By: Kayla Kobela (shown above)
Everyone goes through a point in their lives where they hate the way they look, but many don’t have the motivation to change themselves for the better.
In December of 2014, I decided I had had enough with the way I regarded myself. In only two weeks, I dropped a pound, lost four inches around my waist, fit into jeans I hadn’t worn for years, and I felt confident.
The first step to starting a transformation is motivation. I weighed myself, and then took a few pictures of how I looked in my bikini. My starting weight was 164 pounds and I wasn’t happy with that, but in my transformation, I began to realize that the number on the scale didn’t mean as much as how you feel about yourself. The pictures I took became my motivation. I hated what I saw and whenever I felt like giving up, I remembered them.
The next thing I did after weighing myself was look for exercises online that reduced stomach fat. One of the first articles that showed up was on yoga. It gave me twenty-seven different poses to do that would help rid my body of unnecessary fat. Poses like Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation), Pavanamuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose), and Ushtrasana (Camel Pose) were three of many that I used in my workout routine. (Check out the top 5 yoga YouTube channels).
The next day, I started fresh. I gave up caffeine, sugar, and junk food, ate six small meals a day rather than the normal three, combined a few different workout routines and told myself daily to keep going.
My family was confused as to why I suddenly changed everything from my eating habits, to my day-to-day routine. They tried to break me by tempting me with coffee, soda, chocolate, baked goods, and any other junk food or caffeinated beverage, but I continued to tell myself no. Not everyone deals with temptations the same way, and many people give into their enticements. Yet, when you are ready for change, those temptations don’t seem so taunting.
After a few days, my family accepted that I was changing myself and began to support me. My mom bought me a yoga mat for Christmas, and gave me a few foods that were rumored to help with weight loss.
In a week, I had reduced my bloating and I began to feel the change, but I couldn’t really see it. That was when I decided to up my workout routine. I bought myself four pound weights and looked up simple exercises. The weights themselves helped tone my arm muscles and helped get rid of the access fat that remained in odd areas.
As cliché as it is, step aerobics, squats, sit-ups, and pushups helped target almost every body part. My legs, arms, and core burned every night after I finished working out. Daily errands began to take more time as I incorporated fitness into them. Doing the dishes became a mini relay race, I began to walk to the grocery store, and other things that I normally tried to find loopholes in became enjoyable.
One thing I found helpful throughout the whole process is I didn’t look at myself in the mirror for more than necessary. I didn’t weigh myself daily and I trusted in myself and the changes I made. Foods that I ate occasionally became my main food source. Spinach, avocado, berries, and other fruits and vegetables became quick snacks and small meals.
As December came to a close, and classes were about to start up again, I decided to weigh myself for the first time in two weeks. The scale read 163 pounds, and at first I was disappointed. I put my bikini on and took three pictures, similar to the original photos I had taken, and then put them side by side with the originals. (Pictures shown at top.)
The change I saw was incredible. I had only lost a pound but I looked amazing in my eyes. I had lost close to all of my fat weight and I gained back weight by increasing my muscle mass. Since then, I toned down my workout schedule, but still follow the eating restrictions I set for myself.
Dieting, losing weight, and exercise are all scary concepts for some people, but what people do not understand is the only scary concept is starting. Once you commit to a routine and accept the fact that it is going to be a process and you won’t have instantaneous results, you’re golden. Your own will is an amazing motivator once you allow it to.