90 Pounds Lost: Luli Sheds The Weight With Vegetarian Diet
NAME : Luli
BEFORE WEIGHT : 282
AFTER WEIGHT : 192
POUNDS LOST : 90
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
I began gaining weight when I was very young (around age 7). We didn’t have the healthiest of food available in our house growing up, so losing the weight was extremely difficult. The number on the scale kept creeping up slowly until it hit 282 lbs. I stopped weighing myself after that.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
It affected every aspect of my life. Having spent my entire overweight/obese, my self esteem was virtually non existent. I was teased relentlessly because of it as a child and even as an adult. It left me afraid to try anything new for fear of being ridiculed. My way of coping was to hide in plain sight. For decades I drowned myself in work to the point of burnout. I was depressed, isolated, mentally exhausted and sick… all the time.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
While on a walk one day I had an encounter with a woman who I call my little angel. I had been thinking of how my situation was affecting my life and how I needed to do something about it. She just happened to pass me at that moment and cheered me on. That was all I needed that day to make the decision to change. Who would’ve thought a tiny bit of encouragement from a stranger would set my life down a new healthy path.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I lived across the street from a 24 hour gym, so I decided to give it a try. I’d get up extremely early and get in a workout before heading in to work. Doing it first thing in the wee hours of the morning meant not having to make excuses for not going later in the day. I fell in love with spinning. A great instructor helped spark a desire to push my limits. It’s what eventually got me to discover running… something I was never able to do.
I went vegetarian. Swapping out all the processed food I had spent a lifetime eating with all sorts of fruits and veggies I had never tried before was the best decision I’ve ever made. Reading everything I could get my hands on about proper nutrition was a great source of motivation to maintain a healthy diet.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
After a month or two of consistent exercise and healthy eating I could feel the difference in the way my clothes fit. More importantly I had LOTS more energy.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
I had to overcome my fear of stepping out of my comfort zone, my fear of failure. Adopting a “go for it and see what happens” attitude really helped boost my confidence.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
Once I got started and saw how my life changed as a result I’ve never thought of giving up. I never looked at it as being on a diet or following an exercise plan. I made the decision to change the way I was living my life.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
I hit a plateau years ago and have regained about 15 of the 104 pounds I initially. Even though the scale has not showed any progress I am as active as ever. My goals now focus mainly on being strong and staying healthy as opposed to a reaching a certain number on the scale.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
Results came rather quickly at first. Eating very healthy food and getting regular exercise helped me drop 70 lbs in about a year.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
Yes! I have always admired runners but knew I was never fit enough to even try. Running a race seemed so far out of reach, but I wanted to have that experience. I started a couch to 5k program during my first fit year and set a crazy goal to run a half marathon, so I signed up for one not knowing if I had it in me. Registering forced me to commit to training for consistently. I gave it my all… and I finished it! Running that last tenth of a mile while sobbing uncontrollably was a moment I will never forget. I accomplished something I never thought I was capable of. It was liberating.
Since then I have completed four more… and three full marathons!
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
Instead of the frozen dinners and fast food I ate virtually every day, my diet is filled with lots of fruit and veggie goodness. Greek yogurt, low fat cheese, veggie protein shakes are my go to snacks instead of chips, cookies and diet soda. I still have a notorious sweet tooth which I indulge with bananas, dates, pineapple and mango instead of ice cream or candy bars.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
I do cardio and strength training 4-5 times a week for a regular schedule and 5-6 times a week of mostly running when training for a race.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Track! Track! Track! Keeping track of your activity and what you eat will uncover what may be hindering your progress or identify what’s working for you.
- Don’t be afraid to try new healthy foods. Eat with an open mind and you may discover you actually like kale, and fresh broccoli is actually delicious.
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