What are your highest and lowest weights?
My highest, excluding pregnancy, was 252.
My lowest was 160. I usually hover somewhere between 165-175, depending on weather/hormones/laziness/pizza. But I worry less about the number on the scale and more on my pants size, which dropped from 3x (24W) to 12.
What do you eat?
Short version: whatever I want, in moderation. I use the link-and-balance system so I can eat lots of whole grains, lean meats, dairy, nuts and fresh fruits. I have a whole post on it here. If you need meal ideas, I have tons here!
How did you get going losing all the weight? What inspired you to really start?
For me, motivation and inspiration came when I was just DONE looking and feeling like I did. I think you really have to be ready, and you have to want to do it for you.
What diet do you think works best?
I don’t believe in diets, because I don’t believe in making changes that are temporary. I think that’s a fast-track to gaining weight back in the end. I speak from experience, here: I tried Nutri-system, South Beach, veganism, Weight Watchers (twice), the body type diet and Atkins, just off the top of my head They didn’t work for me. I think you have to make changes to the way you think about food, and incorporate those changes forever.
No diets. Just healthy changes. That said, I did have to shift how I balance my food because I have insulin resistance, so I had to make those healthy changes. If you want to know more about that, click here.
What workout did you do to lose all that weight??
After a year of running, I moved to heavy weight lifting. It’s changed my body the most, and it’s my favorite mode of exercise. If you need help getting started, bodybuilding.com and the Jefit app are awesome resources. I have my full weight workouts linked here.
I love Acacia.tv for yoga videos (Shiva Rea is my favorite) and I’m a huge fan of hiking in the foothills, bike rides near the river or into downtown, and ballet classes when I’m feeling really brave.
More than anything, I feel really strongly that if you don’t find exercise that you enjoy, you won’t stick with it. So I think that’s key–what do you like to do? Go do it! Start there, and see how you feel.
How do you work out at home? What equipment do you have?
I have a set of plate dumbbells like these. I started out with just the plates they came with, but eventually I did go to a local sporting goods store and buy some 10-pound plates. Weight plates usually cost $1/pound.
I have this weight bench. I’ve had it since 2014 and my husband and I have used it several times a week in that period. It’s held up nicely. It’s fabulous for women under about 5′ 8″. If you are tall, you might want something larger. If a bench is out of your price range right now, a sturdy chair or bench will work, or even a stability ball.
How do you keep track of your workouts?
I have a post on the apps I use here!
How did you get started lifting so you felt comfortable with the exercises? Did you have a trainer?
I started lifting, a tiny bit, in junior high school with circuit training machines with someone to help show me how to use them. If you’ve never lifted before at all and have no experience with it, circuit machines might be the best place to start. There is probably a gym near you that will let you pay month to month with no commitment and set up a couple of sessions with someone to walk you through how the machines work. I do think it’s worth it to have help familiarizing yourself with the motions of weight lifting, just because it can be so easy to injure your joints and tendons if you do things incorrectly–especially once you make the move to free/heavy weights. For one month at $19.99 or so and an hour or two with a trainer, you’ll have a foundation that’ll last you a lifetime. That said, if you just can’t swing it or gyms & trainers make you cringe, bodybuilding.com has excellent videos for every lift you can possibly imagine. Watch closely, pay attention to form on both lift and release, and you will likely be OK.