Every minute of my day isn’t dedicated to keeping the 125-pounds off from my weight loss success back in 2009, despite popular belief.
But it does require effort and mindfulness on a daily basis to maintain. It’s not “natural” for me to maintain my weight loss all of these years because I grew up fat and THAT was my normal. It’s taken lots of mental and emotional re-training, but it will never be completely second nature staying average size.
I tell you this before I dive into what I do in a week because I know it will seem like too much for some people. It might worry you that it’s not as easy as some people make it out to be.
Newsflash: life isn’t supposed to be easy and comfortable all of the time. You don’t change your life by sitting back and judging what other people are doing to move their lives forward.
So, feel free to criticize it or steal my routine for yourself. Either way, I’m happy to share it because I consider myself a weight-loss truth teller and this is what I do every day (right now) to maintain my weight loss and happiness.
Keep in mind: this is what happens on a “typical” day… not when something unexpected comes up or when we have a special event.
Most Monday mornings, I wake up around 4am and jump right into working– often before I’m even dressed. I suppose that can be a benefit of working from home. After I feel like I’ve gotten caught up on things that need my immediate attention, I will make myself breakfast.
I didn’t used to eat breakfast, but I’ve started doing it again because I find myself getting hungry in the late morning and don’t want to push it until lunch. This is likely due to the fact that I’m not doing hard workouts in the morning right now (hard workouts take away my appetite).
So, I’ll eat somewhere between 7-9am. Breakfast varies. Some days it’s scrambled eggs or a protein smoothie. Last week I busted out my waffle maker and made protein waffles for the first time in ages.
I used to binge eat. I used to be out of my mind with cravings. 24/7 where’s the food? I used to steal food. I used to dumpster dive for donuts. I used to have secret food parties for myself. I attended meetings for my obsession.⠀ ⠀ I don’t binge eat anymore.⠀ ⠀ I didn’t find the strength in OA meetings. I didn’t start a miracle diet that changed me. I didn’t get hypnotized or exorcised.⠀ ⠀ Here’s what I did do:⠀ ⠀ 1. I stopped restricting sugar and treating it like it was evil.⠀ 2. I gave up the idea that there’s a perfect diet and if I follow it, I’ll be perfect.⠀ 3. I stopped calling myself a sugar addict.⠀ 4. I went back to allowing myself to have junk food from time to time.⠀ 5. I started releasing the shame I had about myself and my body.⠀ 6. I started trusting that I could reach my goals even if my diet wasn’t perfect (or even 80% perfect).⠀ ⠀ I still have emotional and hormonal food cravings from time to time. I sometimes give in. I’m not perfect. But I don’t eat an entire large pizza, 12 jumbo cookies, and an ice cream cake in one sitting anymore.⠀ ⠀ And I still have 125 pounds gone forever after 8 years now.⠀ ⠀ Being okay with yourself is one of the very first steps to letting go of the binge and control you feel like food has over you.⠀ ⠀ Learn how to heal your relationship with food and yourself. Click link in bio @inspire_transformation 👈 to find out more.⠀ ⠀ By the way, these are yummy protein waffles I made this morning because I needed a change. 😛😛😛
After breakfast, I generally hop right back into work until 11:30ish when I make myself lunch. That’s when I take about a 45-minute break from work and enjoy some time eating, playing with the dogs, or watching Netflix. I typically eat a big salad with some sort of protein. I’m avoiding chicken right now because I went overboard eating it last month and developed a rash on my right elbow. Cutting out the chicken made the rash go away already.
I work until about 3pm (when my husband arrives home from work) and then I start getting dressed for my afternoon gym workout with him. This month, my focus at the gym is only cardio and weights. So, I’ll start off with a 10 minutes light elliptical workout to warmup and then progress to either the stairmaster or treadmill for a higher intensity workout for 20-30 minutes. I typically follow that up with 10-15 minutes of weight training on the weight machines. I try to focus on a few body parts at a time (not working the full body). I don’t have designated days for certain exercises because I find that’s too much pressure on myself to perform. I do what feel comfortable for me to do on that day. My workout is typically 45-60 minutes long.
On the drive home from my workout, I drink a quick protein shake to make sure I’m replenishing my body and getting enough protein in. And almost immediately upon arriving home, I make a quick dinner consisting of a protein source and vegetables. Right now, it’s pretty plain and a little boring. My husband and I are cooking our own separate meals for dinner on weeknights this month because he’s eating differently than me to reach his own health goals.
We unwind for a couple of hours and then hit the bed. 4am comes early and I need my beauty rest.
Tuesdays are a lot like Mondays. The biggest difference is that instead of jumping right into work, I try to make it out to the trails for a bike ride as the sun rises. So, you can usually expect to see sunrise selfies of me on my Instagram stories on Tuesdays. I’m not an avid cyclist, nor to I aspire to be one. I ride my bike only for a few miles so that I’m getting some physical activity in and doing something that’s not WORK.
When I arrive home, I’ll get a quick shower and changed… then jump into work for a couple of hours before I have breakfast. Then back to work.
My lunch routine is nearly identical to Monday’s… same stuff, different day.
Afternoon gym workouts on Tuesdays have been flaky and inconsistent. Some Tuesdays we go and do them and sometimes we don’t. It depends on how my husband feels and if I’m too tired, too.
Regardless if we hit the gym or not, dinner is the same. We have it at 4pm (if we skip the gym) and around 5:30pm (if we go to the gym). Same deal as Monday.
Wednesdays are also a lot like Mondays. They are almost identical in routine, food, and workouts.
What can I say? I’m predictable. But sometimes, I will go down to my basement (where I have a mini gym area set up) between 7-10am and bust out a weight training workout for my legs (heavy on the deadlifts and barbell squats). I’m trying to build up my leg strength this summer, so I figured I needed to do more resistance training for my legs (besides the stairmaster and running).
This is a special day to me. My Thursday’s start off like my Tuesdays. I try to hop on my bike before the sun officially rises at 4:53am and bust out a few miles as the sun is coming up.
Once again, it’s just about moving my body and changing up my routine so it isn’t 100% boring. It’s less about calorie burning and sweating my butt off.
The rest of the day is a lot like a Monday except when my husband gets home around 3pm, we don’t go to the gym. Instead, we prepare for Date Hike. We try to do this EVERY Thursday unless the weather is disagreeable or if another event comes up.
On Date Hike, we pack a backpack full of water, peanuts in the shell, and beer. And we do a 5-7 mile hike (total mileage). We always stop about half way through (at the summit) to relax for about 45 minutes and eat and drink. It’s the worst “meal” we have all week… totally not healthy. But I believe in #progressnotperfection school of thought. If we didn’t have treats on Date Hike, we would have them at some other time… and that time wouldn’t include any physical activity probably. At least this way the peanuts and beer act as some sort of fuel for our hike.
Our hikes usually last about 3 hours and then we head home to clean up and get ready for bed.
Fridays are almost identical to Mondays. I tried really hard to think if there was any difference that’s noteworthy, but nope. None. I think one thing that’s only slightly different is the “Friday Feeling” you have on this day… there is a little more “I don’t give a shit” attitude that happens. So, in the evenings we tend to watch Netflix for a little bit and maybe I’ll have a gin & tonic. This is typical unless we have other plans… which doesn’t happen often (I know, boring).
The weekends are out of routine. And I know so many people have a hard time with eating healthy on the weekends because their routine is different. That took me a few years to get use to.
I usually sleep in until 5:30-6am on Saturdays and then wake up to get ready for grocery shopping for the week. I hate crowded stores, so I like to get there when our grocery store opens its doors. Prior to shopping, I try to make a list of the foods we’ll need for the week, but mostly I go from memory since our food choices are almost always the same every week.
After about an hour and a half of grocery shopping (2-3 stores), my hubby and I bring it home and I start meal prep for the upcoming week. Because my meals are typically very simple, this usually just meals cooking meat to go with my salads and veggies. But the important thing it that I have it so that I don’t use the excuse “I don’t have anything to eat”… and end up eating something less-than-healthy from fast food.
For breakfast on Saturdays, I usually have a Quest bar (or another protein bar) and coffee. Because I’m generally busy grocery shopping and meal prepping, I don’t feel hungry, so I eat a bar.
For lunch on Saturdays and Sundays, we have Lean Cuisine frozen meals. Yes, you read that right. I don’t like putting together a lunch for the weekends, so I have a frozen meal. It’s not always Lean Cuisine brand, but 75% of the time it is. I like quick, portion controlled food and a clean kitchen.
Weekends are typically about catching up on household chores, relaxing, and socializing. So, we’ll do a mixture of these things during the day, hence mostly having quick breakfast and lunch.
For dinner, I cook something nice and healthy for my husband and myself. Typically, it’s something that I wouldn’t eat during the week. So, I may make a healthy casserole, pizza, or a fancy fish dish (try saying that 3 times fast).
We typically turn in around the same time we do during the week because we wake up early on Sundays.
Before we do anything else for the day, we start getting ready for a long-day run. We’ve been doing long runs on Sundays for years (as long as it’s not snowing or storming). So, we get dressed in running gear, get our hydration packs ready, and make sure we went to the bathroom a few times before we head out because we typically run anywhere between 5-10 miles and if you gotta go in the middle of nowhere, that’s not fun.
We’re usually running for a couple of hours on trails (but sometimes pavement). I prefer to think of it as an adventure because there’s a lot of walking and hiking often involved and I don’t like the expectation that I have to run the entire time.
My breakfast on Sundays is sadly usually little packets of energy gels. I don’t like to eat before any sort of run because of stomach distress. But the gels during the run really help.
After our run, we’re usually pretty worn out. Sometimes we’re both physically and emotionally drained. 2 weeks ago we were attacked by a swarm of mosquitoes for 4 miles and felt like we were going to die (if that’s any indication). So, we slowly get cleaned up post run and eat lunch (usually a Lean Cuisine or two). Sometimes, my hubby will buy himself a beer and sometimes I’ll have a gin & tonic if I’m especially sore.
Do you know what’s worse than starting your period while running a half marathon in the rain? Or your legs cramping up so bad that you can’t move 16 miles into a training run? Or running naked at a nudist ranch?⠀ ⠀ Running a mile and a half through a SWARM of hungry mosquitoes who fly just as fast as you run. And then spending 15 minutes in an out house to hide from them. And then running 2 1/2 more miles with a plastic rain poncho over you to camouflage you from the mosquitoes. (thank god we packed them in case it rained).⠀ ⠀ After 8 years of running, I can safely say today’s run was the worst thing I’ve ever experienced. I was running so fast and I couldn’t bring my heart rate down. And the swarm was something I’ve only seen in movies before. I was so scared I was going to die because my heart was beating faster than I normally allow it to… while smacking bugs out of my face as I ran.⠀ ⠀ The only thing that is going to top this is if a bear, cougar, or serial killer is chasing me.⠀ ⠀ We had 4 miles of peace and 4 miles of terror today.⠀ ⠀ #thatwastraumatic ⠀😱😱😱
Sometimes, after a long run, we’re lazy for the rest of the day and lay up on the couch watching Netflix. But somedays we have more household chores or business stuff to do. It really depends on how the run goes.
And dinner is (once again) something I cook for the both of us that tends to be something different than what we normally have.
We finish up any chore and errands that need to get done and then we get ready for bed to start the week over again.
It may not be a fancy life, but it’s one full of purpose and happiness. And I can safely say that was something I didn’t have prior to starting my weight loss journey 8 years ago.
If you felt like my routine was practical and maybe you want to take some pointers from it, please do. And if you’d like to know EXACTLY what I ate (meal by meal) to lose 150 pounds in 11 months, click here to get my food journal entries from May 2009 – May 2010. This is a super thorough guide I wish I had thought to put together years ago! See exact screenshots taken from my personal food tracking app that also includes exercise and calorie burns.
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