I come from an overweight family on my father’s side. As a young child there were no restrictions on what I ate, when I ate, or how much I wanted to eat. I was a typical active child that cared more about playing than I did about eating. That began changing when I was 7 years old. My parents were getting divorced so I went to live with my grandmother until things were settled. My grandmother didn’t drive so I wasn’t involved in any extracurricular activities. This was when I started gaining weight. Every year I gained more weight and food became my escape. The kids at school started to pick on me for being fat which in turn fueled my emotional eating to further spiral out of control. In 2002 my father unexpectedly died, my mother moved us, and I was about to start high school. These 3 major life changes took a toll on my waist line. I hit 240 lbs. when I was 15 years old. I would get completely out of breath walking up a flight of stairs. I couldn’t keep up with the other kids in gyms class. I refused to even change with the girls in the locker room because I was so embarrassed and ashamed of my purple-red claw like stretch marks and my stacked rolls of fat on my stomach. I constantly begged my mom to call me in sick so I wouldn’t have to deal with the looks, teasing, and laughter. I couldn’t go shopping in the stores that were trendy for my age, I avoided taking pictures, and I felt trapped in a body I hated. I didn’t want my weight to define me any longer.
Sometimes the first step along the journey to losing significant weight is to set down all the emotional baggage you’re carrying. I decided to take a good honest look at myself and my lifestyle. I knew what I wanted but I really didn’t know how to get there. So I began educating myself on reading labels, portion control, and adding exercise in my life. My first strategy was going low carb. It was a popular trend at the time and promised big weight loss so I was sold. My first exercise regimen was with a VHS tape and soup cans for weights. Within the first six months I lost over 50lbs and joined a gym. I could feel the workouts making me stronger and the fat melting away. The strict low carb diet got boring and frightened me during a few workouts where I came very close to fainting! This was the exact moment I made a promise to myself to lose the weight the “right” way. I wanted to transform my lifestyle and body through proper nutrition and fitness. Everyone cautioned me about the transition from going low carb to bringing carbs back in. People were telling me I’d gain all the weight back plus more. This was not very encouraging advice. I continued educating myself through the internet, books, and articles and learned the differences in carb choices and timing of food intake. I added oatmeal, brown rice, and fruits back into my life. I felt sooo much better, had more efficient workouts, and was still losing weight! Protein was a staple of my diet during my transformation and is a big part of my diet today. My diet largely consists of chicken, eggs, yogurt, nuts, fruits, vegetables, protein shakes and bars.
I took my time with my transformation because, I wanted lasting weight loss. I focused on small adjustments that would have a big impact. It was challenging going from only drinking soda, eating fried foods, and pure junk to water, grilled foods, and clean snacks. It took time but the girl that once wouldn’t eat asparagus even if you paid me now can’t get enough of it. I had to keep introducing fruits and vegetables in different ways until I learned to love them. When I’d run into the dreaded plateaus I’d track everything I ate and mix up my workouts. I do a combination of cardio and strength training. I also enjoy group fitness with cardio kickboxing being my ultimate fav. I went from 240 lbs. to 120lbs. It took me about 2 years to lose the weight and I have been maintaining for 6 years!
There are times when I miss a workout or moments when my eyes are bigger than my stomach. It’s during those times I utilize my tools rather than beating myself up. On nights when I find myself craving foods that will undo my whole day I open the fridge grab a bottle of water and read other success stories to keep my inspiration. I also have an inspiration board made from old magazines of pictures, positive words, and quotes. Logging your food and exercise is also another tool I enjoy using. The scale is now my friend rather than my worst enemy. It’s a great way to document progress over time.
The one thing that never left me even with the weight loss is my sweet tooth. A large part of my success comes from swapping bad choices with better choices. In the last 8 years I’ve tried numerous protein bars. A large majority of those were one bite and to the garbage can or a tasty bar with a terrible label because, many are loaded with junk. I’ll never forget the first time I had a Quest Bar. The first thing I do with any product is look at the label. The label looked too good to be true. There was no way this could taste good with such a promising label. Finally I found a bar I truly loved and wouldn’t have to feel guilty about! I love the high fiber content so many people including myself don’t always get the daily fiber that required and this tasty treat is loaded with fiber, protein, and minimal sugar. Next time you go to the movie theater keep a Quest Bar in your purse or pocket instead of splurging on overpriced empty calories!
My transformation drastically improved every aspect of my life! I have confidence now! I love taking pictures, shopping, and being around people. I can finally wear a bikini and have abs! My journey taught me how to believe in myself. My transformation has led me to my passion and purpose which is to inspire. I’ve participated in beauty pageants, have experience in motivational speaking, and hold a certification in personal training. I just landed a personal trainer position at workout anytime. I also work at a Max Muscle Sports Nutrition where I get to help educate people and introduce them to Quest Bars! I plan on spending my life helping others become the best version of themselves. My personal goal for the future is to participate in a fitness show and I dream of doing fitness modeling one day.
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