I’ve tried to lose weight all my life. Not that I particularly needed it, but just like most people may have experienced, I’ve dipped into dietary plans and healthy living a few times when I put on extra pounds. That happened during particular turmoils: like when I graduated college and had no idea what to do with myself, or when I broke up with a couple of boyfriends.
Back in March, however, it was different. I was happy. Following a cozy winter of watching movies and eating late with the bae, snacking at work with the girls and traveling for a job, I discovered that my hips are a tad wider, thighs thicker and belly rounder. I wasn’t happy with the way I looked so I immediately decided to do something about it – diet.
At first, I got excited. I downloaded the Diet and Running apps and started doing interval running together with a low carb diet, tracking and scanning most of the food I ate. The goal was to lose ten pounds over the course of a month or so, which I thought to be both healthy and reasonable.
I was determined to have a killer summer body, ready for those long Saturday afternoons on the Far Rockaways… Then, the reality hit. My allergies were killing me. My lower back hurt. I just finished a big freelance project, so I was exhausted. Plus, my creative writing class, and stress associated with the money. How am I going to do this all…? Noise. There are no miracles and no shortcuts. You can get the “work done,” but it’s not the same. As corny as it may sound, all you need is dedication, self-discipline and a few useful tools.
Here are my top five tips:
1. Find a Challenge
I found mine to be the East River Pilates “Spring Fling.” 20 classes in 30 days in the exchange of a T-shirt and three bonus reformer classes – all for $99.00 (including five reformer classes.) Let’s face it; I did it all for that sexy tank. Obviously not, but for some reason visualizing my flat belly and tight leggings looking good helped a lot.
2. Download a Work-Out App
I have always been a runner, but Running for Weight Loss with its regular interval workouts made me feel like I was a teenage competitor again. (Plus, the interval training burns the fat faster!) If running is not your thing, there’s a ton of other great apps you can use for working out at home, like Fitness for Weight Loss) or Yoga Studio. They are all mostly free, but with my $9.99 premium membership, I got a healthy meal plan with some good options to cook at home.
3. Healthy Food Choices
The app MyNetDiary makes you log what you eat and sets you up for some serious goals. Because I wanted to lose ten pounds, my calorie intake was 1,100 for a few weeks. The app also allows you to input the workouts and gives you an estimate of how many calories you’ve burnt, and can, therefore, intake. As long as you work out, you can eat more. Admittedly, I cheated a couple of times when I went out.
Killer podcast for running (or other cardio) distracts you from being tired. My choice is usually The New Yorker Radio Hour to keep up with the new Trump atrocities and other news. If your work out lasts more than an hour, you can always dig into their Fiction podcast which is awesome for educating yourself about the world’s contemporary writers and poets.
5. Treats and Rewards
Little gifts from yourself to yourself are everything. All you gotta do is set a little milestone, like losing 2 pounds this week to get a facial, new haircut or buying yourself a new blouse. What helped me was the reverse psychology. I knew, for example, that I needed a manicure, so I told myself that I couldn’t get it until I achieved my little goal. Then, when you get both done, you feel double good and beautiful. Top choice at the moment: Local Honey in Bushwick.
Video: Rand Rosenberg