Transformation of the Day: Anjulyn lost 78 pounds. She worked hard to achieve long term weight loss (14+ years) and maintain an active lifestyle, which is important to highlight because maintenance is the hard part. Her journey led to her earning a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology.
When did you start your journey? How long did your transformation take?
My journey started 19 years ago (2001). I decided to start exercising in an effort to lose weight because I was scared to develop type 2 diabetes. After becoming active, exercise was something that I grew to enjoy and love. I loved it so much that I became an exercise instructor (2005), and I taught classes until 2015. By 2005 I had lost 78 pounds, and I’ve kept the weight off since that time. Even with the 78 lb weight loss, I was still overweight, but I had not developed diabetes. I was also cardio-metabolically healthy (normal blood pressure, normal cholesterol, norm blood sugar). This intrigued me because I always thought that you had to be skinny to be healthy. As a result, I wanted to learn more about the human body and gain a deeper understanding of exercise and how it improves overall health. I returned to school and earned a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology. My weight loss journey led me to become an Exercise Physiologist.
What was your motivation? What inspired you to keep going, even when you wanted to give up?
I wasn’t happy with the way I looked. During an annual doctor’s visit, my doctor told me that I would eventually develop type 2 diabetes if I did not lose weight. I was 23 years old at the time.
How did you change your eating habits?
I did not use any specific plans or programs. I just ate less (smaller portions, not as many sweets and fried food). My weight-loss was slow because I wasn’t always consistent with eating healthy, but I eventually made it to the size I am now.
What did your workout routine consist of? How often did you work out?
I’ve been active for the past 19 years now. It has changed throughout the years. However, I started by going to a gym three times per week. I started walking on the treadmill, and once I became more comfortable with exercising, I started taking group fitness classes (i.e., kickboxing). After about my first three years of going to the gym, I started training for road races with the Atlanta Track Club, and I completed my first half marathon in 2005, and I am still running. I run about two days/week (3 miles/day). I also spend the other two days working out at home (at the gym before COVID-19). I currently work out four days/week.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
My starting weight was 288 pounds, and my current weight is 210 pounds.
What is your height?
Is weight loss surgery part of your journey?
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
To never give up.
What advice do you have for women who want to lose weight?
Always push through, no matter hard it is. You are worth the effort because your health is your most valuable asset. Regular exercise can be effective for losing weight, keeping it off, slowing the progression of weight gain, and avoiding the development of chronic conditions associated with overweight and obesity (i.e., diabetes, heart disease).
Although I’ve lost a lot of weight, I am still heavier than I should be for my height. However, I have not developed any of the chronic conditions that are associated with obesity. I attribute that to maintaining an active lifestyle.