I usually don’t have guest posts on my blog, but my little sister has inspired the something out of me. My youngest sister, Rachel, is a freshman at LSU. You know how the freshman 15 is usually a given? Well, she hasn’t gained a pound. In fact, she’s LOST nearly 30 pounds. She’s made a complete lifestyle change, and I asked her if she’d mind taking some time out of her busy college schedule to write a guest post on here. She has a ton of great tips for college students, as well as pretty much any person.
Hello Everyone! I am Amy’s sister, Rachel, and she has asked me to do a guest post for her blog! I couldn’t be more excited to share some weight loss tips with you all! But first, I thought I’d share some of my background story.
I was always a chubby kid. I got bullied and made fun of a lot because of it. I remember one time in particular when we had to share our weight to the entire class for some math activity, and it was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life seeing the other kids just stare at me. I also remember not being able to fit into the cute clothes at Limited Too (now called Justice). I was also a shy kid. It was a bad combination in school because I couldn’t stand up to the bullies until I was older. But, thanks to getting into musical theatre (as well as my loving family), I got a lot more confidence. I felt better about myself, but my weight was always a nagging thing in my life.
Once I got to high school, the bullying pretty much stopped, but I was gradually gaining more and more weight. At my highest weight (which you’ll see a picture of below), I weighed about 220 lbs., maybe a little higher. This was around the time I was auditioning for college musical theatre programs. One audition in particular was a huge wake up call for me. I was auditioning for Penn State’s program, and after I sang and did my monologue, they sat me down. They basically told me that I couldn’t succeed in musical theatre being so overweight. Not only were they extremely rude about it, they also proceeded to tell me that it would be different had I been black (um, excuse me, but did they look at my resume? I have done a lot of lead roles before, so obviously my weight hasn’t gotten in my way so far!). So, in the end I didn’t get into any of the musical theatre programs I applied to mainly because of my weight. I decided to go to LSU for vocal performance and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I have no regrets.
Fast forward to January of this year. I had already done little things to lose a little bit of weight the previous semester, but I’m pretty sure I gained all that weight back during the holidays. So once I got back to school, I decided to make a lifestyle change, not go on a diet, and lost 25 lbs.!! I dropped a full dress size (maybe a little more) and lost almost 15% of my body weight! This was also very gradual (took about 2 months) so no one really noticed until I either told them or showed them the two pictures below.
The first is of me at my first LSU football game last semester and the second is of me right before doing a 5k a couple of weeks ago. Isn’t the difference crazy? It’s made such a huge difference in how I dance and exercise (it’s so much easier!) and I just feel ten times better about myself. Now who said you can’t LOSE weight while in college?
So here are some amazing tips that helped me lose the weight and can help you too!
- Drink water. This is pretty basic, but this also means to completely cut sodas out of your life. It was actually a lot easier than I thought. I used to hate drinking plain old water, but now I crave it. I try to drink about 4-6 glasses a day, and it has helped so much! If you get tired of water, I suggest drinking crystal light or some tea! I also drink a glass of milk every once in a while for some much needed calcium.
- Simple carbs are the enemy. Basically, I just try my best to avoid simple carbs, such as white bread, rice, pasta, corn, and potatoes (sweet potatoes are great though!). Sometimes it’s unavoidable in the dining hall at school, but otherwise it’s very do-able. Simple carbs basically turn into sugar once inside of the body, and you want to avoid sugar as much as possible if you want to effectively lose weight. I learned all about this in the book The Dorm Room Diet by Daphne Oz, a wonderful source for those of us in college. It’s also very do-able to avoid these when going out to eat. Just substitute the potatoes or rice in a dish for more veggies!
- Veggies and fruits, please! These will be your best friends when trying to lose weight. They are very nutritious and can surprisingly fill you up when paired with a source of protein, such as chicken or steak. I used to only like certain veggies, like broccoli, but you will eventually get used to eating veggies for every meal, so I promise you’ll love them as much as I do. I’ve always loved fruits, so this was never a challenge for me. What was a challenge was substituting delicious ice cream and cakes for dessert in the dining halls for fruit. But now that I’ve pretty much overcome that, it’s really easy.
- Have a Support System. I started going to LSU’s gym more and more since I got back to school from winter break. What really helped me out was that I had a couple of close friends who loved exercising and would be willing to go to the workout classes with me, and it made it ten times more fun to go to the gym every day! Also, one of my friends eats really healthy like I try to do, so when in doubt, I always copy what she’s eating. Having the support system will really motivate you to keep going.
- Get moving, and make sure it’s FUN! I can’t say enough how important it is to work out at least 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes. Thanks to the LSU UREC, I work out 5 times a week taking many different classes including Zumba, yoga, and cycling. These classes are an hour and I’m always sweating so much by the end of them, so I know I’m really doing something good for my body every time I leave the gym. I know this isn’t everyone’s situation, but this is where your support system can come in. Try to get a small group of friends together to go running or even join a gym, and your body will love you for it. Make sure it’s fun, so you’ll want to keep doing it. That’s why I love Zumba so much, it just feels like a dance party! Even if you don’t have much time to get moving, remember that diet alone is 80% of losing weight, so no worries!
- It’s OK to splurge sometimes! Always remember that if you do go off of your “diet” one day, it’s really no big deal. Maybe one day you decide to get a frappuccino or a small scoop of ice cream. It’s OK. We would all go crazy if we didn’t splurge sometimes. Just remember to splurge in moderation, and you’re good. Just don’t make splurging a habit!
- Rewarding yourself is essential. I love that my sister has goals and once she meets those goals, she will reward herself in some way. This is yet another way to keep yourself motivated. My reward was usually a frappuccino one week or some ice cream another week. But a really satisfying reward is clothes shopping once you’ve lost a good amount of weight. I can’t tell you how good I felt about myself when I went shopping this past weekend. Before I lost the weight, I was a size 16, sometimes 18 or 16W. Now I’m a solid 14 and it feels great. I no longer fit into Lane Bryant clothes, which is wonderful! I know I still have some weight to lose, but fitting into everything I tried on was just great motivation to keep going. I ended up getting a lot of cute things, and I couldn’t be more excited!!
Sorry for making this post so long, but I had so much to say! Some people may think these guidelines are a little strict, but they really do help. I hope at least some of you got something from this. Thank you Amy for letting me write this post! If you want to read more from me, feel free to follow my Happiness Project blog as well as my life blog!