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82 Pounds Lost: With One Negative Comment, Cherie Starts Positive Changes

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Great success story! Read before and after fitness transformation stories from women and men who hit weight loss goals and got THAT BODY with training and meal prep. Find inspiration, motivation, and workout tips | 82 Pounds Lost: With One Negative Comment, Cherie Starts Positive Changes

Great success story! Read before and after fitness transformation stories from women and men who hit weight loss goals and got THAT BODY with training and meal prep. Find inspiration, motivation, and workout tips | 82 Pounds Lost: With One Negative Comment, Cherie Starts Positive ChangesName: Cherie Hart Steffen

Age: 35
Location: Mebane, North Carolina
Before: 230lbs
After: 148lbs

What was the “turning point” that prompted you to lose weight?
An embarrassingly hurtful comment from my teacher was the catalyst. He called me “Precious”— as in the fat black girl from the movie. I also promised my mother while she was on her deathbed in June 2009 that I would lose weight. But the teacher’s comment sparked me into action.

When did you start trying to lose weight?
I started in January 2010. The very day my teacher called me Precious, I came home from class and walked on my treadmill. There was no looking back after that.

How did you get started?
I started by making small changes. I’m a creature of habit and don’t respond well to big, immediate changes! I started walking on my treadmill about four times a week. Also, I made changes in my diet. I began eating grilled foods instead of fried, drinking water instead of soda, measuring foods/paying attention to portions instead of eating with wild abandon.

What was your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge was making myself go from a cardio queen to an iron maiden. My workouts were cardio-centered throughout most of my transformation journey. I knew I needed to incorporate strength training but couldn’t get myself to stick with it. Finally, almost three years into my journey, in December 2012, I joined a gym and began lifting weights. So happy I overcame that challenge! It’s been very worth it.

Were there any times when you wanted to quit or give up? How did you stay motivated?
I never wanted to give up. I stayed motivated by remembering the embarrassment I felt at that exact moment in the hallway when my teacher called me Precious. I NEVER wanted to feel like that again. That, my mother’s promise, and my “before” picture have been my constant motivation.

If you reached a weight loss plateau, how did you break out of the rut?
I usually tweak my meals or workouts. That gets me back on the ball!

What’s your current exercise routine?
I go to the gym after work Monday through Thursday to lift weights. I rotate body parts worked, i.e., chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, legs, glutes, etc. I also do cardio on the Arc Trainer after my lifting sessions. Saturday and Sunday I mix up a lot — either both weights and cardio, or just cardio. Friday is my day off.

What’s your daily diet look like?
Breakfast may be eggs, protein waffle or oatmeal with added protein powder with a whey protein shake. Fruit, maybe an apple, and almonds (I count out 20 and put them in a little baggie) is a mid-morning snack. Lunch is grilled chicken (or fish or lean beef), broccoli (or some green vegetable) and brown rice or quinoa. As a mid-afternoon snack I have plain Greek yogurt with wild blueberries I add to it. Usually I’ll have a whey protein shake before and after my gym workout. Dinner is more chicken, fish or lean beef and vegetables and one more protein shake (casein protein) before bed.

What’s your favorite healthy snack/meal?
I love seared scallops and steamed spinach — that is a definite favorite!

Do you have specific suggestions for avoiding temptations?
Find healthier versions of the non-healthy foods. Keep healthy snacks on hand and in your fridge and cupboards. If you don’t buy the non-healthy foods, you won’t have them in your house to tempt you!

What’s your life like after weight loss?
I’m much more self-confident. I have a can-do attitude. I believe I can do what I set my mind to now. Also, clothes shopping is finally a complete joy now!

If you have any suggestions to others what would they be?
YOU have to make the decision that getting healthy, losing the weight and making this a life change is MORE IMPORTANT to you than being unhealthy, continuing to be overweight and staying the same.

I wish I could do it for you, but I can’t. No one could do it for me either. Until there was something that sparked within me that said, “Okay, I’m ready now let’s do this. I’m all in,” nothing was going to change. You’ll know when you’re ready because nothing will get in your way. Not chocolate cake, a buffet, laziness, sleepiness, a holiday, chores — nothing.

If it helps you to make a vision board of quotes, mantras, pictures of clothes you want to wear, the body you want to have, go for it. Do it. I personally had to keep staring at the “Before” picture of myself and look at it often — it helped! But along with this vision board, set clear, specific goals on there and work toward them. Don’t just say, I want to wear a size 10 again someday. Make it attainable, but set a time/date to work toward.##

44 Comments

  1. Zam

    August 8, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    You look great after transformation

  2. Zam

    August 8, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    You look awesome.congrats

  3. Shawn Abrams

    August 1, 2017 at 3:49 am

    She looks beautiful! And she was beautiful before. It’s awesome that she made the choice to get healthy, but that teacher’s comment was ridiculous to begin with

  4. Dunnel Abrahamson

    July 31, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    That’s awesome and inspiring

  5. Leekita Omondi

    July 31, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Congrats to her. Better health, better you!

  6. Gail Holland

    July 31, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    She looks beautiful in both photos. People can change their looks like she did but others (like the teacher that made the comment) has an ugly heart.

  7. Michaela MacAleese O'Brien

    July 31, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Congratulations

  8. Jessica Deshazo

    July 31, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Wow! Looks great

  9. Sissy Woods

    July 31, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Congratulations

  10. Theresa Padovano

    July 31, 2017 at 6:34 am

    Congratulations

  11. Paula Scrimshire

    February 15, 2015 at 9:45 am

    you were even beautiful before but I bet it feels amazing now! I can’t wait till I’m there!

  12. Janet Johnson

    September 22, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    The teacher should have been reprimanded!

  13. Teresa Coney

    September 22, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    I had that happen once, I went to a pool party/luau and some guy said you can go ahead of me, since you are eating for two. I wasn’t pregnant and decided that was my turning point.

  14. Anita Matthews Halcomb

    September 22, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Pretty both before and after but I bet you feel better now. Congrats on all your hard work.

  15. Tamara Poole Hamilton

    September 22, 2014 at 11:10 am

    You look fantastic!

  16. Billie Jean Millen

    September 22, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Congratulations! You look amazing!

  17. Myrtle Prater

    September 22, 2014 at 2:10 am

    you look amazing,just stunning!

  18. Erika Richardson

    September 22, 2014 at 2:04 am

    CONGRATS STAY FOCUS

  19. DebRocka LoveZumbatoo Williams-Hangen

    September 21, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    CongratulatIons!!!

  20. Mary Crawford

    September 21, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    Yes!!!

  21. Vanessa Holbert

    September 21, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    awesome

  22. Sherri Shalvis-Farnsworth

    September 21, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Great job but shame on the teacher.

  23. Amanda Carlow

    September 21, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    People can be horrible. Congrates on your success.

  24. Cathy Beaird Connell

    September 21, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Great job!!!! Great transformation!!!!!

  25. Bobbie N Terry Fowler

    September 21, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    Your beautiful in both pictures..but looks healthier in the new and improved you!!! WTG!!

  26. Nemesis J. Collins

    September 21, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    Good for her. I’m so motivated and inspired. I also want to add that skinny people may face the same/similar challenges. It took me 5 years to go from 127 to 180 lbs. Then in order to be happy with myself, I went down to and try to stay at 152-160. Real Talk.. Not bragging, just inspired and excited about people working hard to change their life and attitude. God bless her!

  27. Rachel Mercer

    September 21, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Beautiful! Before and after! Great job Cherie!

  28. Ditching The Diet Diva

    September 21, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Wow this is an amazing transformation!

  29. Sarah Duran

    September 21, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Amazing

  30. Shalotta Danzy

    September 21, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Amen! !

  31. Adriane Gilder

    September 21, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Good for you. So happy for you. Thank you for the motivation.

  32. Brenda Decker

    September 21, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    You look awesome, congrats to you…you are an inspiration!!!

  33. Joseph Gillen

    September 21, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    awesome job

  34. Tina Robinson

    September 21, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Great job

  35. Sara Persian

    September 21, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Fantastic , good job

  36. Doris Jones

    September 21, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    She said she got into strength training 3 years into her journey so I would imagine at least 3 years so far.

  37. Rising Sun Carlos

    September 21, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Nice

  38. Joanne Lennon-Koronczyk

    September 21, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Wonderful story and you look great !

  39. LeDawna Akins

    September 21, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    AWESOME MOTIVATION!!!

  40. LeDawna Akins

    September 21, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Does anyone know how long it took to get there to her goal ? I didn’t see that in her article.
    AND PLEASE TELL MEshe went back to that teacher who called her Precious –

  41. Brenda Esselman

    September 21, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    You look fantastic

  42. Nona IsSo Thankful

    September 21, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Such an awesome story…and to know she lives close by! So proud of you! I’m the “cardio queen” right now trying to transition into an “iron maiden”…not easy! Thanks for sharing your journey.

  43. Caretha Wolfe

    September 21, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Fantastic! Great job. You know, it boggles my mind on how cruel people can be. That cruelty might have been the reason behind your success but, it is disgusting just the same. It, will come back to them…… You deserve a great big High Five girlfriend!!!

  44. Toby Tomes

    September 21, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    I have found it if she ever wants it back!

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