I’ve been obese my entire life right from childhood. I’m Nigerian and most of our foods are starchy and very high in carbs. Growing up I really did not have any idea or clue about what healthy eating or what a healthy lifestyle was.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? As much as I try to deny it, my weight did affect so many aspects of my life. I could never relate with friends when they talked about going shopping because I knew I wouldn’t find my size. I shopped at places my mum would buy her clothes even at the age of 12. I was always the “big friend” in the group and after a while I started to feel inferior to people around me and it began to tell on my self confidence. The smallest things felt like a chore to me because I would either be in so much pain doing it, or completely out of breathe.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? My mum had a stroke back in 2014. I knew I had to do something about my weight but not until 2015 when I was diagnosed with high blood pressure at the age of 19. I knew I couldn’t continue that way. My health condition at the time was what got me started on my weightloss journey
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? I literally just woke up one morning and knew I didn’t want to feel/look that way again. Because even after summer 2015 it took me until January 2016 to fully commit to my weightloss journey. I have tried losing weight like a million times in the past. This time around I knew I wanted to try again. I started reading a lot on nutrition and fitness. I also prayed about it because at that point in time i had completely hit rock bottom and as a Christian I had to go to God first to please help me through this time around.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? I started seeing results about 2months into my journey. The numbers on the scale was moving but physically I still could not tell until I tried on old clothes and I also started taking pictures.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? My main challenge was me! I had to take control of my mind and promise myself that no matter what happens I won’t give up on me. I did not tell my family members in the beginning because I was very sure no one would take me serious considering the fact that I’ve tried losing weight so many times yet no results.
Going to school and working part time as well made it seem impossible sometimes. But I had to let go of all excuses. Asides that I lost a few friends but that was expected. I only used that as motivation to keep going.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? A lot of times! I started my journey in the winter time. And it gets really cold here. I don’t drive so I had to take the bus in the mornings as early as 6am to make it on time to the gym since I’m also in school and most of my classes start around 10am. My “reason why” kept me going. I knew why I started so even on days I wanted to give up I knew I couldn’t. I was in it to win this time around.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? I stalled a few times but once that happens I switch up my workout routine and increase my water intake
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? Roughly about 7 months
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? A whole lot! First and most importantly I am no longer on any blood pressure medications, I can buy my clothes from regular stores now, I can comfortably put on heels, I can walk up the stairs without feeling like I’m about to pass out. They are numerous but these are the few I remember.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I eat low carb. So my meals are mostly protein and vegetables. I indulge once in a while but that’s about it. I had to learn how to control my relationship with food because I used to binge eat a lot.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? It’s a lot easier for me to workout now. My knees used to hurt a lot in the beginning but I can do so many exercise now that used to be difficult. Eg skipping, running, jumping etc.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Drink more water
- Exercise more, take the stairs instead of elevators, move around more. Anything to get your heart rate going.
- Less carbs. More fruits, protein and vegetables.
- Cut out as many frizzy drinks as you can.
- Finally be consistent, little changes over time yields great results. Be patient and set realistic goals. Over time you’ll begin to see results.