As my body changed, people started to notice. The encouragement and positive talk from friends and family was helpful, except for when people would say things like, “wow you look so great now!” Now. It didn’t quite sit right to hear that some people thought I looked a lot better now, but that I didn’t look as great before. It was important to remind myself that I looked great no matter what. More important than what other people think about my looks, I needed to accept and love myself and my body, even if my body never changed. I didn’t set out on the weight loss journey to have other people change their minds about how I looked; I started the journey to create a healthy body, healthy mind, and overall wellness.
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It might seem kind of odd to find a “How to Start a Healthy Lifestyle Blog” page on Organize Yourself Skinny. Most of you come to my blog to learn about meal prep, meal planning, exercise, and a whole host of other healthy weight loss habits. However, the most common 2 questions I get after “How did you lose weight?” is “how do I start my own blog?” followed by “how do you make money from your blog?”. So instead of sending you all over the internet trying to point you in the right direction I decided to put together a page dedicated to helping my readers start their own blog.
Real talk: It could take weeks or months to see the metabolic effects of exercise on the scale, and even then, building muscle, which is denser than body fat, could lead to weight gain. "Do what you like because it’s good for you," Dr. Seltzer says, noting the way exercise is awesome for your heart, mental health, and more—and that not all measure of progress can be seen on the scale.
Being a foodie is no easy task. Constantly obsessing over the best foods to eat, which restaurants to visit and where the next meal is coming from can be exhausting. Beth knows how such a title can lead to weight struggles, which is why she uses her blog to document her journey staying healthy after losing 58 pounds - going from 220 to 162.2. She also shares some pretty amazing recipes, tips for success, product reviews and her race results - oh yeah, Beth is quite the runner now. 
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Let’s go back to the beginning. I was always thin-ish. From my skinny teenage years to “just a healthy weight” college years, I was always thin-ish. Like I maybe topped 130lbs by the age of 21. Like most of you may know, Mark and I started dating at 14, got married at 20, started a business at 22 and then graduated college by 23. By the time we graduated college, we had somehow managed to build a legit company… APF, Inc. What literally began as Mark’s desire to be self-employed combined with his amazing gift of self-taught construction skills and my marketing “abilities”, quickly went from a backyard hobby to a full fledged stone countertop company. He spent his junior year of college fabricating granite in my Uncle’s backyard with a $2,500 saw loan from my uncle, a rope and a truck to maneuver the slabs along with a big humongous dream. This is going somewhere I promise ;-). He took Tuesday/Thursday classes and worked Monday, Wednesday and Fridays fabricating in the ole’ backyard. I was answering client e-mails and returning client calls between classes and at night while we worked at a local restaurant on the weekends. By our senior year, our company had grown just enough to afford for us to lease our own fabrication facility and that’s when life started to officially get CRAZY. It was amazing but it was absolutely INSANE. Once Mark graduated in December 2004, he was able to devote his full attention to the company and then I joined him when I graduated in May 2005. Upon my graduation in 2005, we had just moved to a much larger fabrication location, had approximately 11 additional employees and we were opening up a separate showroom location in downtown Monroe, GA. As exciting and wonderful as it all was, it was a stress that I cannot put into words. We had both worked so hard to grow the company yet didn’t quite realize what we were getting ourselves into. As two 23 year olds “self-thrust” into suddenly owning a company, we started to truly bring the phrase “Work Hard, Play Hard” to reality. Well as much fun as it was at times, the stress was intense. From managing employees to handling customers and issues and bills and everything in between, I got to a point where I started taking anxiety medication. Biggest mistake EVER.

“Consuming a well-balanced diet and eating regularly throughout the day will help with keeping your metabolism high and aid in weight loss,” says David. “Eating more whole foods, such as high fiber vegetables and fruit, and limiting processed foods will help your body slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream, which decreases the risk of accumulating extra fat. Remember, you can’t eat like you are 20-years-old anymore! So, get rid of the junk food in your pantry and make small changes to add more whole foods to your diet. The fewer ingredients a food contains, the better it is for your health and weight.”


Don't get me wrong — exercising at any time is good for you. But evening activity may be particularly beneficial because many people's metabolism slows down toward the end of the day. Thirty minutes of aerobic activity before dinner increases your metabolic rate and may keep it elevated for another two or three hours, even after you've stopped moving. What that means for you: You're less likely to go back for seconds or thirds. Plus, it'll help you relax post meal so you won't be tempted by stress-induced grazing that can rack up calories, quickly.
Meal prepping was super helpful to me. Packing lunches and making dinners that lasted more than one night were great strategies for my meals. I usually used Sunday as my day to prepare lunches for the week, and my dinners on Sunday and Wednesday. There are so many amazing meal ideas on Pinterest, and you can experiment with all of the meals you life. My Recipes for Success blog post lists a lot of my favorite food bloggers where I get several recipes. Overall, more mindfulness about when and what I was going to eat set me up to make positive choices.
The goal of the workout was to promote food storage to muscle instead of fat – this is especially important during your cheat days. During my cheat day, I will look to do the air squats + tricep extensions even if I’m eating out. I didn’t go to the gym at all for this, instead, I just took a couple old 20lb dumbbells, a pair of 10lb dumbbells and a pull-up bar from home. If you don’t have a pull-up bar don’t buy one, simply exchange the exercise for a back row or seated back fly exercise. I also don’t own a weight bench so no need to spend your money on that. What I’ve learned since losing even more weight is that these workouts are pretty important if you want to lose weight fast. They aren’t necessary but they certainly do help shed some extra pounds by keeping the fat off, especially on your cheat day.
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You can do any type of cardiovascular exercise, just make sure it’s something you like – or if you have no particular preference just stay away from those actives you know you do not enjoy. Cardio is an integral part of this weight loss workout plan and it is important that you like what you are doing in order to stick with it, not just for the duration of this program, but also afterwards. You can do your cardio workouts outdoors or on cardiovascular machinery indoors. If you are carrying a lot of weight, it’s best to start with low impact exercise such as walking, swimming or using the elliptical machine. If you have access to an elliptical machine/ cross-trainer, give it a try. I love this piece of cardio equipment, as it allows you to burn as many calories as jogging/ running, but is low-impact. Exercising on the elliptical also “feels” much easier than jogging/ running, allowing you to exercise for longer and burn more calories.
Whether weight loss is intentional or unintentional, if you develop gallstones as a result, the weight loss is too rapid. According to the National Institute of Health, the gallbladder is responsible for metabolizing bile. If the body is trying to process fat for fuel at too quick a pace, which is what occurs during rapid weight loss, the bile contains high levels of cholesterol. This cholesterol-filled bile hardens into painful gallstones.

As women age, weight creeps up too, with the average women gaining about one pound per year in their 40s and 50s, resulting in an added 10 to 15 pounds. The drop in estrogen levels during this time of perimenopause (the years leading up to menopause) contributes to weight gain and can change the way you distribute fat. You may gain weight in your belly more readily than you did in younger years.
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