Chanae led an active lifestyle for much of her childhood years; but after suffering several sport related injuries which meant she had to quit basketball, she realised that you cannot out run a bad diet.
Athletic performance pushes the body to the edge and without adequate nutrition the body is placed under stress and consequently, recovery is prolonged or not possible.
Chanae is currently studying for a Doctorate in Pharmacy in Howard University and shares 4 tips that helped her lose weight.
Tell us what got you on your fitness journey
I guess you can kind of say I was always into “fitness”, although I never looked at it that way. I grew up a student athlete all the way from a little girl until college. I played basketball, and was always the bigger one on the team. I played basketball at high intensity levels 6x a week, so even though I was still overweight, the workouts that we did during practice and games probably kept my size at bay. I never worked out outside of sports, and I ate whatever I wanted.
I was 5’10, 245 lbs playing. Once I got hurt for the 3rd time and decided to quit, my terrible eating habits were still there and since I wasn’t working out, I gained 30+ lbs by my freshman year of college. Freshman year of college I would eat a combined 10 pieces of pizza a day! My heaviest was 283 lbs. While being overweight I used to cry myself to sleep at night because I didn’t think I was beautiful like my friends. I didn’t believe guys would ever physically like me and I drew myself into a depressive state.
I knew that I had to make a change, and that summer of 2008 was when I started my fitness journey. My weight loss journey took roughly 2 1/2 years, and currently I range between 180-185, however I am still working towards getting to my goal weight of 170. I am more focused on HOW I look than the scale at this point. There are still areas of my body ( stomach, arms) that I want to tone up more.
Can you offer any tips to help others on their weight loss journey?
Eating healthily is a lifestyle for me that I adapted throughout the years. I try to keep my meals filled with lots of greens, fruit/veggies, nuts, and lean meats. I also drink between 3L and a gallon of water a day, as well as 3 cups of green tea per day. My metabolism is SUPER slow. Losing weight never came easy for me, there would be weeks I would workout 6x a week twice a day and not lose a lb. There would be days I would eat bad and give up. After I lost my first 30 lbs, I gained 15-20 of it back during my sophomore year of college. I decided to really start getting serious my senior year and be 100% dedicated. Losing weight is 20% working out and 80% watching what you eat. I started cooking my meals, drinking lots of water and making sure portion sizes weren’t too big. I also started counting calories. Once I altered the way I ate, the weight started coming off. I hit my plateau of 200 lbs for about a year and a half, so I had to totally revamp my workouts and take out a few things from my diet to overcome that. I started running miles 3x a week and cut back dairy (even though I love cheese!). Its all about finding out what works best for you and your body and sticking to it.
2. Trust the process
The hardest part about my transformation was not seeing results fast. Why am I working out and not dropping weight? why do I look the same in the mirror ? I had to remind myself to trust the process. If you put in the work the results will follow. After losing the weight, I am in the best shape of my life. I am healthier than I have ever been. I am mentally and physically in a better place. I find myself being more outgoing and willing to try to new things.
One of the hardest parts of the weight loss was the sudden interest that men were taking to me, it was very hard to adapt to the newfound attention!
3. Be realistic
I have kept my weight off for 4 years now, and you can still catch me outside being active or at the gym! i have been able to sustain this lifestyle by remembering that this isn’t a ” diet” or ” fad” but a lifestyle change that you must adjust to. Do I still indulge and eat pizza and cake and all my favorite things? Yes! But in moderation. It’s okay to still enjoy the things you like.
4. Don’t give up!
My advice would be to NOT give up. Trust me, there were days I would cry myself to sleep thinking I would never look like the girls in magazines or like my friends. It took MONTHS before I even noticed myself losing any weight. It will happen but It WILL take time. Its actually pretty amazing that we are able to transform our bodies into what we want if we put in the work. Also, don’t compare your journey to others! What works for one person might not work for you. It might take someone a shorter period of time to lose weight because not one body type is alike. You might not lose in the areas that you want at first. But that’s ok! A lot of people ask me ” what motivates you” or ” how do I get motivated” and my answer is always this: The only motivation you have is yourself and your goal. You need to be able to picture what you want to be, because you’ll NEVER push yourself without that vision.
Get determined. limitations exist only in your mind.
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Can you share any other tips that have helped you on your fitness journey? share in the comments section below