I was always a little overweight growing up but after having my first child in 2012 my weight got out of control. I gained 20 lbs during the pregnancy and an extra 40 lbs after. I started working when he was 3 months old and started eating out everyday.
NAME : Michelle
BEFORE WEIGHT : 220 lbs
AFTER WEIGHT : 160 lbs
POUNDS LOST : 60
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? Shortly before I started my Weight loss journey I experienced 3 miscarriages. I was convinced that the extra weight was causing hormonal problems that were not allowing me to carry a full term. I had high blood pressure and was always extremely fatigued. I knew I had to make a change if I wanted to eventually have a healthy pregnancy.I was told by my doctor that I should consider losing some weight so I could have a healthier pregnancy in the future. My blood pressure at the time was high and my doctor had concerns about me getting preeclampsia.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? I purchased a beautiful dress to attend a family members wedding. I was really excited to wear this dress. I went to the wedding. I felt a bit uncomfortable and self conscious but overall I had a good time. The next day I looked at the photos from the event and I didn’t recognize myself and that’s when I realized if I didn’t make a change I was going to continue to gain weight. A few days later on August 26, 2014 at the age of 28 I started my Weight loss journey.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? When I started this journey I knew absolutely nothing about health and fitness all I knew was that eating less calories would make you lose weight. I downloaded the free version of myfitnesspal and started tracking my calories and protein intake. At the beginning of my journey I started walking 5 days a week for 45min with my 2 years old son. At the time it was perfect because I could burn some calories while spending time with my son.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? I noticed the biggest change the first 6 months into my weight journey and this year 2020 after incorporating weight training into my workout routine. In the first 6 months, I lost a total of 33lbs and went from wearing a size 18/2xl to a size 14/Large.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? During my journey I attempted to do a really low carb diet. This low carb diet wasn’t the diet for me and left me with a really negative relationship with food. I was not enjoying family events because I was too worried that eating carbs that one time would make me gain all the weight back. I thought this low carb diet would solve all my problems. I really felt like giving up. I realized this behavior was not healthy and I decided to take a diet break. This diet break consisted of eating at maintenance and enjoying everything in moderation until I was ready to get back on a deficit.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? My before and after picture were my biggest motivation.I made a promise to myself that I wasn’t going to give up. I told myself I was going to keep going no matter what until I reached my goal. In 2016 I had my second child and had to start over but I didn’t give up. When I saw no change on the scale, I kept going. When I saw no change in my body, I kept going. I realized health and fitness will always be part of my life. This started as a weight journey and became a lifestyle. This journey has completely changed my life. I no longer suffer from high blood pressure, extreme fatigue, or joint pain. I gave birth to a healthy second child. I can now keep up with my boys and teach them healthy habits.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? I did not hit any weight loss plateaus during my journey but I had to take several diet breaks. Diet breaks allowed me to lose weight in a very sustainable way.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? I’ve been on my weight loss and fitness journey for 6 yrs now. It took me about 4 yrs to lose 60 lbs and I’ve been maintaining it ever since.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? Tracking calories really taught me how to properly read nutritional labels. I learned how to make healthier choices. Tracking my calories allowed me to include fun foods within my daily calorie without feeling guilty. I am now more knowledgeable about calories and make better food choices without tracking.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? When I was heavier most of my meals where fast food. I would get home from from tired and in no mood to cook. A typical breakfast was 2 mc griddle, 2 hash brown, lots of ketchup and a very sweet iced coffee.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? After losing 60 lbs with only cardio I was still self conscious and very unhappy with the way my body looked. I started weight training at home a little over a year ago and It truly changed my life. I was able to build muscle that completely changed my body composition. Weight training not only helps me build muscle it also build my confidence. I mostly weight Train 2 upper body, 2 Lower body & 1 full body day a week. I include 15-20 minutes of cardio such as running, walking or using my Elliptical after my training. I also like to stay active on my rest days by going on short walks.
HOW DID YOUR EATING HABITS CHANGE? My goal was to eat as much as I could and still lose weight. I follow a balanced and non restrictive diet. I started making healthier choices and eating mostly whole foods but I also include fun foods like twinkies and oreos. I make healthy versions of my favorite fast foods like pizza and burgers. I also started meal prep which really helped when I was too busy.
ARE THERE ANY PEOPLE, SERVICES, BOOKS – EVEN QUOTES, THAT UNKNOWINGLY HELPED YOU ON YOUR JOURNEY?
I highly recommend Jordan Syatt’s YouTube, mini-podcast, and his Instagram page @syattfiness his content has helped me greatly. I don’t have specific books or websites but I will say take advantage of all the free information available out there. I Googled everything. I got all my fitness and meal ideas from YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.
WHAT DID THIS JOURNEY TEACH YOU ABOUT YOURSELF?
This journey taught me patience and that I was stronger than I thought I was. I continued even when I wasn’t seeing results because proper weight loss takes time. There is no due date to health and I had to trust the process and not rush the results.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Prep your meals at home. This really helped because I was able to control the ingredients and serving size.
- Start slow. Make simple changes like eliminating sugaring drinks from your diet. If you try to do too much too much you can become overwhelmed and give up.
- Don’t compare your journey to someone else’s journey, we are all different comparing yourself to others can be discouraging.
- Calorie deficit is key, no matter what diet or workout you choose you must be on a calorie deficit to lose weight.
- No matter what don’t stop, you can take breaks and readjust but don’t stop.