Do you want to make a healthy change in your life? Maybe that means losing weight, or just improving your fitness, well I was in that position a couple of years ago and that is how Hungry Healthy Happy was created. Not only did I want to lose weight and become fit and healthy, I wanted to do it in a way that didn’t mean I had to lock myself in a gym 24/7 and only eat cabbage soup. I wanted to enjoy life, still be social and find a healthy balance.
Hungry Healthy Happy (www.hungryhealthyhappy) is the website that features the recipes, diet tips and exercises that helped me lose 98lbs and keep it off. Not only do I post all the things that helped me lose weight, I also post about my everyday struggle to keep the weight off. I always say that losing the weight was much easier than it is to keep it off and I am honest about my daily ups and downs. As well as writing about physical health and weight loss, I focus on mental health and finding a balance between still enjoying life and maintaining a healthy lifestyle too. We need to stop hating our bodies and learn to love them, which is the first step towards a healthier body and mind, so I also write a lot about body acceptance.
A little bit about how I lost weight….
3 years ago, I got the scare I needed to realise that something needed to change. I was having health problems, mainly heart related, due to my weight and it was affecting my life. I was only young, that should not of been happening to me. I shouldn’t have been missing out on all the things my friends were doing just because I couldn’t control what I was eating. I was an emotional eater, and that needed to change.
I started small. I cut out junk, processed foods and stopped getting takeaways. I gave up alcohol for 6 months (which really helped kick start the weight loss) and I started cooking everything from scratch. I had never really cooked before, I was just putting things in the oven, or turning the microwave on. I started buying fresh foods, some I had never tried or even heard of before. I changed the taste of things with herbs and spices, rather than covering it with fatty sauces and I discovered a love of cooking. I actually became pretty good at it. After 6 months, of not really trying, but just cooking more healthily, I had lost 40lbs. I hit a plateau at that point and I knew I had to kick it up a gear, and that meant exercise.
Again, I started slowly, as I knew that I couldn’t just head out and run a 5K. I got a Wii Fit and did some gentle yoga every day. Not only was it stretching my muscles, ones I didn’t even know I had, but it was relaxing me too. It was great for my mental health and that was something that really helped with my emotional eating. I then started going swimming too. It is a gentle exercise that doesn’t put too much pressure on your joints, which is perfect if you are overweight, and it is a brilliant cardio workout. I moved out of the plateau and the weight started coming off again. I then needed more, so I started going to the gym, picked up a few workout classes with Zumba and step aerobics and with a LOT of hard work and dedication, I reached my goal in February 2011 – in time for my wedding in May. It wasn’t easy. There were times when I wanted to give up, and times when I did give up and ate too much, but I never let one bad day turn into a bad week. I always got straight back on the wagon. No matter how tough it got though, I always kept my goal in sight, and that was improved health. With each pound, I could breathe better. When I reached my goal, I felt amazing, like a different person.
The battle did not stop there. I have been maintaining since then (up and down a few lbs here and there) and I truly think that is the hardest part. I can never eat whatever I want all the time, as I will put on weight so much quicker than other people, because of how much I have lost. That doesn’t mean I don’t treat myself, I do, but I still have a structured exercise routine to burn it all off and I eat clean 95% of the time. The recipes on Hungry Healthy Happy are all about healthier alternatives to the foods I love. So, healthier cakes, and healthier alternatives to takeaways play a big part. You can see my recipes here.
I started Hungry Healthy Happy, the Facebook page and the Twitter account (@HHH_Dannii) back in June 2011. I wanted to help other people who are in the same situation. It isn’t just about weight loss, it is about making lifestyle changes so you can be healthier and happier. That includes eating better and exercising more. The website and the Facebook page keep me on track with maintaining as well and it allows me to pass on all of the things I have learned along the way. If you ever have anything to ask me, just head to the Facebook page and post on the wall or go to the contact section of the website.
Feel free to have a look around the website. You will find lots of recipes for healthier alternatives to the foods you love, blog posts, diet tips, exercises you can do at home, general news, products I love and even a 3 week kick start plan that I used when I first started losing weight. I also post fitness challenges and exercise videos to stop people getting bored with their usual workout routines – which is the main reason why people give up working out. You will even find random blog posts about my day to day life. My life pretty much revolves around health and fitness (it is a lifestyle after all), so I am always keeping people up to date with what is going on.
Thanks for reading. I hope to see you over on Hungry Healthy Happy soon,