I’ve battled with my weight my entire life. Growing up my grandparents and mom would let me go to McDonald’s every day to get a happy meal after school. To me it was a treat. Not knowing that as I got older I would go from eating a kids hamburger meal at 5 to wanting a number 1 (big Mac) super sized with a Hi-C orange at age 8. I didn’t have control over how to stop eating to know how to stop and never knew how that would effect me as I got older.

Fast forward to high school I was very conscious of how much I ate and sometimes a little too conscious. I always thought I was a big girl because my friends were all small and petite…looking back I realize girl your size was PERFECT. To make sure I didn’t gain weight in high school I would skip meals, exercise like crazy (I was a cheerleader, and ran track) even took diet pills.

After high school and my first year of college I got pregnant with my first son and gained 60 pounds after having him I never focused on myself as I was a young mom just trying to make it, and lost who I was and let myself go.

HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE? I never shied away from social events but the thought of getting ready for them and finding something to wear always involved tears or 12 different outfits not fitting the way I wanted. I was very self-conscious of how I looked but I always put on a smile and just did the best that I could. I faked the funk.

WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY? The turning point for me was a summer when me and my family went on our yearly get away and I was too heavy to zip line and go horseback riding. I never said anything to them about it but it tore me up inside. That summer when I took my two youngest boys to the amusement park I was too big to fit on a ride with them and a mom offered to ride with them for me. I was devastated and thought what the hell have you done to yourself.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED? The first journey I took to start losing weight was finding a workout regimen that I liked. My husband and I tried so many Beachbody workouts and my favorite one was 21 day fit. We also enjoyed Insanity Max. I eventually got tired and hurt too much to do so much jumping around and ended up stumbling upon Dance Fitness with Jessica Bass on YouTube and fell in love with her workouts ever since.

HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS? I’ve been at this thing for 2 years. Before my weight lost surgery I love 40 pounds, however my clothes were beginning to fit better and I could tell that I was moving better and better each class.

WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART? My sleep was horrible. I had to have a cpap and could never get comfortable. I wrote I got approved for my weight loss surgery I had went the year before in 2018. I was half way through and my insurance changed with my employer and I no longer was eligible for the surgery and the nutritionist route wasn’t in my budget.

DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING? Oh definitely! There’s time that I want to indulge with my family when they grub, some days I just don’t want to work out and sometimes/days I’m just not for it. However my kids and husband push me all the time. My sister, very close cousin and friends have been AMAZING accountability partners and the thrill of being able to just go in the store and buy anything keeps me going.

DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? I’m currently holding at 185 and I’m totally fine with it however my doctors want me to be smaller. They said because of my height at 5’ 3” and family history of obesity, diabetes and heart problems I need to make sure I get my BMI lower.   So I will continue to watch what I eat, work out and work hard to get to a lower weight

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT? I have my surgery June 15th 2020 weighing 255lbs and as of today (February 1st 2021) I am 185.

DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES? DEFINITELY!!
I’ve gone from a 2XL in tops to a medium T-shirt and long sleeve (some large)

I went from a 24 in pants to a size 12/14

My husband can pick me up and carry me

And I am happy!

WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? My eating habits were horrible. There were days when I didn’t eat, and there were days where I would only eat once but it was enough for 5 meals in a day. Sometimes I would forget that I hadn’t eaten all day and I would try to cram so much into my body. I would get crazy headaches or get sick to my stomach for not eating and that would be my trigger to eat whatever I could get eat quick.

HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER? Physical activity has always been a joy for me. It was hard for me to push because of my knees however now that this weight is gone things are so much easier and I feel more confident. Even when going to the gym. In May of 2019 I became certified with Jessica Bass’ program and have been running my own workout business called Hio Hoo Fitness with E’Lyse (via zoom due to covid)since and it’s been amazing!

HOW DID YOUR EATING HABITS CHANGE? My eating habits started to change when I decided to make a change. I began meal prepping with my husband for the week, watching my sodium intake and sugar intake. After meeting with my dietitian for bariatric surgery it helped me when it was time for me to eliminate the not so good things from my diet.

WHAT DID THIS JOURNEY TEACH YOU ABOUT YOURSELF?
That I am an amazing woman, BOMB and a true queen that can do whatever I want as long as I set my mind to it.

MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS

  1. Being sure to really read the nutrition facts on EVERYTHING and saying no to sugar
  2. Meal prep, meal prep meal prep and write down everything that you eat…even the bad!
  3. Have at least accountability partners, one that holds you to your meals and one that holds you to your exercising
  4. Have Grace with yourself and know that you won’t be perfect t everyday. We are not built to be perfect
  5. Set reasonable goals…daily goals and weekly goals and don’t go cold Turkey