4 Pieces of Advice I Would Give My 40lb Heavier Self

4 pieces of advice I would give my 40lb heavier self. Very motivational and inspiration weight loss advice!

This month marks 4 years since I started my weight loss journey. 4 years! I can’t believe it! Time flies by so incredibly fast. Before you know it days turn into memories and you are looking back reflecting on your life.

Last night I was doing some thinking about the time right before I started losing weight. I was a different person back then – completely different. For one, I looked different. I was 40 pounds heavier with shorter hair and a questionable fashion sense. My kids were 5 and 3 years old and I was surviving off leftover macaroni and cheese along with LOTS OF COFFEE. I worked full-time outside the house and barely had time to fix my hair every morning – I was an expert in the wet ponytail look. Life was extremely chaotic. Losing weight was something I thought about often, would try every now and then, but never created any real sustainable changes. I didn’t know where to start or what to do. It was depressing. That girl back then was not happy and she was ready for a change.

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MY OTHER RECIPES

4 years later and 40 pounds lighter (give or take depending on the week) I was able to create real sustainable changes. I transformed into a new woman. I did not just changed physically. Sure losing 40lbs transforms your looks but I noticed changes in every area of my life. Losing weight brought out a confidence and happiness in me that I did not even know I was lacking. Losing weight truly changed my life.

I have learned a lot since the days of eating my kid’s food scraps and wearing elastic waste gaucho pants. However, if I could go back in time and give myself only 4 pieces of advice this is what I would say.

#1 You are in control

That’s right losing weight completely depends on YOU. YOU are in control. It is very easy to believe that weight loss is the result of a magic pill, diet, wrap, shake, leaving out food groups, or whatever else. Frequently, I here people say “this diet didn’t work” or “that weight loss program didn’t work for me”. But the truth is nothing will work unless you work. Period. Even plastic surgery will be a disappointment if you don’t take control and change your lifestyle.

I remember the moment I began to take control back over my weight. It was soon after I started using My Fitness Pal. At that time, I did not change my eating habits completely but was just starting to track what I ate. Tracking my food led me to eat more intentionally. That’s when the light bulb turned on and I realized losing weight was completely in my hands. Literally. When I took the time to think about the food I ate I was able to make choices. Those choices gave me control. I quickly learned that to lose weight, and keep it off, I needed to control my food. Up until then I was letting food control me.

The same goes with exercise. You are in control of making exercise a priority. Nobody can do that for you.

Now I am not saying taking control is easy or comes without challenges. Obviously that is not true. What I am saying is stop putting control and responsibility into someone else hands, especially into the hands of the diet industry. Losing weight starts and stops with YOU. When I finally understood and accepted that losing weight was within my control the pounds started to come off.

#2 If you do what you always do then you will get what you always get

You will not get different results doing the same thing every day. Therefore, if you want results you need to make changes. I only bring this up because I think I went years, maybe a decade, being confused and depressed about my weight. I did not understand why I wasn’t losing weight. All those years I truly thought I was eating healthy. Also, I was convinced walking through the neighborhood was all I needed for exercise. I had no idea why I stayed at 177 pounds for YEARS.

Now I know. I wasn’t eating healthy at all. Most days I was eating between 2500 -3000 calories. Many of those calories came from processed garbage. Sure I was not a regular at the fast food joints but my freezer was filled with frozen pizzas and chicken fingers. My pantry did not look any better. The day I completed a food overhaul I was shocked by where my calories were coming from. 500 alone came from my beloved coffee drinks.

As for exercise, walking just didn’t cut it. Don’t get me wrong I still LOVE to take my walks but I know if I want to see real results I need to work up a sweat and do strength training. Walking now is in addition to my other exercise routines.

Don’t try to overhaul all your behaviors in one day. Doing so will just overwhelm and cause frustration. Focus on one or two at a time. Once you feel comfortable then work on another one. The goal is to make these changes sustainable because going back to old ways will just lead to old results.

I highly recommend reading this post that talks about 15 habits of people who have lost 20-30lbs and kept it off.

#3 Keep going

It takes 3 weeks to form a habit and about 3-4 weeks to start seeing results. I know it might not be easy but give yourself enough time to see results. Trust me the day you can button a pair of jeans that used to be tight or someone says “Wow you look like you lost weight” you will want to keep going. Once you see results it becomes addicting.

Also, never forget creating a healthy lifestyle and losing weight is a life long journey. It never ends. You will have bumps in the road and there will be many times you give in to temptations and get off track. Never give up. Always keep going. Here is one of my favorite quotes.

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Don’t ever feel like you can’t do this! You can do it. Some days you will have it all figured out and everything will flow great. Other days all you will want to do is sit on the couch and eat a greasy pizza. Don’t punish yourself. Just take a step back, refocus, and always keep going!

Here is a post to help when you get off track.

#4 Get ready for awesome

Close your eyes and think about how life would be different if you lost weight. Would your health improve? Would you feel happier? What about sexier? What would be the first outfit you purchase? Do you think your face would change? Would you feel like a new person? Would you have more patience? How would it affect you as a parent? An employee? What other positives changes would happen?

Okay now take all those happy thoughts and times that by 1000! Because I can tell you losing weight became MUCH MORE than fitting into skinny jeans or wearing a bikini around people. Of course that was pretty cool too. But more than that losing weight gave me confidence. It made me happier than I could ever imagine. Not because I am skinny but because it gave me control back over my life. I felt a huge sense of accomplishment and truly believe I can do anything I set my mind to. I also enjoy taking pictures of myself now. I wouldn’t say I am a selfie expert but I certainly don’t hide behind my kids in pictures anymore. I am proud of the way I look.

When people look at me they now see a woman who cares about and takes pride in the way I represent myself. I am now the best version of me!

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Comments

  1. Great article and blog! I just found your site and I’m excited to explore. Your situation 4 years ago is so similar to mine now.

  2. Thank you for the encouraging words! It is really some great points to think about when you need to set your mind for weight loss. Now if I can get my mind around those points.

  3. Lots of good thoughts on losing weight. I recently found your site and it has helped me already. I made a batch of mason jar salads and they really helped me get more vegetables in even when I’m busy mid-week. I’m looking forward to finding more great ideas. Thanks.

    • That’s great! I am so glad you find my recipes and information helpful. If it weren’t for my smoothies and mason jar salads I don’t think I would ever eat veggies 🙂

  4. brenda perry says:

    Thanks for sharing your story, you look amazing! This is very motivating!

  5. I just want to say how much I appreciate your blog and your honesty! Thanks for sharing all this with the “world” basically us moms in the same boat! I follow you on FB and Im inspired by your story, I am determined to become my healthier ever! 🙂 Thanks!

    • Thank you! You can do this! We are all in the same boat. I completely understand the stress of motherhood and everything that comes with it. But trust me if I can do it anyone can.

  6. Great Post! Well done you.

    This is exactly what I needed today as a pick me up :-).

    Love the Mandela quote

    Mandy x

  7. Thank you Tammy! I have over 50 diet books in my collection, many apps, many excuses and have been so overwhelmed! Your 4 tips just struck a cord with me and I just wanted to thank you so much for all you do. I’m feeling hopeful…..

    • You are welcome. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. I love doing what I do because I know it brings hope to others. I believe in all of you and know if I can do this anyone can. Keep going girl!

  8. Thanks! Started my journey Sunday and I am using this week to see my diet and where I am going wrong. Trying to lose 20lbs. FitnessPal is showing me soooo much. This is great advice, especially because I am in the beginning of my journey. Thanks for the inspiration, keep it up!

  9. Oct. 29, 2014 Thank you for this post. I have been fighting with myself for a while now about my weight. I recently started tracking my food, with myfitnesspal . What a difference it makes in my food intake, but it is a start. I have a long way to go and have given up several times, but reading your post today, has charged me up . I am ready for this, again thank you.

    • You are welcome. My fitness pal was such a game changer for me. It is amazing to see the amount of food we really eat compared to what we think we are eating. Made of the difference for me.

  10. I get the whole of it and wish I could stay on track I thought I had it last year- exactly oneyear ago I went on a journey to lose myweight I did however I regained my 15pounds
    It’s true you can get down about it and that seems to spiral you out of the control and food takes over.
    I am again going to give it a go.. I recently started following you and this post gives me hope and thank you.
    my journey began 2 days ago

    • You can do this! I believe we all have different seasons of life. Some are stressful and some not so much. Sometimes we need to be patient and other times we need to push ourselves. But if there is one thing I have learned through all of this is to never give up. Always keep going. You got this!

  11. Thanks for being so generous with your inspiration. I appreciate every word.

  12. Thanks for sharing.,…awesome you have kept it off for that long!!! I lost 45 in 2009 and slowly gained it all back… Am 8 weeks into new lifestyle change.with hard work its coming off Slowly!!!! For good this time!!

  13. Nicely written! Very energetic and motivating message. I once lost 75 lbs and was down to 135 lbs-I know how much more amazing I felt and looked so I can relate to you at your lower weight. Unfortunately, I’ve gained it back (PLUS some-how it pains me to say that) so I can also relate to your 40 lbs ago story. You are right with everything you’ve said here. You have obviously got it figured out! I know all of these things in my head but I just can’t get started (to get addicted!) and it’s killing me physically, mentally and socially. I think I’m struggling to get started due to having a lot of disruption and chaos in my life right now that I can’t change. Much of it should be resolved in the next 6-9 months so I’m hopeful that I’ll still “find my way”, but in the meantime, I will be referring to your 4 pieces of advice often and trying to generate some of my own energy and positive words out of the enthusiasm you shared with us. Thanks!

    • Thank you. It is really tough when life gets stressful, I understand. When I get stressed all I want to do is sit on the couch and eat pasta. However, I do find when I push myself to keep healthy during a stressful time I always come out a stronger better person. Taking care of myself helps me to deal with stress much more effectively. I know it is hard to push ourselves but sometimes it only takes a few times to get the ball rolling naturally. You will do this. I know you will.

  14. Inspiring! Thank you for sharing. Sometimes we need to hear something so simply put in order to go forward. What you accomplished is major. Lot’s of hard work on your part but your pictures say it all. Congratulations!

  15. You’re writing is such an inspiration. Just turned 49 today and am scared to death to weigh this weight any longer. Discipline is such a problem… you know what needs to be done but when it comes down to eating at the last minute or not having the right foods ready for a healthy meal is when all the mistakes are made. Looking forward to following your blog and tapping into your inspiration!

  16. Great post…and I so relate, it just took me much longer to realize my weight was bringing me down…almost 30 years exactly…in 2008 I went from 267 to 195…then put some weight back on and just this past May went from 206 to 177 and this time I am BETTER…I am more focused, more driven, more me…so as I look to my 51st birthday next month I am a happier, healthier me…my sons are 28 and 29 and they have never seen me at my current weight…it’s in all of us to be a better “us”…just look and listen, she is in there… 🙂

  17. I started a blog back in May and it isn’t specific to weight loss, but that is a major focus. I found this blog a few months back and this post really struck me. As much as I feel that I am ready, I am still you 4 years ago 🙁 I am ready to do my How the Jeans fit Friday post and I have gained and a pretty significant amount. I am almost embarrassed to post it. But I promised to keep it real and that is real. I need something to change and stick and I am struggling. What do you think was the moment that finally changed your mindset?? Also, I would like to reference this post in my post tomorrow, if that is ok? Thanks!

  18. Kelly favela says:

    OK so I’m using this as a spot to vent about my own issues for a second only because I’m here now I’m looking for ideas and advice I know I’m on my own in this and we all have issues but these are mine.
    I was on weight watchers doing great no meetings just the girls I worked with. Then my mother in law moved in. Now I really enjoyed going to work lol but eating became a problem I’d leave for work at between 6-8 am and not get home till 8-10 pm work was 100 miles away so I started eating in the car my mom in law loved diners Starbucks and sweets and she couldn’t go alone ugh. 15 pounds back of the 20 I lost and she moved out yeah:) a year later my mom moved in :\now I know what’s wrong with me 10 more pounds she is a complete sugar addicct. And I am stressed. Thank you for the place vent. And the insperation

  19. Really needed this article today. Struggling to get the motivation the lose 40lbs gained during my pregnancy. Xoxo

  20. WHOO-HOO! Thanks for the inspiration sister! Can’t wait to share my 40-lb TRIUMPH!

  21. It’s as if I wrote this article, right now at this time of my life. Thank you for this wise advice.

  22. Victoria says:

    I also have been on a four to five year weight loss journey. I have found my fitness pal so helpful. We seem to share a lot of the same battles and I too find I am a different person now that I have lost 70 pounds. I have more patience with my kids and husband and am just a nicer person. Thank you for your thoughts. Keep strong lady!!!! You are an inspiration to all of us.

  23. Truly awesome and inspirational!

  24. Heather says:

    Your blog is timely for me as I promised myself that this is the summer to prioritize my health. Today is day one of returning to the gym…no excuses! Feeling fit is so powerful and by the way you look very happy! Again, thanks for your posts.

  25. My three sisters and I are extremely overweight, 40 – 80 lbs. I have been following you for a few weeks and have been telling my sisters about your site. They have started following you too. We have our niece’s wedding to attend in early January 2016. We all have admitted it is time to stop talking about it and really do something about it. We are going to get together this Sunday and prepare some dinners and freeze them. Is that a good place to start or do you suggest something else we should do first? Thanks for all your posts.

    • I think that is a good place to start. I would also use that day to sign up for My Fitnespal, do a weigh in, take measurements, and take some before pictures. Then set a date to check back in. But using MY Fitness Pal will be very helpful for you and your sisters.

  26. You have inspired me so much. It’s so helpful to hear from an actual person how to mentally deal with the process of weight loss. Thank you so much, you have no idea how much your blog has helped me! I’m setting out on my own weight loss journey now.

  27. 2 yrs ago I found one of your articles, I signed up on Myfitnesspal and over the next year I lost over 45 lbs! Every time I “fall off the wagon” I come back and read through your blog, thanks for the inspiration!

  28. Laura Anderson says:

    I am right where you were 4 years ago. Feel the same way. So out of control. Like i am stuck in time. Cant kove forward. Hate to even look in the mirror. Does anyone feel like everything on tv is about losing weight. I need to change my mindset I have major health issues due to this weight i am carrying.

    • It is all about mindset…which in my opinion is the hardest part. It helps me to read motivational books or blogs to help get me where I need to be. I love the book the success principles by jack canfield. It’s kinda for business but the principles are still the same.

  29. I am so glad I stumbled across this, I am so motivated to jump on my weight loss and this gives me a lot of motivation and inspiration!! Thank you!!

  30. Wow! You look fantastic! Thank you for the inspiration and hope.

  31. Marilyn Pamplin says:

    Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement.

  32. Kelli Royer says:

    Several years ago, I was about 20 pounds heavier than I am now, and I wasn’t happy about it. One day, the fact that I was in control somehow suddenly hit me. This thought went through my mind– “You are this weight because you’re choosing to be this weight.” I even argued with myself, but I knew the truth. I began changing my nutrition and running– it wasn’t instant or quick, but the weight did come off! I have successfully kept most of it off (yes, I bounce around because I’m not always perfect) for three years now. This article tells the hard, honest truth– no excuses… it’s up to you.

  33. Amanda Baptista says:

    Nailed it totally! Thank you for this

  34. I am at the beginning of my journey and reading your post is like having someone peek into my life. It has taken me10yrs to really get serious about losing weight. It’s been 5 months and I have lost 20 pounds. I started exercising first and cutting down my portions but I need to work on my food choices. I’m feeling better. Still have dealing with depression but not as much. Still wearing the wet pony tail but now I wear earrings. Lol…I’m proud of myself and the changes. I will keep going and getting better.

  35. You look fantastic! Your article is very inspiring, thank you so much for sharing your tips and story. I have a lot of weight to lose and have tried to off and on for years. I just started again, using My Fitness Pal to track foods. I’m using a 3 day on and 1 day off strategy simply because as a food addict this works for me. I can’t do a lot of exercising but I am finding ways to motivate myself to start walking more.

  36. I saw a quote once that said, “losing weight is hard, being overweight is hard, choose your hard.” I think of that when I see an extremely overweight person struggling to do something that should be easy…. It keeps me going down the path of trying to get/stay more healthy.

  37. Tammy Wall says:

    I am at the beginning of my journey. Yes. It took 21 days to form a good eating habit. It was hard at first, but after a month I lost 8 lbs!! Now I’m at a plaque… need encouragement to walk more and get that weight-loss going again. Any suggestions? Thanks so much for your emails… I love them and you’really my inspiration!! ❤

  38. Tammy, as I write this comment it’s 2017… 3 years on from your post (7 years from your beginning) and you’re STILL inspiring people… aka ME! Thanks for sharing your journey.
    Reading about your story, it’s as if you’ve written my weight/life biography!
    Yesterday, before even knowing your blog existed, I thought I’d finally committed to a decision to lose weight (after procrastinating for the past 20 years)… BUT, today whilst researching comparisons between MFP and WW apps, I’m glad I stumbled across your blogs.
    NOW I’m actually committing to changing my lifestyle (losing weight and so much more).

  39. Hai, it’s been 4 years since you write this article. How are you now?
    Sorry for asking this. But I’ve been there, feeling so happy and energetic since I have lost 8 kgs. But now i feel so awful and stupid because now i get my weight back at the beginning point.
    And this is not the first time. I’ve been in this ‘yoyo’ situation for several times.
    Not in a short period, but for months for every ‘yoyo’
    Can you guve me some advice or something to get me back in spirit to have a healthy lifestyle and have a better shape and healty?

  40. Jacqueline says:

    Hello! I just want to say that I’ve found your blog to be incredibly inspiring. I’ve struggled with my weight all of my life but I’m currently at the heaviest I’ve ever been… I’m also recently engaged and planning my wedding. I am DETERMINED that I will lose the weight before my wedding day! I don’t want to look back at the photos 10 years from now and hate the way I looked. I’ve got a long journey ahead (50-60 pounds) and just over a year to reach my goal. I will keep returning to your blog for more inspiration when I find myself falling off the rails 🙂

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  1. […] last year I wrote a post called “4 pieces of advice I would give my 40lb heavier self”. In that post I shared some wisdom I thought would help someone who is just starting out on his […]

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