Transformation of the Day: Ariel lost 27 pounds and 5.1% body fat. This RN and mother of two found herself depressed, struggling to make it day by day and in need of a serious lifestyle transformation. Meal prep and lots of exercise worked for her, but she also had to change her mindset and address how low self esteem was affecting her life and relationships.
What was your motivation?
After giving birth to my second child, I reached my heaviest weight of 200 pounds at 5’6″. I was single with a newborn, again, and I was clinically depressed. I was struggling to care for myself, my girls, my home… and mustering up just enough energy to go to work and come back home. I was tired of being tired and knew that something needed to change. I was 24 years old at the time and had 2 little girls looking up to me. I had to break myself down and build myself back up for myself and for them.
What inspired you when you wanted to give up?
The fear of feeling as low as I felt during that period of my life keeps me going. The thing about feeling low, having low self esteem and poor self image is that you allow other people to treat you just as bad as you do yourself. I lost my crown in the depression. The thought of being that low and vulnerable to others keeps me pushing.
How did you change your eating habits?
I used to rush home after work every day and bake a dozen cookies and eat them on the couch in front of the TV. I worked out of my car and never ate breakfast. I would go all day without eating and drinking. Then, I’d pull up to a fast food place and get something cheesy with a large sweet tea. I usually only ate once a day, but I consumed well over 2000 calories a day. Now, I meal prep. I’ve found that a high protein/low carb eating routine works best for me. I eat a lot of the same things, tweaking them every few weeks or so.
I originally started drinking giant smoothies with spinach, berries and protein powder for breakfast. I ate high protein/low carb, snacking during the day. I ate things like cooked spinach, turkey sausage and eggs for dinner.
After kicking up my exercise routine, I now meal prep egg fritattas in the morning with spinach, tomatoes and turkey sausage. I have tuna with avocado (no mayo), and lots of spinach, tomatoes, and cucumbers for lunch. One small protein shake and almonds is what I have for a snack. I have chicken with a carb and a veggie for dinner. I also drink at least 10 bottles of water each day. I eat 100% more fresh fruits and vegetables, and I hardly ever eat fast food… maybe once every 3 months. No cookies after work, lol.
More importantly, when I do slip up and have too many of baby M&Ms or I get down and eat ice cream, I dont let it hold me back. I dont let it snow ball. I say, “It’s done. Now, eat dinner and go to the gym as planned tomorrow.”
What did your workout routine look like?
I began working out 3 times a week, doing mostly cardio and squats. At the gym, I was terrified to move into the weight section until one day this guy introduced himself to me and said, “I see you coming frequently. Let me show you some things.” That was all I needed. I saw my quads flex for the first time and I was hooked.
I currently work out 5-6 days a week. Monday and Thursday, I do HIIT and full body workouts with low weights. On Wednesday, I take a bootcamp class and do cardio. Tuesday is leg day with heavy weights and the stairmaster. Fridays are “Do what I saw on Instagram day”, lol. I am working on getting my mile time to less than 10 minutes, so I time a mile run on sundays and pump out squats, lunges and jump rope in my yard.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
When I officially started this weight loss journey, I weighed 185 pounds with 33.5% body fat. I currently weigh 158 pounds with 28.4% body fat. My goal is to get down to 25% body fat.
When did you start your journey?
I started my journey in December of 2017. Still going!
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that change starts in the mind. I realized that a lot of my actions and decisions were based around how poorly I thought of myself. I wasn’t raised to be confident and those closest to me often (and still) take the deepest jabs at my self esteem. If I didn’t learn to love myself enough to change, I would have continued to make poor decisions and that my daughters would fall in my foot steps.
What advice do you have for people who want to lose weight?
Are you dealing with low self esteem? Do you not feel worthy of love? Are you tired of being tired? Let that fuel you.
Determine your purpose. Journal your feelings and practice a self care routine. Also, don’t beat yourself up for mishaps. It’s a journey.
“You getting too skinny.” “You can’t be eating enough.” “You look like a crackhead.” “You dont need to lose no weight.” Nah. I’m getting fit. I’m setting goals and eating them. I’m determining my weaknesses and shattering them. I’m redefining my own standards. I’m evolving. I’m loving me. And you…..you a hater.. .and you can have several seats……..over there with the rest of em. Hmmph. Happy Friday! #hotmom #fitmom #gymshark #gymmotivation #nike #flexfriday #weightlossjourney #weightlosstransformation #selflove #ebonyfitness #ebonyfitfreaks #cokebottlebeauties #blackgirlmagic #blacknursesrock #hiit #muscle #fitnessjourney #fitspo #gains