With every new year I always find myself saying the same thing..."This will be the year I get back in shape". To be quite honest, it was. I was so excited for a Planet Fitness to open up right down the street from my job. I quickly got into a routine of visiting almost every single day after work (5 days a week). Then good 'ole quarantine decided to come around and throw a wrench in the road-- but alas, I have figured out a way to stay healthy and happy during this time of uncertainty. So if you want to see how I dropped 12 lbs in 6 months in a healthy way then keep on reading.
I'm not going to lie. I LOVE food. I have never been the best at eating healthy but I'm also not the worst either... if that makes any sense. In other words, I find myself making healthy meals on the daily BUT my portion sizes were all over the place. My three weaknesses have always been dessert, portion size, eating out. I live in Central Florida in the middle of "tourist central" and so I'm tempted every day with amazing smelling restaurants that I clearly have a tough time saying no to... UNTIL NOW.
In January 2020 I made a vow to myself to get back into shape. My goal was never to lose a bunch of weight-- I was hoping that would just be a plus, but rather change my eating and workout habits in order to live a healthier lifestyle. For those of you that don't know I am 31 years old and so the weight doesn't just come off like it used to. I find myself having to really put in an effort these days, which not going to lie...sucks.
I was a competitive gymnast my whole life and so working out in any form has always made me feel SO GOOD. I feel more energized, I feel accomplished, and overall I feel more confident which is always a huge win.
The above picture shows my starting picture in January 2020 and my latest which is June 2020. My weight when I began this journey in January was 194 lbs. (I felt super heavy, lethargic, lacked confidence, and was always trying to cover up my stomach) My weight as of June 6th is 182 lbs which is a whopping total of 12 lbs lost so far. (I currently feel like I have way more energy, I can run further and longer than I have been able to in years, I am starting to feel so much more confident in a bathing suit and I love finding new healthy recipes to try)
Now to preface everything-- I am no expert by any means I am simply sharing what has worked for me. I had to stop looking at the scale for a LONG time, mainly because I tend to gain a lot of muscle when working out, and I know that weighs me down...so the scale doesn't move much which is super frustrating at times. Instead, I took progress pictures once a week to show my growth. I highly recommend doing this. We all have a phone that can easily snap a quick mirror pic so take progress pics and video, you will be so surprised with the progress you make even in as little as a week.
So your probably saying to yourself... "Okay Taryn this is all great, but can you just tell me what you are doing so that I can do it too?" I hear you loud and clear.
Here is what has worked for me the past 6 months:
My Apple Watch is my best friend.
I found myself using the Activity app as well as Workouts to monitor the rings on my watch. For those of you that don't know anything about this, there are three rings in your activity app on your Apple Watch. Red is the move ring it calculates how many calories you burn throughout the day, green is your exercise ring. This tells you how many minutes you worked out for (based on your heart rate/exercise of choice), and finally blue is your stand ring. This ring calculates out how many times you were standing throughout the day. Mine is set to have me stand and do a quick walk or stretch at least once an hour for 12 hours of the day. I use this as a way to motivate myself and honestly going from Fitbit to apple watch was a huge upgrade, in my opinion.
2. Runkeeper is my favorite app to use for working out.
There are honestly so many apps out there, so I highly suggest trying out a few and finding the one that works best for you. I found that Runkeeper was my favorite through and through. I've used it for years-- back in the day when I used to train for half marathons. It not only has options to track my run, walk, cycle, skate, etc-- but it also has a feature where you can have her say how long its been and what mileage you've covered, as well as pace. At the end of any workout, you have the option to save or post a map of your workout to social media. I usually post every day to facebook because to me, it holds myself accountable. If you've been following me on instagram, you know that I run a lot with my dog, Mason. I try to do one mile jogging with him and then walk a mile and run keeper is really great at keeping me on track.
3. I had to completely change up my eating habits.
Before Covid, Chris and I were going out to eat 3-4 days a week. Everything from Chipotle to Ohana at Walt Disney World. Life was pretty hectic and fast moving and so choosing to eat out was not only easier but faster and more satisfying at the time. Now that we have been home, we have really focused on feeding our bodies the nutrients they truly need. We decided the first thing we needed to do was cut out eating at restaurants and fast food joints. We have been going grocery shopping with a plan to cook high protein meals with a lot of vegetables as sides rather than starches. We have pasta maybe once a week and we try to use pasta substitutes whenever possible. Our favorite meals have been turkey meatballs and pasta, grilled chicken and veggies, stir fry, and sweet potato. I also started using a meal replacement/protein shake and that has been a lifesaver this summer since it is always TOO HOT to eat anything. I'm still trying to figure out what product I like best before I recommend anything to you all. For now the one I've been using is Wheybolic from GNC. (I'll make a smoothie blog very soon with my favorite recipes)
4. Advocare jump started my "diet" in 2015 so I decided to try it again
I decided to jump on the Advocare train again since it worked so well for me last time. To be honest with you I find that it is more of a money investment than anything that tricks my mind into making the necessary dietary changes, but thats just me. I did the 10 day cleanse and so that requires you to cut out dairy, alcohol, sugars, etc. It is very strict but if you stick to it for just 10 days you WILL see results fast, even if it is only 3-4 lbs lost.
5. Buy cute workout clothes and it will make you want to work out more
I've been a gymnast my whole life and having the perfect leotard for my workouts was key.. as I got older I don't know why my mentality changed but I literally would throw together whatever oversized tee and workout pants I could find and went out. Now I see the every growing popularity of "matching sets" and guys... I totally get it. Not only does it make you feel put together before going to the gym but even at the gym I always feel way more confident knowing I'm put together (even though I'm always sweating my butt off). I currently work with a company called Jed North and they have an amazing selection of workout sets and separates for both men and women. In fact, I filmed a try-on video for my Youtube Channel. Check it out if your looking to purchase from them. You can use my code TARYN20 at checkout to save as well.
6. 10,000 steps a day keeps the "I'm bored in the house and I'm in the house bored" away
How have I been able to still get 10,000 steps in every day with being stuck in the house you may ask? Well...Whenever I feel like I'm going stir crazy in the house I literally take myself into my room, change into workout clothes, and head outside with the dog for a walk. I currently live in an apartment complex that is gated and so I find myself walking in circles BUT it truly has been such a game changer. Yes, a change of scenery would be nice every once in a. while, but I'll take what I can get. Mason, my pup, and I go for daily 3 mile walks in the morning or at night (Florida heat is awful during the day). If it is a warmer day I usually run for a mile with my pup and then bring him back inside and head out for 2 more miles of running myself. When I'm outside I can clear my head, listen to podcasts, or calming music and honestly my anxiety has been so much more under control in a not-so-in-control- moment in history AND I've developed quite the tan this summer.
Chris and I have done all we could during this time to stay active and not sit around in the house all day long-- even though there are a ton of things to be done inside, we choose to do more outside these days. We bought bikes at the beginning of quarantine and have been going on weekly bike rides through different areas around Central Florida. We also bought roller skates and let me tell you, I am so excited to start using those more!
7. Drink a TON of water!
I've always been a water drinker. I know not everyone likes the taste and would prefer something else, but let me tell you. IT. IS. SO. IMPORTANT to drink your water daily! If you aren't the best at drinking water and need a bottle that will give you a reminder then look into a brand called Healthish. They have a really fun bottle design that gives you an idea of how much to drink throughout the day. The one downside to this bottle is that the water does not stay cold throughout the day and the condensation on the side of the bottle drives me crazy in the Florida heat, as it "sweats" everywhere.
The brand I will always recommend hands down would be Corksicle. Chris and I have several bottles from them and have used them for years. I even sold them back when I worked in my local Hallmark store in New Hampshire 7 years ago. The sport canteen is everything you would need and more in a water bottle. This bottle is triple insulated and comes with a metal handle and drink through sipper straw (my favorite part). I tend to keep a bottle by the bed at night and the sipper straw allows me to take a drink without having to spill water all over my face in the middle of the night. Like many Corksicle bottles, this one comes in a large variety of colors and styles and is literally perfection.
8. Find a workout plan that works best for you!
I've personally never been the type of person that likes to workout in their house. In fact I despise it. However, quarantine has made me slightly change my thinking. I currently live in an apartment, on the second floor, so that doesn't lend itself well to jumping jacks and burpees as my downstairs neighbors will bang on their ceiling to make me stop. "I get it" however its frustrating. I tend to do most of my workouts outside, but again I live in Florida and it is summer (aka 865847 degrees out), so it's not always the best idea to push myself out in the heat and get heat stroke.
I stumbled upon a person named Chloe Ting on Youtube. I will link some of my favorite workouts from her below. She has an amazing blog you can visit where she shares meal plans, streams on twitch, and uploads new workouts often. I am currently doing the 15 Day shred. Do not sleep on this guys.. I'm telling you this has been a game changer. I have tried beach body, I have tried T25... Everything is too intense and honestly I just love how cute she is. If you end up giving it a try let me know I'd love to do a challenge together!
Now I'm sure I could think of a million other things to talk to you all about but this is already getting to be more lengthy than I originally wanted. I will definitely make a part two with continued progress and more. I would love to hear back from you all in the comments down below. Let me know what you have been struggling with the most when it comes to fitness, developing a routine, eating habits and more. Lets work together to come up with the perfect plan for you!
Below are some more progress pics. I cannot stress to you all enough. Take progress pics! I kid you not the first 2-3 months every time I stepped on the scale the numbers went up, however my body was still slimming out. You cannot go off of the numbers on the scale, you need to trust the process and give it time. Take progress pics along the way because they will honestly make you feel amazing!