Ariel Winter has been focusing on the positives in life lately. She recently opened up about learning to put her own happiness first and disregard the opinions of others, especially given her experiences with body-shaming and online bullying.
© Emma McIntyre/Staff/Getty Images She even did a mini dance afterward to celebrate.
For Winter, part of that change means making health a priority—and this week, she gave fans a rare glimpse into how she stays strong in the gym.
In an Instagram video, the
Modern Family actress showed off her impressive strength while doing weighted sumo squats and deadlifts. While standing on two weight benches to increase her range of motion, Winter is seen flowing through the movements with ease, then celebrating after the fact with some adorable floss skills.
“I know I missed #motivationmonday so here is #tuesdaymotivation with @mackfit,” she captioned the video. “I am never the most excitedddd person to go to the gym, but feeling healthier and seeing the work you put in pay off really makes it worth it. Also… @mackfittraininggym is a BOSS and keeps reminding me of my booty goals.”
Winter’s booty isn’t the only part of her body being put to work in this video. Sumo squats and sumo deadlifts activate plenty of other muscles.
Sumo squats, for instance, are considered to be
. “The sumo squat is a great lower-body strength exercise that emphasizes the muscles of the inner thigh, as well as the glutes, quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, and calves,” Lisa Niren, head instructor for the best squat exercise for your inner thighs Studio, previously told us.
It’s a killer move for your abs, too. “Based on your core strength, you might find the sumo squat adds a challenge to your balance because your body is in a different alignment and needs extra stability to keep from moving forward and back on the heels,” Niren said. (Related:
Why Ariel Winter “Regrets” Some of Her Clap Backs On Social Media) Slideshow: 10 Reddit transformations that will inspire you to make a healthy change (Shape) Learn to Love Lifting
Reddit user Maddi is all about the #gains. The self-proclaimed fitness enthusiast is not afraid to lift heavy. She put in some serious work in the gym and lost seven pounds.
What makes her even more inspiring is that all her workouts are self-taught. “I’ve never had a trainer,”
she wrote. “But my boyfriend is my workout partner. I usually take his workouts and modify them for myself or find my own.”
Her next goal? A 135-pound bench press by January, she wrote. (Feeling inspired? Here’s
The Beginner’s Guide to Lifting Heavy Weights)
Keep It Consistent
Losing weight and staying consistent go hand in hand—and no one understands that better than Reddit user DontTryJustDoIt95. After deciding to get into shape seven-and-a-half months ago, she opted to practice intermittent fasting, cutting down to 1,500 calories a day, but eating whatever she liked. (BTW,
Here’s What Fit Women Need to Know About Intermittent Fasting )
That major change in her diet combined with hitting the gym three days a week led her to a 54-pound weight loss. “I’ve never felt better,”
she wrote alongside her progress pic.
Focus On Internal Progress
Reddit user PizzaDaughter’s transformation is about so much more than the numbers on the scale.
“When I look at…old pictures, [I see] how much I struggled with my weight and the negative impact it had on my life,”
she wrote on Reddit.
It took 15 months for this user to lose 120 pounds and she credits her success to the
CICO diet, otherwise known as the Calories In Calories Out diet. “Losing so much weight hasn’t been easy [but] it also has not been as hard as I feared,” she wrote. “CICO is simple. Maintaining the discipline to plan my meals and log my food for 15 months has been the hard part. It’s been worth the sacrifice so far.” (Check out this guide on How to Safely Cut Calories to Lose Weight.)
While her appearance has obviously changed, she says it’s her emotional progress that’s been the most gratifying. “Internally, I feel like a completely different person,” she wrote. “I have so much energy [and] gained so much confidence in my ability to accomplish my goals.”
Stop Restrictive Dieting
Over the past four years, Val Walker has gained
30 pounds of solid muscle by swapping restrictive eating and HIIT workouts for heavy lifting and a balanced vegan diet.
To gain the extra muscle, Walker says she upped her calorie intake to 2,500 calories a day, eating anywhere from 80-100 grams of protein daily. (Find out
What Vegan Bodybuilding Diets Are Really Like.)
Today, she’s quit her nine-to-five job to become a personal trainer and part-time powerlifter – and has no plans of turning back.
Prioritize Mental Health
Sometimes losing weight isn’t just about changing your lifestyle; it’s about transforming your mindset.
Case in point: Reddit user Courtney
says she lost 100 pounds in a year by prioritizing her mental health.
She explained that she wasn’t able to exercise at all because of a spine condition, but altered her diet to consume fewer processed foods and unnecessary carbs. (Find out how
This Woman Realized She Needed to Put Mental Health Before Weight Loss)
For Courtney, her transformation was mostly about the small changes. “It’s easier to hold my body upright,”
she wrote on Instagram. “I’m no longer walking on the sides of my feet. It’s not a struggle to get in and out of chairs or couches. The thought of sitting in an unfamiliar chair doesn’t bring on an anxiety attack. This whole journey has been a balance of healing the struggle in my mind and it’s manifestation into the struggle with my body.”
Do It with Health In Mind
Reddit user SmallSubs’ number one motivator
to lose 130 pounds was to benefit her health. “I wanted to get in shape, and once I was exercising regularly, the food part kind of followed that,” she wrote on Reddit. “The first month is definitely the hardest, but once you form habits things become infinitely easier.”
While she does count calories, she also makes it a point not to restrict foods. “I still drink when I go out with my friends, and I haven’t felt like I’m missing out at all,” she wrote. I just eat less and save the big treats for when I’m out with friends.”
Her number one piece of advice to others in similar situations is to be patient. “I started this process almost a year and a half ago, and I’m still not at my goal weight,” she wrote. “It’s gonna take time, but that’s fine because this is how you’re going to eat/live for the rest of your life. Gotta have that mindset.” (See:
The 10 Rules of Weight Loss That Lasts)
Make Changes for Life
Nina Fuentes got tired of feeling disappointed about her body and decided it was time to make a change. “I put myself on a mission to get in shape in a sustainable manner,” she shared on Reddit. “I was tired of trying quick fixes to lose a few pounds quickly and gain them back as soon as I stopped.”
Over the next year, Fuentes switched to a plant-based, whole-food diet and started lifting weights four to six times a week. (See:
What’s the Difference Between a Plant-Based Diet and a Vegan Diet?)
“I am not yet where I want to be, but I know exactly how to get there and that it will come with time,” she explains. “It took me 365 days, and I only lost 15 pounds, but I know that this is not a diet and that I can keep it up for life.”
Consider Counting Calories
It took a lot of courage for Reddit user Yay_Chaos to share her weight-loss progress after losing 108 pounds. “First time in my adult life wearing a dress,”
she wrote alongside two side-by-side photos of herself. Her post was instantly flooded with comments congratulating her on her hard work. “You are all so kind,” she responded to her supporters. “I was terrified to post this.”
While responding to some of her comments, the user shared that
she stuck to eating 1,200 calories a day and worked out three to four days a week to lose the weight. “I don’t work out much now but I’m eating at maintenance calories every other day,” she wrote. (Related: 6 Signs You Need to Change Your Diet)
When asked about her number one tip
she wrote: “Counting all of my calories. Even the bad ones! I think it helped me understand why I couldn’t lose weight and why I failed so many times.” (Here’s a heads up that counting calories isn’t for everyone, so do what works for you!)
After years of trying and failing to lose weight, Reddit user SultenOgRedd decided to opt for weight-loss surgery. Over the next 18 months, she lost 105 pounds but has since gained back 10 of pure muscle thanks to CrossFit. “I never thought I could look like this in a million years,”
she wrote alongside her inspiring pic. “Feels like I can do anything now.” (Check out these 15 Health and Fitness Benefits of CrossFit)
Her post was an inspiration to women in their forties who feel like losing weight is harder at their age. “It is harder to lose it when you get older, but not impossible,” she wrote. “I’m not sure I could have done it without WLS, so for me, that was the best option. It is still hard work though.”
Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New
In the first year of her journey, Reddit user Nonviolent stuck to eating 1,400 calories a day. She started by walking, moved on to jogging, then eventually felt more comfortable running. “At the one year mark, I started taking lifting a little more seriously and switched to counting macros,”
she wrote. “The running/cardio combined with calorie deficit helped me with the bulk weight loss, but I was pretty shapeless until I started lifting more seriously.” (Related: Run Into Shape with Our 30-Day Running Challenge)
Today, she preps a weeks worth of food every Sunday,
eats 2,000 calories a day and spends four or five days in the gym every week.
She also shared her advice for people interested in lifting weight for weight loss. “Honestly, just trial and error with caution,” she wrote. “I watched YouTube and Instagram videos and copied what I saw until I learned what I was doing. I also stuck to machines instead of free weights in the beginning. Don’t lift too heavy right off the bat. Go for repetition rather than weight and make sure your form is good. Injuries will only set you back so take it easy.”
Sumo deadlifts, on the other hand, work your entire posterior chain (the back of your body), including your lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. You can also build strength and stability in your abs while bracing your core during this movement.
If you’re feeling inspired and looking to follow in Winter’s footsteps the next time you’re in the gym, the key is to start with light weights (
or even your just your own body weight) to avoid injury until you feel comfortable with the movements. From there, you can progressively increase the load and get one step closer to being your strongest, most bad self.