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11 Things I Learned On My Weight-Loss Journey

Trying to lose weight is never easy. Add to that a self-imposed deadline and a little public accountability and some might call you certifiable. I guess I’m straight up crazy then because 4 months ago that’s exactly what I set out to do. I started the #MIH15by15 to very publicly challenge myself to lose 15 pounds by my 15th wedding anniversary on May 5th. I wanted to get healthy, feel better in my clothes, not get so winded when playing with my daughter, and to push myself to get up off the couch and out into the world. And you know what…

I DID IT!

Like I said, it was not easy, but it sure was fun! Shortly after seeing myself in the pictures from the live taping of my podcast in December, I was shocked at how big I was. I decided I had to do something about it. In January I kicked off my #MIH15by15. I lost exactly 15 pounds, 2 inches from my chest, 4 inches off my waist, 3 inches off my hips and dropped one dress size. I knew I’d face some obstacles and was so grateful to get to vent about them over on guguguru.com (thank you!) And ultimately I did lose the weight by doing fun, unique workouts with a few minor diet changes. I set a small, attainable goal because I’m a realist. I know myself well enough to know that I couldn’t lose 75 pounds in a few months (Biggest Loser, I’m looking at you). To be honest, I wanted to smash that 15 pound goal and go a little bit beyond it but that didn’t happen. I think if I ever do this again I will give myself a shorter time frame. I lost a lot of weight in the beginning of the challenge, then got comfortable and slowed down my workouts and started eating everything.

I guess I was thinking I would have enough time to work it off. Whelp, times up! Funny thing about deadlines, they are coming whether you’re ready or not. I’ve learned a lot about myself over the last few months and that’s been an invaluable part of this process as a mom, wife and woman. The weight loss is a great bonus, but one of my favorite parts of this challenge has been the interesting and talented people I’ve met at workouts and those cheering me on through emails and social media. You guys gave me the strength to keep going! And not failing in front of people who believe in you is a big motivating factor. So here’s a few highlights of the #MIH15by, things I loved, things I didn’t love, and what I’ve learned along the way.

What Worked:

  1. I love dancing. The dance-based workouts were without a doubt my favorites. I kicked everything off withPlyoJam and it was so much fun that I haven’t forgotten what a great workout it was and still refer to it when I tell people about my challenge. I was recovering from a major upper respiratory illness, the stomach flu, and straight-up obesity when I did PlyoJam. But dammit I did those dances as if I was the baddest bitch in the room. 5-6-7 Sweat was the most magical night of exercise I’ve ever had. When the number from Cabaret came on, it was like every part of my body was tingling. This workout made me want to be skinny just so I could get better at the choreography. TAProbics was a similar feeling, but I can see how I might get frustrated with myself on this one. I would definitely do it again, but I think I would like to start with some basic tap classes so I could learn the skill, then the TAProbics part would be a little easier.
  2. Working out and learning a skill. Yes please! Let’s start with sword fighting at Swordplay in Burbank. What a great way to learn a useful skill as an actor and sweat your balls off. My heart was racing the whole time, partly because I was constantly moving, but also because I was terrified of getting stabbed in the body. Luckily the instructor and my best gal Nikki were there to calm my fears. That and the layers of protective gear but let’s not split hairs. Cirque School LA was incredible. But mostly, incredibly hard. I learned that I have no upper body strength on this one. I feel like if I stuck with it, and explored some of the other classes they offer, it could add to my skill set as actress. Who knows? I could get cast as the bearded lady acrobat in a Tim Burton movie or something. #Dreams.
  3. Traditional workout-with a twist. I want to kiss my friend Andie Bolt on the mouth for this one. My Bunker Buddies podcast friend introduced me to Nerdstrong Gym. This was without a doubt the coolest gym I have ever been to. It’s a gym, for the rest of us. Nerds, especially, are welcome. The day I went it was a Harry Potter theme Crossfit workout and I was giggling like a school girl between gasping for air. What a great distraction from the often dull, repetitive standard workout. Can’t recommend this gym enough. I think I had the best cardio workout, and lost the most sweat during Piloxing. A Pilates/Boxing combo workout where you’re constantly moving, punching, kicking, and dancing. It was a mash-up of great workouts. Plus I got to wear some sweet boxing-type gloves and felt like a UFC chic for a minute. I can see why a lot of people are addicted to this workout.
  4. Anything in water. I’m a little surprised I didn’t think of doing a water workout sooner, but it wasn’t until my friend Alicia from Bottle Poppin Mama suggested Aquacise that I remembered how much I love swimming. This was a wonderfully mild water cardio workout. No laps, just gentle Cocoon-stylemovements. This summer I’ll be looking for more water workouts so I’m open to suggestions. Especially because I just bought a new bathing suit for my 15 pounds lighter body!
  5. At home workouts. I used Sara Haley’s Expecting More: The 4th Trimester Workout several times over the last few months. The ease of being able to play a workout on my TV or computer came in really handy if I didn’t have time to get to the gym. I also did it during Chan’s naps which was a life saver. My biggest problem is my post-baby tummy. Sara’s expertise is pre and post-natal workouts so doing exercises that zeroed in on that area was a huge help. I’m positive that was a big reason why I lost so many inches around my midsection. If I was doing it every day I probably would have had even better results, but alas, I’m a slacker and was very inconsistent. Lesson learned!
  6. Hiking. My husband is always trying to get me to go hiking with him, but it took NBC reporter Kate Larsen to actually get me on the mountain. Maybe it was the celebrity factor, but whatever it was we went hiking at the infamous Runyon Canyon. It was a thousand degrees, and I almost died, but I felt so good after. This was such a huge accomplishment for me. And what a great physical representation of motivation. You are literally climbing a mountain and reaching your goals! I think I’ve seen this on a poster somewhere…

What Didn’t Work:

  1. I just can’t get behind Pilates. I’ve tried it in various forms, and my first full workout for this challenge. It hurts. It’s awkward for me. This is something I’ve learned about myself. I have a lot of admiration for the people who can do it, but it’s just not my fave. And that’s okay! Not every workout is made for every one. That’s why I wanted to try a bunch of different ones so I could see what fits for me. However, it looks like my dream of having a long, slender, Gwyneth Paltrow-like body will have to wait.
  2. My BFF Mary is going to punch me in the tits, but I have to put spinning on this list. Sorry boo! My body hurt for a week after this and not in a good way. I had to massage my crotch, way up in there, and my legs for days after spin class. How do people do this every day?? This is the one workout where I almost died. Okay, that’s dramatic. It was really, really hard and I don’t want to do it again. Especially not in front of my amazingly skinny friend who makes riding a bike look as easy as, um, riding a bike.
  3. Running and drinking beer. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb idea. I don’t know why I thought the Beer Fit Run sounded like fun. Oh wait, yes I do. I like beer! But apparently not while I’m running. Plus this particular event was really unorganized, chintzy on the actual beer, and east of east LA. Even if I was a dedicated runner this would not be something I would do again. I would do a 5k close to my house, with some shade. Those exist right?
  4. Gym consistency. I had a goal to go to the gym at least 3 or 4 times a week between my “big” workouts. This did not happen. Again it goes back to the reason why I started the MIH15by15, because I cannot get motivated to go to the gym. I think it’s a mental block because my gym is always filled with gross sweaty people. That’s dumb. I realize what I just wrote is stupid. Of course the gym is filled with sweaty people. I don’t know what my issue is with going to the gym and running on the treadmill but it’s definitely a weakness and I’m not sure if I’ll get over it any time soon.
  5. My diet. I admit it: the diet was the hardest part of this challenge. I think in my mind I justify cramming a cheeseburger into my mouth by saying I’ll just workout later. Then if I don’t, I’ve just crammed a cheeseburger into my mouth and let it fester in my body. I get so annoyed when people are picky about what they eat, and watch every calorie, piece of protein, and limit sugar. But obviously I’m the dummy because it works. I can’t work off years of eating garbage with just a few fun workouts. I tried my friend Lynn’s 5 Day Clean Eating plan, and honestly that’s what pushed me over the edge on my goal. So that tells me what I need to know right there.

What I’ve Learned:

Overall this has been an incredible learning experience for me. I’ve learned I need to put a priority on my diet, but first I need to find out why I love food so much. I eat when I’m bored and when I’m not even hungry sometimes. I need to dig deeper into my issues with dieting, why I resisting working out consistently and how I can overcome that. This has also been a great start in finding out more about myself when it comes to health. I’m definitely not done exploring health and fitness in my life. As I’ve said from the beginning, I love my body. It created the most wonderful girl in the world. This was a journey to push this old mom out of her comfort zone, try new things, meet new people, and maybe drop some lb’s in the process. Huge thank you to Skechers for supporting my challenge and encouraging me to Burst off my couch and get moving (see what I did there?). I am so grateful to all the people who’ve encouraged me in person and online, and shared my story with others. May you all be skinny in past, present and future lives! I have treated myself to some new clothes and pretty dresses for reaching my goal. I look forward to wearing them as I celebrate 15 years of marriage with the man who has cheered me on over the last few months, and ultimately loves me no matter what I weigh. And truthfully, that’s the best thing I’ll take away from this experience.

This was first published on Motherhood in Hollywood

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