“I lost weight after I made a vow to only allow myself to eat out twice a month. It seems to silly to act as if that’s some big challenge or compromise but seriously, it’s hard to limit how often you eat out! Between friends wanting to get dinner, catching up with old friends, family or friends in town, and just generally being lazy about cooking I was probably eating out at least 5 meals a week. Sometimes I’d stop at McDonalds on the way home and get a strawberry milkshake as a little treat for dealing with a shitty day. I didn’t realize how much I was eating out until I noticed my budget and how much eating out was costing me. So, I just told myself, no more fast food or dining out except for twice a month. I figured that enabled me one meal out on every paycheck. The results have been great. Not only have I been saving a ton of money but I’ve lost weight too. At least 25 lbs by now and it’s been 6 months. Basically, I just became proactive about my meals and cooking and what I’m eating. I realized one meal I make for myself for $8 can last 2-3 meals, depending on what it is. And now, when I go out, I make sure those meals are really worth it and they’re more special.” – Brian, 33.
“I gained weight when I took an office job 3 years ago. After work I’m so exhausted I don’t feel like working out and so I became an inactive person most of the time. Around the same time I noticed how sluggish I had become I had been thinking about taking on a part-time second job because my first job is, for the most part great, but doesn’t pay me that well. When I was job searching I found a waitress position at a bar where the ad said, “Don’t apply to this job unless you’re willing to be on your feet the entire shift and walking the entire time up and down a pool hall.” Honestly, that sounded great to me. It was just what I needed. I hate exercising because I get so bored with it but if I have a task I have to do while I’m exercising then I don’t even notice it. I started the job a few months ago and I’ve already noticed such a difference. It’s helped me lose weight and tone up my legs.” – Ashley, 27.
“I noticed in the past year I had gained at least 20-30 lbs when I went from being a full-time college student to someone who works at home as a graphic designer for a company that lets me work remotely. When I was in school I was so busy all the time, always running around, and I was on a regular schedule of eating 2 or 3 times a day inbetween classes. Then, when I started working from home 12 hours a day, not only did my lack of activity go down, but I started eating crap. I’d order in a few times a week because I was too lazy to cook or I’d work all day, forget to eat, then binge eat whatever was in my fridge. It was really unhealthy. After I saw myself in some recent pics and noticed my clothes weren’t fitting, I knew I had to do something. I didn’t want to become diet and gym obsessed, mostly because I don’t have time for that. I decided to look at what I was eating and go back to eating a mostly raw, vegetarian diet, like the one I was on in college. The big thing for me wasn’t carbs, but sugar. If you start reading your ingredients in what you’re eating, sugar is in almost everything! It’s disgusting. So I cut out sugar and after a week, I immediately felt better and noticed I looked slimmer. I started making a habit of walking more and taking 2 breaks during my work day to go on a walk. Just by doing those 2 little things I’ve already seen a change in not only my weight but my mood and how I sleep.” – Lisa, 25.
“My friend took me to check out a new gym that had opened up in our neighborhood. I didn’t think I would really like it because I’m not a fan of gym culture to begin with but they had a room where just women can work out in if they don’t want to be around guys, which I loved, and they offered me a 15-day free pass to “try out” the gym before committing to signing up. I knew I needed to do something after I had gained some weight in the past year and this was the perfect thing for me.” – Kelsey, 24.
“I stopped drinking alcohol and eating food with a lot of sugar. Within 3 days I felt stronger, happier, and felt a noticeable difference in my body. It was the greatest thing I’ve ever done to lose weight.” – Chuck, 28.
“I broke up with my boyfriend and became too depressed to eat. Great diet and lifestyle tip, right? Haha no, but seriously, after we broke up I started reevaluating a lot of things in my life. I was never obese or anything, but I was at a weight I was uncomfortable with and wanted to change. I started meditating, doing more yoga, and became more spiritually fulfilled. When this happened and I turned my mind into a positive space I started to think more positively about my life and ways I could make a difference. It was realizing everything I do and every thought I have is a choice I make. I remember this when I’m feeling tempted to binge eat. I still eat what I want in moderation and I still give in to my cravings, but I’m more mindful about it.” – Kailey, 34.
“I quit my job. I worked at a brewery and they gave us unlimited free beer. I’d get drunk every night and it was great but I realized after a year I had really added on the pounds. I knew as long as I worked there I was enabling my alcoholism and it was starting to affect my relationships. So I quit. After a year I was in a better place, off the booze, and had lost almost all the weight I had gained.” – Craig, 26.
“Last year I became friends with a new colleague at work from China who commented on American’s eating portions, specifically when it comes to meat. He said it surprised him to see Americans eating a piece of meat for themselves that would have fed his entire family back home. I knew our portion sizes were over the top but it really opened my eyes to what I was eating and how much of it I was eating. So, I cut back. I started replacing the part of my plate that would normally be filled with meat with more green vegetables. It sounds really simple and it is but it’s also hard. It’s a mental thing. We’ve been taught all our lives to eating nothing but basically a meat and potatoes diet.” – Eric, 29.
“I stopped eating pizza. It’s sad but true. I love pizza and I still eat it maybe once every 6 months but before, I was eating it probably once a week.” – Megan, 26.
“I fell in love. Seriously. That’s what did it for me. I fell in love with the most beautiful caring and loving person who was in a better place than I was mentally and physically. She taught me all these things about life I never knew before or had even thought about. We were two complete extremes when we met. I was a functioning alcoholic and really down on myself. I drank every night until I blacked out because I had nothing to really live for and I never thought I would have anything to live for. But then I met her and she made me want to change. She made me want to be a better man. She showed concern over my drinking and for awhile that was a hard battle but she made it clear she wanted our love to be a space that would help me, not make me into a person I didn’t want to be.
She helped me get on a regular eating schedule and she helped me eat a healthier diet and actually start exercising for once in my life. It was baby steps. And yes, it was all the basic things people tell you “eat healthier, exercise more” but it wasn’t all done at once and it was done with the help of someone who really loved me. That made all the difference. She has always been someone to take me through every step and let me know no matter what she loves me, even if I falter or fuck up, she’s there as my cheerleader. Love is no better motivation.” – Jimmy, 26.
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