Changing My Life

Lose weight, eat healthy, pay off debt, travel, spend more time with family, etc, with the new year these are many resolutions people make but by February (or some of us middle of January) we lose excitement and ambition to do what is needed to accomplish these goals. While I don’t have all the answers I do have some answers for weight loss and eating healthy.  This story is my own – about changing my life – on how I lost weight and ended up changing my whole life.

Changing My Life by Nikki Christiansen for Busy Mom's Helper

No I was not huge by any means and I was not doing this to become skinny, I did this because yes I did want to lose some weight so I could feel good in my clothes and to feel better in general. I can’t tell you how many times I went on a ‘diet’ because it feels like I have always been trying to lose weight.  Now for me going to the gym was not the hard part, I love the gym and sports and basically anything active.  Since I became bigger I lost interest in a lot of things and never wanted to do anything.  This year was different.  2015 new year’s resolution was as always ‘to become healthier’.  While this resolution will never have an end date between that day and now I feel like I have accomplished my goal.

Changing My Life by Nikki Christiansen for Busy Mom's Helper

170 pounds was how big I was when I started this journey, no that is not huge but it was very uncomfortable for me. My body mass index which measures my body fat was 27.8 which is considered borderline obese.  Here are a few more measurements because the scale is not the only thing that matters because muscle weighs more than fat.

Thighs: 24 inches

Waist: 33 inches

Hips: 38 inches

Bust: 38 inches

% body fat: 35.6 %

BMI (body mass index): 27.8

Pant size: 15

My journey started with being dedicated to recording my food, and yes for about two weeks I measured everything! I over estimated everything I ate and so what I was thinking was just one serving was actually two to three servings which can have a major impact on your goals.  So yes, start measuring and recording every little thing you eat.  Myfitnesspal is free, simple, and has a lot of information on it, I used this site and loved it but there are several others that you can choose from.  By measuring out my food and just having one serving in front of me I started eating less because I didn’t over eat with a huge serving.

Food. Food is a never ending battle especially with me because I LOVE sugar and sweets as you could tell if you’ve seen any of my other posts, so it is really hard.  What I found out though was I stopped over eating these amazing treats and started with small portion sizes or skipping them and when I did eat them they were so much more satisfying than I think they have ever been.  So think before you eat sugar, fat, or basically any snack, ask yourself ‘am I hungry?’ if yes then eat real food, if no then drink some water.

Eat actual meals. I struggled with this one because I was use to eating basically all day.  This is where myfitnesspal helped a lot for me.  I started planning my meals ahead, which was basically a day ahead, and I would have three main meals and two small snacks.  My breakfasts would change anywhere from a poptart to toast and a banana or a protein shake.  I tried to keep my meals about 300 – 400 calories each but it varied a little.  Protein shakes were also my big pick me up in the middle of the day because it was very satisfying and kept me full until dinner which would let me have just a morning snack and an evening snack.  Yes my snacks were not always way healthy (I said I love sugar) but I would get small servings and make sure the servings were correct so my calories for my snacks would be about 200 each.

Working out is much, much more than exhausting yourself at the gym. I feel so energized after the gym and it helps with my food cravings.  Can’t spend an hour?  30 minutes, 20 minutes but DO something, take your kids hiking, walking, biking, anything it doesn’t have to be in the gym or without your kids, do arm lifts with your kids show them how to get strong while you are getting strong.  Working out doesn’t have to be in a gym or take all your time but stay active and busy.  Here’s a workout plan I started and followed but I would change it up a little every other week by doing a new exercise in place of one of them or doing my max, or just endurance with low weight but lots of reps.

Changing My Life by Nikki Christiansen for Busy Mom's Helper

I’m not telling you it will be easy, I’m telling you it will be worth it. The picture above are me in the pants I wore a year ago and even with a belt I couldn’t get these pants to stay up, plus they drown my thighs now. You don’t have to give up anything, I ate a candy bar while I typed this, was it delicious? Yes, do I regret it? no, because 80% of my food a day is healthy and I did a nice workout. I didn’t give up anything I still enjoy the foods I love but in way less quantities which not only saved my waist but also my wallet.

What did I lose? I lost the bigger, depressed, not really fun to be around person I was.  I now weigh in at 140 pounds, I can’t wait to go do things or just be out, I have more friends than I’ve ever had, and the best relationship with my husband than I’ve ever had.  Losing this weight and inches didn’t just change my physical appearance, it changed my whole outlook on life and opened so many doors to a life that I look forward to living every single day.

Thighs: 21 inches lost 3 inches

Waist: 27 inches lost 6 inches

Hips: 33 inches lost 5 inches

Bust: 34 inches lost 4 inches

% body fat: 27 lost 7.4

BMI: 22.9 lost 5

Pant size: 9 lost 3 sizes

Do I still measure everything? No, but I do still record most days because I don’t want to go back to the way I was, because I am so much happier and healthier than I have ever been. Does this take dedication? Yes, but it doesn’t take all your time, money, or effort, I work a full time job and a part time job, while I don’t have kids I still have plenty of time to spend with my dog and my amazing husband.  I now run half marathons, 5k’s, hike, spend a lot of time with my husband and dog, and enjoy my life to the fullest.

Remember, “I’m doing this, no more excuses. No more binging or irrational eating because it only makes me feel bad about myself afterwards. This year will be my year and for once I’m not just saying that.  I will make the necessary changes, I’m going to get to my healthy weight.  I don’t care if I’m going to have to sweat like a pig or cut back on junk food.  No more hating on my body and filling it with all this crap.  I’m going to treat myself right and teach myself healthy habits.  My weight isn’t going to hold m back anymore.  Exercise to be fit, not skinny, eat to nourish your body, and always ignore the haters, doubters and unhealthy examples that were once feeding you. YOU are worth more than you realize”.

Download the Workout Plan Here

Changing My Life by Nikki Christiansen for Busy Mom's Helper

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Nikki Cole

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