The first step was signing up for Bootcamp. It was just affordable enough to do, but just expensive enough that I didn’t want to ditch. That kick-started me. 3 years ago when I was thinner and not doing bootcamp, I used to do workout DVDs, walk to and from work, hike once a week, and walk my dogs. Core Fusion, Hard Body Yoga, Jillian Michaels, and one of the Cindy Crawford DVDs were a few favorite go-tos for me.
As for food, that one’s been tougher. I mostly drink water, and the occasional veggie juice. I’ve just started doing these things again, but I’ll share with you a lot of habits I had 20 pounds ago. The first one has been cutting down processed foods. Another is having salads take up half my meal at lunch and dinner. Salads aren’t fun to eat, so what I do is I buy some of the pre-made salads from Whole Foods (like the Orzo or Tabouli) and mix a small portion of it with greens. That way the expensive pre-made salad lasts me longer (2-4 meals), it’s a tasty salad, and I’m eating better. I also eat sandwiches for lunch on a whole grain bread with a lean meat, small slice of cheese, sprouts, and greens. Usually the sandwich has only 1 slice of bread. I have a Panini press which makes the sandwich tastier; getting cheese and meat from the deli counter also helps. I also have set the goal of allowing myself 1 treat per day. I don’t always meet it, and sometimes eat more, but at least it makes me aware of junk I’m putting in my body. For all of this, I use serving plates more than dinner plates, since that limits the amount of food I fill on my plate. I also have a breakfast with protein; a favorite of mine is plain Kefir blended with frozen fruit. Studies have found protein and fiber for breakfast kick-start your metabolism and keep you full longer throughout the day.
When I go out to eat, I either split my meal with FI or order an appetizer and eat a small portion of his meal. Most restaurants give you a lot more food than you need, and I’ve found some of the best things on menus are appetizers. Just for the hell of it order less than you normally would. Chances are you’ll be full with less food than you thought you needed. For example, I used to get 3-4 taco supremes at Taco Bell, but recently ordered just 1 and found I was full. Or instead of ordering a full entree at my favorite chicken & waffles place, FI and I split one so I had 1 piece of chicken and 1/2 a waffle.
I don’t know if 20-30 lbs is doable in 7 months. But please don’t hold yourself to that number. If you work out and eat healthy, you might not lose that much, but still lose inches and a dress size or more. Lean muscle’s a lot heavier than fat. Since starting bootcamp, I think I’ve lost one whole pound. But I’m much leaner than I was 3 months ago. Instead of pounds, maybe take body measurements instead, it’ll be a much more encouraging way to track your progress.