The Trick to Maintaining Your Weight Loss

by: Danielle Ternyila

With the promise of so many fad diets and quick fix weight loss programs, my fear 75 lbs ago was that no matter what I lost, I would gain it back anyway and be at the same spot. It seemed impossible, so rather than throw in the towel, I sought out the answers for the best trick of all: keeping off the weight after you lose it.

Losing weight is a huge success that comes with so many challenges along the way, but the hardest part is the part that comes next, maintaining that win long-term instead of falling into old habits again. This was the most important part of my weight loss journey for me, and it’s something we all struggle with, yet don’t talk about enough. We do, now, talk about it plenty in my Facebook support group, and I’ll talk about it here again.

To maintain your weight loss achievements, you can’t stop now. You’ve worked hard to get here, you’ve made changes and done courageous things, like perhaps stepping foot in a new gym or entrusting a surgeon for assistance. No matter what, the next step is to stay healthy.

The trick to keeping it all off is to make changes to your lifestyle that support your health. Creating a healthier lifestyle that supports your weight loss is your hack, and it will feel easier said than done. Don’t let that stop you, especially when it is your health and wellness on the line.

I started making changes to my overall lifestyle to help improve my health and keep going at this goal. If I wanted to be healthy, I realized that I actually had to do exactly that. I cut out all the unhealthy snacks and processed foods in the cabinets; I started filling my fridge with more fruits and vegetables, and I started cooking much different meals than I was used to growing up in an Italian family addicted to pasta and bread.

Giving up my favorite snacks and even meals was a hard decision, but I learned it was not about cutting it out entirely. Moderation is key. Instead of enjoying these guilty pleasures regularly, they became a treat, which I sometimes think makes it that much more enjoyable than having it every week. I also limited my beverages and cut down on excess sugar in my diet too by switching to water and black coffee or teas.

Every day is a challenge, but I prioritize my health regardless. Though it has been years since I started this journey, I still crave all of my favorite unhealthy delights, but cravings pass.

What’s Your Fitness Style?

by: Danielle Ternyila

There is no right or wrong workout style, as long as you find the right one for you. Fitness is an essential part to a healthy and happier lifestyle, but there is no need to compare yourself to others or hold yourself to standards set by watching others’ successes on social media. There isn’t just one way to do things; in fact, there are endless options today, so to narrow down your options, let’s find which of the 4 fitness styles are for you.

There are 4 simple ways we all get started for any workout routine, but of course how we exercise and go from there can vary so much between CrossFit, lifting, running, yoga, and everything else! If you’re trying to answer what is the perfect workout for you, this is a simple first step that will get you much closer to enjoying your workouts and living your best. You never have to be the best – just yours.

I didn’t know where to start 70 lbs ago when i finally forced myself into my local gym and signed up for my first membership. I sulked along the treadmills and bikes for a few weeks because that’s all I knew how to do. There was a voice in my head telling me if I tried anything else, I would look silly or do it wrong, so I’m here to tell you not to let that or anyone get in your head. Your fitness journey is yours, and it’s never going to look the same as someone else’s.

1. Gym Membership

An open gym near home is a great place to achieve all your weight loss and health goals. Things to consider in choosing the right gym membership for you: their hours and when you will work out most, the distance and your commute, and the overall gym setup. I’ve tried many to find my “happy place” in a gym, and for me, it was important to find one open late on weekends, open early on week days, and plenty of room and machines for me to try new things and not feel cramped. In a gym, you have so many options every workout could be different, or you can stick with a favorite of your own: treadmill and bikes and cardio, or weights, stretching, and yoga balls. There’s something for everybody here, and it is also a great place to start a fitness journey with the chance to try so many different things.

Going to the gym can be scary the first time, but you shouldn’t be afraid or embarrassed to be a newbie, and here’s why.

2. Class Community

With a class, there is a community that comes with it, which is something that really draws some in. Working out in groups isn’t for every body, but it has a lot of perks and benefits you might not even be thinking about, especially if you are already thinking of skipping ahead to #3! When you work out in a group, like a yoga class or CrossFit, you have a coach, guidance, and support all around you. Every one is there for the same reason as you, and instead of looking at them like a crowd, see them as your teammates keeping you going when you just want to quit.

It’s like working out with a buddy; you will always keep going when you have someone else to push through with you, or perhaps just motivate you to keep up!

3. At Home or Virtual

The 2020 pandemic certainly showed the world that almost all things can be done virtually, but fitness videos are nothing new. Getting in shape from the comfort of your home has been around since the beginning, assuming even cave men probably tumbled around some big rocks to get stronger. Luckily since then TV was born, the internet came around, and working out at home became more than just owning your own gym equipment. Home exercise can be done with a space saving treadmill in the living room or now we have endless videos with coaches of all different styles to keep us active and on track.

There are countless apps available now, or the old-fashioned YouTube where you can find a coach for nearly any kind of workout at home. If you like a funny coach, you can find one. If you want someone to yell at you through a TV to not give up, you can find one. If you need equipment-free workouts or exercises you can do with a bad shoulder, you can believe you are not alone, even while working out in the living room!

4. On the Ground

On the ground, turf, on the go, out and about! There’s no shame in enjoying nature and getting your sweat on with some sunny vitamin D raining down on you too. This is for runners and walkers, but it doesn’t have to stop there. I incorporate strength training into my daily walks with my dog, using my body weight alone to challenge my body in. Squat, lunges, or even tricep dips or push-ups on a bench along our way. Others may also enjoy outdoor yoga, Pilates, or other outdoor activities, like even horse shoes and volley-ball too!

There are obviously countless ways to get active and sweat, so if you’re new to working out, start trying new things. I had never step foot in a real gym before 2017, but I was on a mission to lose 70 lbs, so that determination drove me all over the “fitness map”. The gym, workout classes, 1:1 coaching, CrossFit, Barre, yoga, Pilates, Zumba, virtual videos, and even home equipment have all played huge roles in my weight loss journey and finding the activity I truly am passionate about to keep me active and healthy every day.

Achieve Your Health Goals Like a Pro

by: Danielle Ternyila

I wish I was the kind of person that meal prepped. I wish I liked salads and healthy foods. I wish I could afford organic ingredients. I wish I had time to cook better meals. I wish there was enough time to go to the gym.

No, you’re not the only one thinking these things and struggling to take back your health for reasons like these. These wishes sound so hopeless, but telling your self any of this is NOT going to make things happen for you. Your health should be your number one priority, above anything else you do, and there is no reason you can’t.

No one is born to meal prep or cook specialty meals. Those people who do, though, actively choose to live that life. They don’t wish for things to happen, they make them happen. And if you have been struggling to get past the wishing and daydreaming, start acting.

We’ve all heard it in so many ways: actions speak louder than words. This is true even in achieving your goals. Telling yourself you can’t do it with these petty wishes and “Debbie Downer” thoughts will never will it to life. You set yourself up for failure every time you talk down about yourself, whether it is in the privacy of your mind, your car, or in a rant to a friend.

The only thing standing in the way of achieving your goals is the excuses you allow yourself to believe. At the end of the day, it is all just that. You don’t like salad is an excuse to eat bad instead. You don’t have time is an excuse to get out of 30 minutes at the gym. You can’t meal prep “right” so you stick to your old unhealthy habits.

Make the decision to follow your dreams. Do what you need to do make them a reality. Go the extra mile, put in the time even when you think you can’t, and tell your mind to “shut up” every time it tells you another excuse.

You can’t just wish for it. You have to work for it. And it never gets easier, you just get stronger!

My Weight-Loss Journey: It’s All Mom’s Fault

by: Danielle Ternyila

From the moment I started my weightloss journey, my mom couldn’t have played a more vital role; she was my workout and accountability buddy. My biggest fan, cheerleader, constant therapist and the greatest role model a girl could ask for, Mama has been by my side through it all, including countless sweat sessions in the gym.

She herself had started her own journey around the same time I started mine, which was a real wake up call for myself. If mom could lose the weight, what was my excuse? She lost 90 pounds following a weightloss surgery, known as the sleeve, and major changes in her lifestyle. Getting myself to the gym every day was a daunting task, but she was there every step of the way, which was sometimes all the motivation I needed to keep myself on track.

She came to the gym with me every single time I asked. She tried new things with me and showed me new workouts or machines in the gym. Having her by my side, even if just to have someone to laugh with me when I fell off the treadmill or used a machine wrong, made it that much easier for me to go. With your workout buddy by your side, you feel like you can conquer anything, even the terrifying gym filled with fit athletes and big meatheads.

You may not even need an actual “workout” buddy more than you need an accountability buddy. Tell someone your plans, your goals, and your aspirations. Let them keep you in check, ask about your progress, and always be open and honest. The only person you’re hurting by lying is yourself.

They say it takes 21 days to create a habit and 90 days to create a lifestyle. I started hitting the gym with Mama in late September of 2016, and I went every single day the rest of that year, all with Mom’s help. When she couldn’t go with me to the gym herself, she still kept me in check. She asked me if I worked out, she gave me suggestions when I was trying to figure out a busy day’s schedule, and I can’t ignore all of the awesome videos and motivational quotes she shared with me. Even on the days I had to bare the gym alone, she was still always there in some way, holding my accountable.

Just a year before we started our health journeys, the 2 of us made it to Disney World together, and we had a hard time sharing photos of those adventures. We were both in such unhealthy places, every picture seemed to highlight our double chins, and so many photographs from this incredible trip were shared only between us.

Now several years and a pandemic later, feeling free of the weight that once held us down, we got to enjoy a trip to Hawaii together. This time, I made sure to splurge on a photographer to capture these memories. I didn’t have to sit and take breaks throughout the day because I was out of breath, I didn’t have to call it early some days because my feet were in so much pain, and we didn’t feel as guilty eating donuts for breakfast this time around either. Being able to share this journey with someone, whether it’s a friend or you own parental unit, makes it that much more enjoyable in the end.

With your best friend by your side, you can conquer the tallest of mountains and all of your dreams. If you need to lose weight or get healthy, don’t try to do it alone. Tell your friends, tell your mom, ask for help, or at the very least tell them to check in with you! It holds you accountable, and having the support of your bestie as you go makes it all that much easier. If you’re as lucky as I am, there will be lots of laughs too. My mom is the best buddy I’ve got, and I couldn’t have gotten to where I am today, mentally and physically, without her support.

Don’t forget to pop in our private Empowerment group on Facebook, where there is a whole group of us ready to cheer you on and support you as you try to take back your health or lose weight.

Why Not Every One Loves Working Out

by: Danielle Ternyila

If you don’t enjoy working out, you’re doing it wrong. And yes, it IS that easy. If you’re not enjoying working out, you’re just doing it wrong!

Getting into exercising is not as hard as it seems once you find something you love. When you love what you’re doing, you’re going to enjoy it. That’s just fact, but you have to find what you love in the gym; you can’t just call it a day after forcing out an hour on the treadmill.

For me, my fitness journey really started by trying everything available in my gym, which was the best decision I ever made. They had a lot of different classes, so I was able to go and pop in to these weekly and try them out, whether it was yoga, cycling, Zumba, or HIIT (high-intensity interval training), even boxing and trainers who always had great advice when asked. I really didn’t have any experience working out since I never even went to a gym before, so it wasn’t until I started trying all these different workouts that I was able to love working out.

It really did take a while though, and it took a lot of trial and error. It was essential to be open to new experiences, even though I was definitely nervous stepping into a Zumba or CrossFit class, but in the end I ended up finding what I loved. While CrossFit was something that I really enjoyed doing, especially the competitive part of it and how everyday was something new, I also learned that my body was not able to do such intense workouts. I need to keep my heart rate down, so slower workouts are for me. I wouldn’t have learned that if I didn’t try it first, though!

Finding what I actually enjoyed doing in the gym made it my happy place, and now I am able to find the right gyms that best accommodate my routines (like having the right hours because I more often go at night or having multiple locations because I’m always on the go!) I rely on it not only to workout for my health but when I’m stressed or could use a pick-me-up.

I challenge you to try new things and dare to fall in love with the process. Get out of your comfort zone. There are so many programs available for you to try right from your home even! Beach body, for example, offers a number of online programs you can try from home, or you can always check out classes on your nearby gym’s schedule. Try to visit a friend’s gym and try their routine, or drop into a fitness fundraising event! I fell in love with barre classes after stopping in one that a charity was hosting to raise money.

My First Barre Class in 2018

Don’t forget, no one in the gym is watching you! Read more about why the gym may be the safest place from judgement!

Multi-Tasking Is the New Cardio

by: Terry Ternyila

I am a multi-tasker by nature. I have a hard time doing one thing at a time. If I am watching a TV show I
am usually checking emails or ordering my food shopping online. I keep flossing sticks in my car so I can
floss while driving and I usually catch up with my mom or friends on the phone on my way home from
work so the drive doesn’t feel like a waste.

I sometimes find it hard to just set aside a half hour or hour to just do exercise. In my busy day, that time
just seems to always go to other tasks that need to get done in my day. So I have found ways to add
some of my exercise into my daily routines. Breaking them into smaller sets and working them around
my tasks I already do make it easier to keep to a daily commitment.

When we went into quarantine for Covid, I realize my steps dropped to almost nothing while working
from home, so I started a little bathroom challenge with myself. Every time I went to the bathroom, I would do a set of exercises like wall pushups, squats, or dips off the tub.

It was great and I realized sometimes I would be getting in 100 squats or pushups in a day because I
spread them out all day. I started to use other time like brushing my teeth or being on a conference call to bring in my exercises. I keep small hand weights by my desk at home so if I am listening to a call I can work my arms one at a time. I will do squats while folding laundry into the basket or lunges down the
hallway to bring the basket to the bedroom.

Even in the car, when I get stopped at a red light I will squeeze my cheeks until the light turns green. Same for waiting on line at a store. People can’t tell you are doing it and really tightens up the muscles. It really becomes a challenge for yourself to see where you can find room in your daily routine to do a
little exercise.

I love finding new places to sneak some exercise into my day. My newest spot is when I go tanning I try to find new things I can do in the booth. Depending if it’s a lay down or stand up, I have come up with some creative things I can do in a small spots for my 12 minutes. Doing these exercises throughout the
day also helps keep me focused on my eating and water intake. Get creative see how you can add exercise to your day…..

Or as Danielle would call it: free cardio

No One in the Gym Is Watching You

by: Danielle Ternyila

Let’s be real. When you’ve never stepped foot in a gym, or you just aren’t a regular [yet], it can be so intimidating! But why? The whole place is filled with mirrors because everyone is too busy looking at themselves. It’s the one place I’m sure no one is thinking about anyone else. Afterall, they are there because they want to grow! They want to get stronger. They can’t do that, and nor should you, by paying attention to every one around you.

When I joined my first gym in 2016, I was so nervous that everyone was watching me and judging my lack of coordination. It was nerve wracking to try something new because I has no idea what I was doing, and so I was sure everyone around me would know it. Forget the weights section! It was filled with muscle and men, all of which I was not.

The truth is, no one is watching you. No one is paying attention to how many or how little reps you do, they’re not focused on your form and wondering why you’re even there. I only ever had one person approach me in the gym about a workout I was doing, and it was someone who had no idea how to use the machine I was using. She asked me how!

It isn’t easy to stop caring what others think, but the gym is the last place anyone will pay attention to you. Everyone around you paid money to be there. They carved out time to be there from their day doing who knows what, and they are there to focus on themselves and their growth. It’s the only place I feel like no one will judge me. And if anyone should know what it’s like to start at the bottom and everything feels knew, it is everyone at the gym who did not come out of the womb doing sit-ups and hammer curls and got their start in a gym like you.

I always figured, if I’m doing something that wrong, they’d better tell me before I hurt myself and not judge me. If they’d rather laugh at me then help, I shouldn’t care what that person has to think anyway!

Make the gym your happy place. Find workouts you love. Try tons of new activities and classes until you do. Blast your music, hum to it if you want to! Don’t feel embarrassed when you make weird noises [or fall off the stairmaster]. Nike says it best; just do it!

Put yourself [your body and your health] first. Life is too short to not give it your best shot. The only one you’re cheating is yourself if you don’t.