My name is Angelina Cons, and I am 24 years old. I live in Washington and am a massage therapist. I used the Lose It! app and food logging for weight loss and got hooked on at-home workouts, and I’ve kept 135 pounds off during the pandemic.

I was overweight since I was in the fourth or fifth grade. That’s when I started to be aware of my body and how different it was compared to those of my classmates. But my obsession with losing weight started in middle school, and things got worse in high school, when I developed an undiagnosed eating disorder (I didn’t know it at the time, but I recognize it now).

I had many binging and purging habits, destructive ways of eating that led me to gain 100 pounds over my four years of high school. Being overweight was hard, especially being young. It felt like there were endless struggles and roadblocks. I worried all the time about weight limits on seats and amusement park rides, fitting in seats, and being out of breath in front of people. My mental health was also at its worst while I was overweight. I was in a very dark place for a long time.

By the time I reached my 20s, my weight was also starting to affect my career as a massage therapist. Being in constant pain meant I wasn’t able to give my clients the work they needed. But without all of those struggles, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

My turning point came on my 21st birthday. My family and I were out having drinks, and we asked a stranger to take our photo.

When I saw how I looked in it, I was so blown away at my body size. I knew it was time to change. I knew I had to lose weight for my mental well-being and health.

A post shared by Angelina (@angelinas_adventure)

My eating style has changed a few times during my journey, but it always came down to these habits: creating a calorie deficit and food logging.

I’ve been logging my food using an app called Lose It! since 2015. I tried a number of special eating styles, but nothing stuck for more than a year, so I decided to try eating like a an average healthy person by making healthy swaps.

As it stands, I pretty much eat what I want to (in moderation), with lots of snacks, and a heavy focus on protein and fiber. I feel like this really works for me because I constantly feel satisfied from all the snacks, protein, and fiber. And I don’t feel limited or restricted, which was usually my undoing. I get to enjoy all my favorite foods without guilt this way!

A post shared by Angelina (@angelinas_adventure)

Here’s what I eat in a day now.

  • Breakfast: A cup of matcha for energy, a Premier Protein shake, and a piece of fruit, like a banana or apple.
  • Lunch: I usually meal-prep my lunches, so it changes from week to week. Some of my favorite lunches are: wraps made with Carb Balance tortillas (usually lunch meat, cheese, and veggies), sandwiches with thin sliced Dave’s Killer bread, protein pasta salad with light Italian dressing, and PB&J overnight oats (peanut butter oatmeal and Greek yogurt, with fresh strawberries). And I usually have a little baggy of bell peppers and a fruit as a side.
  • Snacks: My go-tos are veggies and dip, like hummus or Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with seasoning (everything bagel seasoning is literally the best); almonds, cashews; fresh fruit. I’m also a sucker for grab-and-go applesauce pouches.
  • Dinner: My dinners vary, but the layout is always constant: lean protein, lots of veggies (roasted or boiled), and usually some form of carb. Some of my favorite dinners are roasted potatoes and sausage with broccoli, taco salad with shredded chicken, and chicken or turkey enchiladas loaded with veggies and made with Carb Balance tortillas.
  • Dessert: I love Yasso bars or a Pure Protein bar (the deluxe chocolate ones are my fave!), or peanut butter and a fruit like an apple or banana.

A post shared by Angelina (@angelinas_adventure)

My workout routine has pretty much stayed the same throughout my journey, up until the pandemic.

I’m a gym-goer, and I’ve been going to the gym since I was 15. But I never took it seriously until my weight-loss journey. I got a personal trainer, who taught me how to do workout splits.

I started slow, going two to three times a week. I would usually start with 15 minutes of cardio on the elliptical and transition into whatever area I was working that day for about 30 to 45 minutes, using the machines I was familiar with. I worked my way up to working out six days a week, and my current split is legs/glutes, arm/back, arm/chest, abs twice a week, and one day of just walking or cardio.[/

Because of the pandemic (with gyms closed), I had to adjust how I was working out. I don’t have machines at home, so I had to use what I had on hand. Now my use of equipment has expanded beyond just machines. I’ll use dumbbells, weighted medicine balls, resistance bands, suspension training, and most recently, bodyweight exercises.

As it stands, resistance training is my favorite way to work out, but I’m looking to get into weight lifting soon. It’s so freeing to be able to feel comfortable at the gym after all these years.

A post shared by Angelina (@angelinas_adventure)

These three changes made the biggest difference in my weight-loss results.

  • I found healthier swaps for my favorite foods.I hate depriving myself of the joy that comes with eating my favorite foods. Finding healthier, lighter calorie alternatives to my favorite foods has been a lifesaver! I absolutely love sandwiches but hated how calorically dense and empty the nutrition was. So I switched over to thin-sliced Dave’s Killer bread. Some other examples include: When I’m craving ice cream, I’ll go for Yasso bars or Enlightened ice cream. If I’m craving pizza, I’ll get a thin crust or cauliflower crust. It’s all about finding swaps that work for you.

A post shared by Angelina (@angelinas_adventure)

  • I stopped categorizing food as “good” or “bad.” Food is fuel! I used to punish myself for eating too much so-called bad food by spending more time at the gym and cutting my calories . But in the last year, I started telling myself that eating these things in moderation is okay! Having cookies and some pizza isn’t going to undo your progress (as long as it’s in moderation).

A post shared by Angelina (@angelinas_adventure)

  • I made small, incremental changes to create healthy habits. Any time I tried to jump into a healthy lifestyle and turn my life around in an instant, I always failed. This time, I started with small, gradual changes to make habits out of them. For example, I started with trying to increase my water intake, then tried to add more veggies to my lunches. Once I could do those, then I started cooking my dinner two to three times a week (I used to eat out for all my meals). And eventually these behaviors led to me prepping *all* my food.

A post shared by Angelina (@angelinas_adventure)

I have lost about 135 pounds over the course of three years.

My motto is: “Slow and steady!” Slow progress is still progress. And as it stands, I’ve been maintaining my fat loss for about five months—even through the pandemic.

Losing the weight has been the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. It has changed my life completely. I went from someone who was depressed, miserable, and constantly in pain, to someone who is beyond happy, energetic, and pain-free. It has also opened so many new doors for me. Losing all the weight gave me more confidence in basically every aspect of my life. Now I’m not afraid to ask questions, ask for help, take promotions, speak up, and just go for my ambitions. I feel as though my mind and body are now at peace, and it’s the best feeling ever.

Source: Read Full Article