10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started My 100lb Weight Loss Journey

10 Things I wish I Knew Before Starting my 100lb Weight Loss Journey

This post is by brand new OYS writer Alexis from Trading Cardio for Cosmos. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram sharing lots of awesome weight loss tips and motivation!! She’s lost over 100lbs so she has lots to share!


Hello! My name is Alexis, and I’m the author behind “Trading Cardio for Cosmos!


I’ve lost -111lbs over the past fifteen months, and I’m working hard to lose the last 14lbs in 2016!

I’m absolutely delighted to be part of the Organize Yourself Skinny community, and to share stories, encouragement and tons of great food finds with you!

I’ve spent tons of time researching weight loss techniques and of course, I love it every day, so I thought a great way to introduce myself would be to share the “10 Things I Wish I Knew BEFORE I Started My 100lb Weight Loss Journey!”


#1 Perfection is a weight loss myth, and a motivation killer.

I went into my weight loss thinking every day had to be perfect, on point and that every week would be a loss. Life does not always fit into 30 SmartPoints or 1300 calories, and sometimes the scale does not move, no matter how well you did that week. Accepting these things, and ditching the myth of perfection made me a happier, and emotionally healthier, person.

#2 My father was right – prepping ahead is essential for success.

Now, he meant it about laying out my clothes for school and packing my backpack the night before, but the same applies to weight loss. Meal prep, snack prep and menu planning ensure I always have healthy options at my fingertips. And when I have healthy options, I make healthier decisions!

Some resources:

How to Meal Prep for The Week in One Afternoon

A Beginner’s Guide to Meal Prep

#3 Take before shots, measurements and make a list of your goals when you begin.

Showing yourself how far you have come through photos is a great motivator to keeping the weight off, and a good reminder for where you don’t want to go back to. Taking measurements is important to show your total inches lost, but also great for the weeks when you feel toner and healthier but the scale says otherwise! Goal setting is a tremendously important part of your journey. Wanna know a secret? When I started out, I wasn’t focused on a specific number. I was so ashamed of my weight and so convinced I wouldn’t be able to be successful that I didn’t want to say “I want to lose 125lbs.” So instead I focused on one year of healthy decisions, November 2014 to November 2015. I had a Size 16 dress I had secret dreams of wearing, hopes for a pair of white skinny jeans in the summer and a few other non-scale milestones I wanted to achieve along the way, but knowing the goal was health, not a number, helped me stay focused through the year and beyond.

#4 It’s okay to say “No.”

Right up there with the myth of perfection is the idea that you have to accommodate everyone, as much as possible, at all times. Well, that’s crap. It is okay to say “No, I’m not interested in Taco Bell for dinner,” or “No, I can’t tonight because I need to get a workout in,” or “No, I don’t want to because being around you isn’t good for my emotional wellness and when I’m stressed I’m prone to binge eating/making bad choices/eating too much.” You need to do whatever you need to do for your success, and taking care of yourself and your needs is a tremendous lesson.

#5 You are going to feel like all you do is talk about food.

And you are. Learning new habits is a time- and energy-consuming effort if you do it right, so it’s okay that for awhile you put your time and effort into learning new foods, meals and habits! If you’re not comfortable with discussing your weight loss amongst your family or friends, there are lots of great weight loss groups on Facebook that are full of support, inspiration and recipes!!

#6 You can lose weight and never exercise, but you shouldn’t.

Exercise ensures that your weight comes off evenly, helps you tone while you lose and exercise is GOOD for your body! Exercise is good for your heart, and has been known to decrease your chances of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even breast cancer! For me, the time it takes to exercise has replaced some of those nighttime or stress snacking situations, and I actually find that my mood improves dramatically after about a half hour of exercise.

#7 The “cleaner” you eat, the better you will feel.

I don’t mean washing your fruits and veggies (though you should), but rather, limiting the amount of processed foods and chemicals you take into your body. Low-fat snack foods, diet sodas, canned soups and frozen meals are all full of chemicals that make them lower-fat options, but those same chemicals can also slow your weight loss! When you start to eliminate these chemicals, you can increase the speed of your weight loss, improve your cognitive function and have more energy!

#8 You have to love yourself through this process.

We give so much to others: our time, our love, our patience, and yet we don’t give ourselves the same. YOU need your own time, your own love and the benefit of your own patience. It feels selfish at first, but when you take care of yourself, you are better equipped to take care of others, and you need to remind yourself that when you are happier, healthier and more active, you’re a better parent, spouse, auntie, child and friend, and that’s great for the people around you.

#9 Find someone who inspires you.

For me, when I first started working out there was a guy who ran at the same time I did in the evening. You could see he’d been a big guy who had lost a significant amount of weight, and when he ran in front of me, he blew me away with how hard he crushed it. Part of me thought I would never be in enough shape to run that hard, and part of me thought “If he can do it, so can I!” I also found a bunch of weight loss accounts on Instagram, and I loved how their plates looked like something I would actually want to eat! This was not rabbit food, carrot sticks or four little lonely chips on a plate. They are eating real food, and working it into whatever plan they’re doing. And that was encouraging for me!

#10 The biggest, best lesson I wish I knew on the beginning is the most obvious to me now: Moderation!

I started writing “Trading Cardio for Cosmos” because I saw so many people starving or depriving themselves, or eating things they were DEFINITELY not going to be able to do forever, like cabbage soup every day, shakes for breakfast and lunch, pre-packaged meals that didn’t leave any opportunity for dining out, etc. This weight loss journey is forever, so I chose to make it a lifestyle that was sustainable for me, by building menus and meals that are going to be part of my life forever. If I want pasta or full-fat cheese or a Cosmo (or two), I eat lighter or leaner throughout the day so my intake can accommodate the “splurge” item. Also, I try to get a good gym session in, so I feel like I’ve really “earned” my treat!

What about you? What are some great lessons or tips you’ve learned through your weight loss journey? 

Find Alexis on her blog, on Facebook and Instagram.


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  1. Kimberly says:

    Congratulations on your weight loss! What a great post! Would you be able to give some examples of snacks and meals that you eat?
    Thank you!

    • Thank you so much! I tend to keep my snacks pretty fresh, so I look for things like apples, grapes, bananas or some cut zucchini and Bellpepper’s with black bean hummus, a hard-boiled egg… I try to avoid snacks that are high in carbs, because they do not keep me full!
      I have meal plans and menus on my blog, but my general rule of thumb is 4-6oz protein and two veggies at lunch and dinner!

  2. Mary Fensel says:

    Beautifly stated. I think being around positive people is huge for success. Also, consuming protein at each meal has helped me achieve results. Congrats to you. You are an inspiration and motivator. Thank you for your insight and help.

  3. I am a WW lifetimer who has joined I think 4 times. I am 10 lbs away from goal. NEVER did anyone at WW tell me when joining to take my measurements and picture. How I wish they had. So WW if your listening you should bring it up at the next meeting and tell all who join…not just 1st timers. Good read keep them coming!

  4. Great post! Thanks for sharing. I am 85 lbs down since May and can really relate to all 10 of those things. I love all of the new habits I have developed, but I didn’t do them all at once. It was gradual, but now I am hooked and SO much healthier in every way. Thank you for the motivation.

  5. Love this post. I wish I had known some of these things, too. I also had a significant weight loss and prior to losing weight, I was never in pictures, so I don’t have before, during and after photos. I do have my blood work though and I am healthier now than I was 10 years ago.Also, rereading other’s stories about weight loss keeps me going. The thrill never gets old of rejecting clothes because I don’t like them as opposed to just taking anything that kind of fits.I am almost at my 5th year at goal, which I never thought was possible. So for whomever is reading this, yes, you can do this. It’s just slow and steady. I love your tips, Alexis and your Facebook posts.

  6. Alexis you are my #9! Every time I feel like slipping I go check out your page!!!!!!!

  7. Congratulations on becoming a healthier you!!

    So I’ve been unhappy with my weight since I had my 1st baby 5 years ago. I now would need to lose about 100 pounds to be in a healthy weight range. I did sign up for WW but haven’t been consistent with going or following the plan. I’d love to start leading a healthier lifestyle with my eating and exercising because of my kids I owe it to them and myself to be healthy. What kind of advice or motivation would you give me?! 🙂

  8. Inspiring! Thank you so much!!

  9. Chris Menocal says:

    Bravo! You are a rock star! This article is a fabulous guideline for lifestyle change. I totally agree with everything you said, especially the “moderation” part. You can’t be expected to never indulge again, so learning how to indulge was a key part of my journey. I always tell people, “Never eliminate anything that you are not prepared to give up forever”. When you plan for indulgences it makes walking away from other stuff easier. I have found that more times than not, I can “positive self talk” myself out of choices when I know that other indulgences are just around the bend… Lol! Congrats on your success!

  10. Good for you Alexis!! I have been up and down my whole life and am now 62 in May and am up again! I had lost 45 lbs. 3yrs. ago and have slowly put it all back on.I quit smoking 2 yrs. ago and have been using that as an excuse, but I am again heading in the right direction to becoming healthier! I pray to have the strength you have and go day by day!

  11. This is spot on! I and the sister I live with both got sleeved, she in September 2015 and me in October 2015. The weight loss so far is half of what the surgeon wants to see, but we both started working out with a personal trainer once a week in December and working out on our own 3-4 times a week at the gym. We get a lot of positive reinforcement there and our trainer says we are very inspirational to everyone there. We both went through cancer and had BMIs of about 58 when we decided to do the sleeve route. I am diabetic. My blood sugar is finally responding to the insulin and I have lost about 3 – 4 clothes sizes. I can walk for an hour now and lift up to 110 lbs. My doctor may be disappointed, but we’re not.


    Phenomenal and inspirational. I’ve been yo-yoing from 150 to 239 most of my teenage/adult life. I’m 32 and am coming back down from 229 (a 75lb gain in 5 years). 45 down, 30 to go. #s 1, 5, and 10 really hit home. My hubby likely gets so sick of hearing about my diet/plan and foods. I have a two year old and to accommodate everyone’s eating habits I ultimately cook 3 separate meals for everyone! Hubby cooks his own sometimes if it’s simple enough and we can usually eat together (if it’s steaks/chicken) about 10% of the time. It’s rough. Thank you for your inspirational journey. I’m right there with you. You look fabulous in both your before AND after pics. You radiate strength and confidence. Thank you so much for sharing.

  13. Alexandria says:

    Great advice. For me, it’s hard to stare in the mirror. Ive made progress (30 pounds out of a goal of 110) but it’s still hard to take pictures. Im working on my confidence, but it’s still a challenge.


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