Haley Smith’s Instagram is a masterclass in motivation.
She spent the year leading up to her wedding working on getting healthy, and she ultimately lost over 100 pounds before her big day. She did so by eating healthy, exercising and discovering some A+ motivation techniques.
“My journey really started after my husband proposed to me back in July of 2015. I had always been trying to lose weight, but when I saw the photos of the proposal, I freaked out,” Smith wrote to Mashable.
“I didn’t recognize myself at all, and it really made me worry that I would feel that way about my wedding day, too. So I vowed to make a change so that I could be not only a happy bride, but happy with myself.
Smith, who is from Amarillo, Texas, documented the whole process on Instagram.
“When Matt proposed last year, I saw my pictures and didn’t even recognize myself. My whole adult life, I have struggled with my weight, but this was my highest. I had let myself go and didn’t even realize how far I had gotten,” Smith wrote on Instagram.
“On that day, I made up my mind to make a change. I was tired of hiding in pictures, getting winded walking across a parking lot, skipping out on activities, feeling lazy and most of all being embarrassed of myself.”
#tbt to my proposal size vs two days before the wedding. It’s been a long 15 months of some hard work. There’s about 110lbs difference in these two pictures. Sometimes I can’t believe the picture on the left was actually me. And sometimes I can’t believe that the picture on the right is me. It’s a weird feeling, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come. I’m not at goal weight or goal size, but I’m going to keep pushing! Don’t quit just because you are starting to feel comfortable with your body! Keep pushing, there’s always room for improvement and always new goals to crush! #throwbackthursday #transformationtuesday #transformation #weightlosstransformation #beforeandafterweightloss #beforeandafter #weightloss #sweatingforthewedding #fitbride
On her Instagram, Smith emphasizes that there isn’t just one weight loss technique that worked for her.
“No ONE thing made me how I am today,” she wrote. “It was a combination of about every health and fitness option I could find. So don’t think there’s some magic pill, wrap, gym membership, meal, vitamin, app, surgery, diet, workout, waist trainer, book, hypnosis, shake, powder or anything else that will just do it for you.”
“It’s finding your own way and using the tools that work for you,” Smith continued. “It’s making the right healthy choices for your body. In the last year, I’ve made some big life choices and huge lifestyle changes, and I couldn’t be more happy with myself. I still have a long way to go on this journey, and I’m not giving up.”
Smith told Mashable more about the techniques she found successful.
My biggest “technique” would be starting small and slow. I have tried all sorts of hard and fast diets, fads and workouts, but I always would get burnt out after a few weeks or so. This time, I decided I needed to make manageable, realistic goals. I started with two habits – not eating after 8pm and only eating out twice a week – and once I got those down, I started with two more. I began tracking every meal in MyFitnessPal and logging my water intake. I did the same on my exercise. I started with Couch-to-5k, running about 30 second intervals for a half hour, three times a week. Then I started to add some strength exercises, like push-up or crunch challenges. Eventually, I was alternating run days with actually hitting the gym.
Some more of Smith’s lifestyle changes and motivation tips include:
Investing in a fitness watch
Rewarding herself for each weight loss goal
Ok so I’m starting a series called #motivationmonday I get asked all the time how I’ve stayed motivated to keep working out and eating healthy. Trust me, it’s not easy! There are days that I skip workouts and eat a whole pizza by myself, but it’s all about getting back on track. Each Monday I’m going to try to post a trick that has helped me keep pushing! Today’s is about rewarding myself! I personally decided to reward myself at each 10lb marker, but you can pick anything. Reward yourself for finishing a month long squat challenge, for making it through a weekend without breaking macros, joining a gym, or for whatever your journey is. I usually picked things that had to do with fitness, because it would encourage me even more. So I got bike gear, a park pass to hike more often, a new yoga mat, etc. Try to come up with a good reward system to keep you going when things get tough! Feel free to tag me when you make your own rewards sheet or meet a goal! #rewardyourself #treatyoself #weightlossjourney #fitnessmotivation #motivation
Setting monthly goals
Making an inspiration board
So round 2 of #MotivationMonday. In my closet, I keep my inspiration board. This wall has quotes that make me want to keep pushing, reminders of why I started, food for thought, monthly goals, rewards, pounds to go, challenges that I can check off daily, lists, reminders, pictures, dreams, etc. I keep mine in my closet so I can see it every day when I get dressed, but you can put yours on your fridge, in the bathroom, workout room, or wherever works for you. This wall is to encourage me and inspire me when times get tough! I update it monthly and cycle through different quotes or pictures that help me and refresh my goals and lists. Having it up to date keeps me going back to basics and reminding myself why I started and why this is important to me. If you think this is something that would work for you, go for it! You can find lots of Motivation Wall inspiration on Pinterest, so get to pinning! I’ve done this for such a long time and really like it! #motivation #motivationmondays #motivationwall #workoutmotivation #fitnessmotivation #keeppushing #dontgiveup
Laying out workout clothes
This week’s #motivationmonday is something that I post relatively often. Something that motivates me is setting my workout clothes out the night before. It helps me for a couple of reasons: 1. I don’t have to waste time looking for clothes in the morning. I’m usually tired and don’t want to dig through drawers. I can even get dressed in the dark so I don’t burn my eyes out of their sockets by turning on a light at 5:30AM. 2. I don’t always pick perfectly matching clothes, but when I do, I feel like I’m looking awesome, and I wanna kick butt during my workout! 3. If I miss my morning workout, but I come home to my clothes already out, it gives me one less excuse to skip. My clothes are already there, so I may as well get it in! This is a super easy motivator, so give it a try! Lay those clothes out tonight, and don’t skip tomorrow’s run, Zumba, spin class, or whatever you have planned! (Brands tagged) #motivationmondays #motivation #fitnessmotivation #motivational #morningworkout #fitnessclothes #workoutclothes #fitnessfashion #gapfit #adidas #nike #qalo #fitbit #fitbitblaze #noexcuses #workout
Sharing her journey on Instagram
To Smith, documenting her process on Instagram was the most motivating thing she did, she told Mashable.
Motivation has been tough, but my biggest help has been switching my Instagram over to a strictly fitness account. Once I had a few dozen (to eventually a few hundred) followers that were supporting and encouraging me, I felt like I couldn’t let them down either. Having that accountability along with thinking about different posts each day really made fitness and health stay at the forefront of my mind. When that didn’t do it though, I’d decorate my scale or hang up motivational quotes around the house. Any little thing that could keep that fire burning was worth a try.
Smith and her husband Matt had their wedding this month.
Even though her weight loss journey is over, Smith is already keeping up her new healthy lifestyle even on their New Zealand honeymoon.
Oh ya know, just rope climbing up a glacier tunnel. So to everyone that I haven’t commented or messaged back yet, I’m getting to it! I am trying to message when I can, but I get about one hour of wifi a day, so I can’t keep up! I promise I’ll get back to you. And as for comments, I’ll resume my normal replying probably when I get back to the states! Hope everyone is still enjoying the trip posts. It’s kinda weird not posting about fitness everyday haha. #honeymoon #newzealand #foxglaciers #foxglacierguidingnz #glacier