Many experiences in my childhood started my weight issue; it was complete lack of self-love. My journey into adulthood it became more extreme. I’ve been overweight my whole life. I’ve started my weight loss journey over & over since 2010. Living with a rare eye disease, Keratoconus & loss of hearing, nothing felt normal. Keratoconus does not typically lead to complete blindness. But the disease can degrade vision to a level where one will experience difficulty leading a normal life and become “legally blinded.” That was the case for me, I felt completely out of place living with this disease.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? I definitely disconnected with the world. I would deactivate social media accounts; I flaked on friends when they asked me to go out, I was self-conscious taking pictures and I wouldn’t show up to family events. I really enjoy attending music festivals and live shows but I would rarely attend thinking about how long I would have to stand and being among fans that could dance and enjoy themselves while I could hardly move.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? My turning point included the day I could no longer fit into my band shirts comfortably. They were 3x and tight. I also had a turning point when I couldn’t buckle my seat belt on the plane and while playing with my child at the park a little girl came up to me and asked “Why are you so fat?” I’d say the final straw was the day I needed to purchase new clothes for an interview. I could only shop at Lane Bryant at the point. I knew I was size 24 but I could no longer fit into that size comfortably. I went up to a 28 and completely broke down in the dressing room. I snapped pictures of myself in the mirror and told myself I wouldn’t reward myself for bad behavior by buying new clothes. I was determined to fit into the size 24 and 18 I had throughout my closet.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? I set up my life to eliminate all excuses. I began walking uphill in my neighborhood for 30 minutes. I saved money to quit my unfulfilling/draining job and focused on my health for 3 months; 90 days is what I needed to commit to in order form good habits. Once I started working again, I taught myself how to balance work, parent-hood and living a healthy life. I changed my entire career, place of living, daycare, schedule and routine. I took advantage of my Insurance Health Programs. For a small monthly fee, this allowed me to become of member of majority of the gyms, recreational centers and hospital gyms near me; even when I went out of town. I always had options, 24 hours a day.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? It took about 90-100 days before I seen my body transform. It showed on the scale so that helped me stay encouraged.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? Creating time to work out and accepting that I would be on the journey alone. Most people started losing weight and working out with me but if I lacked and gave up they immediately did too. I had to learn to be my own inspiration and hope I inspired friends and family along the way.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? After the birth of both my baby girls, I was just trying to keep it all together while losing myself. I knew I had to become a better person, for them and me. August 22, 2016, I was truly dedicated to losing weight and I definitely work hard to excel in spite of what life has thrown my way.
In addition, as a cornea transplant recipient, I was so grateful to have received such a life changing gift that I wanted more for myself and whomever the donors were that left this earth sooner than expected. I’d ask myself “So now what, you made it through all of that. Will you live a mediocre life or inspire others who came from a similar place of brokenness?” So I’ve finally started pursuing my dreams of becoming an author and blogger, music project manager & building more confidence to share my entire story.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? Yes, I was stuck at 230 lbs. for at least 4 months. This is actually when I started lifting weights and becoming more active through social media in order to re-inspire myself. I decided to share a little more of my journey. In order to get past this plateau, I decreased my daily calorie intake by 300 calories and stuck to it. This involved spending weekends working out and meal prepping in the middle of the week to get me through the weekend. I finally broke through the 230’s.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? Most of the weight fell off within the first 6 months. Being consistent and trusting the process I dropped 100 pounds within 7 months.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? Absolutely! My non-scale victories were fitting into smaller clothing and finally not leaving the dressing room ashamed. I can cross my legs and comfortably snap myself in an airplane seat belt. Most of all, my body is toning and I’m not as worried about loose skin after losing 150 pounds.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? What were your eating habits like when you were heavier?
I never tracked anything I ate. I actually ate healthy options but I would defeat the purpose adding dressing and dippings that almost added up to a full meal by themselves. When I did eat unhealthy foods; my go to meal was Braum’s. I ate a double cheeseburger with chicken strips and a cookie dough milkshake. I often had a sweet tooth and ate huge oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies; not just one or three. I ate 5-8 cookies at a time. I’d eat this way when stressed, happy or out of boredom.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? I always enjoyed being active, I just lacked energy so I did the bare minimum, I worked out on my elliptical at home for 14 mins, checked the mail and majority of my exercise included getting from place to place in the work place. Now I hike, bike, join races and I work out 4-5 days a week; including 30-40 mins of cardio, a few core workouts & weight lifting.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Find a way to hold yourself accountable. I hold about 4-5 weight loss challenges a year. I run the challenges at work and through Facebook. It helps me hold myself accountable and set new goals when in competition. I also want to ensure I am setting a good example for everyone that joined my challenge? How would it look if I’m gaining weight holding the challenge? I wanted to be the change I wanted to see in others.
- Eliminate your excuses. I found a gym nearest to my girl’s daycare, packed a gym back and meal prep every day and changed my work schedule to have 1 full hour dedicated to gym time It took 5 minutes to get to the daycare from the gym.
- Take photos of yourself and use them to compare every time you transform!
- Purchase cheap clothing that’s too small for you and try it on every month to see your progress. I still have dresses that are too small for me but I think about what I paid for it and I don’t want the purchase to be a waste.
- Sign up for races and practice timing yourself before the day of the race. I’d basically set myself up for success and incorporate 20-30 minutes of jogging/running/walking three times a week.