9 years ago, I lost 90 pounds! It’s a story that has gone viral and impresses everyone I come across. What I am most proud of however, is that I have been successful in keeping the weight off, all while juggling a very hectic lifestyle!
I’ve always been the girl with a minimum of 2 jobs. I’m a hustler by nature, even when I don’t need to be! I’m blessed to have a great (yet demanding) corporate full-time job that has recently taken me to the other side of the world. Since moving to Hong Kong, I’ve also grown my online and personal training business to the point where it is quite lucrative. In my spare time, I travel monthly and am a true explorer at heart! I’ve traveled over 24 times in the last 2 years and have no intention of stopping. I also am committed to sharing my knowledge and inspiring others through maintaining several social media profiles. I’m also in a relationship and have a great community of friends, which results in a very active social life.
Needless to say, I’m very busy! Many wonder how I keep this healthy momentum going, so I thought I would share some insight into just HOW I do this, day to day. If you are embarking on your journey, part way through, or have hit your goals, these 5 tips may help you along the way.
- Priorities. Without a doubt, my mindset is the #1 reason I’ve been successful with maintaining my success. A simple mantra I’ve had for years is “I come first”. Sounds selfish? Yeah! But, how can I be the person I need to be for others, if I am not healthy. Point blank! I am a better employee, entrepreneur, partner, daughter, friend, and global citizen when I am whole. I need to have a full cup, so I can pour into others. So, following this mantra means it’s okay to decline social outings to go to the gym or meal prep. This mantra has forced me to have conversations with my employer demanding that I get the work/life balance required to maintain my lifestyle. This mantra is THE number one reason I am still as fit as I was the day I hit my weight loss goal!
- So, I’ve done all the diet plans in the world. Be it, the vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, paleo, low carb, or ketogenic diets – I’ve done them all. What I’ve learned over the years is: Simplicity is Sustainable. As much as I want to be Vegan (one day!), for the lifestyle I live today, it simply is not feasible. So, my diet is simple and made up of wholesome, clean and healthy foods. I don’t track calories or obsess. I eat well. That is it. I have 1-2 cheat meals per week. Otherwise, I’m healthy. When I can, I make my own food. When I cannot, I order healthy. People over complicate this process. A lifestyle is something that is maintainable and sustainable. If you are starting your journey now, ask yourself — is this something I can do 5, 10, 15 years from now? If the answer is no, seriously question why you are doing it. The simple lifestyle I have created for myself is the second reason I have been successful over the years.
- Follow the 80/20 rule. Life can’t always be perfect. I would love to eat well 100% of the time and go to the gym 7 days a week, but my life doesn’t allow for it. So in everything I do, especially around health, I follow this mentality. I eat healthy (by my standards), 80% of the time. I aim to hit my gym goals, 80% of the time. The most important part: I do not beat myself up when I can’t. We get down on ourselves so often that it usually leads to a level of disappointment that deters success. So, lighten up! Realizing I cannot be perfect has allowed me to just live a little. I believe it’s this mentality that has a positive correlation to my success!
- Plan Plan Plan! Since day one, I have always taken the time on Sunday or Monday to plan out my week. Again, I’m a hustler by nature so I am always super busy, but never without being organized. In that weekly plan, there are a minimum of 3 slots for the gym (at 1.5 hours each), and two slots for meal prepping (at 1 hour each). This is where I will say no to social invites if my pre-planned health commitments cannot be moved. People don’t fail to plan; they plan to fail (another mantra I live by). So, planning and sticking to my plan, and channeling my “I come first” mantra, has definitely kept me on track all of these years.
- Be realistic. Here is my final advice that basically sums everything up. You have to set yourself up for success, and that starts with looking in the mirror and keeping it real with yourself. Design a lifestyle with sustainability in mind. It will keep you healthy and happy in your healthy state. I was never happy going to the gym 7 days a week. When I cut that down to 3 very focused days, I realized, that’s realistic for me. I was never happy eating boiled chicken and salad every day. When I implemented the 80/20 rule and designed a meal plan that caters to my taste buds, I was happier. Any decision I make, I ask myself, “Is this realistic long term?”. Most importantly, I’m realistic in accepting that the lifestyle I lead today won’t allow me to become a bikini competitor, so I try not to compare myself to those ladies. The reality is, I just want to be healthy and happy. That’s it!
You’ll see from the information the above that for me, it starts and ends with the mindset. I created a lifestyle that works long term and I’ve stuck with it. When it comes to mindset, I feel like you need to get to that feeling of euphoria through health in order to want to do everything in your power to stay there. That’s how I do it. I feel great and I’m determined to maintain this feeling.