“How can I lose five pounds before summer?”
This was a comment I got on an instagram post of mine last week that I KNEW deserved a blog post of its own, because it is something I feel really passionately about.
You see, since I started Kayla Itsines Bikini Beachbody Guide eight months ago (which is so much more than the title eludes to), I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned that the number on the scale has nothing to do with who I am, yet it used to define everything. I would weigh myself daily, and what the number said that day told me how I could feel about myself and what I could (or could not) eat. I obsessed over “goal weights.” My personal goal weight was twofold, there was the elusive college weight where I was sickly thin from little money for food and too much stress, and there was my pre-baby weight. The first weight would never happen again, but that pre baby weight was a number I could shoot for. I mean, if I could get to that weight it would mean I had won, right?
I’ve reached that weight periodically in the nine years since I had my first baby. I was thin, yet unhealthy. “Skinny/fat”, if you will. Where you do all the cardio and eat next to nothing of real substance, yet feel proud because you have had two kids and reached that pre baby goal weight.
Fast forward to now. I eat more than I ever have in my life, because I eat to fuel myself. I count my macros and make sure I am getting the protein, carbs, and fat I need to sustain myself and my goals. I work out about 5 days a week and I am currently working on adding muscle. My scale is broken, so I weigh myself at the gym about once a month to make sure my macros are working the way they should be, and I take progress photos to see how I am doing physically. My weight is NOT that magical pre baby number, it’s actually about 8-10 pounds over that. Yet I have never felt better. I am stronger than ever and feel better about myself, inside, than I ever have.
This is what I think about when someone asks me “how to lose five pounds” before summer. You see, it is never about those five pounds. It is always about the preconceived notion about this weight you think you need to be to be happy. It’s about knowing that you need to eat better and work out consistently to feel better on the inside, and that is how you will love the way to look on the outside, no matter what you weigh. Doing this year round is how you get where you need to be no matter what time of year it is. You have to make health and wellness a priority all the time, no matter what, and that is what will bring you happiness inside and not have you panic every year for “bathing suit season.”
So that’s it. To lose five pounds before summer you need to forget about those five pounds. Put your scale in a hard to reach place. Donate the “someday” clothes (those were my size 2 work pants that I knew would never fit again…) Take 90 days (to start, this is a FOR LIFE kinda thing…) to consistently hit the gym, doing weight training and some cardio (how to get started HERE), and don’t give excuses that it is too hard or you don’t have time. MAKE TIME. Go at 4am or 10pm, do it in a gym or at home with canned soup for weights. Make modifications. KEEP GOING. You will be sore and tired, but push on. Take the time to find foods that fuel you in the right ways. Eat more lean meats, unprocessed carbs, vegetables, drink less wine, and make better choices. It’s hard, but just say no. Have one cheat meal a week and get back into it. BE CONSISTENT. Use My Fitness Pal to log your food, or write it down in a journal. You can do all of this. Trust me, the more you do it, the easier it will get. You’ll see results and it will fire you up to keep going. The results take time, but don’t quit. Soon those five pounds may or may not fall off, but you won’t care. You may even gain weight with new muscle growth, but you STILL won’t care. You will do this for you and those that are meant to support you will cheer you on.
JUST DON’T STOP. Motivation is a fickle thing. I am NOT always motivated to work out and eat well. I do it anyway.
Don’t let anything be an excuse to be unhappy with yourself. You can bring your kids to the gym daycare, or work out when they napping, or work out with them strapped to your body. They make it harder, sure, but they aren’t a good enough excuse. I’ve seen many people work 60-70+ hours a week and still work out consistently. I have friends with 4+ kids that still find the time. You can do it. While my body is different from it was before I had kids, it isn’t worse. Things change and shift, stretch marks and cellulite happen (I have tons of both!) Children will crawl on your back while you plank and your cat will walk right where you are doing burpees. People will bring cake into work and it will look DAMN GOOD. Practice saying no to unhealthy choices and yes to being the best you can be.
Trust, me, it is EVERYTHING to be happy with yourself deep inside your soul. Forget those five pounds and remember that life is about making healthy choices 80% of the time. Make yourself a priority and you’ll never, ever regret it.