This is a little long but stick with me….. I promise it’s worth it! This is me being as real as I can be. This is me being as vulnerable as I can be, and this has been my struggle and how I have changed my life for the better.
SO as many of you saw my BEFORE and AFTER pictures on INSTAGRAM. I was absolutely terrified to post them but my fears quickly disappeared when I received such an amazing and positive response. I had so many people messaging me and asking me, “How the heck did you do this in half a year?!” This was a question I had asked myself so many times seeing other people’s transformations and I was convinced that there was some formula or some product that these people had that allowed them to see such a huge difference. Some people may actually have a formula or a product that they swear by but in my case, I found that there’s no secret potion and no quick, easy or sustainable way to lose weight. For me it’s all about throwing on my headphones and working my butt off in the gym and I’d be willing to bet that this works for just about anyone who gives it a try. For so long I knew that this is what I had to do but it was so hard to actually get myself to the gym and get to work. I even tried a few different products and there are some good ones out there, but even still, nothing replaces building up a good sweat and eating right. I have worked really hard at this and I will continue to work hard so that I can get better every day.
I have struggled with my body/weight the past few years and I wanted to make some changes but it was always hard for me to fully commit. I worked weekends and had long days at my last job so coming home and working out was the last thing on my mind. I also have struggled with depression. I didn’t like who I was or how I felt. I started to work out a little bit when we lived in California, but I just didn’t see any changes right away so I would give up after a week or two. When we moved back to Utah last July, I was not in a good place. Emotionally, mentally, and physically I was drained and worn out. I was struggling with the fact that I had to leave my awesome job, a state that I loved, and all of my friends. I had gained 15-20 pounds from the time that I got married until about 8 months ago.
MY BREAKING POINT……
I remember looking in the mirror about a year ago and thinking, “How did I let myself become such an unhealthy person?” I felt angry inside and had lost confidence in myself. I decided to text my friend Emily because I know she loved working out and did Bikini competitions and I really credit her for helping me to get back to the gym. She helped me to learn the correct form and she just helped me to get comfortable going to the gym. So many people don’t workout because they feel dumb or they don’t know what to do and it really helped me to have a friend who knows so much about working out. Emily even posts about different workouts she does and even though I haven’t had the chance to workout with her lately she’s always got good ideas for different workouts. She’s also got workout and meal plans you can purchase from her that are affordable and amazing!
You can follow her and contact her on Instagram — EMILY FAIRBANKS
Building up a sweat was only part of my journey. It was only after I started to eat a little better together with my workouts that I started to see real changes.
Fast forward to my new job working as a flight attendant at JetBlue. The lifestyle of a flight attendant is great in so many ways but it can really be hard for people who are watching the lbs and who are trying to become more active. I had been working as a flight attendant for about 3 months and I just kept gaining weight and making excuses. My uniform was slowly getting tighter and tighter and at the same time my skin was breaking out and I was exhausted all the time. I was at the heaviest weight I have ever been at and I didn’t feel comfortable in my own body but at the same time I wanted so badly to feel confident again and to be more HEALTHY. I had had enough and I was finally done making excuses for myself. I decided to join a local gym in Boston after being encouraged by some of my roommates. It has been great to have gym buddies and they even keep me honest on those days that I’m not feeling up to going. If you relate at all to my struggle to even get to the gym, find someone who has similar goals and go with them. If you motivate them to go, I’ve found that the favor often returned and that has helped ease me into going even on days that my friends aren’t able to.
NOW for the GOOOOOD stuff and what you have been waiting for …..
This was a huge part of how I lost weight. I had to change my habits. I am guilty of loooooving pizza, bread, cheesecake, and basically all naughty carbs! Some carbs are good and necessary, but keep an eye on where the carbs are coming from. I knew that if I went cold turkey and gave up all the good stuff right away I would never be able to stick with to my goals. I started small (I decided to pack my food for work in a cooler so that I don’t have to eat expensive and unhealthy airport food) and the small steps have lead me to better eating habits. I’m not at all perfect here, but my diet has been a huge factor in being able to shed some lbs.
*BTW ….. I am in no way a dietitian or an expert – everyone’s body is different and you may have to test out what works for you – this is just what has worked for me*
This is usually what my shopping list looks like:
Fruit – I pretty much live off of fruit!! Its natural sugar and it has helped my metabolism to speed up a bit.
• Mango (my favorite lately)
• Blueberries (my least favorite but they are so good for you – lots of antioxidants)
• Avocados (apparently this is a fruit? I love avocado on a piece of toast!)
• Sweet potatoes
• I also drink IT Works’ “Greens” veggie packets everyday – these are awesome if you struggle to get your veggies in!
• 1-2 hard boiled eggs per day – I like to de-shell these and take them with me on the go when I can
• I make egg salad sandwiches 3-4 times a week (sometimes this gets old but you can mix it up with different herbs and spices – Tumeric and Paprika are a couple good ones)
• Pita pockets or Scala bread (peanut butter and honey, tuna, egg salad, and turkey sandwiches)
• Whole grain bread
Protein (hardest part for me)
• Orgain protein (Costco sells it and it’s so yummy!) or you can order it HERE – Sometimes I’ll add a banana, milk, chia seeds, and/or peanut butter
• Protein bars (Clif bars, SpecialK – Strawberry)
• Flip Chobani yogurts — I love the low fat Greek yogurt Coco-Loco or Key Lime Crumble
• Meat (I’m not the biggest fan of meat but I’ll add chicken if I don’t feel like I’m getting enough protein or if I still feel hungry. Sometimes I will get a rotisserie chicken for $5 from Costco and I’ll use the chicken for a few days)
• Flapjack pancakes (Kodiak Cakes are amazing! They also have some muffin cups that you just add water to and it’s a good pick-me-up in the morning. If you get the pancake mix, add an egg and milk for more protein)
• Black beans
I drink 4-6 12oz. water bottles a day. I divide my weight in half to find out how many ounces of water I should drink and then I add one 24 oz water bottle for every hour I’ve worked out that day. This hasn’t only helped me to lose weight but it has also helped to flush my system and clear up my skin.
I am training for a half marathon so I am doing a few extra days of cardio than I would normally do. Cardio is about 3-4 times a week for me, I also was really focusing on losing fat in the beginning and cardio helped to get my heart rate up and to build up a sweat. Cardio has also really seemed to help speed up my metabolism a bit.
I started really small – I would either walk on incline or jog a mile. I could barely even do this in the beginning because I was so out of shape. I found some interval training like this one HERE which really helped me to build up to longer distances. I started being able to run a mile without stopping, then I finally got up to 2 and 3, etc etc. I can now run about 6 miles without stopping (I will slow down at certain points). My biggest accomplishment since I’ve been on this workout schedules has been my 8.5 mile run for the first time in 2 years!!!!! As crazy as it sounds, I have started to actually enjoy running and I look forward to pushing myself each week.
My weekly workout
• Walk/jog 1 mile or do the stair stepper for 10 min to warm up – on weight training days
• Weight train arms 1-2x a week
• Weight train legs 1-2x a week
• Do BBG (Bikini Body Guide) a few times a week or when I can’t make it to the gym (I sometimes just take parts of it and add it to my routine)
• Run 2-4 miles 2x a week
• Run 5-8 miles 1x a week
• Foam roll daily
• Stretch daily
• Drink 4-6 water bottles daily
It’s hard for me to make a steady Monday-Saturday workout plan because of my work schedule but I always do my best to make sure I get a workout in no matter what time it is.
SUPPLEMENTS/PRODUCTS I use:
BCAA- PRO^6 (If you enter your email they send you a discount code)
You can do this! Don’t compare yourself to other people and don’t worry about what other people may think of you. What’s important is that you act and that you get out there and start working towards your goals, whatever they are! Don’t wait for the right time, don’t get caught up in “quick and easy” weight-loss programs and don’t doubt yourself. Put yourself in the best possible situation to achieve your goals and you’ll start to become more and more comfortable and confident and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goals.
I will start to post more about my workout journey on my Instagram and I hope we can all help each other! Thanks for all the love and support!
Love you all!
Stay motivated and stay strong – you are beautiful!
If someone hasn’t told you today that you are beautiful and that they love you, I DO!!!!
MICHAELA DESIREE KNIGHT