Transformation of the Day: Ariel lost 55 pounds by focusing on nutrition and exercise. As she finished her nursing degree, she felt that she would be able to handle the stress and physical demands of being a Nurse much better without the extra weight she was carrying.
I am 24 years old, and I am a nurse. My whole life, my weight has always gone up and down. For the most part, I was never able to be consistent and serious enough to actually lose weight and keep it off. As I got closer to finishing my nursing degree in 2018, I decided it was time to get serious. I was sure I wouldn’t be able to handle the stress and physical demands of the job with all the extra weight on me. I also desperately desired to feel and look healthier. As I’m sure other women can relate, I had some insecurities about my weight and my looks.
What was your motivation? What inspired you when you wanted to give up?
My motivation came from seeing other black women and their success stories. I heard them express how good they felt, how their self-esteem improved, and, most importantly, how their health improved. For the longest, I had terrible back and knee pain. My doctors believed it was related to my weight, and after losing the weight, I know that to be true.
How did you change your eating habits?
This was definitely the hardest part. My eating habits changed drastically. During the journey, I realized that the saying is true; it is mainly about what you eat. I completely cut out all fast food, junk food, sweets, and most carbs! In addition, I cut out beef and pork and limited my chicken intake. I no longer buy or cook bread, pasta, or rice in my house. It took some time, but I trained my body to realize I didn’t need it.
What did your workout routine consist of? How often did you workout?
Working out has always been enjoyable for me, but I have turned it up a bit along the journey. I got a great trainer named Omari Hughes in Atlanta and started seeing him three days a week. A few months later, he opened his own gym and started offering group training, which I now take at least 4 or 5 days a week. If I am working one of my 12-hour shifts at the hospital and can’t make it to the gym, I usually run a few miles after work.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
My starting weight in 2019 was 206 pounds, and my BMI was 33. My weight is currently 151 pounds, and my BMI is 24.
What is your height?
When did you start your journey? How long did your transformation take?
I started getting serious about losing the weight and keeping it off in the summer of 2019.
Is weight loss surgery part of your journey?
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that how you feel about yourself and how you treat yourself and your body is important for your physical and mental well-being! I’ve learned to put less focus on the physical numbers and focus on how I feel and how I see myself. It’s what keeps me going and motivated to go further on the journey.
What advice do you have for people who want to lose weight?
Keep going. Stay persistent. It can and will happen if you set your mind to accomplishing the goal, whatever that goal may be for you. Don’t get caught up on time and how long it takes.
If you feel like you have failed, get back up and go at it again. I’ve seen black women accomplish things, including many things people thought were impossible. With so much stacked against us, we still prevail and make the impossible happen.