Hey y'all!

My name is Madison and welcome to my blog! I'm sharing my life with you – from fun food finds to travel and everything in between! If you like Disney and dessert, you're going to love it here!

How I Lost Weight with YouTube

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

It's finally time for my first post of 2019! I haven't been posting this month because I've been so focused on working out and changing my diet that I haven't really been doing much else that would be interesting enough to blog about. I got really inspired to write this post because I've been seeing great results from my lifestyle changes and I really wanted to share it with you guys. Everyone has a different ideal body, but if you've been wanting to lose a few pounds like me, I'm here to tell you about my experience.

I didn't have any new years resolutions, as you know from my last post on 2018 reflections, but on January 1, I got a sudden desire to start working out and being healthier because I genuinely wanted to lose some weight, but I was also just not feeling like my best self internally and I wanted to change that and what better day for a fresh start? Writing this post on January 25, I can sit here and say I've done some form of a workout every single day since January 1. 

I have kept track of my progress since starting because I knew this would be something I wanted to share here and I've debated about getting into the numbers in this post. I think it's important to keep in mind that everyone's body is different and everyone will see different results even while doing the exact same things. Obviously, you should always consult with your doctor before making big lifestyle changes and I'm by no means a professional. I'm simply sharing my experience in this post. All in all, I've lost 10 pounds since January 1 and I'm feeling so much better in every aspect. 

Getting into the specifics about what I've been doing and how exactly YouTube plays a role, I first want to mention that I've been considering joining a gym for months, but at the end of the day, I have too much anxiety about working out in a public place — no matter what people say, I'm always going to feel like people are staring at me. Instead of joining a gym, I've been focusing on how I can workout at home and add variety into my fitness routine. I have an elliptical at my house so I have been doing 3 or 4 miles on it pretty much daily this month, but I've never really felt like the elliptical alone is a sufficient workout. I definitely believe my results are primarily coming from combining workout YouTube videos with my cardio.

My Favorite YouTube Exercise Videos 

The YouTube videos that I've found helpful are on a channel called Blogilates. You've probably heard of it, or its owner, Cassey Ho, considering she has over 4 million subscribers. I worked out along with Cassey's videos a few years ago, but I was never consistent with it and eventually forgot that working out with YouTube was an option. I rediscovered Blogilates on New Years Day when Day 1 of the 100 Ab Challenge popped up on my phone. I started Day 1 and on Day 25 of 30, I've still been completing each new ab workout every day.

Along with the 100 Ab Challenge, I've found a few more videos that I alternate in my workout routines every day. I'll link my favorite ones below. One of my favorite things about Blogilates videos is that they don't require any equipment, just a mat or even a rug, somewhere comfortable to lay down. 

Shape of Your Thighs Workout Challenge  — Such a fun way to do so many squats!

Call Me Maybe Mighty Squat Challenge Workout — More squats to switch between for variety.

Drive By Inner Thighs Challenge Workout — No squats here, but definitely still a challenge.

6 Min to Sexy Arms! — I am so fascinated by Blogilates arm videos that require no weights!

Weightless Arm Workout | POP Pilates — My favorite weightless arms video because it's done seated!

Feel My Arms Still Workout Challenge – Perfect one song challenge for arms!

Sore-y Not Sorry Ab Workout Challenge — When you're done with the 100 Ab Challenge, this is the perfect way to keep up with abs.

I make an effort to balance my workouts throughout the week to focus on both arms, legs, and abs, along with my cardio. Also, if you guys don't have an elliptical or treadmill or a safe place to walk, there are cardio videos on Blogilates {like this one} that are quiet with no jumping... I haven't tried one of her cardio videos yet, but I did watch the linked one quickly and I'll definitely be adding that one into my mix!

Honestly, there are SO many good Blogilates videos and I can't wait to find more that I love. There are also a lot of other exercise videos on YouTube and I've tried a few different ones, but I always go back to Blogilates because Cassey is genuinely great and I love to hear her motivation throughout workouts! I can't believe how lucky we are to have these FREE videos available at our fingertips.

Workout Tips

When you're first starting out with these workouts, you might need to take quick breaks throughout {I definitely did and still do!} but over time, as you keep doing them, your body will get stronger and you won't need to pause as much. Consistency is the key and you really have to do these several times during the week to start noticing results. I struggled with Drive By Inner Thighs a lot at first, so I started doing it basically every night before I went to sleep and now the difference is crazy, I get better and better each time.

Along with the workouts I've mentioned before, I do a quick outdoor walk with a friend a few days a week. It's so nice because it doesn't even feel like exercise and it's an easy way to burn 150 calories in a short period of time. Adding variety into fitness has really made so much difference for me because I look forward to exercising now and it's never monotonous like going to the gym can be. In the photo below, you can see what a typical week of workouts looks like for me. I write down what I've done at the end of the day so, throughout the week, I can see what areas I still need to focus on.

My Eating Habits

You can probably tell from following my blog and Instagram over the past few years that I've never been a super healthy eater and I love a photogenic sweet treat. So far this year, I've made a serious effort to cut out added sugar. I'll occasionally have a piece of chocolate or a small amount of ice cream, but I really avoid having sweets on a daily basis. I've noticed that I don't go to Starbucks as much as I used to, but lately, when I want a latte, I'll get my usual iced vanilla latte and substitute for coconut milk.

I try to avoid drinking my calories now, so along with limiting my Starbucks visits, I try to drink water as much as possible. I've cut out soda entirely and I'll occasionally drink sweet tea but never more than once in a day. Water is so important and I'm still not drinking as much as I want to be, so that's another thing I'm still trying to perfect in my routine.

Other than those few things, I haven't changed my diet too much. I still eat carbs in moderation and I fully believe that treat meals are essential — you should never "go on a diet" thinking you'll never be able to eat your favorite food again. That won't build a sustainable lifestyle and you'll end up giving up on that diet pretty quick. You should always enjoy foods in moderation and personally, when I have a treat meal, I choose something I really want so I'm not left regretting my choice and wanting other things.

I have been adding a lot more fruits and vegetables into my diet recently and I've found that Aldi has been a good place to get fresh fruit and vegetables for relatively cheap prices. If I want something salty, I go for a few pita chips or some chex mix instead of potato chips and other snacks like that. I've found that it's super helpful to count out a certain amount {for example, the serving size on my pita chips is 9 chips} and only eat the amount that you've set aside, instead of just eating an unknown amount straight from the bag.

I try not to be obsessive over food, but I definitely look at calories now. Some things that helped me get over my initial temptations were deciding that a cookie or a bag of chips wasn't worth the calories — I wasn't going to enjoy that food enough to spend calories on it. For me, it helped put things into a different perspective... If you have a set amount of calories each day {I never even set an actual number}, you'll be a little more picky about how you spend those calories and start making better choices. Always remind yourself that your goal {if you're trying to lose weight} is worth more than a cookie!


A few other "mantras" or quotes that I try to keep in mind include one that Cassey says in one of her videos I watch frequently so I'm constantly being reminded of it: "train insane or remain the same." I also like to keep in mind a fact that I saw on Pinterest {not sure how accurate it is} that basically states that in four weeks, you'll notice changes with your body; in eight weeks, your friends and family will notice your progress; in twelve weeks, the rest of the world will notice your change so you should give it twelve weeks. 

It's important to have little motivational quotes that can encourage you and remind you why you're working hard or maybe making sacrifices in your diet. You can choose a different quote each month and write it in your planner to give you the inspiration you need to keep going. There are so many great quotes and phrases on Pinterest.

If you're trying to lose a few pounds, I hope this inspired you at least a little or introduced to you some new ideas that you might find beneficial! It's not easy, but it's not impossible. Give it 12 weeks!