Hi! I’m Conner Rensch, a Nebraska native who, at the early age of just 6 years old, started battling acceptance, self-image, and self-love.
Finding comfort in food, I regularly overate, leading to greater unhappiness and ultimately obesity. At age 19 and 271 pounds, I knew it was time to make a lifestyle change. After two years of rigorous exercise, a specialized meal plan, and fierce determination, I lost more than 130 pounds. For more than three years, I have maintained a healthy lifestyle.
Last January, I was featured on the cover of PEOPLE magazine for losing more than half my body weight. Since then, I have built a platform on anti-bullying and am on a mission to help others. I hope you’ll join me in making 2016 the best, most healthful year yet! Let’s start it off right with 16 tips and tricks I follow every day.
1. Put your alarm clock across the room or in a nearby room. That way you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Don’t jump back into bed, either – once you are up, stay up!
2. Always eat breakfast. Pack it with protein so you have plenty of energy to get through your entire day.
3. Get in a morning workout. Even a 10-minute stretch session allows your body to fully wake up.
4. Plan and prep ahead. Make sure you always have healthy snacks with you. Keep almonds in your car or bag at all times. Always have a couple of prepared chicken breasts in your fridge in case you don’t have time to cook.
5. Skip the coffee shop. Make your coffee at home with Stevia and half and half. Not only will you save on the unwanted calories, but your bank account will also thank you!
6. Eating healthfully doesn’t have to be boring or bland. There are tons of low-calorie dips, dressings, sauces, and seasonings, so spice it up!
7. Fill up on veggies. Have up to four cups per meal. The fiber is fabulous for you and will keep you full throughout the day.
8. Staying motivated is tough, so make not only long-term goals, but daily, even hourly achievable goals! Staying focused on something specific and attainable will help to keep you on track.
9. There is no reason to deprive yourself, but it is important to stay on target. Try the three nibble rule. If you have a craving, three nibbles is all you need to satisfy it. After that, put the fork down!
10. Find a workout that you like. Vary your workouts, from cardio machines - whether at the gym or in the comfort of your home - to classes such as Spinning, Jazzercise, and Crossfit, or HIIT, weight-lifting, running, walking, etc. Make sure to mix it up to keep your body guessing.
11. Buy three sets of measuring cups. Portion control is extremely hard, but use those measuring cups for everything. If you have several sets you have no excuse!
12. Take a picture of yourself. Whether it serves as motivation to change or motivation to stay and maintain, motivation is motivation. And a photo is a tangible reminder.
13. Find someone to hold you accountable. Whether it’s your mom, trainer, best friend or neighbor, always check in. Accountability is key to success!
14. One bad meal does not equal a bad day or week. After a little cheat, pick yourself back up and start again. Just because you put a dent in your car doesn’t mean you total it, right?
15. If you can’t find the nutritional content and calorie count of a certain food, it’s probably not good for you. So don't eat it!
16. Don’t compare yourself to others. Your body is one-of-a-kind and what works for someone else may not work for you. Listen and be attentive to your body, and it will reward you.
Here’s to making 2016 our happiest and healthiest year yet!
To learn more about Conner and her journey, visit her blog, My Butterfly Journey.