How I Lost 100 Pounds in 10 Months By Setting Realistic Goals
Hi! Tell us about yourself…why did you decide to start losing weight?
I was a junior in college and was approaching a period of my life where lots of transitions were incoming. I had to start planning life after college. This was a time of lots of introspection and looking in the mirror, literally and figuratively. I recognized that I really wasn’t my best, or my happiest. I was just coasting, doing the bare minimum to get by academically, personally, and with respect to my health. I realized that this next chapter of my personal and professional life is dependent on the choices that I make over the next few months.
On April 4th, 2017, I had my annual physical exam. After weighing me at a whopping 315 pound, my PCP notes in my record “morbidly obese” and immediately I saw things differently. I realized that I was literally taking years off my life because of something fully in my control. I went home that day, looked in the mirror, and promised myself that I’ll never let myself be unhappy over something I could change, like my exercise and nutrition habits. This was the beginning of a journey of not just health improvement, but all around self-improvement. I realized I couldn’t be happy with just mediocrity, bare minimum effort anymore.
What did you do for exercise when you started? Did you change it up throughout your weight loss journey?
I kept it as simple as possible. Instead of focusing on a crazy, complicated workout plan, I focused on following a basic weightlifting plan. I knew that if I complicated the process, I’d give up as soon as motivation diminished, so I made sure my exercise and eating routines weren’t too taxing so that I can maintain my effort even on my least motivation-filled days.
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My focus? A workout routine focused on getting stronger in the main compound lifts (bench press, squat, row, deadlift). I aimed to train each muscle group at least twice a week. I started off committing to 4 days a week, and as my level of fitness increased, so did the days I worked out. I now exercise 6 days/week. When I was losing weight, I committed to 15 minutes of cardio after every weight loss session. Usually used the elliptical initially, but as I got in better shape I began doing HIIT cardio and jogs/sprints on the treadmill.
What did you do for nutrition when you started? Did you change it up throughout your weight loss journey?
I kept it as simple as possible. Instead of focusing on an extremely strict, restrictive diet focused on simply eating intuitively healthy foods.I knew the science behind weight loss, and that all I had to do was be in a caloric deficit, eat less energy than I burn. I knew that if I complicated the process, I’d give up as soon as motivation diminished, so I made sure my eating routines weren’t too taxing so that I can maintain my effort even on my least motivation-filled days.
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My focus? Eating leafy green veggies daily, eliminating liquid calories (just water, tea, coffee, 0-cal drinks), focusing on protein intake. About 4 months in, I started counting calories to be able to track progress more precisely and ensure I’m maximizing the amount of food I eat while staying under a certain number of calories.
How did you stay mentally strong when it was tough losing weight? Did you ever give up? How did you recover?
I was very honest with myself. I made sure I didn’t set unrealistic expectations, and constantly reminded myself that the number on the scale isn’t the only determinant of progress. I focused more on discipline and building a routine instead of staying motivated, so that when things did get difficult, sticking with my routine felt just as normal as brushing my teeth every morning. The goal was to identify a lifestyle that compliments my lifestyle rather than take away from or add more to my current way of life.
Did you use any sort of trackers/apps/scales to track your weight loss progress?
I used a regular scale to weigh myself and my phone camera! I would use the MyFitnessPal app to document my weight and food intake.
When did you start to notice progress in your weight loss journey?
I felt the progress much earlier than I saw it. Within a week I physically felt better. Sleep was better, I had more energy, and my mood was better. It took months to see the progress myself, but others saw progress after the first month.
Do you have any “hacks” or “secrets” that helped you lose weight?
Intermittent Fasting is an easy way to reduce the amount of calories you eat daily. To this day I don’t eat before 12 and that saves hundreds of calories that I would’ve eaten for breakfast that I can use during my “hungrier” time of day. If you’re busy in the morning, or aren’t very hungry in the mornings, consider IF!
Also, water was a surprising way to curb cravings/hunger. Lots of times I thought I was just starving, I was dehydrated.
What advice would you give beginners who are looking to lose weight?
Small wins are everything. Don’t focus on monthly weight loss goals, but just focus on making the right decisions on a daily basis. Small incremental progress leads to huge strides.
Don’t focus on cardio. Strength training from the very beginning is very beneficial and helps “shape” your body while the fat is shedding
Mirror doesn’t lie. Scale does. Take pictures often instead of relying on a number.
Weight Loss means absolutely anything if you’re miserable. Don’t compromise the quality of your life for a number on the scale. You can enjoy life and still be healthy.
Do you have any fitness books/podcasts/websites that you’d recommend and why?
Daily Stoic: daily tips to help with the mental aspect of a life journey.
Youtube, for workouts you may not know how to do properly!
Where can we find more about you?
Follow me on instagram! @BambulitFit
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