I Lost 102 Pounds: Mom Of Four Loses Weight Naturally
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
I’ve been overweight my entire life, by the time I was 12 years old I was over 200 lbs. I grew up eating fried foods, tons of sweets, and always being offered 2nd helpings with no hesitation. Over the years, I’ve tried every diet in the book (Jenny Craig, Weight watchers, nutrisystem, cabbage soup, Master cleanse, etc) and would always lose some weight but then pick it all back up and then some. After getting married and having 4 kids (3 boys & a girl) in 6 years, I’d skyrocketed to 327 lbs.
NAME : Ileka
BEFORE WEIGHT : 327
AFTER WEIGHT : 225
POUNDS LOST : 102
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
I had tons of pain in my knees as well as plantar fasciitis in both feet and absolutely NO ENERGY, so everything was a struggle including activities with the kids.
I also rarely took full body pictures, only selfies because I didn’t want to see my body.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
Once I gave birth to my daughter, I realized that I needed to do something. I didn’t want her to pick up my bad habits and eventually face similar struggles and pain. I’ll never forget when my husband and I went on vacation to Dominican Republic with a few friends. Everyone wanted to go zip lining, and I was so excited to go as I’d never been before. When we went to sign up, we found that the max weight was 250…
I was devastated and embarrassed! I had to pretend that I’d suddenly taken ill and was too scared to go. Sadly, that was not my turning point. One day I was at Target and my then 3 year old ran off and I could not catch up to him because at 327 lbs I wasn’t fast enough and my knees hurt too badly to move the way I needed to.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
I began exercising 4-5 days a week. I started with walking on the treadmill or doing the elliptical machine about 30 min a day along with about 30 min of weight training. I dropped about 25 pounds in 6 weeks but then stalled for about 2 months so I started doing a ketogenic diet along with amping up my workouts by joining a bootcamp 3 times a week at 5am along with 30 – 45 min of cardio 4 times a week and strength training 2 times a week. I began choosing healthier meal to prepare for the family as well and incorporating the kids into my workouts. We now do green smoothies 5 days a week and the kids LOVE them.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
I saw results immediately. I’d been idle for about a year after having my daughter and hadn’t been watching my eating, so the small change of doing 30 min of cardio and a few bicep curls jump started my metabolism again!
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
Major knee pain, plantar fasciitis (my doctor told me I should be doing any exercising that involved walking, running, or jumping… I didn’t listen and paid for it). I also have 4 children and a husband, as well as a pretty demanding career, so finding the time to workout was almost impossible and had been the perfect excuse for me for so long.
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
I would NEVER give up! I’m NEVER going back to that person again! I’m motivated by my children, the ability to shop for clothing in any store I choose, and not sure if this makes sense to folks who’ve never been overweight, but I’m motivated by no longer getting the look of sadness, pity, and disbelief from folks when they see how overweight I am.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
Mentioned above. When I’d plateau, I changed my exercise and/or my eating. First plateau was after 25 lbs and I changed my eating to low carb diet. I lost another 20 lbs in just a month doing low carbs diet. Then plateau’d again. At that point, I joined a bootcamp that included a lot of HIIT exercises and also moved to low calorie diet. I dropped about 15 lbs then, another plateau, so I implemented low carbs again to jumpstart the weight loss and get the next 40+ lbs off.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
The bulk of the weight loss happened in about 8 months which began with implementing low carb/keto diet.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
YES! I am able to run around and play with my children and be the mom that I’ve always wanted to be. I have so much more energy and just FEEL better. I have no more pain in my knees or feet! What’s also been cool is when I run into people I haven’t seen in a while, I love seeing the look on their faces of amazement and excitement!
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
I always ate extremely large portion sizes and ate at least 3 times a day. My meals weren’t overly unhealthy until it came to dessert, then there were no limits! I loved brownies and ice cream and pie!
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
Initially I HATED working out! It was a struggle, plus the only time I could get to the gym was at 5AM, and I’m not a morning person, so it sucked! I was ready to quit EVERY SINGLE DAY, but then I looked at my children and knew that I had to do this for them. My favorite exercises initially were riding the bike because I could sit down and it didn’t hurt my knees. My favorite exercises now are jumping jacks and squat jumps because I couldn’t do either exercise when I initially began my journey simply because jumping was not an option.
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- I take half my body weight and drink that many ounces of water daily. This is especially helpful on cheat days (and we all have a cheat day here and there) and the days following. It allows the body to rid of the toxins and craziness that I ate.
- I convinced my husband that I would lose this weight in a year and if so he’d have to take me to Hawaii for our 10th Anniversary. (Went to Hawaii in July!!!)