My Journey from Cancer to FITT
In 2014, I lost 40lbs, 23% body fat, and 44inches and gained 6% muscle. Before I tell you how I did it, let me tell you where I started. I’m a self proclaimed carboholic and fast food junkie; both unhealthy habits of which started in college. I came from Bay City, TX, which is a small town of around 19,000 people and went to Texas A&M University in College Station, TX.
Texas is known for great food and College Station lives up to that and so much more. Coming from a small town, we didn’t have all the chain restaurants that bigger cities are filled with. I had a great time in college, to say the least… but unfortunately that came with some bad habits, which I finally noticed as my pants were getting tighter during senior year. I didn’t gain the popular “freshman 15” that many have experienced, but rather a “senior 15”.
After graduating I became a flight attendant. One of the things I love about being a flight attendant is that your schedule is always changing. It’s never the same. The downside of that is that being on the road without proper planning can be unhealthy and expensive. This reinforced my bad habits. I tried packing food, which saved me money, but the nutrition still wasn’t right.
The next big change came from moving to Denver with my job. I lived by myself and ate out A LOT! My first real attempt at getting in shape came about by working with a personal trainer and taking Zumba classes consistently. I didn’t tell anyone what I was trying to do, that way if I didn’t have results nobody would know. I didn’t alter my nutrition though, so I had minimal results. Shortly afterward, I was diagnosed.
I’d dealt with some medical issues before, but in my late 20s I was battling precancerous cells. I had four outpatient surgeries in four years before being diagnosed with Stage 2 cervical cancer at age 31. The early plan was just for surgery, but once my oncologist got inside, the cancer seemed too deep. I might still require surgery, but now radiation on top of it all. This was devastating.
Treatment began with radiation and chemotherapy. I had around 6 weeks of radiation and 5 sessions of chemotherapy. Luckily, Houston is close to home and mom was able to cook for me. I still ate and, thankfully, only lost a little bit of weight. The nurses didn’t allow you to lose weight, or else they threatened to put you in the hospital! It certainly helped motivate you to eat.
I came back to Colorado in August, just in time for football season. I finished up with Zumba, but was still eating whatever I wanted. I wasn’t working out otherwise. Once the holiday season came, I simply NEEDED a peppermint mocha absolutely anytime I went to work. I’d even go in early just to give myself time for it! In January, my friend Taunya asked me to join her in a challenge. I wasn’t able to, as my grandma passed away the very next day… the last of my last living grandparents. My grandfather died a little more than a year prior, my uncle over the recent summer, and we even had top put the family dog down before I started treatment. Needless to say I’m also, an emotional eater. This was not an easy time for me and I had zero motivation. I remember looking down at my knees and seeing fat rolls starting to form. I knew I needed to do something. When I spoke with Taunya again, I told her I would do the upcoming February challenge.
In February 2014, I began my journey with RightFITT and joined a 6-week weight loss challenge. I attended most meetings and learned quite a bit about nutrition. After our first meeting I went home and immediately started counting calories and protein and measured out my food. I wanted to win cash… and I did! By working with RightFITT I learned how to eat again, to eat right. I tried to get 3 workouts in every week, one of which was usually a class bootcamp with and another at my gym. The course also focused on accountability and support. I found so much of that, and it’s true. I once told nobody, in case I wouldn’t change and failed. But now with a trainer, I felt like I couldn’t fail.
During this journey I discovered the magic of Quest. A co-worker suggested Quest Bars to me, and once I found them I never looked backed. They’re my favorite protein bar, by far. They have the 10% cal to protein ratio we look for, low sugar, and high fiber compared to other bars. I honestly eat one almost every day. This year I’ve gotten to enjoy the Quest Protein Chips and they’re a must have! 20g of protein in a bag of chips is absolutely unheard of! I cannot wait to try the protein powder, too!
I worked with RightFITT as a client until June 2014 and then began coaching my own teams. I lost my 40 lbs. and 23% body fat, 44 inches, and even gained 6% muscle in the seven months of working with them. I’m also two years in cancer remission and never needed a full surgery! I’ve learned so much along the way and truly enjoy helping others find their way to a healthier lifestyle. We have a whole team helping and supporting one another to their goals and creating healthy habits, not diets. I also recommend Quest to all my clients. Without RIghtFITT and Quest, I can honestly say I wouldn’t have been as successful. Plus I’ve gained a whole new family!
My top 5 tips are (this was hard I have more than 5):
- Tell someone! Do not keep it a secret! -I’ve had the best support from my friends and family. For anyone trying to be healthier don’t keep it a secret. It’s not always easy, but it’s even harder when you do it alone. You don’t have to do it alone.
- Read the label- It’s amazing when you start reading the labels and seeing what really is or is not in there. Just because the label says it’s healthy doesn’t mean it is.
- Know your weak moments- When you’re having a bad day or you’re tired recognize that and don’t let it win. If you have a bad day it’s okay. Get back on track the next. Don’t give up!
- Tracking- Know your numbers. Everyone should have a cal and protein goal no matter what your goal is. Especially for weight loss. You learn what to eat and what portions. It does get easier the more you do it.
- Planning is key- Take a little bit of time to plan and prep your meals. It actually will save you time during the week. If it’s prepped and ready to go there is no excuse not to eat healthy. Have healthy snacks around all the time for success.
Find Amanda on:
Team Quest – We are here for you! Share your transformations and triumphs with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or email them to us at [email protected]. Remember that these transformations took hard work, discipline and a plan. Quest products are a delicious component of, and not a substitute for, an exercise regimen and effective diet. The Quest Community is always there for you if you need help, inspiration or motivation!