1 Year Progress Pics, What I’ve Learned (and Bonus Cat Pics)

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To start, here's the pictures: https://imgur.com/a/1S31ldo

The disclaimers:

My bf's cat wanted some attention so she's there too (we call her Da Baby, she's adorable)

I don't have access to a scale so I'm not sure how many pounds I've lost. I know I started around 215 and now I'm around 160. (I'm 5'8 if that matters to anyone).

Also the pics aren't nsfw but I'm wearing a sports bra and yoga pants so there's some tummy showing if that bothers you.

So what have I learned in all that time? Here's some bullet point lists:

In general:

Sorry but there's no short cuts, it's just CICO, exercise, and self discipline. TDEE of course. Self discipline, self control and self restraint are the most important skills you'll learn and master. It's hard to say 'no' to yourself but it gets easier. Also: accountability, it's great to have other people to hold you accountable is great, but holding yourself accountable is even better. I'm so much happier overall now. My depression is much better and way more manageable, my anxiety is way down (thanks also in part to a caffeine decrease). Plus my PMS is way better. Speaking of… My period cramps and body aches are so much better. They're still painful but not debilitating. (I could honestly make a whole post just about periods but I'll save that) Tracking is super helpful. I track the days I work out, how much water I drink, my calories, and how many miles I run. There's definitely been days I was questioning working out, but I did it anyways to maintain my streak. Take lots of pictures. I wish I had more "before" photos. They're a great way to look at your long term progress. Good hair, skin and nails come from within. Diet, exercise, and water will leave you glowing. Acne? I don't know her. Dry skin, who? Weight loss has to be sustainable. Others have said it before but it's so important. If you go too hard and get burnt out, it won't do you any favors. You need to find a diet and exercise plan that you can maintain once you've lost the weight. It's not just a phase, this is the beginning of the rest of your healthy, happy, life. Once it's a habit you won't even even have to think about doing it. Do it for you! You deserve to feel healthy, live a long life, be happy, take care of yourself. Doing it for yourself is the best way to stay on track. When you do something for a long time, no matter what it is, there's going to be highs, lows and plateaus. But it will even out eventually.

Exercise!

One day I realized. Exercise, is supposed to be hard, that's why it's called a WORK out. You many not need it to lose weight, but it'll make you healthier overall, so do it. I like exercising! Took me a while to enjoy it but it's become my Me Time. It helps me destress, gets me in a better mood, sleep better, and gives me feelings of accomplishment and pride. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I still dislike it in the moment, but I still look forward to it and feel better after. Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy. Gains feel so GOOD. Having short term goals also help your feelings of accomplishments, and keep working out interesting. Get stronger, get faster, get more flexible. If you're not a morning person just do it after work. Seriously, if you hate getting up early just don't. Make time later on. You don't need a gym. There's plenty of at home work outs you can do, or go for a jog/run outside and meet some nice dogs and cats along the way. Your body will eventually get used to whatever you're doing, you'll have to keep challenging yourself. But that'll also keep it interesting and entertaining. Don't go too hard at first, take it easy to see what you're capable of now. Heaven forbid you get hurt. Exercise isn't just good for your body it's good for your emotions – I have a degree in psychology, trust me on this.

Food

CICO baby. Protein babey. WATER babeyyy. "Treating Yourself" to junk food isn't worth it if you'll feel worse later. I used to have an entire box of mac and cheese after a rough day, but the tummy ache, bloating, and lethargy only made me feel worse. The more you practice saying 'no' to certain foods the easier it'll be. I'll say it again, TDEE! Eating too little is going to leave you feeling like garbage. Your Basal Metabolic Rate is what you need to function as an adult human being, don't go below that. Water~ you need it to live. Staying hydrated just feels good. You ever see a plant get water again after a few weeks of neglect? Amazing. Just imagine what it does for your organs. Alcohol, is, bad for you. Even if you can have it and stay under your calorie goals; it'll dehydrate you, it's a depressant, it's probably got tons of added sugar and useless carbs, and is a hangover really worth it. Overestimate how many calories your restaurant meals have. We all know they have added fat, salt and sugar, so it's best to try to compensate for that by overestimating. Same goes for coffee shop drinks. Having room for a small treat every day can help with feeling deprived or burnt out. Just be sure to budget for it.

Wow that was longer than I thought I'd be. Here's some closing thoughts. It can be hard. It's something you have to work on every single day. It takes practice, effort, and conscious thought. There may be set backs, and difficulties will arrive. But it's so worth it.

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