Weight Loss Story: Andria lost 58 pounds by working with an online trainer. Here is an interview where she shares what she learned during her journey and what she did to release the weight.
What was your starting weight?
296/294 pounds…in the 290s!!!
What is your current weight?
238 pounds – Inches: Down 63 ¼”
What is your height?
What was your light bulb moment that made you decide to get your health in order and/or lose some weight? Did you think you were overweight?
I believe my light bulb moment to lose weight occurred when I was in an extremely remote country for business. My luggage had gotten lost somewhere along the way and I was left with just the clothes I wore during the flight (rookie flier mistake). I needed clothes for the business meetings the next day so I went shopping to try to find something to wear. I have no clue how many stores I went to, but NOTHING in the stores were my size. I went to one store where a sales person took one look at me and said in the best English possible that I couldn’t fit any of the clothes in the store. I eventually got to a point of frustration where I stopped trying on clothes, and just started walking into stores, pointing to a dress or some slacks and then to myself and waited for a salesperson to shake their head yes or no. Long story short, everyone said no. A very nice colleague of mine suggested we go to the outskirts of town where the large ladies clothing stores were located. I politely declined. Luckily, as the stores were shutting down, I found a dress made out of very stretchy material that I was able to wear to the meetings. It wasn’t a work dress in the least bit, but it was better than sweats.
I can’t say I actually ever thought I was overweight. I always just thought I was “thick.”
Have you always been overweight? If not, how long have you been overweight? When did you notice you started to gain weight?
I haven’t always been overweight but honestly, I have been pretty much overweight throughout my entire adult life. Weight gain for me definitely started when I began college. I gained the “freshman 15” and then some!! Luckily, once I graduated, I lost it all and a little more. However, I decided to torture myself again and went to grad school. I have packed on the pounds ever since.
Thus far in your journey, has it been difficult… challenging… or what would you call it?
I will say it has been challenging. I have good weeks and bad weeks, all of it depends on how closely I follow the recommendations given by Kurt, my trainer. It is completely on my shoulders with the challenges. Don’t get me wrong, Kurt can be a handful sometimes and it isn’t always easy interacting with him, but I know that he is just passionate about what he does. When I follow Kurt and what he prescribes down to the letter, I lose weight. It flies off! When I don’t listen to Kurt or my body, even if I go out of the plan a teensy bit, I never lose weight. I’m not even talking about food. There is no such thing as going outside of your plan a teensy bit. You either follow it or you don’t. Took a while for me to understand that. There are a variety of factors that impact weight loss. Eating and exercise are just two of the many.
At the end of last year, I **THOROUGHLY ENJOYED** the Holidays. I had been losing so much weight with Kurt, and so easily, I figured I could eat a cookie here, a piece of pie there, a helping of mac and cheese over there and still be able to lose the weight in the amounts I was losing previously. Point blank, after the holidays, it took me MONTHS to get on track, My weight loss stalled and I did not start losing weight again until about 4 months later. Piece by piece, I had to get my body back to what I was doing before, not only cutting out the food, but going to bed at an appropriate time, getting enough rest, being active, drinking enough water, etc. I definitely learned my lesson.
How did you change your eating habits? What did you stop or start eating?
My eating habits changed dramatically. In the past, I was not big on eating fast food, however, as part of social outings, I did eat out at restaurants multiple times during the week. A lot of the meals I ordered usually contained rich sauces, cheese, or a good ole ribeye. On a normal day, I would usually skip breakfast and sometimes lunch, and eat a decent sized dinner. I used to snack throughout the day and while I did try to eat a balanced meal whenever I had lunch or dinner, it still wasn’t the healthiest of options.
Once I started with BRI, I ate way more food, way more frequently. I began eating 6 meals a day (3 full meals/ 3 snacks), at specific times of the day. The meals contained mainly vegetables and/or lean meats with no red meat. Though sometimes it was a struggle, I made sure to eat ALL of my food ON TIME. Currently, my foods are primarily plant based. For the most part, I do not eat animal products (no dairy, no meat), and I have significantly upped the amount of protein in my diet. Because I knew that social eating was a weakness, I started limiting participation in the social outings that revolved only around food.
Are you satisfied w/ where you are now? If not, what more do you want or can you do?
I can’t say that I am satisfied, but I am definitely not dissatisfied. I love the progress that my body has made thus far, but I know I can take it even further. Check back with me in a few months, lol.
During this process, what have you learned thus far?
I have learned that many things impact your weight loss. I really used to think that exercise was the main way to lose weight. It is so much more than that. Weight loss is a completely systematic effort. Touching on just one factor out of the many, will do nothing. You can’t just try to maintain a healthy lifestyle when it is convenient for you. It has to be a 24/7/365/lifetime commitment. I have also learned to make healthier choices, whether it’s taking the stairs, being able to select healthier foods, or declining a late night out with friends in favor of some good sleep!
What advice would you give someone who wants to lose weight/improve their health?
I would say, you have to make a conscious effort to commit to a healthier lifestyle. It is easier to say it than to actually follow through. You have to actually want to lose weight for yourself and no one else. Not because people are telling you to do it, but because you, yourself want to be healthier.
How do you feel now vs when you were at your biggest?
I feel fabulous now. I have way more energy!! I can easily recognize signals/feelings that my body gives off and I know what they mean. I actually do feel amazing. When I was at my biggest, I can honestly say I would feel miserable after eating. The foods I was putting into my body, were not right. I was not taking the cues of tummy aches and overall sluggishness as a sign of anything other than it being a big meal.
What kind of support, if any, did you get from family and friends? And in contrast, did you experience any negativity from friends and family?
I received and currently still receive tons of support from my family and friends. They are my biggest supporters and are also the ones that tell me to drop the cookie! I wouldn’t say I experienced any negativity, I did get the usual, “don’t lose too much weight”, “don’t lose those curves.”…trust me, these ride or die thighs aren’t going anywhere.
Have you ever tried to lose weight before? If so, what was the difference in what you did this time vs other plans or programs you tried before?
I have tried to lose weight before. I joined Weight Watchers with a friend when I got out of grad school. While it worked wonders for her (yay, Ysh!), it did not have the same effect on me. Weight watchers aside, when I did try to lose weight, I did it in the fashion of not eating food and working out heavily, which did nothing for my waistline. Working with Body Refined, I found myself eating way more food, way more frequently and feeling like I was putting half the effort I put in at the gym….with fantabulous results.
How did you end up working w/ Body Refined? What has your experience been like working w/ Body Refined?
Body Refined came onto my radar after a couple of my friends liked the business page on Facebook. I checked the page out and I immediately became interested. This was mainly due to the fact that some of Kurt’s clients (in their before pictures) looked very similar to me in terms of physical build and weight. There is nothing worse than researching weight loss options where the before pictures of the participating individuals look nothing close to how you currently look. I lurked on the page for about a year before I actually decided to contact Kurt.
Hmmm…my experience? As much as I would love to say that it has been 100% positive, my experience working with Body Refined has not been all roses. At times it has been rough and I feel like shaking my fist at the sky and fussing Kurt out, and at times I love everybody and want to kiss babies, ride unicorns, and jump for joy at all the progress I made. I love the way my weight has gradually come off. I love the information I have learned from Kurt on nutrition, fitness, and everything in between, however, I’m stubborn. I definitely hear what Kurt says and what he is trying to teach me (sometimes I don’t, but I will nod my head and say ok just to go along with it), but I don’t always listen to Kurt. 9.9 times out of 10, he is right, and 9.9 times out of 10, I definitely set myself and my weight loss goals back by just not going along with the program in its entirety. I know these things, yet I still don’t always listen. I’m a work in progress.
I wasn’t skeptical about getting online coaching. I knew that I travel a lot, my life gets busy at times, and that I needed help losing weight. Online coaching was the perfect balance for me. Personally, I feel like weight loss is totally up to the person who wants to lose weight. Whether you have a person in front of you or over the computer, in the end you are going to have to straighten up, push yourself and do what it takes to lose the weight. Having someone help you with your weight loss goals is fine, but you bear a majority of the responsibility, if not all, for whatever outcome you get.
In comparison to what I have done in the past, online training has made weight loss way easier for me. When I would be on my weight loss kick, I would do things like walk/jog for 5-7 miles or work out for 2 hrs in the gym every other day and scale back what I ate by dang near starving. That would get me a 1 or 2 lb weight loss over the course of a couple of weeks. Following meal plans and the exercise plans provided by Body Refined has me losing the more than that in a weeks time…IF…and ONLY IF…I stick to the plans.
Andria’s Instagram: @dulcedria