Thursday, September 1, 2011

1,2, 3, and 4! And 1, 2...

Urban Dictionary Word of the Day:
Soup to Nuts: From start to finish.
I mean ha! Who'd say that?! I just thought it was funny so I decided to use that one this time 'round. Whatevs, I won't be using it too much in relation to this post. SO!
Workin' it out.
Constantly, people have been asking me/wondering how I lost all the weight. Its been a long rough road and for that, I will not actually say how the dramatic weight loss actually started. Its actually not great how it started. But if we wanna go back ('I'm goin' going, back to Cali, Cali...') I guess I can give a little history lesson. 
I'd never felt comfortable in  my own skin. There was a time, maybe up to 4th grade, where I actually could deal with talking in front of others and felt that I had all the friends in the world who would accept me no matter what I looked like. 
Sadly, that drastically changed by 6th grade. I still loved all my friends and was happy in that aspect, but my body image was taking turns for the worst. I would be depressed/angry/unhappy with how I looked compared to other children in my classes. Long story short, for years and years and years onward, my self image took even a larger nose dive. I'd tried off and on to lose weight and begin a good regimen for change but I always ended up backsliding and giving up.
What really changed, you wonder? 
Japan, as many of you know, meant/means THE WORLD to me. Among all the the things it did for me, a healthy lifestyle and diet was one of them was yet another thing Japan offered me. During my short time there, I'd ride my bike to classes daily, up a witch of a hill at one of the main gates. I also walked everywhere when I wasn't biking. And the natural plus, Japanese cuisine is so much healthier than American food. I could buy these amazing Baum Rolls (little Vanilla cake rolls of delicious goodness that made you just go "MMMMmmmm") from Top World and eat like 3 of them and still lose weight. Why? Ingredients. Plus, each roll was only like 63 kcal (just about the same thing as 'cal's. 'Sup with the K, Japanese people?) so you didn't feel so bad after eating them. Regardless, I limited myself to only 1 or 2 after a meal. Since I was on my own for food, I could control what I ate; that meant awesome Japanese supermarket shopping and buying rice, fish, veggies, fruits, milk, BANANA MILK!, and the like. This inspired me to take more control over what I ate once I got home too. 
On top of the diet change and automatic daily exercise, I joined archery and a running club. The Japanese students in the archery club didn't seem to like me much, well, the girls anyway but regardless, the practice meets were good for the arms and for correcting bad posture. Running club was awesome. A roommie and I would encourage each other; she would bring her friends and I would bring mine and before you knew it there was a big group of encouragement. Plus the Professor who ran it was very inspirational, hilarious, encouraging, and knew how to switch up our runs: (running to the Kuzuha Mall just for cheese bread; a contradictory goal really, running to see the plum blossoms, and running to see the greatest displays of cherry blossoms; which I missed be heard was awesome...).
So that is the back story. Here are so more tips though as my experience goes:
    • Why are you doing this? For you? GOOD! That is the best person you could do it for. If there is something YOU want to change for YOU, you're already half way there. 
    • Come up with exercises that you feel capable of doing. For me, I used to hate running and I have come a long way in not only liking and enjoying it, but becoming capable of doing it. If you want to shed pounds first, I'd start with power-walking or jogging. Arms, legs, buns? Pilates and yoga are your new best friends. 
    • Another important thing is not to look at working out as something you dread. If you dread it, you'll have so much less motivation to actually do it.
    • I LOVE sweets; chocolate, cookies, cake, cheesecake, ice cream,  WHATEVER. You don't have to necessarily leave all your guilty pleasures in the dust in order to get where you want to be. Lord knows I still reach for my share of cake and someone's party. Do you wanna have your cake and eat it too? Then portioning is VERY important. Have a slice, but that's it. Don't get a huge piece and don't keep going back for seconds, thirds, and so on.  (BTW: I'm not perfect, I've gone for the second helpings too.)
    • I've been home since March and I've been living with people who buy and/or consume M&M chocolate chip cookies, Lemon icing cake, pizza, hot dogs, fried chicken, etc. and so on. (Again, if you must have these things too, PORTION!) Otherwise, since I do not agree with what's here, I go on and buy my own things or request alternatives. My parents will sometimes graciously buy salmon or chicken patties, deli salmon, tilapia, chicken breast, and yogurt for me. On my own, I purchase low fat Yoplait vanilla yogurt, granola, just about all the berries (straw, rasp, black, and blue), other fruits such as kiwi, mango, banana, apples, and peaches. Also, WILD RICE (so healthy), zucchini, squash, broccoli, and tomatoes. 
    • Also, if you really cannot stay away from the sweets, buy alternatives. SKINNY COW is a life saver. They actually taste good unlike most diet ice cream/candies. Try it. You'll like it. I also tried the Fiber One brownies. No, they don't taste like brownies should, but nevertheless, its chocolate and only like 80 calories per package. Quaker is nice for the little rice snacks and SPECIAL K protein shakes, snacks, cereal, etc are pretty essential.
    • Make a visual reminder of why you're doing what you are doing. I've always loved making things with my own hands so I've made collages and inspiration boards for myself around my room. Also, little post it notes help too. Stick 'em on your mirror, kitchen cabinets, wherever you will see them! BE YOUR BEST CHEERLEADER!
    • Water is IMPORTANT--I cannot stress that enough. Dump sugary drinks. (Few to little soda and juice consumption.)
    • VITAMINS, I take vitamin D and C and Biotin daily. Take what you're comfortable with, whatever that may be. (D supports bone health, C supports the immune system, and Biotin supports nail & hair growth.)
    • Think of how good you'll feel when you realize that you can't fit those jeans anymore, in a good way! Or, ladies, think of how awesome it'd be to get a great new wardrobe! They say "No pain, no gain" (freakin' cliche sayings, LOL) and "Feel the burn" for a reason. Do it to it, there's nothing but good that can come from such drive, self-empowerment, and goal reaching.
I hope that helps. I am speaking from experience and its been a long tough road. There are days where I say I'm going to go for a run and then I don't. And days where I realize I'd had way too many sweets or fats. If you have your splurge days, that' fine. You can always work it out the next day.

Good luck and I hope for those of you who wondered benefited from this.

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