When Theodora Blanchfield was asked to be a bridesmaid in her friend’s wedding last spring, she was less than enthused about it. Not that she didn’t approve of the union — it’s just that the ceremony was going down in Aruba, and she was unhappy with the way she looked.
She thought, “You know, I’m not gonna be the fat bridesmaid in Aruba — I’m not,” Theodora told Crushable, recalling her headspace at that moment in time.
So the 27-year-old — a social media specialist at mega-publisher Hachette Filipacchi in New York City — decided to forgo all those crash diets and lose weight the old-fashioned way through diet and exercise. She began eating healthier and working with a personal trainer, and began chronicling her progress on her tumblr blog, Losing Weight In the City. Within a span of months, she shed 50-plus pounds — and gained a legion of loyal followers.
“Weight loss gave me confidence,” Theodora said. “And seeing that what I was doing was helping others helped me too.”
Every day she updates her blog with photos of what she ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner — kinda like What I Wore, with food! — and her meals look tasty and well balanced, with lean proteins, fruits and veggies. She’ll order healthy options out at restaurants and will cook what she can whip up herself at home. For takeout she likes Energy Kitchen, a good urban alternative to greasy takeout fare.
She follows other “healthy blogs” and regularly fields emails from readers who have questions on how she did it. “The fact that I started it while I was trying to lose weight, and they can see the results, people are like, ‘I can do that too.’”
In high school, Theodora had been athletic but in college, surrounded by “takeout and beer,” she started to gain weight like so many other young women do; when she dropped dress sizes, however, she did not entirely rid her diet of fatty foods. The idea is to take better care of yourself — you are what you eat, after all — and move more. In a popular post on her site, she explained what worked for her:
Find a nutritionist’s blog to follow or join some sort of online weight-loss community. Keep yourself accountable. You don’t have to take photos of everything you eat, but record it somehow, somewhere. Online, in your BlackBerry/iPhone, on the back of a receipt.
Ask yourself if your meals are balanced. Did your body really need that [fill in vice here]? Was it worth it? If you “slip up,” just start eating healthy again at the next meal. Don’t think that if you “messed up” once, that the whole day is shot. It will be if you keep eating like that. It won’t be if you get on track next meal.
It’s not a diet, it’s a way of life. Diets fail because you restrict yourself too much. Rather, adopt a healthy lifestyle and occasionally indulge in your favorite treats. I promise, after you’ve been giving eating healthily a solid try for awhile, the cravings for the bad stuff are less frequent. And when you do indulge, the bad stuff really isn’t as good as it used to be.
Words to the wise — especially in a troubling age of cookie diets, juice fasts, weight-loss pills and quick-fix liposuction. And so, Theodora, because you are a teacher (and a really good blogger at that), Crushable is making you one of our Everyday Superwomen.
Want to nominate someone to be an Everyday Superwoman? If it’s you, don’t be shy! If you or someone you know is doing something awesome — revolutionary even — we’ll write about it! Feel free to shoot an email to submissions at crushable dot com.