regular person with plenty of experience in diet and fitness to share with her audience in a fun and colorful style. I asked Josie to share her weight loss experience:
Was there a moment that made you think “enough is enough”?
In my mind I still looked pretty good in a mirror despite knowing my weight was creeping up. My family also patronized me by not being honest when I asked their opinion on my weight gain with the old, “you look fine, mom.” It was only after looking through some summer photos that my eyes saw the real picture. I thought to myself, “This is not me. This is not who I am.” That was back in 2006, and it was from that moment on that I made serious changes and never looked back.
What kind of diet (if any) did you do to lose your weight, and what do you eat now to maintain a healthy weight?
I initially started off with calorie counting (coupled with daily power walks). That’s how I lost the first 20 pounds. I ate a lot of processed foods, pizza, sweets and fast food, so my diet didn’t change at all. I just stayed within a caloric range. But then I hit a plateau. As I began to explore healthier foods, I broke through the plateau and also found that I was able to avoid that heavy, bloated, sluggish feeling that came with all the junk.
The concept of clean eating – limiting sugar, packaged foods, fatty foods, etc. – while focusing on fruits, vegetables, whole grains (no white flour products) and lean meats was a real game-changer for me. I stopped counting calories and focused on eating not for weight loss, but for health. We’re all human and need occasional indulgences.
What are your favorite unhealthy foods that you treat yourself to now and again?
I do not deny my greedy side, but moderation is definitely key. White flour carbs used to be my favorite indulgence, but the bloating effect they have on my body is not worth it to me anymore. Cake and pie are my ultimate favorites now, and my rule is to only indulge on special occasions, like around the holidays, on birthdays and during other special occasions that don’t come around very often.
Because it’s a special occasion I allow myself as much as I want (usually two or three slices), because once it’s gone, it’s gone, and I know that type of food won’t be around me until the next occasion. My house is minimally stocked with treats for my family’s sake, but I’ve been at the practice of moderation for so long now that I’m pretty good at staring a piece of delectable in the eyes without caving. But I stress to you that I had many fails in the process. It took practice! If I chose to stare that food in the eyes yet still indulge – it’s a decision, not a weak moment of temptation.
What was your workout during your weight loss? What do you do now?
I started out with walking, transitioned into running (which I’m not very fond of and no longer do because I believe in enjoying my workouts), moved on to popular DVDs, and then started creating my own workouts, which I do now. Although I do maintain a gym membership, 100 percent of my workouts are done in my home with minimal equipment. My focus is on body weight exercises and plyometrics. These types of workouts are very intense, so it’s easy to get in a great training session in only 30 minutes.
If you’re busy, do you have any special measures you take to make sure you don’t start putting weight back on?
I’m married with four children (3 to 18 years old). I work full time outside the home and also blog at YumYucky.com. I have a lot going on, but I still make myself a priority. I used to give away all of my energy, resources and time to please everyone else and make sure they were taken care of, but that left me totally spent and undone. It took me a lot of years to realize and accept the fact that it’s OK to say “no” to people sometimes, to delegate certain responsibilities in the home, and know that I deserve to be happy, well and whole. I get up at 5:30 am to have my “me time,” which includes working out. I work out five times per week and take off on the weekends. Even on the weekends I keep moving. But let’s not get it twisted, I love my couch and TV-watching time.
What is the key to your long-term weight loss success?
I started off small to establish a strong foundation and then built on the good habits I created by adding even more. Discipline and consistency count for so much. It’s also important to continue measuring your progress and making whatever adjustments are necessary to meet or maintain your goals.
Any final thoughts or advice you would like to give readers?
You need to start making changes today. And do-overs are definitely allowed. There are so many things I did wrong in the process of getting results, and I required many, many do-overs to get it right (and still do sometimes). But you can’t give up. You can’t be a quitter if you want results in any facet of your life. You have to push with diligence and consistency and real effort. Pushing can get uncomfortable, but once you push long and hard enough, you’ll find yourself in a very rewarding place.
Tell us your True Weight Loss Story!
And see others in our series!