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.
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.
The way we talk about our weight has changed so much in my family over the years, and it has definitely been a change for the better. Weight seemed like such a private matter, and it could be considered rude to discuss or hurtful. That’s the way we all are used to thinking, but I think that’s only holding us back.
My mom and I, for example, have regular conversations about our health, and I don’t mean just updates on doctors appointments out of curiosity. We talk about recipes, we talk new healthy cooking hacks and swap ideas, brainstorm new workout routines when I get in a rut, celebrate our successes weekly or even daily… Health is not an “bad” topic in our family, even when we fall off the wagon and haven’t been making the healthiest choices; those times are most important to communicate so we can get help and motivation to keep going.
That said, there are a few important ways the conversations have changed that make these most beneficial to us. Use these 3 tips to have more positive discussions around weight and our health, whether in our families, friendship circles, or an online support group of like-minded friends. Here’s a few rules to keep it positive:
Judgement Is Not Invited
The discussions we have aren’t judgmental; they are supportive and encouraging. We do our best to compliment each other and celebrate wins, as well as help overcome the battles and struggles along the way too. It feels a lot more possible and real in your mind when you have a team of support behind you, starting with your family or those closest to you. When there is no judgement or feel of embarrassment, the conversations are better all around and more productive.
This is most important on the bad days especially. We need to be supportive of each other, and so whether we are having a bad day or our friend is having a bad week, those are the most important times to hold all judgement. Things happen, life can change, and it’s okay to not be perfect all the time. Just support one another all the same.
Honesty Supports Succcess
If the whole idea of positive health talk in your family is new, everyone has to start somewhere. It can be hard and feel personal to talk about your weight, and it can feel really hard to admit your inner thoughts, even to the most cherished loved one. However, you need to know you are in a supportive environment and can say anything without judgement. Be honest and don’t tell lies about your journey.
The only person you are doing a disservice to when you lie about your health is you. Think about that! Whether your doctor, your mom, or your significant other knows you’re still eating junk food, skipping the gym, or lying about your weight, you’re only hurting yourself at the end of the day. Use honesty and their support to help motivate you in your weight loss endeavors.
Share And Learn As You Go
Not only has this completely shaped the way our family talks about health, but I think the biggest impact has been sharing everything we’ve learned as we go. My sister will call me with a new healthy cooking hack, my mom will email me a new recipe, my dad will unwillingly sign me up for a 5k at random. Not only do we support each other, but we can provide more support for one another when we are involved. Even if I can’t go to the gym with my mom due to conflicting schedules and I can’t have dinner with my sister every day, we still share our successes and lessons so we can all benefit from it.
No matter what, taking any steps, big or small, toward achieving your weight loss goals is going to push you further along. Having support from home or around you changes your own mindset and helps you believe in yourself.
Your weight loss goals and achievements can’t be reached if you’re measuring it all by pant size, or any clothing size for that matter. Our bodies are all unique and with so many different designers, brands, materials, and styles in clothing out there, there is not enough consistency to compare yourself to a tag. You may think you need to be a size X to be happy, but by what standards?
Over the course of a year, my most determined self committed to getting in shape and losing the 60+ pounds I had gained in college. During this time, I weighed myself daily and saw great progress at first, but once I shed the first few “easy” pounds, it got harder and I felt hopeless when I began to fluctuate and struggled with losing the rest. I would get so upset to put on a size 8 that barely fit after a 6 just the week before, but now when I look back, I see that those 2 different sizes actually were more similar in the waist after all being bought in different stores and made by different designers.
We can get so torn up over a number on the scale, but what’s far worse is the fear of our “fat pants” never fitting well again. Our clothing sizes are so inconsistent , however, that you can be a Medium in one brand while an X-Large in another fits the exact same!
Clothing Sizes Always Vary
By measuring my weight loss success through the size-18 jeans I hadn’t zipped up in years, the feelings of failure crept in eventually, and not fitting into them or still wearing bigger sizes did not leave me feeling encouraged to try harder. I’m not doing it right. I will never lose this weight. I have to just love my body for what it is, I thought.
Yes, you have to love yourself, but also remember you cannot give up on yourself either. At the end of the day, all the clothes in stores today come in so many varied styles and materials, waistlines and collars, inseams and hemlines. All of these things make each pair of pants in your closet unique, and I’m sure you’ll see inconsistencies if you laid out a few pairs in the “same size” and compared. Our bodies are different too! We all lose weight in different places and at different rates. I couldn’t get my jeans to snap for a while at first, but after another 20 lbs down, I realized I was actually losing a lot in my chest first, instead of my gut and thighs that affected the pant size I was holding myself to.
When I did get the pants on, I kept working on myself, and I started using measurements to track my progress. My weekly routine included measuring my upper arm, chest, waist, thigh, etc. Even though my favorite skinny jeans didn’t fit, I could see exactly how I was doing and get a more realistic idea of my achievements than when I bet it all on wanting to be a certain size for my closet.
Our Bodies Aren’t Perfect Fits
I dropped from size (barely fitting in) 18 to a comfortable but shocking size 2, but then I noticed I started going back up in terms of sizes. Now I wear a 6 more often, but I also have a lot of pieces in an 8-10. It was hard not to see this as a failure because we all assume we have to be the smallest size. That’s not true!
Like I said, every piece of clothing is so uniquely designed with different materials, ideas, and intentions. After becoming a Zyia Active Independent Rep, I can see how all of these factors change the way things fit, just like our bodies are all unique. Some of our leggings have an encased band at the top to stay put for those who are more active or have more they want to “hold up”, but we also have leggings without that or ones designed intentionally less compressive for more casual or comfortable wear. Some of our clothing accentuates the abdominal area, while others aim to flatten it or draw less attention to the area altogether. This changes how every piece is designed, just like our bodies all require different styles and fits. It’s not all about the size on the tag.
All of our bodies are so unique, just like the clothes we love shopping for. We can’t just expect ourselves to be the perfect image we are looking for. The most important lesson of all was in learning to listen to my body more. Activity, balanced nutrition, and positive mental health routines are all a part of my day to day now, and no matter what Jean size I’m wearing, I feel better mentally and physically, which is the only thing that should matter to us as we lose weight and take back our health.
Why don’t I have her body? How does she stay so fit? Why do they get to travel so much? How do I get my home be that clean?
Social media can be the devil, especially when we start making comparisons as if we are looking in a mirror. From the outside looking in through an old friend’s social media, for example, it’s easy to assume things are just easier for them when things look good. They don’t post their bad days for you to see, which makes you start thinking worse about yourself.
Nothing looks good on me. I wish I could love the gym. I don’t get to go on vacations. I don’t have the time to clean and make my house look that nice. That’s just not me, I’ll never be like them.
There is no reason you should be doubting yourself by comparing yourself to your friends and influencers. The only real thing you can compare yourself to is the old version of yourself. Look at where you were before: that’s your competition.
Whether I am looking back at my teenage self, college self, or myself 1 year ago, that is where I am making my comparisons. How much have I achieved since then? Am I happier today than I was then? Have I surrounded myself with the right people? Do I take better care of myself? Have I learned from my mistakes and made myself better?
This is the most accurate and only way to measure your growth and the success of your life, through looking at yourself then and now, and of course staying motivated to make “future you” the best version of yourself, not backtracking or staying in place. We all get scared to try new things, which leads to us settling in our comfort zones, be it your job that’s easier to stay at than leave or how you spend your time.
Everyone has a dream of their own: to lose weight or get in shape, make more money, raise a great family, have the best job, own a business, or live in the dream home, for a few examples. None of those can be achieved if you don’t start believing that you can achieve all of these things. The only thing stopping you is yourself when you don’t apply, you don’t show up, and just give up.
Start with a plan and understand what your goals are. Take time to consider how you can get there. I honestly hated the gym when I was up 60 lbs a few years ago, so I prioritized eating healthier and tried new ways to be active so that I could achieve my goal. Every day since, I continue to compare myself to my “past self” and how far I have come. It makes me feel a lot more proud than comparing myself to someone else who has led a completely different life than me.
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to looking in the mirror and comparing yourself to the fairest of them all (that’s you!), I have a few questions below to get you thinking positive and living the life you have been lusting after. You deserve it, that’s what you need to believe! You can live your best life, as long as you do your best to achieve that!
You get what you work for, not what you wish for.
What is your dream for your future?
Why is this important to you? What would it mean to you to achieve this goal?
What is holding you back?
Time, funds, commitment, knowledge, motivation, support, etc
What steps can you take to overcome those challenges?
Time management, finance planning or finding free programs, build a support system, join a team, make an inspiration/vision board, educate yourself, ask for help, etc
How will you hold yourself accountable?
In what way can you measure your success?
Monthly or weekly check-in’s, weigh-in’s, goal tracker, etc.
A support system is an important part to any journey! Join our group on Facebook for more inspiration and a positive group of people all doing their best!
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.
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…..
The way my family cooks and eats now is so different than a decade ago, which has been one of the best things for my weight loss journey. In the beginning, my parents were both starting their own journeys to take back their health. My father was doing a fad diet with a nutritionist and a 12-week program that cut calories and limited the types of foods he ate. My mother was preparing for a weight loss surgery, “the sleeve”, and so our kitchen underwent some drastic changes.
I was determined to lose weight my own way. I was only 22, too young to be considering surgery, and I had tried enough fad diets before to know it would not work for me; results were too short term. I needed long-lasting changes to my lifestyle so that I could live my healthiest.
Having just graduated college, I was living with my parents again, and our lifestyle began to change. My dad’s diet encouraged him to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, and so the whole family did too. If mom is cooking dinner, she isn’t cooking a dinner for every one! If the parents planned to do cabbage and ground beef because of their diets, that was the menu. (Like I said, I just graduated college, and I was in no place to pass up free food, so cabbage and ground beef it was!)
Mom’s diet had to change after her surgery if she wanted to keep off the weight, just like with any type of diet, but this one has been a lot more restrictive. No more caffeine for Mama, so we started collecting all types of new teas to try at home. She is mindful of how much protein she eats, so we started finding all sorts of unique snacks and recipes to get extra protein in. Shout-out to one of our favorite on-the-go snacks: Sargento’s Cheese and Nuts pack!
Eventually our pantry was filled with very nutritious options, and all of the chips, cookies, and sugary snacks were out. This really helped in making healthier decisions because the healthy options far outweighed the bad. One tip I will share is to not throw all your junk food out and fill it with new snacks in one grocery trip! Take time trying new foods and snacks to find what you like, otherwise you’ll be left with nothing familiar as you transition to a healthier diet and probably more likely to run to the corner store or grabbing some drive through grub. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than feeling hungry and not recognizing a single snack in your pantry, or worse: hating every snack!
Eventually we found the snacks we liked that were also better choices, and that ultimately was a huge help in making healthier decisions. When you don’t have junk food around, you won’t eat it. When you venture out of your comfort zone and try new foods, you’ll find new and nutritious meals to eat in the future!
My dad’s diet was big on fresh fruits, vegetables, and meat, and that was about it. He was given some really unique recipes however, so we began trying out new recipes that incorporated all of these things in. We started cooking dishes in water instead of oil, sautéing our veggies in apple cider vinegar, and avoiding processed foods entirely.
Best recipe we got from this diet, though: Dirty Texas Rice, cooked with lean ground beef, finely chopped cabbage and chili powder with some hot sauce!
All of these things really contributed to my weight loss journey. I made working out a priority in my life, but it was important that I ate healthy too. I think the biggest part has been that I made these changes to my overall lifestyle. I can’t remember the last time my family had pork chops, pasta, mashed potatoes… all those meals that used to be the norm in our household but really weren’t the most nutritious.
Try to get every one at home involved when you are changing your diet! If you want results to last you a lifetime, you need to improve your lifestyle. Make healthier choices daily, start filling your cabinets with healthier alternatives, slowly cut out “the bad” from your kitchen, and it will not only get easier but become routine.
Two years ago my husband and I had joined The Max Challenge of Old Bridge for a 10-week program. Normally this is not something I am comfortable doing but because my husband was willing to do this with me, I agreed to go. I suffer from anxiety in group situations, so having a partner helped with that feeling. I was not sure how comfortable I would be working out with other people watching, considering I am no spring chicken and it had been a good year since I had a regular exercise routine.
THE MAX Challenge is a 10-week body transformation program that is designed to make fast and lasting changes to your overall well-being through group fitness classes, motivation, and nutritional counseling.
It was very intimating at first because you can see that most of the people there have been attending these classes for a while and have become a close knit family of support. They knew all the warm-up exercises and routines, and it seemed so intimidating at first. However, we quickly learned that they all were there to help us along; the staff and other members just made you feel welcome.
They all helped us with our technique and showed us what needed to be done. It was like a community of people who would just take the newbies under their wing and show you the ropes. It wasn’t their job, but you can see they just wanted you to succeed. They all cheered everyone on, and there was no judgement. There were people of all ages and all fitness levels.
The coaches always provided a modification to each routine and encouraged you to do it how you needed as long as you were moving and trying. Of course we were watching all these people work out and wanted to impress them so we had pushed ourselves a little too hard. Even though everyone kept saying it’s okay to modify or do less…. let’s just say, lesson learned. I can tell you the first day when we left, we both were pretty beat up, and the next day we both were so sore that we missed the next day class to recover.
Over the next few weeks we saw our progress. It actually was quite impressive how in such a short amount of time the things you remember struggling with in the beginning of the class you could now do so easily. You felt your confidence grow and how strong you got for sure. They always end the class with a plank, and yeah, the first few weeks you would struggle to keep up. But with each passing week it became easier, and we could go longer.
By the end of our time we there we would see the “newbies” come in, and we would take them in and try to help them along. I can say it was such a wonderful environment of respect and support. It still is a bit out of my comfort zone, but I would go again.
It really taught me that you can change your body and mind in a short amount of time. Years ago I would have never tried anything like that. I had belonged to a gym for years but never once took any of the classes. I would just go in and work the machines and go home. But I can say that experience made me open up to different possibilities of exercise outside of my normal independent routine. You pushed yourself more, you fed off the room of support and having someone else there guiding you along the way, you got the most out of your work outs.
Step out of your comfort zone, give something new a chance. The results are worth it.
At my biggest, I lived in leggings because I could handle going up another X better than a whole jean size. The last pair of jeans I had been able to fit into before then was size 18, so leggings became my best friend, being more giving and understanding of my body. Now I realize leggings played an even bigger role in my actual weight loss journey, rather than just being my scape goat to real pants. And they’re worth investing in, even early in your weight loss journey!
When I made the decision to take back my health, of course I did not want to spend money on the cutest workout clothes because the goal was to never fit in those sizes again! However, I did it anyway. At first, I just needed to actually own a sports bra and tank, but once I started losing weight, the cute clothes became essential to my weight loss journey.
The confidence I felt when I got a new outfit was sometimes exactly what I needed to keep my momentum going! I was able to lose 60 lbs in a year, and I went through so many outfits during that journey that I now have the hardest time parting ways with today. These outfits helped push me through my hardest workouts, they motivated me every time I wanted to quit, and they *literally* supported me through my whole journey [sports bras are the real MVPs!]. As I continued to size down and lose the weight, I made sure to keep at least 2 outfits in the closet that I felt my most confident in.
Leggings have always had my back, and I can’t stress enough how much you can conquer when you are at your most confident! The cuter you dress when you work out, the better you’ll feel and harder you’ll work. Just fact!!
I did spend a lot of money throughout the journey, even though I was mostly splurging on clearance finds in JcPenney’s, Target, and the outlets for my confidence boost. At the same time I was going through this journey in 2017, Zyia Active was being founded, and little did I know I’d later become an Independent Rep after learning what this company is about and why it’s activewear for women of any body type! They aim to inspire and uplift through the confidence anyone can feel in these clothes.
If I could go back and change anything in my journey, I would have filled my closet with this brand instead! Even though the clothing is pricier than my bargain discounts, I am finally wearing quality clothing designed with form and function in mind, still cheaper than the high-end activewear most seek. That said, I’m spending a lot less in the long-run. My old leggings lasted a few months, max, before meeting their demise; they never lasted, whether they faded fast, stretched out, or got holes!
The leggings in my activewear boutique still look brand new, even my oldest pair (2 years old!). I’ve seen ones from friends and other reps that have lasted far longer.
As a Zyia Active Independent Rep, I can help you get incredible deals, including free and half-priced! Just let me know you want more information.
If you’re thinking this clothing brand is “not made for you” because of your size, shape or even age, you’re wrong! There is literally something for every body, and there are tons of options: colors, styles, patterns, lengths, and of course sizes XXS to XXXXL! The reason I love this company so much and wish I had known about it when I was just starting my weight loss journey is that they truly cater to all, and no body is left out!
With all of these different styles, fits, and lengths, there are so many options that I could have snagged during my weight loss journey, and because the fabrics incorporate four-way stretch, these clothes move with you and your body; you can rely on them to stay put during every workout, even when you start losing weight. You’ll still be able to trust this gear to stay up through all your favorite activities until you’re down a few sizes and ready to splurge again. I’m down to size 4, but I can rock my Zyia all the way up to size 10-12! I would still workout in a 14-16 too because even today they still stay put and look great. These leggings are your friend. See below!
Never underestimate the power of a good outfit on a bad day.
Ask me how you can save money with me in my royalty program as you conquer your own weight-loss journey so you can rock your most confident looks along the way! I’m so proud of and inspired by any one who takes on the challenge of regaining their health, and I want you to look your best doing it!
If you’re looking to start your weight loss journey and need more inspiration, and maybe something more than just cute clothes, check out the empowerment group on Facebook to keep you going! Monthly challenges, health tips, a supportive community, and more! We are all cheering each other on. Join our private community: Live Like a Queen Empowerment!
What inspires you and keeps you moving? Do you have a favorite outfit for when you do work out or have to push yourself?
By my senior year of college, I came to realize I had spent the last 3 years putting on the “Freshman 15” with every semester that went by. I no longer owned any jeans that fit, I had to say goodbye to a lot of old clothes, and I couldn’t remember the last time I felt “good.” The year started with my ending a toxic relationship with a bad man who made me feel like I would never be “skinny,” and no one else would want me, but even after realizing I’d rather be alone my whole life than be with him, I still could never shake the thoughts that had been drilled into my head for so long: I was weak, and I would never change. Measuring at 4-foot-11-inches tall, I may have been “big” according to the scale, but at the same time, I felt small and defenseless, which was not the mindset I needed.
I had tried so many fad diets over the years to lose the weight, but it either didn’t work, didn’t stick, or the weight came right back because I didn’t stay consistent. Either way, I had no idea what I was doing, but one late night as I lay in bed, I thought to myself, “I may be small, but I don’t need to be weak.” For that split second, the thought crossed my mind that I did not need to lose weight. I needed to get stronger, and I could do that if I just tried.
When I woke up the next morning, I went to my mom right away and told her I was going to the gym. Being my biggest supporter, she got dressed and came with me to sign myself up for a membership, and I started to sweat. Unlike any other time I thought “I can do it,” I followed through. I didn’t let the thought pass, I didn’t wait for a Monday, and I didn’t even really have a plan. I just knew I couldn’t give up, or I would be the same as I was yesterday.
From that morning on to the end of the year, I found time every single day to make it to the gym, whether it was a 10-minute workout before class or an hour at the end of the day. Slowly but surely, it became routine. I didn’t give up on that thought, although that is not to say I believed in myself every day. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing in the gym, and of course I did not feel I could belong there when everyone else seemed so confident and fit around me.
On the days my mom came, I felt courageous enough with a buddy to try new equipment and different workouts, and on the days I was alone, I told myself stories on the treadmill of how all these strong people around me started somewhere too, and maybe how they also looked down to their feet once before and could not see them either.
My weightloss journey doesn’t start nor end here, but the fall of 2016 was a monumental moment for me in which I realized I didn’t have to believe everything I thought. In fact, I can choose what I believe, so I chose to believe the good thoughts instead of the bad.
I made it to the gym every day, including Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve by planning ahead, but life changed as I kicked off New Years Day in 2017 with a flight to London for my study abroad program. I was active every day walking all over the city, but I gained back all I had lost so far with my daily pub meals and countless beers. However, when I got back on track in March 2017, I lost it all again and then some, ultimately losing 60 pounds in 365 days. Just like in the beginning, all I needed was that belief that I could do it.
It all comes down to mindset; I learned to believe in myself because no one could do that for me. I asked for help when I knew I needed it, bringing my mom or other friends with me to the gym to keep me going. I wasn’t perfect every day, but I didn’t let 1 bad day define the next, nor would I punish myself if I fell off course.
No matter what, the most important thing is to keep going. When everything seems to be failing or you start to lose hope in yourself, choose to keep going anyway. Don’t give up, because that won’t speed up the process.
Remember: A little progress each day adds up to big results. It doesn’t happen in a day, but with the right mindset, you can and will achieve the results you set out to.
For years I was obsessed with the scale and my weight. I would weigh myself every day, and it would become one of the most toxic relationships I had, or at least that is what it felt like, looking to the scale for approval every morning. I would get frustrated and upset with myself, which would eventually lead to completely derailing whatever fad diet I was on at the time.
I still weigh myself every day but not to focus on my weight; I focus on my health. I have learned that the scale is a tool to help me, not to judge me. In the past few years my journey with food has changed so much, picking foods that fuel my body now and make me feel good, learning which foods I should avoid or eat in moderation.
Every morning I step on the scale first thing to see what effects yesterday’s eating had on me. This is not to judge myself for what I consumed the day before but rather to identify which foods work best for me. I used to think if you just eat healthy foods you will lose weight and feel good, but that’s not the case. I also thought one bad day of eating would cause me to put the weight back on, but it is the daily bad eating habits that will.
I also use the scale to keep me focused; now if I see the weight go up a bit, it is a reminder to go back to the basics, and usually within a day or so, I will see the scale settle down where I expect it to be. If I notice it’s trending up, I need to check in with myself to see what I am eating that is different.
Finding the foods that are triggers for my body to store fat and knowing which foods have a negative effect on me has been some of the best lessons I have learned. I track this through journaling what I eat daily and observing my body changes. I know which foods will make me feel “bloated,” so I don’t necessarily gain weight but clothes are tight and I feel gross. I note which foods trigger my body weight to creep up, as well as how the foods make me feel.
Implementing small changes in my daily routine based on learning my food triggers has made a big impact for me. I have found that certain dairy will make me feel bloated, so I changed my French vanilla creamer in my morning coffee to almond milk, and I feel so much better. Limiting my cheese intake is hard for me since it’s a favorite protein of mine; I make sure to pick the right cheese for me when I do want that snack, not indulging too often, and I’m honestly able to enjoy it so much more.
I have learned my trigger foods that make me gain weight if I consume too much. I am also a chocolate addict…one of my guilty pleasures for sure! If I eat dark chocolate, it does not affect my weight, but if I indulge in milk chocolate, it will trigger my body and some weight gain, especially if I consume too much. I know for my husband that one of his triggers is certain nuts, go figure. I would have never thought nuts would affect someone that way, and nuts do not affect me that way, so I find it’s a good go-to snack when I am craving something salty… Add a little of my dark chocolate to it, and it’s a great cravings crusher without the guilt.
Scales have come a long way. They have so many more features to them now. My scale tracks my hydration percentage, so this helps me see if I have slacked off in my hydration, which affects my weight as well. I can also link my scale to the My Fitness Pal app, so I can link my food journal with my weight and look back at patterns and trends.
Be sure to use all the tools you have at your disposal to help you:
• Use a kitchen scale for a week measuring all the food you consume will check in with your portion sizes • Find an app to journal your food intake to see how many calories you are consuming • Use your scale to track your reaction to foods and see when you gain weight or feel bloated • Invest in a Fitbit or Garmin to keep yourself moving.
Remember, this is a long game…you have your whole life to figure it out, so don’t put stress on having to reach all these goals in a week or a month. As long as you are making progress every day to feel healthy and happy, you are on the right track.
The proven trick to achieving your dreams all comes down to mindset. When you believe in yourself, the possibilities are endless, and 21-year-old Selena Delapaz is showing us all how it’s done by following her lifelong dreams of helping people. This was always her dream, and while maybe it was not clear how she would, her determination to succeed has paid off.
Successful people keep moving.They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.
During her sophomore year in high school, Selena’s parents started heading out of the house regularly, like they had some sort of secret. She overheard them talking every day, making their plans to go, and getting the kids out the door so they could go to this secret destination. When asked about it, they’d just say, ‘We’re going for shakes.” Finally, Selena, the youngest of 5, asked to go. They hyped it up so much, she had to know what it was about. Little did she know, this was only her first step down the path of achieving her dreams.
“I went, and everybody was there: my parents, my parents’ friends, and so many other people that I started talking to. Everybody would be enjoying their shakes and talking about their morning, so I started going with them every morning,” Selena said. It was this relaxing and fun space with friendly faces all around, and it was Herbalife shakes that were bringing them together and bettering their days.
Herbalife, for those who don’t know, is a global nutrition company on a mission to improve nutritional habits with great-tasting, science-backed nutrition products that help people get the right balance of healthy nutrition. Their meal replacement protein shake in dozens of flavors, or their teas, aloes, proteins, and outer nutritional products have helped millions of people around the world achieve their health goals, whether it is losing weight, maintaining it, or even gaining.
From her very first shake, Selena was hooked, and maybe even a little inspired. Since she was young, she had always wanted to help people, but when her dad started asking on their shake runs why she didn’t open her own herbalife shop yet, she simply said, “I don’t know.”
After graduating high school, she started at the local community college in a business information systems course, which she intended to do for 2 years before transferring somewhere else. One semester, however, showed her that wasn’t the place for her, so she started her career in a podiatrist office, where she worked as a medical assistant for 1 year.
Another opportunity arose around 2020, and she started a position at the place her sisters worked too. It was in September that she grabbed a notebook, and wrote down her goal: Herbalife shop in 2-3 years.
“That was the goal, the plan,” Selena said, but she wasn’t expecting that within the next few months, the universe would throw her a major curveball. Her own Herbalife sponsor let her know he had decided to move to Ecuador.
“Out of no where, I got his phone call, [and he said,] Hey, I want to sell you the shop if you’re interested, but you only have 2 months to plan.”
Her dreams quickly unfolded before her eyes, and all she had to do was say YES. After a long conversation with her family and looking over the opportunity with her dad, she made her decision. The shop was already in use, ready for her to enter and make it her own. The answer was clear.
In February 2021, To Better Days Nutrition opened its doors in Plainfield, New Jersey, and Selena’s dream to help people became a reality.
The menu at To Better Days Nutrition is filled with a variety of delicious and unique shakes, smoothies, crepes, waffles, and a fan-favorite: teas! The real kicker, though, is that all of these items are actually healthy. With the Herbalife ingredients and the personal touch Selena gives each recipe, it’s hard to believe it’s all good for you!
New customers come in and snag their favorite shake, like the Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and are pleasantly surprised to learn that these shakes are actually good for you! The entire menu, from the shakes and teas to the waffles and crepes, is made using the balanced Herbalife products to help you reach your personal diet goals. She adds her own unique touch to every dish and has mastered the ideal consistency for her shakes and smoothies. There’s no milk or added sugars and flavored syrups, either!
Customers continue coming in, some even more than once a day, to grab their shake before work or after a workout. Around the shop, you’ll find motivational quotes to inspire customers as they pop in throughout the day, colorful lights to optimize your mood, and comfortable seating and couches to feel welcomed and relaxed. When you take care of your body, you will feel good not only physically, but mentally too!
“I wanted to be more inspiring and motivational to people. I wanted people to come in the shop after a long day and have a tea or shake and just have happy vibes after a long day,” Selena said. “That’s the idea I had for the shop: to be motivational, inspiring, colorful, and comfortable.”
With Selena’s optimistic and outgoing personality behind the counter all day, To Better Days Nutrition inspires a healthy and happy lifestyle.
“My goal is to help people, and I want to make people feel better about themselves. I don’t say I hope to help people because we can’t use words like hope. Don’t hope to be successful, say you’re going to be successful. The more you say it, the more you will believe in yourself,” Selena shared.
It’s all about mindset; if you believe in yourself, you can do anything you set your mind too, and Selena is living proof of that. Next time you decide to treat yourself, consider a trip To Better Days and visit Selena yourself to feel inspired and enjoy the shakes everyone can’t stop talking about!
Don’t forget to follow @ToBetterDayson Instagram or just visit the shop yourself to meet Selena and taste these delicious shakes and snacks yourself!