*The new year is filled with resolutions, but for many people the one that tops the list is to lose weight and get back in shape.
And while that resolution can easily be broken, the battle is worth it, according to ABC News correspondent Mara Schiavocampo. In her new book, “THINspired: How I Lost 90 Pounds: My Plan for Lasting Weight Loss and Self-Acceptance,” Schiavocampo offers her own personal struggle with losing weight while also giving tips on how to stay motivated to lose weight.
In an interview with TheRoot.com, Schiavocampo revealed that the moment she wanted to shed the extra pounds came three years ago after she gave birth to her daughter and had 40 pounds of baby weight in addition to 50 more pounds of weight she had before her pregnancy.
“I didn’t want to stay there, and so I didn’t give myself any excuses,” she told The Root. “Sometimes we give ourselves a little bit of wiggle room—I didn’t give myself any wiggle room. I was like, ‘This weight has to come off. Period.’”
“So the goal was just to lose my baby weight, but then once that came off—and it came off pretty quickly—I thought, let me do 5 more pounds,” Schiavocampo added.
Though encouragement and faith, Schiavocampo started shedding the weight while attacking her eating habits through a 40-day detox, during which she gave up all her trigger foods. Exercise later came into the picture after Schiavocampo lost 50 pounds and was introduced to a SoulCycle class by a friend.
“For the first time in my life, [exercise] was a pleasure. It helped me really get in touch with my body and [connect] with it, and even my breath, really simple things,” she said. “I also realized it was huge for my mental health, stress relief. … The main reason I do that is not for the physical benefits but for the mental.”
The following are three steps Schiavocampo gave for losing weight:
1. Set a really small goal. A big goal, such as losing 50 pounds, can seem pretty daunting, but if you put it in perspective and aim for 1.5 pounds within a certain time period, it becomes less intimidating.
2. Focus only on food initially. While working out definitely has its benefits, as Schiavocampo puts it, “If you don’t get your diet right, you’ll never achieve your health and fitness goals.”
3. Try not to be emotional about it. Let’s face it: The process gets tough. Sometimes it feels as if the scale is not budging, you’re not getting stronger—hell, sometimes even your clothes might be a bit more snug. But Schiavocampo encourages you to keep your eyes on the prize. “The only time you’re losing is if you give up. If you’re plateaued, losing slowly, even if you’re gaining, that’s not losing. You lose when you quit. As long as you’re moving forward, you’re still winning the battle,” she said.
At the end of the day, it comes down to holding yourself accountable, setting a higher standard for yourself and committing, Schiavocampo noted. “The benefits of changing your lifestyle trump the challenges. It’s hard, it’s painful; there are so many things about it [that are] uncomfortable … but if you hold on and fight that fight … you will never, ever regret. You’re talking about your body, your life and your health. There’s nothing more important. It’s worth the fight.”
For more on Schiavocampo’s weight loss and new book, click here.