28-year-old married mum of one from Haiti, shares her journey to shedding 26lbs and losing inches off her waistline with intermittent fasting and regular exercise. As a full-time working mum, Francia barely has time for herself but manages to make time for the gym. Her healthy lifestyle was reborn in December 2017, a year after having her now 3-year-old daughter. Read on to find out how she got back on track with her fitness.
What led me to change my lifestyle? Imagine one day in the dressing room, trying a dress you saw off the rack that you fell in love with and realizing it won’t go past your thighs and when it finally does, it won’t zip because it’s too small, and literally crying in the dressing room and hating your new body and wishing you could go back to your pre-baby body.That was me! I have always been a healthy eater and always went to the gym every day before I had my daughter so exercising and dieting wasn’t new to me. After having my daughter I went through Post-Partum Depression (PPD). I struggled with PPD, being a new mum and also returning to work. My husband is the only one that knows I went through PPD and always tried to get me back in the gym but I wanted no part of it and eventually got to a point where I let myself go and stopped caring.
I first started the gym then Keto diet but realized it just wasn’t for me I then tried low carb but just couldn’t stick to it then I saw videos on YouTube about Intermittent fasting and it seemed that was the only thing that worked. After months on it, I decided to go back to the gym. I have never been a strict diet person, I have always been a gym person. So I decided to keep a routine. Everyday after work I would head to the gym for at least 1 hour a day until I eventually got my strength back. At home workouts just couldn’t work for me but I am sure it works for others but I just didn’t get motivated enough.
My eating habits sort of stayed the same in the first few months after I started my diet but after about 3 months I started eating better. So while intermittent Fasting I would fast from night to around lunch time the next day, for lunch I would have a salad, fruits or a green smoothie and days I didn’t take lunch to work I would grab a salad or a low calorie meal, And for dinner I would go home and cook different meals that included fish and chicken mostly or salmon with green veggies. I cut out all soft drinks and would only do lemon water or Tea.
Her transformation- Intermittent fasting and working out
Before my daughter I weighed 116 lbs and always stayed between 100-110 lbs. From 2016 after I had her to December 2017, I weighed 146 lbs. I was at my absolute heaviest especially at my height. I was wearing extra-large in sports bras and large in shirts and size 8 in Jean’s so I mostly wore leggings.
My transformation took about a year. I first started in December 2017. As a result of Intermittent fasting, I lost a lot of weight. I was especially happy about this because we had a family trip planned for July 2018. So I worked my butt off between intermittent fasting and the gym and got down to 120 Lbs. After returning from our family trip, I took the gym more seriously and started weight training rather than cardio. I am currently a size 5 in Jean’s and small in shirts.
The hard part
The hardest part was letting go of the negative thoughts in my head and telling myself working out wouldn’t change the fact that I have diastasis recti and wouldn’t be able to lose it without surgery, which is still the truth but working out still shouldn’t be a bad thing.
There were days I absolutely felt like quitting. The days I looked at my belly after lunch and felt like I looked 3 months pregnant and the days I tried on high waisted Jeans and felt like I looked like Peter Griffin from family guy. I still struggle with my weight and still hate my belly but it’s something I have to live with and I have to realize I was able to do something some women aren’t able to and wish they could, which is carry a beautiful baby.
Things have changed for me because I have gained my confidence back and I feel like myself again with the love and support of my husband who always tells me I am beautiful even when I don’t feel like I am. And not to mention my energy level has drastically improved.
I do not and will never use any commercial or advertising products because I do not believe they work, I know some people do but me personally I love and enjoy a good old fashioned hard day at the gym, pushing yourself when you don’t feel like it. Dieting, drinking water and exercising is the best way.
Let’s face it as women and mothers, there’s no such things as a day off as we are always doing something. On the days I don’t always have energy to go to the gym, my day off is spent with my family, enjoying each other’s company. On days I feel depressed or sad, the gym is always a place to release my negative thoughts.
My advice to you all out there who feel like they need to set a date to start is to JUST DO IT. Don’t sit around waiting on a day because then you’ll never want to do it and there’ll just be excuses after excuses. There is absolutely nothing wrong with starting somewhere whether it’s a walk around your neighborhood, taking your kids to the park or just 30mins whether at home or at the gym. It’s also ok to not always feel like yourself and go to the gym or push yourself too far, it’s ok to take time off and gather yourself so take care of not just your physical appearance but also your mental. Anything is possible and remember patience is seriously key. I hope by sharing my story, I can help a person out there who doesn’t feel motivated enough to try and to know there is no easy way out.
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