Weight Loss and Fitness Journey

by Rhonda Franz, Miss June 2015

One of my issues with articles on fitness and weight loss is that people don’t get specific (or maybe honest) about what helped them lose weight and improve their fitness. After a frustrating plateau of two years, I’m down 15 pounds from January 2015 and more fit than I’ve been in a while. I have about five pounds to go because a buffer is a nice thing. Once in a while a girl wants some fries.

It’s intimidating for me to write about my weight loss, but I’ve been asked about it, so I’m using this opportunity to share some of what has helped me on this journey in case it helps someone else.

  1. Starting with a baseline of several numbers. The scale presents only one number. So does body mass index (BMI), which doesn’t distinguish between fat weight and muscle weight. I’ve also used: body fat percentage, heart rate, and an endurance test.

  1. Knowing I couldn’t go back. Weight loss and fitness is a lifestyle change. I do take heart in the fact that to maintain a weight allows me to eat a little more than I was able to in order to lose it.

  1. Realizing that diet, rather than exercise, plays the most crucial role in weight loss. Read about how celebrities lose weight for movie roles. That kind of extreme dieting comes with significant health risks, but you see my point.

  1. Not relying on calories in/calories out. This doesn’t work for me. It depends on the type and quality of calorie.

  1. Considerably reducing carbohydrates. The majority of what I eat is protein with vegetables added in.

  1. Making breakfast my biggest meal. I eat about 400 calories at breakfast: two eggs with a little butter, five to six grape tomatoes, a spoonful of pickled jalapeños, and a little cheddar cheese. I have a 10 to 12-oz mug of coffee with half and half and raw sugar. This helps me keep lunches and suppers small (tucked under 400 calories) most days.

Breakfast is the best: eggs, tomatoes, jalapeños, a glass of water. And coffee. I don’t give up coffee.
Breakfast is the best: eggs, tomatoes, jalapeños, a glass of water. And coffee. I don’t give up coffee.
  1. Not relying on any gadget or app to rule my food/calorie recommendations. If I’d continued to eat what a popular fitness app told me I could, I would have steadily gained weight.

  1. Using a structure that works for me. I did use the app to count calories for about two weeks, now only occasionally. And I record my weight whenever it drops: I’m a sucker for a nice, downward-sloped line on a graph.

  1. Not eating a lot of sugar. The only regular sugar I have in a day is what I put in my (one to two cups) coffee.

  1. Knowing my food weaknesses. I tend to gorge on chips and salsa, which means being bloated the next day and packing on pounds it took three weeks to get off.

  1. Turning those food weaknesses into strengths. Since I love the chips-and-salsa flavors, a better choice for me is a black bean taco packed with lettuce, salsa, and avocado. And since protein and spicy foods suit me, keeping things like hard-boiled eggs, sausage balls, rotisserie chicken, and flavorful soup handy is key to having something healthy to stuff in my mouth eat.

  1. Accountability. I run and work out/swim once a week with a couple of friends, one of whom happens to be a trainer and gave me advice on diet and exercise (thanks, SM and KT).

  1. Upping the ante on exercise. This means changing up workouts every now and then, and getting my heart rate up at least four days a week. When I only have 10 or 20 minutes, I do low impact workouts like Pilates, yoga, Classical Stretch: effective exercises that don’t require putting on shoes before or taking a shower after.

Jump rope, do yoga, run around, repeat.
Jump rope, do yoga, run around, repeat.
  1. Paying attention to my body and how it responds to certain foods and certain weights. Whether or not it was energized or fatigued, hungry or satiated. Losing weight and changing my diet made me more in tune to this until it became a habit, rather than something I had to think a lot about. My body and I are one. Namaste 

More weight loss wins:

  • Water, drinking it all day.

  • Walking away. For me, the battle with eating something I shouldn’t is won or lost in the first minute or two. I try to go do something else to get my mind off of it, or eat a couple of bites and leave the kitchen. A few chocolate chips might be all it takes to satisfy a sweet tooth.

  • Jumping rope. It’s my go-to cardiovascular exercise when I’m especially short on time. Jumping rope is efficient, requires little space, and can be done while watching children.

  • Ballet exercises. When I hit an exercise plateau, I searched for these on YouTube. I’ve learned this: I do not want to be on the wrong side of a ballet dancer in a dark alley late at night.

If you have questions about my weight loss and fitness I haven’t answered, leave a comment with your question below: I might use my last post to answer those questions. If you prefer to ask a question anonymously, email me at rhondafranz@gmail.com and I won’t post your name.

Disclaimer: I’m not a physician, personal trainer, nutrition expert, or weight loss guru. Consult with your doctor and stuff.



  1. Rhonda says:

    Thank you, Georgeanne! Knowing/discovering what works for one’s own body is a must. I’ve read about some strategies that don’t work at all for me, and several that I knew right away I was going to try.

Comments are closed.