Growing up I was always a small fry, skinny and thin, 98 lbs wet. This was from around the ages of 18 to my early 30’s. I got married in 2006 at 32 years old and started seeing myself become someone else. The first year of marriage I remember gaining like 15 lbs. I thought it was cute because I was finally in the 100s ha. 103lbs went to 115 lbs to 130lbs and by the 2nd year of marriage I was pregnant with my son and the 130 went to over 200 lbs easy.
I will never forget my doctor visit when he spoke some truth that I was not ready to hear. He was very blunt and to the point and always told me the facts. He said and I quote ” just so you know, your baby is not that big, so all that extra weight you are gaining, that is all you”.
I laughed and asked “well, how do I lose it?” He indicated I did not have to even gain it, if I would stop eating certain foods. So inquired of a list and I remember it like yesterday, he began to run down all my favorites.
Things like potatoes, fast foods, Mayonnaise, cheese, milk, mainly the dairy products or things with dairy in them. I was not happy, ha. During those days, I was a Pepperoni and Cheese Pizza Queen, A Burger Queen who loved flame broiled beef patties with cheese and extra mayo and I was a Hot dog fanatic who loved chili cheese dogs with large french fries and always had a shake or some sort of ice cream for dessert. To hear I could not eat dairy was not good news for me. What did I do, you ask? Well I did just like many others have done, ignored his sound advice and helpful information and continued on my quest to enjoy my foods daily.
Well, I gave birth to a beautiful healthy boy, my only son in 2008 and low and behold the doctor was right. I became more full and round and fat and even family members who have known me all my life did not recognize me. They could not believe it. My own grandfather who literally raised me walked right past me ha. Then when i spoke to him he nodded and said hello and kept walking until I said Grandpa! Ha.
I did this for 2 years and along with this plus other stresses and issues one day I had had enough. I remember it so vividly, walking past my bathroom mirror and I stopped and looked the lady in the mirror in the eyes. I knew it was me, because I was the only one in the house but I did not recognize her nor like what I saw at all. I stared into her eyes like I see on the cartoons and I said outwardly with my mouth moving “WHO ARE YOU?”.
I knew then, enough was enough and I had to make some changes in my life. I did not want to live an unhealthy, unfit life full of misery, depression and shame. I always tell those that ask how I lost all the weight so quickly, the first thing I did was I lost about “250 lbs of a man first, and the rest was easy ha”. I left that relationship and for the first time in life, I was on my own. I got a membership at a local gym and hired a personal trainer and never looked back.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? Weight had a significant effect on my life. I was not happy being a big chick as I called myself. I was not used to it and it was not comfortable for me. I wanted to look in the mirror and smile at who I saw, not frown. I did not like to dress up, I stayed to myself a lot or I must be honest I only hung out with ladies my size. Birds of a feather.. Yep that was me.
I wanted to blend in with the other ladies that were large because It made me upset at myself when I saw someone who was small and in shape. I knew I could be her but had allowed myself to go. Everyone has a preference and desires, but I never wanted to be large so It was a traumatic experience for me. I was very Self-conscious and did not like how my stomach hung and ugh, my thighs oh the rubbing together was torture. In the summer I would sweat and it was so disgusting to me. I could not do any physical activities without being tired and feeling drained. I was truly unhealthy and unhappy. I understand we go through life and fake it to make it but that was not fun nor emotionally or physically healthy for me.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? My first steps were mental. I made up my mind that I was not going to give in to any peer pressure or social pressure. I was determined to make a change. No matter who around me ate a certain way, I was sticking to my guns. For 24 years I worked for the government and in our various locations we had sometimes over 100 departments. Every last one, was having some sort of potluck, party, celebration or fat Friday just because it was Friday. Eating was the pastime. Donuts, pastries, danishes, breakfast burritos and sandwiches all day long.
Cakes and pies and Birthday celebration foods daily. I had to totally commit myself by myself no matter who else around me was not on board. It was not easy smelling those delicious dishes but I had a plan for my life that included living a long healthy one. I realized it was a lonely road but I was willing to take it and not look back.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? I began seeing my results within 3 weeks. My waist began to get smaller and I felt more energy. Usually anytime I begin working out, I can see it within 2 to 3 weeks. That is because I am all in and I am not cheating or still eating foods that do not benefit or assist with my goals. I went from size 16 to 22 w pants and size 2x 3x blouses to size 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 pants depending on the styles and size XS , Small blouses which I am now in currently after 10 years of maintenance.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? I did not have any medical issue and I had nothing against exercise because when I was in my 20s I liked to work out but I definitely did not have much support outside of myself and my trainer. My GG aka Granny was a great support. She was always fixing healthy foods and eating herbs and blending something ha. She was a great visual for me as I get Older to see that it does not have to stop but just gets better.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? The grass being greener on the other side. I knew no matter what, if I kept going, I would eventually make it where I wanted to be. Most are so in a hurry they miss the joys of the journey in between. I do not believe it should be rushed but each step has its own victories and that is why I can encourage ladies today. There are hundreds of examples out there so I knew if they did it, it could be done.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? I think that is just a part of the process. There will always and always have been times where I did not think I was making progress because I could not see it. During those times I just had to trust the process and know that the results were there and whether it was visible or not, my health was important and I was on the right track.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? The initial weight loss was 3 months but usually 2 months tops. The past 10 years i have been maintaining, I have done various programs and fitness programs and it usually takes me around from 4 weeks to 2 months depending on my goals. You have to stay positive and I do a lot of meditation and affirmations. Mental work and emotional work is the foundation for weight lost and fitness. The mind will always play with you but if you stay in control of the mind, you win every time.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? All my victories are mainly non scales. I do not go by the scale. I learned early on in my training days that that is just a number. You can lose 8 inches off the waist and the scale does not move because the fat has turned into muscle. I do not ever go on scales. I watch myself in the mirror and have what I call, Motivational clothes. I buy or keep clothes that are small and once I fit them, I know I have made my goal.
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? When I was heavier, I had no portion control at all. I ate until I was overly filled. I found pictures of meals I used to eat and when I see them now I want to throw up. It is so shameful to even think about it. Big portions of too much food was eaten and I paid for it. I was not an emotional eater but I just like food ha. I ate because the food was there and I could.
I was a fast food Queen. You name it , I was there, daily sometimes 2 times a day. Drive-thru or restaurants it did not matter, I ate and I ate. I ate veggies, but veggies can do no good if that is all you are doing. The veggies could not combat the unhealthy lifestyle I was living. People think adding something green means they are eating healthy but in comparison to the overall other foods, It is like popping a mint in your mouth. ha.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? Not much at all- close to none.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Drink 16 oz of water every morning when I wake up and a cup of my special tea ( hot water, lemon and cap full of apple cider vinegar)
- Cut out sugar completely or little as possible men have beer belly women have sugar belly ha.
- limit sodium/salt intake to healthy 25-30 grams a day or none if on a particular program.
- Celery Juice is best and Beet juice too many benefits and can take the place of sodas and sugary juices
- Always have a protein shake each day, keeps the belly away ha.