WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
My initial weight problem began as a young child. I can remember starting dieting at 7 years old. My family has a history of obesity& a horrible relationship with body image& bullying. Being “teased” about your weight was very common in my family, unfortunately. My weight issues got worse as I got older b/c I combined food abuse with alcohol abuse. That lead to major weight being gained very quickly.
NAME : Moneek
BEFORE WEIGHT : 325
AFTER WEIGHT : Current 190. POUNDS LOST : 130
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? At my heaviest weight of 325 (could’ve actually been a little more honestly) I was extremely depressed and I’m a very toxic relationship. I would binge drink alcohol& binge eat and stay at home. I was too ashamed to go out around people, people I knew, strangers…I didn’t want to be in public b/c I was so uncomfortable in my own skin. So my mid 20’s I was cooped up in a house, depressed, angry& alone. I just turned to food and alcohol.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? My turning point was in 2006, I began a home health job and I had a very sweet client that teased me about my weight one morning. She didn’t mean it maliciously but it just triggered the bullying from my childhood and I was just SICK of being fat at that very moment. I was over the jokes. I was over the pain I felt everyday.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? At the very beginning of my journey, I set a goal to be active everyday for at least 30mins. I would walk around my house or ride a bike (to switch it up). But always around my house, b/c I was afraid of going to a gym& being around all the fit people. I was afraid of being judged. I joined “Curves” gym once I lost some weight. I felt like I could do that since it was for women only. I went once& never returned. My self-esteem had been so low for years, it took years to gain confidence. I’m actually still working on confidence.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? Honestly, I saw results quickly. I’m grateful for that b/c I was in such a desperate situation and needed a jolt to wake me up. I was living such a sad life on my mid 20’s when I was over 300lbs. It was the weight but it was also the depressed state I was in, the binge-drinking…all of it.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? I overcame so much during my journey of losing over 100lbs. A huge thing was just knowing that I was important, I deserved a chance to live my life. I had to overcome fear, the fear that I wasn’t worthy, the fear that I didn’t matter, the fear that I was a failure. I basically gave up on myself& I had to overcome that.
In late 2019 years of being successful at my over 100lb weightloss. I had to overcome a almost deadly situation. I got salmonella from something I ate at Thanksgiving& 5 days later I was hospitalized for 28 days. The salmonella had turned septic& began to shut my organs down. I was in the ICU. I was on dialysis. It was a ordeal that came out of nowhere and it almost claimed my life. Now, I’m coming back from that, so it’s a process to workout b/c of lingering issues. And my eating is strange b/c of the PTSD from that event.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? I’m not gonna say my journey was easy or that I never slipped up, but honestly just seeing results and feeling better kept me motivated. I loved feeling better. I loved not having to hide myself from my family, friends& the world anymore. Feeling happier, better& lighter what kept me going.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? I feel like I have been in a weight plateau for the past year. I love my body. I’m happy with my size but I’m used to cutting (getting more lean) in no time. In no way am I close to being back to my over 300lb self but I have noticed dropping weight is slower now. But, I still w joy the process of lifting weights and eating for fuel.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? I honestly lost 100lbs in a Lyle less than a year. I made up my mind in 2006 to lose it and I did. I became pregnant in 2011 but I still maintained a healthy lifestyle. Well outside of the chocolate chip& key lime pie craving that I gave into “for the baby” lol. But I walked at a natural trail for 45mins to an hour everyday during my pregnancy b/c I was doing that before. I wanted to continue with my healthy habits. After my delivery, I really went hard and starting with weightlifting again and my body continued to change. I did CrossFit as well, at one point I was at 145. That was huge from being 325!!!!
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? My non-scale victories were simple things: standing up while brushing my teeth& doing my hair. It may sound strange or simple but when I was over 300lbs those daily activities would cause me to be winded& sweaty. I’d take break, lean on the bathroom counter or just being a chair in there to get ready. People don’t realize how simple things like that came really be a victory.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? When I was heavier, I was a complete emotional eater. I have always been. I would eat through any emotion and regret it later. I ate lots of greasy fast food, processed foods, no veggies. Everything was fried, dipped in sauce or sometimes both.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? My physical activity now is more focused on strength-training versus the very beginning of my journey. In the very beginning I did low-impact cardio. Now, I’m in beast mode& try to make significant muscle gains, lol. I absolutely enjoy lifting weights. I have always admired bodybuilders& weightlifters since I was a child. So, my fitness today is just tapping into that love& passion for weightlifting.
HOW DID YOUR EATING HABITS CHANGE? When I first began my journey, I just made sure to cut down my portions. For example: if I wanted pizza, I would get a personal size instead of ordering& eating a medium or large pizza to myself. Once I lost weight& saw results, I made substitutes. I love burgers so I switched to turkey burgers with no bun, lettuce-wrapped. I would bake fries instead of deep-frying them. I made those types of changes and they helped me tremendously. I still keep those habits today.
ARE THERE ANY PEOPLE, SERVICES, BOOKS – EVEN QUOTES, THAT UNKNOWINGLY HELPED YOU ON YOUR JOURNEY?
I was huge into fitness magazine during my journey. I would buy all fitness magazines from the grocery store checkout line& just dream of being in one. I especially loved before& after editions. I searched so many people on Youtube& found some fit gurus (I still follow them today)
WHAT DID THIS JOURNEY TEACH YOU ABOUT YOURSELF?
This journey is teaching me self-love. It’s an ongoing lesson.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Make healthy food swaps. If you love fries: bake them instead. Love burgers make them low-carb. I find doing things like that are good b/c you don’t feel deprived and you can still enjoy things you like.
- Limit alcohol. I had a severe problem with alcohol so I eventually had to cut it out completely, BUT at least limit your consumption. Alcohol is just empty calories of straight sugar.
- Meal-prepping is nice if you can set aside some time to do it. I saw significant progress when I had my meals& snacks ready/on-hand. I would suggest only prepping enough for 3 days max b/c if you’re like me you’ll be bored of the same meal over& over.
Or try on-line meal prep services if you’d have the means to. Those are super convenient.
- Move everyday. Even it’s it’s just a brisk walk for 30-45 mins.
- Fasted cardio helped me shed fat/ lean out. 30 mins first thing in the morning: a walk, jog, biking, eliptical, etc. Whatever you choose, just do it before your eat anything. ONLY drink water, do fasted cardio& see the pounds melt off.