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Monday, July 14, 2014

How I Lost 20 lbs & Gained a New Lifestyle

How I Lost 20 Pounds and Gained a New Lifestyle
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Katie and this is how I lost 20 pounds and went on to compete in my first fitness competition.

Up until college I had always been active and able to eat pretty much whatever I wanted. Once I got to college my whole lifestyle changed. I partied at least 3-4 times a week, started smoking cigarettes (ew, I know), only occasionally worked out (but kept eating what I wanted), and had a horrible diet that contained a lot of late night McDonald’s runs. I had a lot of fun in college but after gaining 12 pounds and having such poor health I realized I wasn’t happy anymore. This started my weight loss journey.
 I knew that I wanted to lose weight but I also wanted a new lifestyle that I could maintain and for that reason I didn’t take any weird diet pills, go super low carb, join Jenny Craig, whatever. I quit smoking because you can’t exercise when you can hardly breathe. Then I started to learn as much as I could about nutrition and I incorporated nutritious foods into my diet. I also minimized eating out because it’s easier to make cleaner food options at home and I cut out the binge drinking (obviously).  I started exercising at least 5-6 times a week (weight lifting and cardio mix). Last, I found new things that I enjoyed like clean baking and lifting weights. If you enjoy what you’re doing then the weight loss is all that much easier.
After losing 16 pounds on my own, I made the decision to compete in my first fitness competition as a bikini competitor. Through clean eating, heavy lifting, cardio, and lots of coaching from my Fitshop coach, Jenny, I lost 4 more pounds and stepped on stage. I wanted to compete to win but mostly I wanted to compete to show off what I had worked so hard for. Ask me a year earlier and I would have never been caught dead in a tiny red bikini ESPECIALLY on stage but the new me was happy, healthy, and proud in her own skin. I loved competing and being confident on stage and I found out that this was something I wanted to keep doing!
I’m not going to sugar coat it, losing weight and completely changing your lifestyle isn’t the easiest thing to do. But it can be done and it gets easier. Besides working out on my own I would sometimes see a trainer, Marisa. She would watch me get discouraged because I didn’t see the scale go down in a week and she always told me to keep going, never give up and never lose patience. Keep working and it will pay off! You might not see changes every day but if you give up then you won’t ever see those changes. It was also difficult for me to find balance with food. This was something that I struggled with up until very recently. I realized that you have to find balance and moderation. Eat healthy, work hard, but go enjoy ice cream with your friends once in awhile. Find that balance in your life to where you enjoy every minute of it. One ice cream cone won’t make you fat and it’s good for your mental health so go enjoy every bite. The next morning wake up, eat a healthy breakfast, and go get a good workout in. It really is all about balance and moderation because that leads you to a healthy LIFESTYLE, not just quick weight loss.
What kept me motivated throughout this journey was my drive to be better. If you’ve always wanted to be a bikini competitor then go do it! Only you can make those dreams come true through hard work and persistence. I’m lucky I had a lot of support but I also kept myself motivated by knowing what my goals were and how I wanted to achieve them. Very often I write my goals down so I can see them, I keep my trophy’s up from my first competition to remind me that I want to come back better next time, and I keep going, pushing myself to be my best self. Having visual goals helps to keep you motivated whether it’s to lose weight, step on stage, compete in a marathon, whatever it may be. You can do anything you set your mind to so keep going.
All of this is about finding YOUR happiness and being YOUR best self. Never forget why you started! I hope you enjoyed my featured blog! You can follow me on twitter and Instagram at katielynn_xo. Looking forward to chatting with you again soon!
Xoxo,
Katie

2 comments:

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