Sunday, 3 April 2011

My Weight Loss Journey & Advice

Okay... I figured since this is a blog about food, I could also talk about weight loss and eating right on here as well.

You all know by now I love to eat and indulge in really fattening foods (mostly desserts). But the thing with me is I only indulge on the weekends. I look forward to the weekends all week long so that I can have all the delicious desserts I dream of during the week! Haha!

I began Weight Watchers in January 2010 in an effort to lose weight for our wedding which was taking place in July 2010. I started at 161 pounds which is a lot for someone who is only 5'2".  I have lost 30 pounds thanks to Weight Watchers.

Weight Watchers is honestly the best program out there. You still eat the foods you love, it's just all about portion sizes and making better choices. It's the best choice I could have ever made and it changed my life! You don't have to buy "their" foods, or follow meal plans, it's just making sure you don't go over your daily points. I think of my body like a bank account, I've got so many points to spend in a day - what do I want to spend them on? Believe me, I make sure every point I use is worth it!

I love to eat and I was indulging all week long and cooking very fattening foods, eating fast food, etc. and I knew it was time to make a change. So I joined with a few girlfriends (one of whom was also getting married a few weeks after us).

I went to my first meeting and my first weigh in and I was disgusted with myself when I stood on the scale, I had never been at that weight and couldn't believe I had let myself get so out of hand. So I took the program really seriously and prepared to make major changes in my diet. As well as changing my eating habits, I also joined the gym and began going every day, even if I could only get in there for a half hour of cardio.

I began eating fresh fruits and veggies a lot more, I started making my recipes a lot more "skinny" using fat free or light products wherever I could in meals or recipes I'd make. I discovered a lot of lighter options in place of the really fattening desserts I was enjoying previously and I started to see results. Another big change was my portion sizes, I was eating probably 3 times the amount of food I actually needed to feel full. And as I measured out my food as per the portion sizes noted in my Weight Watchers books, I found they were sometimes more than enough to fill me.

By May I had lost like 20 pounds already and I was feeling fantastic. Every time I stepped on the scale and saw a loss I was more and more motivated. I was going to the gym like 6-7 days a week and was doing a routine of both cardio and weight training. (It's one thing to just be skinny - but I wanted to be thin and toned).

By July I had lost 30 pounds and reached my goal weight. I felt wonderful on our wedding day, my dress had to be taken in by a few inches on either side. We went to Hawaii for our honeymoon and while we were there I lived in bikini's and I actually felt confident and comfortable in them. Even more confident than I had ever felt as a teenager at my lowest weight. It was such a freeing feeling to not be constantly insecure about how I looked.

By the time I lost all my weight I had gone from a size 10 -12 to a size 4 - 6. The first time I went shopping after losing weight, I grabbed skirt in a size 8 thinking it should fit, and to my surprise it was way to big!! I ended up walking out of there with the skirt in a size 4!!!! It was the best feeling ever!

I began maintenance with Weight Watchers, and am now a lifetime member. As long as I never go 2 pounds over my goal weight, I'll never have to pay again. And so far I've been maintaining for 9 months and haven't paid once! I will never let myself get to where I was again.

Now that I'm on maintenance, I still follow the Points Plus system all week long and on Friday's, Saturday's and Sunday's I pretty much eat what I want (to an extent). I am still very aware of what I'm having and I try not to overdo it. I pay attention to my body and the signs it's giving me and I don't keep eating once I'm full. Sometimes I over indulge a litte too much, but I try not to beat myself up over it. And every Friday I am the same weight as I was the week before (sometimes less) so I'm successfully maintaining even with my weekend indulging, which is great! I have the best of both worlds.

I still go to the gym about 4 - 6 days a week. And I always make sure I get cardio in if nothing else, because although weight training will help you firm up, cardio is what makes you lose the weight. Having muscle mass will help you burn the fat around it, but it's not nearly enough to make you lose a ton of weight. I feel like the more I'm sweating the more I'm burning off and cardio is what makes me sweat.

Because I tend to indulge so much on the weekends, I sometimes do what I like to refer to as "pulling doubles" during the week. I'll go work out right after work and if I'm feeling really motivated I'll throw a class in after my regular workout, so sometimes I'm at the gym for up to 3 hours, but it's worth it when I get to eat the foods I love on the weekend. I also go to a step class every Saturday - and honestly it's THE best class for cardio, I sweat buckets at that class! So I can go home and eat without feeling guilty because I've really worked for it!

The bottom line is, exercise helps, but the biggest loss will always come from what you put in your mouth! So being conscience of what you're eating, and how much you're eating goes along way if you're looking to lose weight.

I have included a few before and after photos below (at the time of these before photos I had already lost 10 pounds). I didn't keep a lot of my "fat" photos, although I'm wishing now that I had kept a few.

 Me at my Company's Winter Gala in January 2010 (left) and January 2011 (right).
These photos were taken exactly a year apart.

 I ALMOST didn't put this one up. Me in a bathing suit March 2010 (left) at this point I had already lost over 10 pounds. And Me in July 2010 on our honeymoon (right).

Me at my Company's Winter Gala Jan. 2010 (left) and Jan. 2011 (right).

I just wanted to share my story with all of you, and wanted to show you that you can still enjoy delicious, yummy foods, and maintain a healthy weight. It's all about balance and finding a way to make it work. Maybe you can be like me and eat healthy during the week but indulge on weekends, or maybe you can only indulge 1 day a week. Everyone is different, but it can be done and I hope that my story helps any of you who are looking to lose some weight, but still enjoy the foods you love.


  1. You're a great inspiration!

  2. You look Gorgeous Nichole! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thank you so much Ladies :) I really appreciate your sweet comments.

    It was a lot of work to get here, and I feel like it's really important to share these sorts of stories, because they were the ones that gave me inspiration when I was just starting out on my weight loss journey.

  4. You are a constant motivation and support system for all your friends, family and strangers alike who love food but want to lose weight. You should be (and are) very proud of your accomplishments. Kudos to you for posting the bikini picture, I think those photos in itself prove that weight loss can be achieved with hard work, determination and yummy (skinny) food. Amazing!

  5. Thank you Melissa!! You're such a sweetheart! :) I think friends who have been through the battle are a huge help as well and are also very inspiring themselves (so thank you!). A lot of people are fighting the same battle, and to see people you know accomplishing the goals they set for themselves is very empowering. So the more we can share our stories, the more people we empower. :)