Transformation of the Day: Alicia lost 38 pounds. Working out, eating healthy food and working with a therapist is all part of her self-care routine. After struggling with weight for her entire life, she was able to get results with the Whole30 program, until a betrayal took her off track. She found the strength to get back on course, and now she is inspiring women to change their lives.
I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life. I can remember being called Miss Piggy as a young child and my brothers getting in trouble for it. I remember looking at my siblings wondering why I wasn’t thin like them. As I got older, my body developed faster than other girls. I was what you would call “thick fit” all through high school and college.
Over the ten years after college I gained about 70 pounds, my highest weight being 218 pounds at the beginning of 2017. I could barely zip my winter jacket. I remember buying comfort class seats when I’d book trips so I wouldn’t feel so stuffed into my chair during flights. I struggled with anxiety and depression for many years as a result of my weight and some other traumas. I just felt completely trapped in my own body and mind. I would constantly THINK about losing weight and finally making my mental and physical health a priority, but I could never seem to make it happen. I’d always give up on myself a week into the process.
In the summer of 2017, my then long-term boyfriend moved away for the summer for work. I decided that I was going to make the summer I spent without him about me and my mental and physical health. I started working out more consistently and tried Whole30. I lost 30 pounds in four months by exercising five days a week and eating mostly Whole30.
When he came back, I found out he cheated while he was away and got a woman pregnant with twins. We broke up. I moved out and slipped into a debilitating depression. I’d been with him since I was 19 years old. I had no idea who I was outside of that relationship and no idea of my worth as an individual. I began self-medicating with food and liquor. I gained about 15 pounds back. I was drinking a bottle of wine each night, ordering takeout multiple times a week, and finishing 1-2 $1.19 bags of Flaming Hot Cheetos in one sitting. I was completely broken and emotionally exhausted.
In August 2018, I decided to join a workout boot camp hosted by a wellness coach I was following on Instagram. I clicked the link in her profile and filled out an information form so that I could join a virtual boot camp and start getting healthier. I mentioned in the email that I struggled to stay consistent with workouts and healthy eating, and I needed someone to help me stay accountable. When she emailed me back, she said “I’m so happy you’re interested in becoming a coach. Becoming a coach is a great way to stay on the wagon.” I was like, “WHET?” It was then that I realized that I’d clicked the wrong link and had inadvertently inquired about becoming a wellness coach. I took it as a sign and signed up.
From them on, I began sharing my journey on social media. Posting my workouts to my stories, sharing what food I was eating, and inviting others to work out with me. I was still hovering around 200 pounds at that point, and the thought of people seeing my body that way was terrifying, but I did it anyway because I knew if I was courageous enough to be vulnerable I might actually stick to it this time. Every time I uploaded a photo and someone said that I’d inspired them or motivated them in some way it motivated me to keep going.
I started my journey for the hundredth time in my life on August 6th. I did two rounds of an 8-week weight lifting program, four days a week. Some weeks, I did an additional workout, like hiking, spin, yoga, or another HIIT workout. However, for the most part, I just stuck to my lifting program. I ate mostly Whole30 throughout the process. I had a vegan protein shake for breakfast after my workout every morning. I tried to make meals that were mostly veggies with smaller portions of animal protein. In December 2018, I became a vegan after struggling with the sight, texture, and taste of meat for several months. I’ve been lactose intolerant for almost 20 years, so it just seemed like a natural progression on my journey.
Currently, I’m 5’4” and weigh 180 pounds. I know I don’t look 180lbs, but these hips and butt don’t play. I’m working on shedding about 25-30 more pounds. I’m not so concerned about the number on the scale. I just want to feel confident in a bikini again.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that self-care isn’t always bath bombs and facials. A lot of times it’s working out when you don’t feel like it and making a harvest bowl instead of ordering takeout. I’ve also learned that for me and my mental health, skipping my workouts for more than three days is not an option. I need those endorphins. I need the feeling of accomplishment that comes with completing a beast of a workout. I’ve found that when I do skip my workouts for too long, it’s much easier for sadness, anxiety, and depression to creep in. Skipping my workout to sleep in or lounge will never be worth it to me because I know how dark my mind can get and I don’t ever want to be in that place again. I also see a therapist once a week and have been consistent with that appointment since I ended the relationship with my ex. I realized that working through my traumas was also paramount in the success of my weight loss journey.
What I’ve realized throughout this journey is that I never took the time to figure out who I was or what I wanted for myself. I’d been a part of a “we” for so long that I forgot that I was a whole person who deserved to have dreams and goals of her own.
My goal at this point is to help other women find their why and beat their demons. I became a health and wellness coach so that I could beat my own and now I’m on a mission to help other women do the same. I don’t ever want anyone to go through what I’ve gone through and not know that they have the strength within them to heal, grow, and glow from their pain! You have to make a decision not to let it defeat you. That’s exactly what I did!