I started struggling with my weight after college. I would exercise but I wasn’t consistent. After I had my first child, the doctor brought to my attention that I needed to lose weight and my blood pressure was slightly high. I didn’t do anything about it and of course the problem progressed. After I had my second child, the doctor classified me as obese with high blood pressure and pre-diabetes. On top of that experienced postpartum hair loss known as telogen effluvium.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? My weight and health issues affected my life tremendously. I allowed my temporary status to rule me. I focused on what was wrong with me and went into a depression. I was too heavy for my age. I hated going to the store to buy clothes. I hated looking at my body in the mirror. I didn’t feel attractive. I got tired so easily. I slept a lot. My depression took a toll on my family because they had to watch me be in the dumps. There is only so much one can do to cheer you up.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? About a year into my weight loss journey, my mom passed away unexpectedly. Her heart stopped! Prior to her death, she had high blood, diabetes and was overweight. I saw myself going down that same path and I refused to leave this earth because of health problems that I have the opportunity to correct. I have too many unfulfilled dreams I want to accomplish. I want to live to see my kids grow into adults and my hubby not have to raise our kids by himself.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? When I started working out, I started exercising 2 to 3 days a week for about 15 to 30 minutes. I did cardio or some sort of physical activity (power walking) to build up my endurance and stamina. I then gradually moved to working out 3 to 5 days a week. I changed my exercises to more cardio and weight training. I hired a personal fitness trainer whom I met with one day a week. That was all I could afford at the time.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? I began to see the results of my weight loss efforts after 2 months.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? I always liked exercising. My challenges were: 1) staying consistent and motivated, 2) not getting discouraged each time I went back to the doctor for my periodic checkups on my blood pressure and bloodwork and still being told I still have some more pounds that can come off or my sugar levels are still slightly high, 3) working out when I just didn’t feel like it and 4) working out many days by myself!!
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? There were serval times I wanted to give up. I kept myself motivated by growing closer to God, focusing on my goal which was to be able to buy whatever clothes I wanted in a smaller size, have the energy to fulfill my dreams, and to live and interact with my family.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? Along my weight loss journey, I kept hitting plateaus with my weight so I upped the ante and went to working out 6 to 7 days a week. I didn’t make any excuses for myself. I took my dog out running on the weekends then I would come back home and do another 15 to 30 minutes of exercise in my basement. I have a little mini gym (dumbbells, Bosu, jump rope, workout videos). Some days I would work out twice a day. Just depending on what I had going on (family, business, etc) and how my body was holding up. If I worked my lower body really hard, I would give my lower body a rest and work upper body. No matter what the weather was doing outside, I worked out. I stopped worrying about what my hair looked like. I found protective styles that suited my new lifestyle.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? When I got completely serious about losing weight, my transformation took 2 years.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? I had several non-scale victories, 1) I noticed my clothes started fitting loose even when the scale did not go down. I was losing inches!!! and 2) I felt better after exercising, my overall mood was better.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? When I was heavier, I ate whatever I wanted. I ate a lot of junk foods, carbs, starchy foods, fried foods and a lot of sweets. I was an emotional eater. Food brought me comfort. It was one of the ways I dealt with my pain and emotional hurt.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? Exercise is a part of my lifestyle. I do some sort of physical activity every day.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- I blocked off days and times of the week I was going to work out. I didn’t schedule anything else to do at those times. I made myself self-care a priority.
- I invested in quality workout clothes that matched. This boosted my self-esteem and confidence. Even though I wasn’t feeling great on the inside, I looked nice in the outside. I look great for my future self.
- I like working out with people with that are fit and further along in their weight loss journey. It challenges me to keep up with them during workout and it makes me not make excuses for myself.
- For me, eating better and working out is the best way to lose weight. No muscle supplements, energy pills, or fad diets.
- I cannot solve my problem alone. No man is an island. Everybody needs somebody. It’s important to build a support system with people you trust and who care about your well-being.