THE BLOG
01/02/2014 12:18 pm ET Updated Mar 04, 2014

How I Lost 20 Pounds in Four Weeks and Kept It Off

"Lose weight."

It sounds easy but can be difficult to do for many reasons, such as lack of support, lack of faith in oneself, not feeling worthy and other reasons.

But the fact is that you can lose weight, from 20 pounds to 400 pounds.

How do I know this?

Because I've struggled with my weight and have yo-yoed up and down for years; it's been like being on a roller coaster. When I began my spiritual journey in March 2007, I realized that my weight gain was a combination of stress, e.g., cortisol produces in the body, taking on the burdens of others and slacking off with my workouts. The truth is I had no one to blame but me.

Fast forward to July 2008, and I was living in Arizona and lost more than 30 pounds and felt great. The weight melted off because I hiked South Mountain Park seven days a week, and I adjusted my nutrition. However, in July 2010, I had to move back to my home town and no longer felt like working out. I thought I was a failure because my move to Arizona didn't work out the way I hoped or planned. I became too attached to a specific outcome.

Anyway...

Over the next three years I gained 52 pounds and was not happy about it. Why? Because I have a wardrobe full of clothes that I haven't been able to wear; this includes a great pair of corduroy pants from the U.K. Most importantly, I didn't feel right. I knew I had to make a change.

On Nov. 15, 2013 I made the decision to get control of my weight once and for all so I could feel and look great. I started working out every day and adjusted my nutrition, again. Within four weeks, I released 20 pounds and have been able to wear a few items of clothing that I haven't worn in three years. I still have 32 pounds to lose, but I'd like to share with you how I lost 20 pounds and kept it off thus far.

How I Lost 20 Pounds in Four Weeks and Kept It Off

1. Created a workout just for me and my body type.

It's important to create a workout for your body type. Why? Because not all workouts are created equally; a workout that is good for your best friend may not be good for you. My workout consists of yoga, Pilates, free weights, squats, mountain climbers, and walking, jogging and running. I change it up and work out five to seven days per week. I try to take a break on Sundays.

2. Worked out at the same time each day.

I've never been a morning person, but I am now. I like to work out in the morning because it energizes me for my day. I work out between 6 a.m. - 7 a.m. for 20 minutes or more. Working out at the same time helps me to stay focused on my weight loss goal. I look forward to working out each day.

3. Kept a food diary.

I started writing down what I eat for a few reasons. First, I'm able to track my calories. Second, if I gain a half or whole pound in one day (it happens), I want to review the foods that put weight on my body. Finally, I can see which foods I need to eliminate and those that need to be increased. For example, I noticed that I no longer care for the taste of eggs and won't eat them. A food diary can and will keep you on track to reach your weight loss goal.

4. Created a vision book and included health and wellness images.

Instead of creating a vision board, I created a vision book and placed weight loss and health and wellness pictures in it. For example, I have a picture of fruits and vegetables (I'm a vegetarian). I also have a picture of a scale pointing to my goal weight. I also cut out and pasted motivational sayings. I look at my vision book daily to remind myself of my weight loss and health and wellness goals.

5. Meditated as a part of my daily routine.

I've been meditating on and off for a couple of years, but I resumed my meditative ways when I began to lose weight, again. I knew I had to center myself and release any stress that I took on because I didn't want it to build or stay in my body. Silencing the mind may take practice, but you know what they say about practice, "It makes perfect." Whenever thoughts enter into my mind, I observe and let them go. I try to meditate for at least 10 minutes, or I will listen to a 20-minute meditation. I feel calmer and more relaxed. I can breathe again.

6. Surrounded myself with supportive people.

I've received many compliments since I've lost 20 pounds, and people want to know how I did it. Having people in your corner, cheering you on, is a good feeling. Most importantly, the people in my life respect that I'm losing weight and don't push foods such as desserts and fast food on me. They'll know I will say, "No, thank you. Those foods aren't on my menu." As I continue to release weight, it's important for me to be surrounded by like-minded individuals. I won't sabotage my weight loss goals. Anyone that doesn't support me isn't in my tribe.

I have 32 pounds to release and know I can do it! If you want to lose weight, start now. Speak with your doctor and/or nutritionist and create a workout and menu that works for your body. Keep a food diary and regular journal and track your progress. If you have a setback or hit a plateau (I did), don't get discouraged. Change up your workout and keep at it. You'll reach your weight loss goal in no time.