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Best Ways to Begin to Lose Weight

Today I want to give you the best ways to begin to lose weight.

There is an abundance of information on what you should do to get the best weight loss results when you are beginning to focus on your health. Some of that information is spot on – and some of that information is straight from a dumpster fire.

That is why I wanted to give you the best ways to begin to lose weight that I used personally in MY OWN health journey!

Whenever you start something new, there is an excitement that runs through your veins. You decide to start something different, challenging, something maybe you have never tried before. It also can be scary, and overwhelming.

Everyone starts somewhere – even when it comes to weight loss. I am going to guess that you got on your computer and searched for best ways to lose weight , or best weight loss tips because you are tired of feeling stuck and tired of feeling the way you are currently feeling. In the world we live in now with the interwebs and it’s mass amount of information, and not all of it valuable – thank you memes and viral attention seekers – it is often times overwhelming and ever so confusing.

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Years ago it seemed as though the only options were infomercial style workout video segments on daytime television (or cable if you were one of the lucky ones who could afford it), a weight loss clinic that almost made it seem like an over eaters anonymous club, or other similar options.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Funny story I used to work at a popular weight loss clinic when I was just out of college because I had the grand idea that I was going to really help people… then I learned that the people I was helping did not really need all of the supplements and meal replacements that I was being commissioned to sell and I really lost my heat for that job… anyways… it did help some learn much better habits and how to eat more whole foods – but the meal replacement stuff… again… garbage fire.

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Photo by Harrison Haines on Pexels.com

But now in just diets alone, there is so much to overload your brain. Do you choose a diet for your blood type, do you try getting your body into ketosis, what about becoming a vegan or trying whole foods only?

I am going to try and break some things down to help you digest them maybe a little better.

First, if this is your first time reading anything from me, my name is Megan but you can call me Meggs. I’m an online health and fitness coach, that started out just like you… from the beginning.

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In 2012 I had reached my heaviest weight, and as a 5′ tall woman, 150 pounds looks slightly different then let’s say someone who is 5’7″. I grew up 90 pounds soaking wet and had a tough time gaining weight. Then came my early adult years and the some college that I attended while working two jobs and living on my own – kids if you are reading this – don’t try and grow up too fast… I partied with friends a lot. Then came marriage, then infertility issues, and weight gain and depression. I ended up a little over 150 pounds.

I snapped! I didn’t want a 6 pack of abs, or a thigh gap. I wanted to feel healthy, have energy and to not feel so blue all the time! I wanted to start losing weight.

Not to date myself, but this was before Google was king. I had every magazine with the headline stating that I could get a 30 day beach body that was in publication. So many that my apartment at the time I am sure was considered a fire hazard.

But I learned a lot from the start of my weight loss journey.

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Have you had thoughts of losing weight?

Would you like the exact steps that I used to being to lose weight that are easy to understand?

If “YES” – then keep reading, because this is just the article you need because I am going to give you the exact steps I personally used to begin to lose weight and to keep it off (minus pregnancy)…

Best Ways to Begin to Lose Weight:

  1. Know where you are beginning. You have to have an HONEST REALITY CHECK with yourself. This starts by weighing yourself and taking measurements. Without changing any part of your diet (what you eat), log everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) that you put into your body – even the spoonful of ice cream that you take when no one is watching. (My husband keeps a spoon in the freezer and thinks I don’t know it is there…)
  2. Evaluate your beginning calories for weight loss. Calories do matter and that might make you cringe, but knowing what you have been consuming (amount of calories) helps you to know where to begin to lose weight. You need to start eating in a calorie deficit in order to start losing weight. In simpler terms – you have to start eating less than you have been, and it helps if you start eating healthier things while we are discussing it.
  3. Begin to make one healthier choice at a time. Often when we start a weight loss goal and we start with a bang! We change so many things at once that we crash and burn. Make a list of the things that you would like to change and focus on only one thing at a time.

Here was my list for example:

    1. Lose 30 Pounds
      • Eat 1,300 Calories a day
      • Consume 1/2 my plate full of vegetables
      • less processed carbohydrates
    2. Exercise 30 min a day 3-4 times a week
      • 2 days cardio
      • 1-2 days balance and stability
    3. No more soda

4. Begin to lose weight by moving your body. Now hear me out… I am not suggesting you sign up to run your city’s next marathon (but if that is your motivation – go for it!) I actually recommend you begin with balance and stability exercises because this is the basis for all fundamental and functional body movements. If you don’t focus on basic movements first along with balance and stability, you could set yourself up for injury as you advance too quickly. Your stronger muscles could over compensate for your weaker muscles – and can cause some muscle imbalances.

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Photo by Elly Fairytale on Pexels.com

5. Hire a coach. So much information can be tricky to navigate. It can be overpowering to your brain muscles when you just want to get started. Hiring a coach can help You navigate thru all the masses of information and can help ease your mind. You can ask questions and not have to search countless pages of Google.

These are the EXACT things that helped me get on track with my health and weight loss… Now hear me out – you do not need to do all of these at one time! Take one thing at a time and focus on it. Like you have heard before – you did not get this way overnight, so getting the weight off in a healthy and sustainable way is going to take time. This is not a sprint, but it is also not a marathon – because both of those come with a “Finish Line” somewhere along the way. It is a life long journey… some days will be better than others. There will be days that you want to give- up and throw in the towel… but in doing that you are also asking your body to give up on you.

With the world we are in now, there is a lot of uncertainty – and if you are reading this in the future – this was written during the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020. many of us are having to find new ways to get healthy and active as our gyms are closed, and we are quarantined in our houses. Our whole nation is going through it… You are not along in this struggle and fight… I am here for you!

If you need some assistance on how to get started or where to turn to make the first step in your health journey – reach out to me – and put your information below! I would be happy to connect with you and get something going for you!

XOXO Meggs!

 

 

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Taking a Step Back…

Even those who seem the strongest have set backs.

Superman had kryptonite, Aquaman was lack of water, Green Lantern was yellow, Shazam was saying his own name… all things that caused them pain…

Mine is comparison. I compare myself to other trainers – I compare myself to the abilities of others or their highlight reels, a.k.a. social media.

Do you know what my word for 2019 is? CONFIDENCE… and I have not felt less confident than I do right now. And here is the kicker – it is not because others have it together and I don’t. It is not because I have a lack of knowledge.

It is because MY priorities are out of whack. It is because I have compared myself to what others have going on… It is because I am having a hard time prioritizing important things in my life – because I am so focused on scrolling through other peoples, businesses (etc) highlight reel…

A friend was over and was watching me look at my phone and mentioned to me, “You scroll so fast, do you even stop to look at anything?” And here is why I don’t – and it is a personal issue… if I stop for a certain moment of time to look at someone else’s snap shot of their life, then I start to compare and over analyze my own life… and the standards I have placed on myself…

So this is what I need to do for ME… My Husband, My Daughter, My Family, My Friends… I am taking a BREAK from social media. I am taking a BREAK from things that DRAIN my energy.

I will still be around to answer emails, answer texts, answer calls… but as far as social media goes – you wont see me… I just need this time to recharge, revamp, and restructure ME.

If you need me – I am STILL HERE FOR YOU… lifestridefitnesstraining@gmail.com.

XOXO Meggs

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Truth About MY Transformation

Here is the truth about my transformation – piece by piece… and total honesty!

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On the way to the Hospital
This picture was taken while I was on the phone with my mom telling her that we were no our way to the hospital – actually we were on our way to the food court at the mall because I knew I was not going to get anything but ice chips for a while and that was just not going to give me the energy to push… So I had a Cheese Steak and fries… and it was GLORIOUS! I didn’t even feel bad about it, even when I expelled it later right before I was operated on… #noregrets!

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Feeling happy
I was the heaviest I had ever been… but HELLO! I had a little girl in my belly that was growing! Even at two weeks early she was still over 7 lbs! I can tell you that I ENJOYED my pregnancy! I ate what I wanted, when I wanted… which to be honest consisted of Whataburger cheese burgers and small Dairy Queen Heath Bar Blizzards (there was one that had just opened on the way home… it was dangerous). In this picture I believe I was 185… I think – I don’t remember exactly – and to be honest… I still don’t care! I did make fun of myself that I weighed the same as my husband and I am only 5 feet tall…

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3 Months PP
This was January 1 2017. Still swollen – but slowly getting down… I was back to work full time, my mom was able to watch my sweet baby during the day – and I was well on my way to getting back into shape. (Notice I said nothing about my “body back” or anything of that nature… This was the time that I also decided that I was going to start my Personal Training Certification – here is the kicker – I had a 3 month old… maybe not the smartest decision I have made – but there I was – FULL STEAM AHEAD!

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6 Months PP
Here I am feeling a little discouraged. Not feeling like the progress I was making was showing. Self doubt was creeping in. I took a week or two off. Gave myself a mental break from the work out schedule I had created for myself. With being a new mom, working full time, and studying to be a NASM CPT – my time was stretched so thin!

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Lost track of timing
I did not let myself stay in a funk for long. I did get back to it. Reorganized my “life” schedule so that I could make the most of my awake hours and get as much as I could accomplished. The more I was able to accomplish – the more I felt like myself again. Cleaning House, getting a load of laundry done (washed, dried, and folded/hung-up), finishing a chapter in my study, fixing a homemade dinner – all were accomplishments!

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Feeling stonger
I learned to be nice to myself. Life is not about being rigid with a routine. Sure routines help me and routines are nice to have – but I stopped beating myself up. I stopped worrying about if things didn’t get done according to my schedule. If I was not a size I thought I should be by now. I started enjoying the process.

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This is me now. I am over 2 years past giving birth – and how did I do it?

  • No pills
  • No wraps
  • No teas
  • No “special supplements”
  • No dieting – I literally have eaten what I want… but I regulate my portions
  • No frozen or prepackaged “lean meals”
  • No rigid workouts
  • No counting calories
  • No weighing weekly… I literally MAYBE weighed myself once a month…
  • No gimmicks WHATSOEVER!

Here is the deal – if you want something to stick – you have to make a lifestyle out of it. You have to make a choice to make SOME changes… and not to change it all at once. You have to learn to live life in a healthy way – not a RESTRICTIVE WAY!

I wrote all my own workouts – I ate intuitively (that is more for another post) – I LIVED LIFE! I enjoyed cake, drinks with friends, chips and queso… I learned how to buy groceries and make food that tasted great and was healthy too! I CHANGED MY MINDSET – and it does not happen overnight, it is a slow process… but WHO SAID YOU HAVE TO DO IT ACCORDING TO ANYONE ELSE’S TIME LINE? (Unless your doctor is advising you – that is a different story – always listen to your doctor or get a second opinion etc.)

Bottom line – I learned how to be HAPPY… I found my HAPPY place…

And if you are an EVERYDAY kinda WOMAN like me… I can help you… YOU can FIND your happy too! I WANT you to be HAPPY! I WANT YOU TO BE WHOLE!

Reach out to me and let’s help you get stated RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE NOW! Don’t wait – your time is too precious to spend any more of it unhappy!

XOXO Meggs (PS I am now 123.8 – smaller than I was before I was pregnant…)

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Happy
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#TunesTuesday

Tunes

Music often reflects how we feel and how we think – this week some of my favorites on my playlist include the following:

(Disclaimer: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

Try Amazon Music Unlimited Free Trial – Listen to tens of millions of songs on any device anywhere, available for both Prime and Non-Prime members.

Halsey – Without Me

Justin Bieber – What Do You Mean?

Maroon 5 – What Lovers Do (feat. SZA)

Marshmello – Happier

Selena Gomez – Back To You

Happy #TunesTuesday

Meggs

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But Why…

I am not at this stage in parenthood yet, but my day is coming I assure you…

“But why??”

This small question from a toddler has peaked my interest in the reason for people making a certain decision…

A few posts back I spoke about what got me back into my journey of health and fitness several years ago.  You can read it here if you want to take a look – but it got me thinking about the reason behind people’s decisions…

Every decision you make has a why to it. Whether you do something or choose not to do something there is a why.

So what is your why?

Why do you want to lose those last 10 pounds?

Why are you having a hard time getting started?

Why are you unable to put your health as a priority?

Once you have answered those questions – ask yourself this final thing…

Why are you letting something hold you back?

I am not saying once you have the answers, BOOM, magic is going to happen – but what I am saying is that once you have the honest talk with yourself about why it is you make the decisions you make – you may be able to make some changes and see some results.

Let me know your reasons why – and let me know if I can help get you started!

<3 Meggs

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Distractions Happen…

There are easy days and there are hard days. Most days she sleeps through the night with no problems… but these dang teeth – they are the worst!

Soon this little one will be grown and not need me… but today she does, even though it may not look like it at times.

She woke up and was tired of being tired before I was done with my workout… so I put the “portable AC” on her in the garage and finished my workout… but my focus was mostly on her… but I did complete the workout!

When I finished my workout – my day wasn’t “done”. I have a 8-5 job that I work, plus Life Stride Fitness. I understand the busy working moms out there… I also do understand (somewhat) the stay at home moms and how that is very much a job too…

Sometimes you just have to do what you do to make things work and the day move along. Sometimes you have to maneuver around some distractions and obstacles. Sure my workout could have been better had I been able to focus 100% on it – but there are many times when other things fill our minds and while we would like to focus 100% on the workout and training and nutrition and healthy lifestyle – there will be distractions.

And that is O.K.! Do the best you can and tomorrow is a new day!

<3 Meggs

Feeling stuck, unmotivated or always distracted? Let me know how I can help you make the most out of the distractions and keep moving forward? Let me know how I can help you today!

 

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Dad’s Advice

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If there was one thing in life that I heard from my dad that stuck with me… it’s this:

“If it’s not fun… it’s not worth doing…”

Now sure there were times when I took that a tiny bit too far:

“School is not fun – must not be worth doing”

“Chores are not fun – must not be worth doing”

“Being an adult isn’t fun – must not be worth doing” O.K. I still say this one sometimes… who wouldn’t…

And there were times I would remind my parents of my dad’s sound advice and they would quickly tell me to get over it and that I took it out of context – to which I would argue some more and never get away with it – but the humored me anyway…

The truth is – there are parts of life that are not fun. But most of life can be if we start to change our mindset. I personally do not LIKE sweating at 4 AM! (Let’s be honest I don’t particularly like to sweat any time of day – but I digress) However I realize that there is a time to work and a time to play… Sure my days start when the alarm goes off at 3:45 AM and depending on if I hit snooze once or twice – I normally get up and to the garage (where my gym is set up) and turn on the news and chug my pre-workout while I stretch and get ready for my lift session…

I love lifting – some love cardio (I am not one of those people)… but I love lifting. I enjoy feeling the burn in my muscles at they start to repair and grow a day after a good lift. I enjoy seeing my body change and become stronger. But I found something that I enjoy doing, it is fun – and it is WORTH doing.

Are there things that you would like to change about yourself? I am a huge advocate for self-love, but there are sometimes that we look at ourselves and WE want the change… not for someone else, but because we want it!

If there is something you would like to change and you are just not sure where to start, feel free to contact me. Let me see how I can help you get started making small changes that can lead to amazing results…

I promise I will not sell you any of the following:

  • Quick Fix Diet Trends
  • Diet Pills
  • Vitamin Packs
  • Essential Oils
  • Juice Cleanses or Fruit Smoothies…

There is no magic behind what I do – it is effort and work… and time!!! But I am here to help you get started! So ask away!

<3 Meggs

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Spring has Sprung

It is true – SPRING IS HERE! And that means that Summer is right around the corner…

This is the time when many of us start to stress about all of the activities that will have us in less clothing and more exposed.

You see we have been in hibernation, we have been cozy, we just finished our last box of Girl Scout Cookies, and we are starting to thaw from being frozen in place. We have been slowly adding yummy things in our diets and keeping them there since Thanksgiving of last year in order to prepare ourselves for the cold weather and we did a fine job of it – Thank you for noticing!

But now we have come to the ugly truth that Summer is right around the corner and we are yet again not prepared…

There is HOPE! You can START NOW… you don’t need a Monday or a Brand New Week or even start of a fresh day to get started.  You can start right now.

  • Maybe you have been drinking an extra diet soda or two in every day that ends in “y”? Just start to take it back a bit…
  • Maybe you have been not thinking so much about the extra calories those sleeves of thin mints right before bed are adding to your amount consumed? Try only having 2 cookies and not the whole sleeve.
  • Maybe you have snacking on the excess Halloween Candy (that is probably expired by now) when your stressed or the kids are not looking? You should probably just toss it out…
  • Maybe you have been having more pizza or processed foods because it is quick and easy instead of making a plan? Take 10-20 min and plan out a menu for the week… what time do you have available to cook the menu you created? Organize your meals by your schedule. Use your crock-pot or instant pot… utilize the tools that you have – and start making healthier choices.

Truth is – we all get there. We all get this way. It happens… but you wanna know a secret? WE ALL CAN START OVER AT ANY MOMENT IN TIME…

That is right… so here is what I want you to do…

Make a list RIGHT NOW of 5 things you are going to do TODAY to make some healthier choices! Do it… Do it… And place it somewhere you can see…

Here are mine:

  1. Add an extra 16 oz of water into my daily intake.
  2. Only snack on whole foods between meals.
  3. Get in 30 min of exercise each day – even if it just a leisure walk with my family.
  4. Eat at least one green vegetable at each meal.
  5. Limit myself to one cup of coffee a day.

What will be on your list?

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Create a Caloric Deficit

One of the most important ways to obtain fat loss is to create a caloric deficit.

The best way to do this, is to know where you are starting. Meaning how much on average are you eating daily. If you don’t normally count calories, it is hard to know if how much you are overeating (or if you are undereating). Without knowing that number it is going to be hard to gague where to go to be in a deficit. Sure if you KNOW you are eating 4 bags of chips, 2 loaves of bread, 3 tubs of peanutbutter, and 2 half gallons of ice cream, then just cutting back could help you start to lose body fat – but let’s face it, most of us are not that extreme! So knowing where we start, will help us know where we need to  make adjustments. It’s not comfortable sure – but it is helpful and will help us get to where we want to be.

So how do you figure out where you currently are calorie wise… log all of your food you eat into an app such as my fitness pal for a period of time. It could be anywhere from one week to one month. If you track for just a day or two – it will not give you an accurate calorie average. Once you have your average calories you eat in a time period you can calculate your calorie goal by looking up IIFYM on bodybuilding.com and calculate your macros.

Once you have your macros and calorie goals you can start to see where you have been overeating or undereating. This is just a tool to use to try and get your caloric intake back under control.

Once you start to eat in a caloric deficit and start to make healthier habit choices in your diet, you will start to notice OVER TIME that your total fat loss will increase and you will start to shed weight.

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The Cost of Your Health

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From time to time it comes up that it is just too expensive now to be healthy and to stay in shape. With the cost of food on the rise, and the time it takes to prepare healthy meals for yourself and your family – it has become an inconvenience to take your health into your own hands. Its easier to pull into a drive-thru or just go out to eat. Frozen pizza, corn dogs, chicken nuggets and easy macaroni become staples in our diets because of the no time in our schedule…

Terrifying to say the least… and here is why…

While looking for statistics regarding Type 2 Diabetes on the rise in the United States, the articles I have been finding are largely outdated. However, the Harvard School of Public Health states that “The global cost of diabetes is now 825 billion dollars per year, according to the largest ever study of diabetes levels across the world.” Now, I know that many look at that number and think, “but that’s the whole world.”. Here is what the article has to say about the U.S. “In the US in 2014, 8.2% of men and 6.4% of women had diabetes, making the US’ rank 114th for men and 146th for women in the world. The number of US men with diabetes has increased by more than two thirds since 1980, when 4.7% had the disease. Among women in 1980, 4.3% had diabetes.” You can read the full article here. (This study also does not define the difference in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes)

Here is the bottom line. Your healthy lifestyle now – can save you later on. Not only living longer to enjoy the world and life around you – but your money as well.

Let’s say you are considered “healthy” now. You have no known medical conditions, so you think that the way you are living is good enough. Coffee for breakfast, fast food on the go lunch, take-out dinner then sleep and repeat. Let’s say you are spending $20 a day on this type of eating. $7,280 a year on quick food (and those numbers are just if you are feeding yourself and not a family). In a few years, this catches up with you and you are diagnosed with Diabetes. Not only are you now having to pay for regular doctors visits, and medication – but those strips and finger pokers… they are expensive! So your $20 a day just cost you a lot more down the road.

Sure, I know you are thinking, “that’s not going to happen to me”… and if you want to spin that roulette wheel… I advise against it!

This is how you can start making changes:

  1. Start at the grocery store: plan out a week of food (yes this takes a little time but again how much time is it going to take you to constantly prick your finger, take medication and schedule and go to the doctor). They even have curbside pick-up now!
  2. Make meals at home: they don’t have to be elaborate and take hours to prepare (unless you are in love with cooking and you find pleasure in it). This way you have leftovers for your lunch the next day. There are also some great resources that will ship you everything you need for cooking a healthy meal in the exact portion sizes you need and costs you less than eating that same meal out at a restaurant.
  3. Get over the “I Don’t Do Leftovers”: Listen – if you don’t do leftovers – then you should be cooking for yourself every day. “Ain’t nobody got time for that”. Leftovers can be packed and ready for you, to save you time the next day.
  4. Take leftovers for lunch: There are these amazing things called coolers or lunch bags that are so much better than the brown sack we used to carry at school… the even have these cool ice blocks that will keep your lunch cold until lunch time! (heavy sarcasm here – and I am mostly speaking to myself because I have had to have this talk to myself several times).
  5. Make dinner time fun! Try something new and savor new flavors. Food doesn’t need to be boring – it can be creative and unique.
  6. Limit soda and sugary drinks. Drink more water (I know I have lost some of you by now).
  7. Make your candy and sugary sweets a treat you have once or twice a week if you must have them – and limit them to a serving and not the whole box of movie size skittles or Reese’s pieces
  8. Move more – no one said you have to have a gym membership to get healthy and in better shape. No one said you have to have a personal trainer to tell you how to get into shape (although I am available if you need guidance on where to start). Go for a walk around your neighborhood or in a nice park. Join a voluntary sports team of your liking… just get moving.

Your health is in your hands. The price you pay now for being healthy now or not, will either save you or cost you in the long run. Invest more in yourself starting now. You are worth every investment you make to improve your health and well being.