Before I began my weight-loss journey, I was not in a very good place. I was struggling with the death of my best friend, and I entered a deep depression that I tried to hide from those around me. Food become my comfort during that time.
I had tried losing weight before but I never stuck to a plan. Each attempt would last maybe a month, and I would give up. But at that point, it wasn't only emotional health issues I was dealing with.
I struggled to walk up and down the halls at work, found it hard to breath at times, and I just hated how I felt overall. I struggled with self-confidence and self-worth because of my weight. I just was not a very happy person, at 350 pounds and 21 years old at the time.
My turning point came after a trip to the doctor in the fall of 2011.
My doctor explained to me that I had to get a handle on my weight to save my own life. At 21 years old, this really scared me because I still had my whole life ahead of me.
So I started with basic portion control. I really didn't change what I was eating in the first few months, but instead of eating a whole large pizza by myself, I would eat a couple pieces.
About six months in I cut out fast food, and I began to eat more fresh fruits and veggies as well as lean meats. I had already cut out pop the year before, so I continued to just drink water at this point. I am a huge believer in portion control, and I use portion control containers that I got from the fitness platform Beachbody to help me know exactly how much food I am eating. I also use the MyFitnessPal app to count calories.
Changing my eating habits has been huge. I am still recovering from my binge-eating tendencies, and food is something that I still struggle with, but I have become better at eating more fresh foods versus pre-made boxed foods.
Here’s what I eat in a day now:
- Breakfast: Either an Atkins or Premier Protein shake, blended with a cup of sliced frozen bananas, a scoop of Optimum Nutrition Vanilla Whey Protein powder, and a few teaspoons of sugar-free cappuccino mix.
- Lunch: I usually make another protein shake in a different flavor.
- Snacks: Fruit (grapes, apples with natural peanut butter, and watermelon), yogurt and granola, or dried fruit (like a tropical trail mix).
- Dinner: Some days I will have a grilled chicken salad with two boiled eggs, tomatoes, cabbage, light sweet onion dressing, and shredded cheese. On others I may have a piece of grilled chicken with jasmine rice and green beans, or a turkey or pork burger.
- Dessert: I love dairy-free Halo Top ice cream.
I started working out in January 2012 with Zumba and Shaun T’s Hip Hop Abs videos.
In 2013 I switched to Beachbody, and I still credit most of my weight loss to trainer Shaun T and his programs on the platform. I have completed 24 Beachbody programs over the years. I also joined a gym in 2016 in my hometown to add some more weight training.
Right now, I try to walk two and a half to five miles a day, and I am doing a 60-day Shaun T challenge via Beachbody as well as one of the lifting programs called LIIFT4. With these programs I have become a much more confident person, and without them I would not be the woman that I am today. Working out has helped change my body in a way that I never thought it would and helps me manage my anxiety and release stress.
Two years ago I also started doing more for my personal development and mental health.
A couple years ago I got into more podcasts and started reading important, self-improvement books. This has done wonders for me. It has helped me work through a lot of issues that I have struggled with over the years. My go-to people for inspiration are Trent Shelton, Shaun T, Rachel Hollis, and Kacia Fitzgerald.
I have lost 170 pounds total over the course of eight years.
During my journey, my weight has fluctuated. For instance, in 2017 I went through a tough time and gained 50 pounds back. Currently I have lost 30 pounds of that 50, and I'm still progressing on my journey, and that's okay!
I used to look at myself in the mirror and say horrible things to myself, but now I am *so* proud of how far I have come. I have loose skin as well as stretch marks, but I do not mind showing those off because we as women need to feel comfortable in our own skin. We spend so much time hating our bodies, but once we learn to love the body we have, that is when the true change happens.