Lockdown Didn’t Stop Nicole From Losing 55 Pounds (So far!)

NAME : Nicole / BEFORE WEIGHT : 372 / AFTER WEIGHT : 317 / POUNDS LOST : 55 (so far!)

From Grieving to Healing – How a big loss helped me care about myself…  I’ve been chubby since I was a little girl. My parents didn’t really have a lot of money when I was growing up, so we basically just ate whatever was cheap and convenient. My parents also didn’t eat the healthiest, so, neither did I. Most of the time, my breakfast consisted of a Mountain Dew and a bologna and cheese sandwich. I was never really taught how to eat healthy portions of food, or just healthy foods in general.

HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? I was always self-conscious, however, I never shy’d away from social events. I’ve always been a very social person. The only thing that really stands out to me is that I quit the volleyball team in high school because I thought I was “too big” to be on the varsity team and I never thought that I would be good enough or skinny enough to play, even though it was something that I absolutely loved.

 

WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? My dad passed way from a heart attack in 2016. It was very sudden and it crushed me like a ton of bricks. Immediately I tried coping by starting to eat healthy and workout, but depression quickly overtook me and I just didn’t care anymore. I coped by drinking and eating crappy foods. I barely even wanted to be alive. Eventually, by the grace of God, I attended a grief group. This helped me a lot with how I was dealing with my grief and helped me realize that I was still on this earth for a reason. So, I re-started (AGAIN!) on my health journey. Shortly after, I finally got my first boyfriend. One weekend, we went to WI Dells for a mini getaway & on the first night, we went to go ride some roller coasters. We waited in line forever & it was FINALLY our time to go on… I didn’t fit. It took 3 dedicated workers trying to get the lap bar locked and a bunch of embarrassment for me to tell them “its okay, I’ll just get off and let other people on.” I was so embarrassed. I was devastated. I stopped working out and started coping with food. Yet again. Months passed and then COVID hit. Him and I didn’t make it and we ended up going our separate ways. However, instead of coping with food like I normally did, the switch finally flipped & I’ve been going strong ever since!

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? The first thing I did was cut out regular soda. I was drinking at least one big buddy (if you’re from the Midwest, you know. SHOUT OUT TO KWIK TRIP!) of soda a day. I also started doing walking videos on YouTube every single day after work (the old school “Walk Away the Pounds” videos.. Walk at Home is the new brand). Immediately when I would get home, before I could sit or lay down and make up excuses, I changed into workout clothes and walked at least one mile a day. Also, purchasing an Apple Watch has really really helped. Something about closing those rings every single day is so satisfying to me and I HATE not closing them.

HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? I started seeing results about a month or two after starting. I started FEELING the results almost instantly, however. It’s crazy how much more energy I have and how happier I am.

WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? I think the biggest challenge that I had to deal with (other than my dad’s death) was actually believing in myself. I’ve luckily had no major health issues and I have an amazing support system.

DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? Oh yeah, there are definitely days where I want to give up (especially lately since the scale isn’t moving). But knowing how crappy I felt before I started has kept me motivated enough. I’ll give myself a couple days to take a rest and do a mental reset and then I get myself moving again. Also, I’m in two weddings next year…. sooooo looking good in bridesmaids dresses is a nice little motivating reminder as well!

DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? I’m actually in a plateau right now, which has been extremely frustrating! But, I’ve also been working a lot of hours at work. However, I’m still staying consistent so I know that it’ll pay off in the long run. Also, the number on the scale is just a number. I’ve been building a lot of muscle and losing a lot of inches even though the scale has barely budged.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? I’m about 8 months into my journey right now and I still have a good chunk of weight to lose. A big goal of mine is to get to 100 pounds lost by my 28th birthday (August 1, 2021). Right now, I’m sitting at 55 pounds lost.

DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? Oh my gosh, so many non-scale victories. I’m healthier. I’m happier. I feel so much better. I’m more confident. My clothes fit better. I’m able to do more activities that I couldn’t do before. Non scale victories are so much more satisfying in my opinion. 🙂

WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? Oh god… this is probably the most embarrassing part. VERY RARELY did I cook at home. I was eating fast food for literally every single meal. Kwik Trip or McDonalds for breakfast. Another fast food place for lunch. Going out to eat or more fast food for supper. I also thought I wasn’t a huge fan of vegetables or healthy foods (mostly because I would never take the time to teach myself how to cook them so they actually taste good lol)

HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? When I was at my heaviest, I hated working out. Everything hurt. I was too embarrassed (even if I was working out in my room alone) because I was always out of breath and I couldn’t do a lot of the moves. Now? I freaking love working out. I have to MAKE myself take rest days because it’s become such a mental release for me. I started doing @thesculptyou ‘s program about 4 months ago and the moves that @collegecleaneating puts together every single week make me feel so EMPOWERED and STRONG and CONFIDENT. I actually ENJOY going to the gym now and I walk in there with confidence instead of being embarrassed or scared that people are staring.

HOW DID YOUR EATING HABITS CHANGE? My eating habits have changed IMMENSELY since starting my journey. I pretty much eat the same things almost every single day. I try to do my meal prep on Sundays and switch things up so I don’t get too bored. I got a lot of recipe ideas from @isfrannyfityet (the cauliflower rice queen) and @feliciafitnesshealth (the protein coffee and felicia combo queen) for healthier options of foods that I already loved. AND, I still allow myself those “cheat meals” because I finally have the mindset that one bad meal won’t ruin my progress.

ARE THERE ANY PEOPLE, SERVICES, BOOKS – EVEN QUOTES, THAT UNKNOWINGLY HELPED YOU ON YOUR JOURNEY?
There are so many people that have helped me, whether it’s people that are close to me or instagram stars that I’ve followed forever. My friends and family have been extremely supportive and helpful throughout this entire process. Also, the following instagrammers have been such good influences and have given me really good recipe/workout ideas or confidence boosts when I needed it the most:
@thesculptyou / @collegecleaneating
@isfrannyfityet
@aliciamccarvell
@feliciafitnesshealth
@kacia.fitzgerald
@emkfit

WHAT DID THIS JOURNEY TEACH YOU ABOUT YOURSELF?
I’ve learned so much about myself throughout this journey so far. I’ve learned that I can overcome ANYTHING. I am strong. I am worth it. I am here on this earth for a reason. & I deserve to be happy and healthy.

MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS

  1. Drink a lot of water
  2. Continue to eat foods that you love – but find healthier ways to make them or be mindful with your portion sizes
  3. Find a good support system & love them HARD
  4. For workouts – find something that you LOVE! I freaking love lifting, so that’s what I do. & now I’ve found a fun way to incorporate cardio by going to zumba classes and doing @emkfit dance HIIT workouts on youtube.