Sunday, June 10, 2012

How to lose weight the healthy way

oldpinkshirt DSC02618

The first picture is from May of 2011, two days after I graduated college, and following my dad and I running the Historic Half. The other picture is prior to my most recent 5k, this past Saturday. The pink shirt is the same!

In a year, I’ve lost 25 pounds, two sizes, and have cut my body fat significantly. It’s been slow and steady, but I figured it might be time to blog about it and share some of what’s worked for me, in case someone out there has a few pounds to lose, and wants to do it without compromising their health or sanity.

Here's what’s worked for me:

  1. Don’t expect it to be quick, and don’t get frustrated if you’re only losing 1-2 pounds a week. I think TV shows like the Biggest Loser make us feel like if we’re not losing pounds by the double digits, we’re failing. In all actuality, that show creates an unrealistic environment – unless you’re working out hours upon hours a day, being fed a regulated diet, and have lots of fat to lose, it’s just not going to happen that quickly. Patience is a virtue, and studies have shown that when you lose weight slowly, you’re more likely to keep it off.
  2. No food is off limits. In the past, I had found that when I looked at certain foods as “bad,” I wanted to eat them All. The. Time. Instead, I eat what I want, when I want it, in moderation. If you’re eating well 80% of the time, the other 20% of the time isn’t going to derail your progress. At the same time, your health/fitness is 70% nutrition – what you eat has a huge impact on how you feel when you work out, how well you sleep, and, obviously, your overall health.
  3. Figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. I like carbs and I like sweets – I could never give up either, so I don’t, because if I did, I’d fail. The same goes for fitness – find activities you enjoy doing, and you’ll be more apt to do them. I love running, I love lifting weights, and I love yoga, but if you love Zumba or swimming, you should be doing that.
  4. Don’t just rely on the scale as a progress monitor. If you’re lifting weights, you’re probably gaining muscle, which weighs more than fat. Plus, some people just aren’t capable of weighing a certain amount (like I’m just never going to weigh 115 pounds, it’s not going to happen). I had my body fat measured to compare overall fitness levels and also just use clothes as a way to measure progress.
  5. On that note, be realistic, and know why you want to lose weight. Like I said, I’m never going to weigh 115 pounds – it’s just not going to happen. I’m also never going to look like Natalie Portman, because we’re just not built the same. Realistically, I want to be fit enough to do the things I love. I want to be toned and healthy, because being fit helps me enjoy life more.

Anyways, after I saw the picture from Saturday, I figured it was time to share. Leave a comment if you have other tips!


  1. Jen,

    You look fantastic!!!!!


  2. Ah hello, and thank you!! So glad you commented because your blog is wonderful, and YOU'RE ENGAGED?! How exciting! Congratulations :)

  3. Why would these natural foods all of a sudden be bad for you?Too much of any one food can take it's toll on the human body, but you don't have to be a certified nutritionist to determine that a handful of grapes is 1,000 times healthier than a handful of potato chips. During Phase II of your healthy weight loss and quick weight loss journey, remember to use your head. How you eat when you wake up in the morning dictates how your day will go. Be sure that the majority of your daily intake comes from fruits and vegetables contain the most vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

  4. Delta Gilbert runs the show

  5. Jen - You look great! Just curious, how tall are you?

    1. Hi Erica! Thanks for reading, and for the compliment :) I'm 5'6.

  6. Just came across your blog because I was looking for information on hot yoga...and I'm so glad I did!! This post was very encouraging! I'm trying to loose some weight and just not getting the results I expect. I will never be a size zero like I was when I was 13 years old, and I need to be okay with that! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!