The biggest secret is: there is NO secret!
I have been getting a lot of questions lately about how I got to where I am in my health and fitness. I'm going to elaborate a little on my journey and what I want for you to take from all of this is the proper steps to begin your healthy and fit life as well as the fact that consistency is the key to success. Here we go: I was the one who first decided to start losing weight in our family. When I tried and was unsuccessful, I let my husband know that I needed his support and that I needed the whole household to get on board. Luckily, his pants had gotten too tight as well, so he was in. I started by cleaning out the kitchen and starting with the basics. You really do know what healthy food is, you just forget because you get told a ton of random things on labels. Here's a good rule of thumb: if it grows or if you know its natural origin, you can eat it. It seems simple because it is.
I started doing workout videos in the living room. I started with Insanity. If you can make it through the warm up without stopping, you're in good shape! I would wait until my kids were asleep or get up before them and do my workout. I wouldn't even let my husband be in the room because I felt like I looked stupid. Looking back, the only stupid thing was NOT working out. I also had workout games on our game system, so I did them as well. Then I figured out that I needed to up the ante. I decided to set goals for myself. Goals should be realistic and measurable. I started with making it to the gym 3 times a week. After two weeks, I upped it to 5 times a week. I knew that as long as I went, I would accomplish something. Then, I started planning my workouts. Upper body one day, lower body the next. Then I went and got a workout off of bodybuilding.com. There are so many resources when you actually look. They have different programs that you can print out and try and best of all, it's all free. I now go to the gym 6 times a week and lead a boot camp three times a week. I have one active rest day per week on which I take my kids out to play or take the dogs for a walk. Either way, I try to stay as active as possible.
Progress doesn't always happen as fast as you want it to. I've had ups and downs. But no matter what, I have stayed consistent and that is what makes the difference. Stay consistent. Don't let one or two bad days stop you. Stick with it. There is a reason I can stand and say that healthy living works. I still have off days, but I get back on track every time and that's what keeps the weight melting off. I always look for ways to make myself better. This is one of the reasons I can never fail. I hope you take my advice and use it. Use every bit of good information you can and learn to sift through the crap. Get a subscription to a fitness magazine like Oxygen or Fitness Rx to help keep you motivated and in the fitness mindset. It will reignite your flame every time you get a new issue. I hope all of this helps. I know that YOU can accomplish your goals, no matter what they are or how busy you may be. Keep moving forward because no matter how slow you go, you're lapping someone on the couch!
The first two pictures are 5 months apart. My entire weight loss has taken only about 9 months. I started got a gym membership on April Fool's day of 2011. It is now January of 2012. The first time I asked my husband to take an updated picture, I didn't realize that I had made so much progress. I now take pictures every month to help keep me aware of how well I am doing. Taking a "before" picture is one of the hardest thing. But it is also one of the most rewarding. I look at it all the time and am amazed at how I ever got to that point compared to where I am now. Pictures are the best way to see the difference in your body over time. Don't stress so much about the scale. Pictures really are worth a thousand words. Take one every month to see your progress or to get back on track. Consistency is key. Start making changes and stick with them. There are no limits and NO EXCUSES!