oh Lordy be the struggle is real! Food is so delicious and if you are like how I USED to be, it really is one of the major motivating/destructive factors in our day to day lives. What will I eat today? I didn't eat enough and now I am starving! I just ate some donuts and now I shouldn't eat anything for the rest of the day. It's a constant balance and also a constant thought in our minds. Even when I wasn't eating I was thinking about the next thing that I would eat and I have done that FOREVER! I was SICK OF IT. Why wasn't I losing any weight? I had cut some food out but it didn't seem to work but FINALLY I saw the light and I would really LOVE to share with you!

Calories. Calories in and calories out. Do you know the number of calories you eat in an average day? If you are a female the average calorie count to maintain is 2,000 and to lose about a pound a week it's 1,500 BUT every body is different so I will give you the male average and then we break it down even more. An average male should be eating about 2,500 calories to maintain and to lose about a pound a week drop that calorie count down to 2,000 per day. Now that being said YOU need to find what YOUR maintenance (you weight stays the same) calorie count is.

My first suggestion is to get yourself a tracker (Fitbit, Lose It app, My Fitnesspal or old school notebook and google the calories of what you ate and add them up.) Most are free, some come with your phone or are easily downloadable from the google play or apple-tunes store. Get yourself a scale (you can go fancy and get one that measure your water weight and all that but old school is fine as well) Step on the scale the first morning right when you wake up to get your weight and then again in the evening before you go to bed. Take your inches as well. Some weeks you won't be losing much weight but your inches will be going all over the place. This is a process but keep it consistent and you will be smiling from ear to ear after putting in the focused work :)

Then just eat what you normally eat for an entire week, don't lie, don't skip out on it tracking and even treat yourself but TRACK IT ALL. If you already work-out keep it up, if you don't yet no worries. We are trying to figure out your base. After the entire week is done. Weigh yourself again right when you wake up and again before you go to bed. Did you gain? Did you lose? Let's do another week with consistently hitting a certain number I won't lie to lose an average of 2 pounds a week I had dropped my calorie count to 1,200. Some days it was hard but it consistently kept me on track. What is your average calorie count per day? See how this works? :) You are creating a pattern. You are holding yourself accountable and now we can really begin. If you are gaining weight it's because you are over eating and not burning enough calories. It's not WHAT YOU ARE EATING, IT'S HOW MANY CALORIES YOU ARE CONSUMING. So the next step is removing, let's say 200 calories from your daily intake. Go an entire week and track. Weigh again, take your inches again. Where are you now?

I TRULY believe that slow and steady wins the race. Finding a support group to keep you motivated (I have TWO groups called Get It Right! Get It Tight! and What The Health Is Up?) that I run along with qualified nutritionists and certified trainers, they are both private groups on facebook and you can find me at Sarah J The DJ. I started my own weight loss journey October 3rd, 2017 weighing in at 231, took me until March to hit the 170's and have maintained this morning today I weigh 174 pounds with my final goal of achieving a flat stomach for the first time. You can do this. Look what I was up to on day one of my journey! :)

I DO NOT believe in keto or cutting carbs or eating all clean. I LOVE pizza and ice cream and tacos. I will say I don't drink too much but I do on occasion have a glass or three, those alcohol calories build up quick if you don't pay attention! It's about holding yourself accountable, learning how to control yourself and ESPECIALLY learning how to let go of a moment of weakness and not throwing in the towel. Yes you will have moments where you cry in your salad, or at least I did, BUT you will create a whole new lifestyle that before you know it becomes a habit and then you can take a bite of a donut or eat a piece and move on without saying **** it I am eating it all and I don't care.

It's all a process and it will take time but you are not alone so that at least is something to hold onto. I have done it and continue to do it and you can too! Here are some tips from my fantastic trainer, Tanner Dean, at the Yakima Athletic Club :)

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