From Justin to Kelly: Half Way There

I'm so excited for this piece Justin wrote today. I'm not even going to set it up, here it is:

"I hit a big milestone. I am down 30 pounds! 30 frickin pounds! I feel better about how I look, I feel better overall health wise, and I’m so much happier. I have this revitalized spirit and I feel like nothing can stop me. I now feel like I have the confidence to start focusing more on my career as an actor. I took an on camera TV audition class this week and even though I was nervous going in, I felt great going out. That being said I may not be at my goal weight but I am over halfway there. I keep thinking, if I feel this great after losing this much weight, how AMAZING am I going to be when I hit my goal weight?!

LOOKING INCREDIBLE JUSTIN!

                I started my weight loss journey around Memorial Day and even though a people have noticed or commented on my shrinking waistline, it wasn’t until this week that everyone started becoming really vocal about my new body. I can’t walk around the office without people stopping me to tell me how proud of me they are or congratulate me on my accomplishment. The encouragements brightens my day but what’s been really surprising is that I seem to have inspired others to take better care of themselves and make healthier choices around the office!

                In lieu of Kelly’s post yesterday “The Fat Girl’s Guide To Running”? where she shared her weight loss story, I wanted to share my 3 tips and what has worked for me:

1.       DIET DIET DIET. Diet (By diet I mean what you put into your body) is the MOST important part of getting healthy. Seriously this is the single most important component. When I started portioning my food and picking the right foods to eat, I was shocked at how fast weight started to come off. The first week I saw a BIG drop because I wasn’t putting a ton of crap in my body.  Yes, eating right can feel like torture but it is the ONLY way to lose weight healthily and keep it off. I’ve always thought people who measured out their food were crazy until I started doing it. If you don’t have measuring cups in your sink by the time you finish serving your food then there lies your problem. I know what you’re thinking, “I don’t want to (or need to) give up fried chicken” or “I can’t give up my weekly Mexican and margarita spot.” I understand, friend chicken is a lot more exciting than salad. But you are not giving it up. Think of it as taking a break. Better yet tell yourself, “Once I reach my goal I can have that fired chicken.” In no time at all you will be eating fried chicken again (in moderation) and that chicken will be the best chicken you’ve ever had. But something unimaginable has happened to me, I have found that I don’t crave my favorite foods as often anymore. I think my taste has changed since I have worked SO hard to get to where I am that I don’t care to stop the progress. I also like to think about it this way, for YEARS I’ve put really unhealthy stuff in my body, now it’s time to put the healthy stuff in. I think my body deserves that. I had my “wild” phase when it comes to food and laziness but now it’s time to get it together.

2.       IT GETS EASIER! The best part of changing the way you eat is that IT GETS EASIER! When I’m at work and I start to think about what I want, I don’t think of pad Thai from down the street, I think of a salad. Pad Thai used to be my favorite “go to” meal.  I still crave it but I’m so happy with my progress I really think about what I’m about to eat before I eat it. And I let myself have Pad Thai or some of my favorites every once in a while, like every two weeks or so. Just not every few days. I now understand moderation.

3.       WILL POWER! This is something you need to have. If you don’t have it then start looking for it because will power is what keeps the progress happening! When I think “Boy that jar of Nutella looks amazing” my will power is the thing that says, “But you have already lost 30 pounds, it’s not worth it.” Will power is Nutellas kryptonite.  When I can say no to something unhealthy or I make the better decision at the grocery store or restaurant, I now feel empowered. I admit, in the beginning when I would go out to eat and see all the food I couldn’t have, I felt defeated. I was really hard on myself because I felt like I was saying no to so much food that I love but after a while I started actually enjoying and craving the healthier foods. Sure it can get monotonous. There are days when I sit in front of the same healthy thing I’ve been eating for the past three days and I think, “Why am I doing this? Is this even worth it?” YES IT IS! I’m living proof. Find the will power to get through the first two or three weeks. The rest is gravy. (No pun intended.)

4.       EXERCISE. Find the exercise that works for you. I have a bad lower back so I joined a yoga studio and it has done wonders. I’ve made yoga friends and have found some really great classes (HOT POWER YOGA) that not only helped my back but make me feel strong and empowered. If you aren’t use to exercise, (I wasn’t) this may be the hardest part to get through. I used to go home after work, exhausted, order take out and watch Netflix. I never thought I’d exercise after work or BEFORE work for that matter (woof), but as I started dieting and seeing progress I thought, “Woah what if I ate healthy AND worked out,” and WHO KNEW it helps the process! You hear everyone say “I have more energy when I work out” and at first this didn’t happen. I felt MORE tired and so sore and incredibly awful. But as I stuck with it, it got easier and now it’s energizing.  I use to fall asleep on the subway on my way home from work, now I go to the yoga studio and leave class with more energy than when I went in. I hate the gym so I just had to find what I enjoyed doing. Figure out what works for you and DO it.

5.       SUPPORT. You need support at some point be in in the beginning, middle, or end of your journey. You need someone who will check in on you and tell you to keep going or be your crutch until you have the ability to stand on your own two feet. Then you will find support in other ways from compliments, or someone checking you out, or from yourself when you look in the mirror. Everyone needs encouragement.

You learn a lot about yourself when you lose a significant amount of weight. I feel like a totally different person than I was two months ago. I can’t explain the difference but it goes beyond my physical transformation. It’s so much more than that. But I’m here to tell you, YOU CAN DO IT. It’s hard, but it’s so worth it. You can do it. Keep going. Here’s to another week!"

There are no words for how excited I am for Justin's progress. If there's one thing I have learned it's that there is no magic way to lose weight. It's diet and exercise. Period. No pills, no shake weight, no fancy equipment, just diet and exercise and by eating healthy and being active not only will you see a change physically but the way you see yourself and the world will change. It's an incredible accomplishment to be able to drop a significant amount of weight. I read an article yesterday called "5 Things I Miss About Weighing 300 Pounds" that made me smile. Two of her reasons were Presence and Perspective. I urge you to read the piece. It's a brave other point of view.

Alright everyone, I have 13 miles tomorrow! Have a wonderful weekend and keep them selfies coming! Use the hashtag #RunSelfieRepeat or email them to me at RunSelfieRepeat@gmail.com and we will do a selfie roundup on Monday! Until Monday, #RunSelfieRepeat.

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Kelly Roberts

It all started when a silly joke made headlines back in 2014 when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the New York City Half Marathon. But ironically enough, I haven't always been a runner. As the self-proclaimed former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I spent most of my life finding ways to avoid physical activity. Growing up, I missed over 70 days of PE my senior year. Working out was something I thought I had to suffer through in order to lose weight. 

Then, in 2009, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and struggling to manage my grief, I gained more than 75 pounds. With the weight gain came a new fight to regain my sense of self and learn to love the body I saw when I looked in the mirror. Then one Thanksgiving morning, drowning in grief and self doubt, I decided to go for a run. I didn't make it half way down my street before I had to stop to walk but for some reason, struggling forward made more sense than getting back into bed. It turns out that running is a lot like grief, neither ever really get easier, you just get stronger. 

Over time, I realized that while some people are in fact born runners, others are made. I created this blog Run, Selfie, Repeat and my new podcast by the same name with the hopes to inspire others to say yes to themselves while making them laugh hysterically because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. 

Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and by Competitor Magazine as one of 12 Influential and inspiring runners under 30, my mission is to inspire others to get embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest version of themselves possible.