I’ve been on a weight loss journey for the past year…well really past few. It’s been of those up and down things that never quite stuck. I would drop twenty pounds, gain twenty-five, lose 20, gain more. You know how that goes. I never took the time to put in the effort to make the right decisions and learn how to make the weight loss long term. Not only take the weight off, but learn to keep it off.
It’s been a year and I’ve dropped a good amount of weight. I’m about ready to post some pictures of where I’ve come from, but the wife is out of town so she wasn’t here to take the pictures. I didn’t want to take some weird Geraldo bathroom selfie (if you don’t get that Google it…or better yet don’t), so I decided to break the posts up into two. The pictures will come later, but this post will focus on the tools, apps, and things I’ve done to help learn to take off and keep off the weight.
1. Professional Help
The best thing I could have done was to start out my weight loss journey with help from a pro. In this case that pro was Chris Stephens and Step By Step Nutrition. The wife and I both signed up for three months (to start) with Chris. He put together custom meal plans for both of us to help us lose weight. They were strict…but doable. After the first couple weeks of changing our eating habits we started feeling better in general. As we moved throughout the next weeks, Chris adjusted the meal plan as the weight came off. In addition to that cheat meals were added in.
We both lost weight and felt great after working with Chris. If we had an issue with the meal plan he would try to work around it and find something else for us to try. If we had any sort of question he was there to answer it. I cannot recommend Chris and Step By Step Nutrition enough. Most people think they can do this on their own, and it may work. But I’m telling you, if you get started with help from someone who knows what they are doing you will have more success in the long run.
We still use lessons learned from Chris to this day. Incorporating cheat meals, having small snacks in between bigger meals, making sure you eat an hour before or after you exercise, and more. We have a foundation of information that will help us make smart decisions and really make a life change. A fad/crash diet won’t change anything long term…and the long term is what matters most.
Here are some links to get more information on Step By Step Nutrition and get in contact with Chris. Again, we can’t recommend him enough.
2. Tech and Apps
I love technology, so it only makes sense that tech has been a part of my weight loss. The apps below I’ve used a lot over the past couple of months (some longer) and they are great. Keeping track of your eating, weight, and exercise can not only motivate you but involve your friends. Between the social aspect and data tracking element, apps keep me on track and where I need to be as I lose weight.
- RunKeeper – I never thought I would be a runner…however, maybe I am a little. RunKeeper is a great app to track your runs. It lets you know your progress as you run and maps it using GPS. Adding in friends helps you give props to runs that they do and get encouragement from them. There’s a lot more to this app, but I use it to track any running I do outside. This way I can make sure I hit the right distances and pace. Once you are done you can share it to social media sites and brag about how fast you are!
- Fitbit – This is a new one that connects to my Fitbit Flex. I’ll talk about this one more below.
- MyFitnessPal – This app is great. It is what I use to track the food I eat, the water I consume, my exercise, and my weight. In addition, I can use the graphs within the app so that I make sure I get enough protein, carbs, etc. This is another one that you can add friends into so that you can all encourage each other on your weight loss journey.
- Workout (7 Minute Body Fitness Exercise) – This is another new one I’ve used over the past couple months as we got back into weight loss mode. This is a quick 7 minute workout that guides you through a number of different workouts. Each are broken up into 30 second segments and are done with items around the house. After the first run of this my body was super sore…so I guess it worked. It’s nice that it’s only 7 minutes so you can add this to an end of your cardio or just do it quickly to start the day.
The other piece of tech I love is my Fitbit Flex. I bought this a bit over a month ago and wear it every day (as you are supposed to). It’s more of a constant reminder to me to keep moving and hit my steps for a single day. You can connect your Fitbit to apps like MyFitnessPal to have it sync in your steps to see how many calories you’ve burned. Each day I work to get that little bracelet to vibrate letting me know I’ve hit my 10,000 steps.
The Flex is the bracelet version of the Fitbit trackers. I’ve sweated in it, been in the pool with it, and played basketball in it. It’s taken a pretty good beating so far and still works like a charm. You can wear it at night to track sleep, have it vibrate at certain times as reminders, and more. At $100.00 it’s a bit pricey, but as I’ve found out, weight loss requires investment.
The last thing that’s been key to weight loss is having accountability. When we used Chris and Step By Step Nutrition, he would check in and be a motivator to keep up the good work. I still see him at the gym and it keeps me motivated to continue on the path I’m on. Most of the apps above have a social media aspect to them. You can connect with friends and show off the work that you’ve done. It also makes it easy to send them props on the work that they do.
So, that’s about it for part 1. I’ll post pics and get into my feelings about weight, where I’ve been, and where I plan to go next time. At least here you can see how I’ve gotten to where I am today and how I plan to keep moving forward. I’m at a weight I haven’t seen in at least eight years. I can’t wait to keep going forward and see more progress over the coming months.