frequently asked questions
I would change something about my diet. I would usually cut something out of my diet (sugar or excess carbs) until the stall broke and then slowly reintroduce the foods back in.
Originally when I started, I did only dairy free and gluten free as my main lifestyle choice. I also followed intuitive eating, so if I felt like it was something that wasn’t going to help me lose weight, I wouldn’t eat it. For instance, potato chips. Potato chips are both dairy and gluten free, right? But intuitively, are they going to help you lose weight? Probably not. So, I just used my own judgement for what I thought was going to take me in the direction of weight loss. Eggs usually for breakfast with some salsa. For lunch, I would have some protein and veggies and then usually the same for dinner. I added things to my foods to make sure it wasn’t boring, making sure to use a lot of good seasonings that I liked. At some point, I stalled and that just wasn’t working for me to lose weight anymore. So, then I did a round of Whole 30 which taught me a lot about what I was eating and the importance of ingredients. I also did a lot of spurts of eating things that I liked repetitively. I remember at one point for about a month eating 3 eggs with ketchup every day for breakfast, with an Asian chicken salad for lunch and dinner. I LOVED those things during that time and they were very convenient and easy to make so I just kept doing it until I got sick of it. Then moved on to my next set of foods and so on and so forth. The thing about dieting is that it has to be convenient and make your life easier or it will make you want to quit. When I stalled again using this method, I sat down with my trainer and together we worked out a limited list of foods to eat from, with enough variety that I wouldn’t get bored, but restricted enough that I wouldn’t get overwhelmed from all the options. I went on to refine and tweak and grow that list into a full-blown meal plan, getting it to the point where it worked so well for me that tons of my followers started to ask me what I was doing. I wanted to share my success with others, and that’s how the 21 Day Meal Plan™ was born!
I worked out at home 5-7 days a week for the first year and a half using Beachbody’s at-home workout programs. I was a single mom of 2 young kids and I knew the gym wasn’t an option. I recommend that if you are going to go that route, you start with 21 Day Fix. It is a beginner style workout which can be moderate to start and get more advanced as you go. If you want to start working out and you’re afraid of going to the gym like I was, start there!
There’s an option for a healthier alternative literally at every restaurant. I would get a burger without the bun or cheese, a salad with a dairy free dressing and no croutons or cheese, a chicken dish without the cheese, a steak with a baked potato, etc. You’re allowed to order things on the menu and ask your waiter to edit the item to suit your dietary needs.
To be honest, my inspiration came from Instagram. I started following a lot of people who were on their own weight loss journeys. Doing this really made me believe it was possible. I don’t know why, but seeing someone with the same body type that I had made me say “IF SHE CAN DO IT, I CAN DO IT.” It really changed everything for me.
For the gluten free part, I just knew. Whenever I ate bread or something with flour in it, I became extremely tired and also couldn’t stop myself from overeating beyond the point of being full. I also knew the foods I was “addicted to” (bread, pasta, donuts, pastries, etc.) all contained gluten. I’m an all or nothing person, it’s a mental thing for me. I had to tell myself “I cannot eat ANYTHING that contains gluten” for me to stay away. On the dairy, I experimented with the Keto diet. I followed the plan exactly, but I was gaining around a pound a day. I couldn’t understand for the life of me what was going on. So, it hit me one day—IT’S THE DAIRY PART. I quit the cheese and creamer I was having on a daily basis and the weight started coming off FAST.
I’ve always been horrible with my water. But I do notice the times when the scale moves are when my water is on point. Right now, I am aiming for a minimum of 64oz per day. This is the amount I am happy/comfortable drinking. I don’t force myself to drink ever. I just drink a good amount throughout the whole day evenly. Don’t save it all for one time or one part of the day.
The most important thing you can do is find a water bottle that you find easy to drink out of. I drink mine room temperature since it’s way easier for me to take a huge sip like that instead of cold.
Making a commitment to myself that no matter how off track I got in my foods, that I would always be gluten/dairy free during my journey until I really could trust myself to not dive off the deep end and lose control. If I went to a party or get-together of some sort—to eat the chips and salsa instead of the chips and cheese, or to eat the meat out of the sandwiches and not the cheese, or to skip the veggies because I didn’t want to eat them plain without the ranch dip. It’s the little things that you do in your mind that get you through. Don’t tell yourself that you’re on a diet. The second you do that, you’re restricting yourself. For me, I said I simply don’t eat those things anymore since my body doesn’t do well with them. That mentally feels so different and more unrestrictive. Again, this game is all mental. Remember that.
Every time I dieted before, I would be making my kids food and literally drooling at their chicken nuggets, snacks, and mac and cheese. I can’t even tell you how many times I lost control and ate a bunch of it before giving it to them. It was because I felt deprived. I felt starved. I felt emotional. When you change it to a lifestyle, that just stops. When you don’t eat something because you’re “allergic” you don’t make exceptions no matter what. That’s how I handled that situation to the point that now it doesn’t affect me even 1%. It takes time! But with consistency, you will get there!
When you lose 90+ pounds, loose skin is inevitable. I tried a lot of things to help prevent it along the way, but in the end the best solution for me after losing so much weight is a mommy makeover. I have an appointment to get a tummy tuck and breast augmentation coming up so that I can truly see all the hard work over the past two years reflected in my body. This is what I felt was right for me, and you can follow along with my journey of before and after my surgery on my Instagram!
For me, collagen has so many amazing benefits. It helps clear my skin up faster than anything else. If I’m starting to breakout and I take collagen, pretty much within 24 hours my face is 70% better. It also has 20g of protein per serving, so I like to use it as a protein powder as well since it’s tasteless.
“Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies, especially type 1 collagen. It’s found in muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, the digestive system and tendons. It’s what helps give our skin strength and elasticity, along with replacing dead skin cells.”
I took a pre-workout supplement! This is what got me through the first year of my workouts. I ended up getting into such a routine of working out eventually that I didn’t need it anymore.
Believe it or not, your taste buds will change! I used to only like bread and cheese. I wouldn’t eat a single vegetable and I’d drink almost no water. You will really be shocked how much your body changes. You will like things you never used to by cutting the unhealthy stuff out!
By drinking WATER! I also make sure that I’m well fed before making a bad decision. If I’m REALLY in the mood for something bad, I will try to eat something with protein first and drink a lot of water to see if it’s really a craving or if I’m just hungry. 99% of the time I was just hungry/thirsty.
Water! Hah! And, being consistent. A lot of people want RESULTS RIGHT NOW. They want people to notice their weight loss by day 2! But it doesn’t work like that. That mindset will not take you the distance. Don’t think short term, think about where you want to be years down the road and every step that needs to be taken to get there. Consistency, consistency consistency.
I pay close attention to the way my body is feeling. I know when I’m getting too far off track. I like to weigh myself regularly even when I’m not dieting and I’m just maintaining. I keep a cap for my weight. If I hit 155, then I hit reverse, hah! So, I won’t be too crazy and I’ll eat more freely until it starts to go up and then I will pump the breaks and do a round of the 21 Day Meal Plan™ to get back on track.
No, unfortunately. I want to be there! But obviously not bad enough or I would be doing it. I’m in that weird stage where I’m so close that it’s hard to diet because I’m like “I’ve worked SO hard for 2 years, can’t I just eat now?” Hah! But I have no doubt I will eventually get there!
Make sure you are doing it FOR YOU. Don’t seek other people’s approval. You don’t even need to discuss it with others if that’s what you feel is best. There’s also the other side of this, which is making sure the people you are closest to TRULY know how important it is to you for you to reach your goals. Emotionally, get them to understand that you need them to support you and you need them to respect your decision to change. If you give it your all explaining it to them, they will get it!
Definitely! It was one of the biggest game changers for sure. There were so many days that I just wanted to skip my workouts and sit on the couch. But every day, I said “I’ll just take my pre-workout and see how I feel.” Always worked to get my booty up!
Definitely. I have been a huge coffee drinker this entire time. But I went from drinking a Venti Iced Vanilla Latte to a Venti Iced Coffee with almond milk. So, even for a coffee habit, the healthy changes still need to happen for sure!