Over the past 4 years, I have gained 50 pounds. I can make excuses for myself and say maybe it’s the side effects of my medications, maybe it’s side effects of getting older, etc. Let’s be real. It’s my fault. I’ve been eating like shit especially the past year after I got married. I just kind of let loose after I didn’t have to worry about fitting into my wedding dress.

The main reason I want to lose weight is because I want to try to get pregnant this year. I’m so mad at myself that I let my weight get this far. I know. I know. Many people have told me what does it matter how much you weigh? Women get pregnant at all different weights, and many weigh more than you. This is something that’s important to me. I feel uncomfortable and unhealthy. I don’t want to go into a pregnancy feeling that way. I want to be healthy for my baby. I want to be healthy for myself.

I’m a teacher so I went to visit my family this summer in New York. I was supposed to be doing a low carb diet with my sister, who has had a lot of success. I, however, did not have the same results. I lost 3 pounds in one month. Granted, I was cheating at least once a week, but who wouldn’t when it’s the one time of the year I can eat New York pizza. I just got back to SC where I live and once again, I’m starting the process over again. There are 5 essentials that I think are going to keep me motivated and I think they might help you too.

1. Find a workout routine that you really enjoy.

A few years back, I took spin classes at the local gym. It was my favorite way to exercise and it helped with my anxiety and depression. I was also losing weight. There were so many positive benefits, but unfortunately the spin instructors moved. There weren’t enough classes offered, so I cancelled my membership. I tried Crossfit with my husband, and I did like it, but it wasn’t completely for me. I have never been athletic and although everyone was supportive and nice, it still was a bit competitive for me. That’s why I decided to take the plunge and buy a Peloton bike. Yes, they are expensive, but it’s the one exercise that I truly enjoy doing, and it’s in the comfort of my own home! Find something that you love!

2.Make a plan.

I have started diets and workouts many times in my 26 years. I usually fail when I don’t have a plan or workout routine in place. Since I love my Peloton, I decided to complete the 30 for 30 challenge. It basically means that you work out on the bike 30 times in 30 days, so that means I’ll be doing a workout once a day for a month. If I have a routine, plan, or goal set, I am much more likely to stick to it. Stay tuned in future posts and see if I’ve stuck with it. Find a workout plan for you! Will it be that you run a mile 5 mornings a week? Will you go to your gym for an hour 3 times a week? Again, it needs to work for you, not anyone else.

3.Have healthy food ready.

We just got back late last night from a 15 hour driving trip from New York. We haven’t been in our house in weeks. Needless to say, there was no food in our refrigerator. I was about to go on the Peloton when I realized that the only food in the house were bagels! I know myself. If I worked out on the Peloton with nothing healthy to eat when I got off, I would go for the bagel. My wonderful husband ran to the store to get some things so I could make a salad. Have the healthy foods available at all times. Try to keep the bad foods out of the house! If they aren’t in the house, you can’t eat them! I know this is sometimes hard when you have a roommate, or spouse, or children who are eating those “bad foods.” I literally will tell my husband to hide the chips because they are my weakness. Make it fun! You can have someone lock the snacks up with a combination lock. Whatever it takes to keep you away from them.

4.Drink plenty of water.

I had a splitting headache when I got off the Peloton this morning. If I’m going to complete my 30 for 30 challenge, I need to increase my water intake. I’m a fan of diet sodas and iced coffees. I need to stay away from them or if I have to have one iced coffee or diet coke a day, then I should have double the water than I would normally have. The caffeine dehydrates you.  I sometimes get bored with regular water, so I’ve been drinking La Croix and flavored seltzer water. Just check the labels. Sometimes they do have added sugars. Find what you like and drink plenty of it.

5.Find good music.

I get bored really easily with my workout routine if I’m not listening to music that makes me feel good. It’s kind of funny. I listen to mostly rock, country, and sometimes pop. For some reason when I work out, I love listening to rap especially Eminem. He’s just so angry that it pumps me up and motivates me. I guess you could say he’s my guilty pleasure. Find whatever works for you! Make a playlist that you know will keep you going when you want to give up.

I hope it was clear that the common theme with these tips was to focus on you.You need to do what works for you. I learned that the low carb diet worked for my sister, but it wasn’t enough for me. Everyone is different.  Whether you’re starting a workout routine for the first time or trying to get back into one, I wish you the best of luck! Keep checking my posts for updates on my progress.