What was your motivation?
In 2016, I began having medical issues, and no one could figure out what was wrong. In October 2016, I had a DVT blood clot in my leg that traveled to my lungs which caused a pulmonary saddle embolism. It was a very scary time for me.
The doctors could not pinpoint why it happened other than being possibly caused by prolonged use of birth control and being overweight. There was no family history of it, and the other factors were not applicable to me. I prayed and vowed that if I made it through this ordeal, I would make some changes in my life regarding my health.
What inspired you to keep going, even when you wanted to give up?
I know that having blood clots is very serious. Living a stagnant lifestyle is not a good thing. My motivation came from knowing that I can never go back to what I was doing before. I almost died. I have to remain active.
My family and friends are great motivators. I constantly pray to God and thank Him for bringing me out of that situation. When I feel like giving up, I just think about what I went through. That is the motivation that keeps me going.
How did you change your eating habits?
In 2018, I consulted with a holistic doctor who was a proponent of eating right for your blood type. She knew before testing me that I probably ate a lot of chicken. She knew because of how bloated I was. She checked my blood type and was correct. According to my blood type, chicken is poison to my body. I decided that I would give it up for a month and see how my body would react.
Well, 30 days turned into almost three years of being chicken-free. I could tell the difference in my skin. The constant bloating feeling was gone after a few months of not eating it as my primary source of protein. Was it hard to let go? YES! I miss lemon pepper wings and, of course, Chick-fil-A. I have learned to eat other proteins and incorporate them into my diet, like turkey and fish. I have fallen in love with salmon, and I still have beef occasionally. I also gave up my favorite sugary drinks (Sweet Tea and Dr. Pepper). I drink only water, and I no longer eat fast food.
What did your workout routine consist of? How often did you work out?
My workout routine is circuit/strength training with my personal trainer and Effect Fitness Bootcamps for cardio. I work out six days a week and rest on Sunday.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
My starting weight is 256 pounds, and my current weight is 191 pounds.
What is your height?
When did you start your journey?
I started my journey in 2017 with my personal trainer/Nutritionist, Regan. @reganjanell
Is weight loss surgery part of your journey?
No, I opted not to do weight loss surgery. I know it may be necessary for some individuals, but I felt it would be a last resort if I could not do it on my own.
How long did your transformation take?
When I started in 2017, I was consistent. Over the last two years, my weight fluctuated. I was not following the plan, and I let work and life get in the way. I went from 256 pounds to 228 pounds. It wasn’t until March 2020, when we all were forced to quarantine, that I decided to get a handle on my weight loss journey.
By March 2020, I had gotten back up to 244 pounds. I knew that I needed to stop playing and get it together quickly. I began following Effect Fitness‘s live boot camps on Facebook and Instagram that were offered for free during quarantine. The first week I lost 8lbs. No equipment, just me in front of my TV following the routines. I also called my trainer Regan and immediately signed back up with her. I needed her guidance and support when it came to nutrition and strength training. I used Effect for my cardio. With those two programs combined, I went from 244 pounds in March 2020 to my current weight of 191 pounds (March 2021).
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
Consistency is key to any transformation. You have to remain consistent and remember that the weight you put on did not happen overnight. So, the weight loss will take time to happen. You must change your mindset and stay focused.
Get an accountability partner to help you on your journey. It truly makes a difference. My accountability partner and I post our workouts on social media and go live sometimes when we work out. Doing this on social media has sparked some of our friends and family to join in. Our accountability partners have increased over the past few months. We have become a team and more like family. We hold each other accountable, and it has truly made a difference. Team MOTIV8R is my crew for life!
What advice do you have for women who want to lose weight?
Start by setting a small goal and increase it every 30 days. For example, you may want to set a goal of walking for 15-30 minutes 3 days a week. Next month, increase your time and frequency and add light weights. Just start moving! That’s the key!
I set goals, and every three months, my accountability partners and I post what we call receipts. These receipts can be before and after pics, testimonials, or praise reports. I love taking pictures. So, I decided that I would take pics of myself during my journey and post them on social media to hold myself accountable for my progress. I started my weight-loss photoblog on Instagram when I hit my ultimate goal of being under 200 pounds.
Change your mindset and watch what happens. I am a living witness that it can be done. Just take it one day at a time. Celebrate even the small accomplishments. Trust me. People are watching. They will notice the changes before you do.