To be honest, I have been big my whole life but as I got older, it turned into a mean case of obesity due to the fact that I am somewhat of an emotional eater. It doesn’t help that I am already a foodie lol, but for me, food seems to always be at the forefront of everything that I do. I used food for comfort, to combat boredom ,for celebratory reasons, when going through a state of depression etc. That is what I will say (over the years) is what contributed to me introducing myself to the world of obesity. This monster came along and shattered my hopes for improvement. Obesity helped me to develop this careless attitude of ” im already fat, so Im going to do what I want, eat what I want, when I want and as much of it as I want.” Sadly this approach combined with my horrible food choices was the reason that I lost control. Once I developed the careless attitude I became lazy and turned off all of my senses to healthy living.
NAME : janell
BEFORE WEIGHT : 336
AFTER WEIGHT : 279
POUNDS LOST : 57
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? Asking me a question like this is like asking me to write a novel for you lol. Without making this long winded, let me just say this…Being fat has ALWAYS had an affect. In my younger years I suffered mostly from finding clothing and being joked on some of the times. As I got older it trickled into effecting life on an everyday basis because I am older and I understand society and its views now. I know what discrimination is. I became aware of the fact that being fat in today’s world is highly demonized. I’ve been rejected from night clubs, dismissed from amusement park rides due to size, down to having men disrespect me, to having to deal with all of the stigmas that come with being fat.
The worst part for me, that still, until this very day effects me, is the fact that I am an entertainer and over all of the years that I’ve been grinding to push my music through so many avenues..I have never really been given the opportunity to effectively share my talents with the world because my image doesn’t fit society’s norm. Although times have changed in regards to image in the world of entertainment, I still feel that it isn’t welcoming. With people like Lizzo on the scene, the game has definitely changed and its great to see people embracing plus sized people, but I still feel like its a catch when obese people are given an opportunity. Now that they have actually opened doors for the plus community, there are still some very underlying issues such as oversexualizing a bbw if she is granted the opportunity. So its like a catch 22. I love music, I love to perform and entertain, but one of my dreams is on hold because of my weight. I have missed out on several opportunities just because of my size and it sucks.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? Physical pain and mental frustration! The discomfort that comes from being overweight has become so overwhelming. Knees hurting, ankles hurting,being winded off of small tasks, being uncomfortable in anything that I wear ..You name it! Im so over this unhealthy life and I am so ready to improve..long term! That care free attitude that I had, had to be adjusted. I had to get right mentally 1st and foremost. I am still working on disciplining myself.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? Which journey? the 1st one? the 20th one ..the 45th one?! When I tell you that I feel like I have tried every diet in the book. For anyone reading this, who is familiar with the “You name it” thanksgiving song meme that came out a few years ago (performed by Shirley Ceasar)..please read all of my tried and failed diets in that melody, because there are so many lol..Ive tried Atkins, low carb,slim fast,weight watchers, Iaso, vegan, Paleo, military,cabbage,liquid,herbalife..You nameee it lol! And sadly that isn’t even all of them. Also, around 2005 I got the lap band procedure done and had it removed in 2016, with minimal weight loss success. I realized I had to take a different approach. I cleaned up my mental to start.
Then I started enlightening myself with all things pertaining to health on a daily basis. Then I cleansed my social media ,deleting accounts with negative content and replacing them with motivational and inspiring accounts. Doing this was a great move because I started to see different people with the same story as me posting these amazing success stories and seeing that everyday made me feel like “I can do this too”. The hardest thing to ever do is to start. The 2nd hardest thing to do is to stay consistent. Taking control of the things that I had power over made a huge difference. I’m more selective of the company I keep as well. After the deep mental cleansing and the absorption of success stories I felt motivated to embark on yet another weight loss journey, this time experimenting with Keto/low carb living. This is where I will mention alignment…Keto is thee ONLY diet that I have never tried because I was trying so hard to become a vegan and keto went against all of the vegan rules.
Even though I am not a vegan I definitely developed some great habits and didn’t want to relapse with a keto lifestyle. Keto was everywhere I turned my head and I started researching successes of the diet as well as food and I felt like I needed to try this last resort. Low and behold Keto has been the 1 diet that I have been the most successful and consistent doing. I’ve been on this keto journey since May and I am slowly but surely achieving goals. They say slow and steady wins the race and I concur! This process is actually working for me. Intermittent fasting is a major key as well. I use the 16/8 method and its has been a great experience.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? After the 1st month I didn’t see a physical difference but I felt great and my clothing fit different. In the 2nd month I started to see the physical difference.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? Battling my emotions, the lack of motivation and consistency.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? All the time! The fact that I feel like, for my whole life, the real me has been trapped in this fat body, is what keeps me motivated. I am curious to meet and see the real me. What does she look like ? How will things operate in her life..Will she change careers? Will she encounter all of the missed opportunities? How will she dress? Will she fall in love? Its something that is highly anticipated so I have to keep losing to find out. Its like if you don’t suck the candy off of the toostie pop you’ll never get to the actually Tootsie Roll.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? As of yet I haven’t and Im going to work hard to make sure that I don’t run into any.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? Well Im nowhere near my long term goal weight of 180, but I have lost 57 lbs thus far and that took about 6 months. I am not rushing this time. I am getting use to the lifestyle, making it habitual, making it normal. I don’t want to consider things as diets any more. The more I learn, the more I apply these gems to my daily routines and all has been working out so far. It feels good to see and feel difference and nothing is more rewarding than when people start so see your hard work shine through.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? Absolutely! I complete water intake victories, completing hard work outs(which start at 730 am for me),completing more laps, fitting into clothing that would not fit,great skin,and just feeling healthy. Feeling healthy is a real thing! Its a life changer. People get fixated on clocking the scale which can be a lot of pressure. I have waist beads and I love them. They are a way better indicator for tracking results.
There are so many non scale victories that people should acknowledge and embrace, but unfortunately, we are conditioned to using the scale to determine our success. Do not get pulled into the scale matrix. The scale teaches us obsession when we should not be obsessing over a number that can increase , but your body decrease in a n area. The scale loves to play devils advocate lol. We should be picking up new habits that don’t leave areas open for disappointment.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? Im a person who drinks my calories. I loveeeee juice lol. I can drink a whole cartoon of cherry lime aid in a few hours. The amount of sugar that I was consuming off of juice alone was unbelievable. Even though Im a foodie I was never a person to gorge on food but I had whatever I wanted. Pasta is my arch nemesis and I consumed that often as well as rice, fried foods and bread. When I reached my highest weight of 336, let me tell you what I ate for breakfast every single day like clockwork…Bacon egg and cheese on a deli style bagel(which are huge), some type of sweet cake and a huge mocha iced coffee or grapefruit juice..Whatttttt? The thought I consumed that daily is embarrassing. Eating like that crippled me in so many ways. And just to think..That was just breakfast.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I’ve always tried to incorporate activity and have done so but was never consistently. So the difference is, now Im working out consistently at least 5 days a week at a minimum and it is contributing to my success. Im not a fan of cardio but it MUST be incorporated..If you don’t do anything else, you must do cardio. I jog laps around the park and then complete some strength training circuits. My weight makes it hard to jog consistently, and currently I haven’t been able to jog. For a month, I jogged every day and my ankles are feeling the pain from the weight. But this time I didn’t let that defeat me (Which is always the best excuse for me to make my exit). I nurse with my ankles with ice daily and I walk at a comfortable pace for 2-3 mile until I can jog again. Its about cutting out excuses and creating solutions!
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Incorporate at least 30 minutes of cardio a day
- Get outside to workout to absorb the sun
- Drink non caloric drinks all the time (teas, water ,seltzer etc)
- Incorporate intermittent fasting with any eating lifestyle that you choose
- Drink At 64 oz. of water a day