NAME : Erika
BEFORE WEIGHT : 265
AFTER WEIGHT : 176
POUNDS LOST : 89
WHEN DID YOU START DEVELOPING A WEIGHT PROBLEM?
I have never been a “thin” girl, and while I have always been bigger, I really gained the bulk of my weight in college and progressively there after.
HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?
I had never had issues with being big, but I was never truly comfortable in my own skin. I always wondered what it would be like to go to a normal store and be a normal size (before I would always go to plus size stores to purchase my clothes). My weight truly starting affecting me when I hit my heaviest weight 265, and I realized I was always tired, and any mundane task required insane effort! Also, I have always loved the ocean and I have always wanted to scuba dive and surf, and I knew that if those dreams were going to become a reality I needed to make a change.
WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?
When I went to the doctor’s and they put my weight on a piece of paper. My boyfriend and mom were with me, and I accidently handed him the paper. He asked me “what is 265”? I was mortified; before that moment I had never shared my weight with him, and a million emotions overtook me. I was embarrassed, ashamed, upset, etc. and I just broke down and started crying. To hear him say it destroyed me because I finally had to face what I had become. I hated that number, and I vowed that I would never feel that way again.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?
A few weeks after my birthday I signed up for the gym, and the week that I started going I began reading about nutrition. I started meal prepping every Sunday, and I cut out all drinks except water.
HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?
I started seeing results on the scale after the first week, started feeling the results in about 4 weeks (looser clothes, and more energy), and people started noticing after about a month and a half.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?
When you go on a journey like this you fight against all things: temptation, injuries, people, and even yourself. For me, I know I loved exercise from the very beginning, but the food was difficult. Sometimes people would invite my family and I to events and they had all sorts of unhealthy food and drinks, and they would offer me everything under the sun. However, I had to stay strong and focused regardless of people’s comments, or of the temptation around me. I had to stay focused and remember why I started. I also had an injury 3 months into my journey. That was such a blow! But i found an alternative: swimming. While I was not able to run, i swam everyday, and that really helped me to not lose momentum. People will encourage you, but keep in mind that many of them have “advise” for you. Sometimes you have to listen politely and continue with YOUR journey. I have learned not to judge other people’s journeys, but I am mindful that what works for one person may not work for another. Find what works for you!
DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?
Yes! Many times. Things like not seeing a change on the scale, seeing a bad picture of yourself, will make you want to quit. When those thoughts entered my head I thought about all the hurtful things I endured because of my weight, I thought about all the people waiting for me to fail like every other time, and this would motivate me to keep going.
DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?
I wouldn’t call them “plateaus” but I did hit a couple of weeks of low progress throughout my journey. When I did, I read articles written by experts on the topic. When I educated myself, I learned that I was eating way to little and my body was going into starvation mode, I began using myfitnesspal to assure that I was consuming enough food, and that I was getting the right nutrition for my body. Now I am an avid calorie counter!
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?
I have lost weight pretty progressively but the first 4 months I was losing about 12-13 pounds a month.
DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?
YES!!! Where do I start, getting rid of clothes because they no longer fit, shopping at forever 21, H&M, and stores like that and buying a size 10 (i was a size 18/20) Fitting into a medium dress, seeing my before and afters, and observing people’s reactions to my weightloss! One of the coolest things was doing a body fat test I’m water when I hit 190 pounds, they told me my Body fat percentage was 28% which was awesome at that time because I started at roughly 45% when I started this journey. They also told me I had 135 pounds of lean mass!!
WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
My diet before my lifestyle change was reckless to say the least. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, how ever much I wanted and I never looked at nutritional labels. Now I have a very controlled diet, everything that enters my mouth is logged, and I try to incorporate as many green veggies into my meals as I can (never ate vegetables before). I don’t eat out during the week because I meal prep, and I removed the use of oil in all my cooking.
HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
When I first started I couldn’t walk on the treadmill at more than a 3.5 speed no incline. As I progressed, I was able to jog/walk a mile in 20 min. Today I am proud to say I can run a 9 min mile! My strength has progressed as well, and also my flexibility!
MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS
- Keep healthy snacks on you all the time, being prepared has really helped me stay on track.
- If you have a bad day/meal, don’t dwell on it! Keep moving forward and never look back. People that dwell on bad days, stay with that mentality. On this journey there is no room for negativity!
- Sometimes people will not understand, they will make you feel bad for going to the gym too much or for not eating the things they do, but remember they don’t know your journey. They don’t feel what you feel, and at the end of the day you will be the one that faces the consequences of being complacent. Learn to say no to people, and learn to ignore the negativity.
- Educate yourself! Read health journals, articles about exercise, metabolism, body types, foods, etc. Don’t give in to fads and “quick fixes”. When you educate yourself on your body and nutrition, you become empowered.
- Be patient and consistent, you will not see results overnight, but trust me the results will come. Enjoy every step of the journey, and make sure to celebrate ALL your accomplishments!
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