I grew up in the South where the term “country thick” was always used. I really didn’t focus on making healthier eating choices because that’s really not the “norm” there. I used to play basketball so I never thought weight would catch up with me either. I went off to college in 2009 and started gaining weight upon my arrival. Being able to eat every day for free, buffet style at the café was a luxury so most college students indulge without thinking twice. So in 2013 when I graduated, I realized I had kind of lost myself. It didn’t bother me until it was time for my friends and I to go out and I had to “purchase new clothes and try on clothes”. I didn’t feel comfortable in much of anything.
What did you do to achieve your results? Tell us about your workout routine
I decided towards the middle of 2013 that I wanted to make a change. To the average eye I wasn’t that big, but it just wasn’t something I was comfortable with. I really disliked the way I looked and mostly how I felt. I started running around my neighborhood in the afternoons. My favorite thing to do was to “run a song and then walk a song” most of the time I barely made it through the first couple of minutes of the first song. However, I didn’t give up.
How did you change your eating habits?
I changed my eating habits in a major way. I won’t ever forget there was time in which I had a chipotle burrito for lunch and then as soon as I left work, which was like 3 hours later I ate another burrito. I think I was eating just to find comfort. I told myself that I was going to stop eating out for lunch and start packing my lunch on a daily basis. I then started eating salads and I really cut back on fried foods and bread.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
No one ever believes me when I tell them that I was around 215 pounds. They would always say “you are tall so you can weigh that much, and I don’t see it” Well I felt it, my face was huge and it was something that I will never forget. My current weight now shifts between 165 and 170.
How long did your transformation take?
I have been eating healthier and working out for about 5 years now, but I really got serious within the last 2 years. It’s a life style to me now. I’m not saying I’m the best and I don’t own a perfect set of abs or muscles but I can see the changes I have made and it makes me so proud.
What was the hardest part about your transformation? how did you overcome it?
The hardest part was not seeing a change at first, and my friends always asking me “Are you sick?” or saying “Mesh don’t lose any more weight”. They didn’t mean any harm by it they just weren’t used to seeing me smaller. I also found myself stepping on the scale everyday just to see if I had lost any weight. I finally put the scale away and didn’t look at it. The funniest thing is I actually broke my scale because I was so devastated about not seeing a dramatic change. Then I realized my body was changing, and that sometimes the scale can be misleading. I didn’t buy another scale until a year or so later. More recently, I am realizing how hard it is for me to build muscle and burn the last of my “stubborn” body fat.
How have things changed with you in general (health, relationships, self)
Things have shifted in my life. My confidence has grown so much. I have always been confident, but it’s just something different about me now. It is almost like I find everyday happiness in knowing I changed something about myself. I also used to drink a lot of sodas, dark sodas at that. I would always feel weak and light headed after drinking them and I never thought it was the soda’s that were making me sick. I always thought it was my iron that was low so I would just pop an iron pill and keep it moving. So once stopped drinking sodas and mostly drinking only water, and juice on occasion, I noticed that I didn’t get those same feelings anymore. I do still enjoy a caffeine free soda from time to time.
Who or what helped you along your journey?
When I got more serious about my workouts I got a trainer. I got a trainer because anyone can run but I realized I needed to be more knowledgeable about weight and the proper way to use them.
Is there a product that helped you or anything in particular you’d recommend?
If I could recommend a product I would probably recommend Investing in a good pair of headphones. The first headphones that I purchased were over $200 and that was my reward. I figured if I were going to do something like work out, I needed to have something that would help me enjoy it. More recently, I found a pair of wireless headphones for less than $40 and that’s been the best purchase yet. If you’re lifting, invest in some good gloves. I learned the hard way, rough hands aren’t that cute.
What piece of advice would you give other women looking to start on their own lifestyle change/fitness journey?
I always tell women that ask me about working out; do it for you and no one else. This is your journey and not everyone’s journey is the same. My body isn’t going to look like anyone else’s. Workout to tailor your results to what you want to look like and know the process may be long. There are going to be times that you want to give up and others may even question why you are working out so much, but keep going. I just recently realized how much weight I have actually lost, and I wouldn’t trade my past ups and downs for anything. Lastly, do not be so hard on yourself. You will get to your goals if you just be consistent and continue to believe in yourself. One of the hardest things was to post what I looked like before but I had toremember someone could find motivation in it.