I remember the first time I became aware of my weight. Around seven or eight, as I sat in my cute bikini at summer camp, a thinner girl told me that the number of rolls on her stomach times three equaled the amount of weight she had to lose to be skinny. That is sad, maybe it’s even more sad that I still remember that moment.

A year ago, almost to the day, I sat in a doctor’s office with tears in my eyes after realizing I had gained 45 pounds in the past four years. So began my journey back home to a healthy weight.

I have been blessed with long legs that work, a brain that thinks and dreams and countless other gifts, this I know. I also know that I was becoming unhealthy- my weight loss journey has not been about aesthetics, but about treating my body like the temple it is. Full disclosure, I am obsessed with my wardrobe and the fact that my clothing didn’t fit anymore was pretty heartbreaking for me too.

Today, I am thirty pounds lighter and I want to provide y’all with almostenough insight to become healthy again, or healthy for the first time or simply healthier than you already are.

I am writing this not because I am a doctor, not because I am an expert, not because my personal weight loss goal is reached and NOT because I want people who read this to dislike their bodies.

I am writing today as someone who has tried the fad diets, the expensive diets and the starving diets all to find out what my Mom and Dad have been telling me all along. There is no magic, there is no easy way and there is no quick fix.

Losing weight is hard and, a lot of the time, it isn’t fun. We have to stop paying money to huge businesses who make their living off of convincing us that skinny is the only way to be pretty and selling us pills and shakes that do nothing at all.

Here is what I know: Less in, more out. Make sure what you’re putting in your body is fresh and not full of chemicals and words you cannot pronounce. You’ll be surprised how much broccoli you can munch on for 150 calories!

Fruits and Veggies are your best diet friends
Fruits and Veggies are your best diet friends

I read somewhere that sometimes when you believe you are hungry, you are actually thirsty. I have found this to be true. Keep drinking water. Your skin will look better, you will be less bloated and you’ll have more energy. Just those reasons are convincing enough for me, but I also hear enough agua makes your body’s metabolism work better.

Sixty-four ounces a day!
Sixty-four ounces a day!

Try for thirty minutes of sweat a day. It doesn’t matter if it is moving boxes at work, chasing your kid around or enjoying a walk after dinner- just make some time. If there’s a will, there’s a way. Two things that help me get out for my walk are cute work out outfits and a great soundtrack. I’ve noticed even Walmart has some sassy stuff to sweat in lately!

Inspire a work out with some great gear
Inspire a work out with some great gear

Finally, I want to remind you to give yourself time to succeed and allow yourself to slip up. Enjoy vacations and birthdays-  by the way you’re allowed to have drinks and girl talk with your friends. Below, you will find a year of my weight loss tracked with the Fitbit app. There are ups and downs. That is SO okay. You are only a human and there are so many more beautiful things about you than the number on a scale.

Don't feel defeated
Don’t feel defeated

I hope that I have inspired everyone to take the stairs, eat your veggies and believe in yourself as you become a healthier version of already-amazing-you.

If you have any healthy or inspirational tips for those of us working on our fitness, please comment below.

Happy sweating,

Mary Kate