How have you maintained your succcess and continued to lose weight?
I realized what people meant when they said that weight loss is a lifestyle change. I accepted the lifestyle change and decided to permanently track how many calories my body is taking in. I also track how much calories I am burning during my workouts.
What has worked in terms of your eating habits?
When I first begin my journey, I started by drinking shakes twice a day and eating one meal. I lost 40 pounds doing that. At the same time that I was drinking the shakes, I also decided to learn about nutrition and what was considered healthy eating.
I decided to join Weight Watchers. They give you a list of food ideas, as well as the caloric information for the food, so it was easy to meal plan. Weight Watchers also gives you a point system. I was able to limit my intake of breads, pastas and sweets.
I learned from my doctor that high fructose corn syrup was bad for you, so I learned to read nutrition labels. I would not eat or drink anything high fructose corn syrup in it. I also watched my salt intake. I don’t eat foods that are high in fat or high in sodium.
Tracking my food with the MyFitnessPal app has also worked for me. It tells you how many calories are in your food. It also shows the nutritional value of everything that you eat and whether you’ve reached your limit for the day in terms of sugar or sodium. So, it’s a great tool for tracking how much weight you lose and what you are putting inside your body.
What worked in terms of exercise?
The only exercise I did to lose 134 pounds was walking and dancing. I would walk for an hour every morning. If I felt well enough, I would walk for an additional hour per day as well. I walked 6 days per week. I danced for at least an hour (maybe 3 hours sometimes) per day to burn calories and get in my cardio.
I do not go to the gym at all. I do everything at home because I am a single mother. I know that other mothers out there struggle with their weight. I want them to know that they have options. You don’t have to pay for a gym membership. Just go outside and enjoy the beautiful nature that we have access to. It’s very therapeutic.
What lessons have you learned on this journey?
The biggest lesson that I’ve learned during my weight loss journey is that it is a mental battle that you are fighting. You have to re-train your mind to think positively about your body image, and how you feel about yourself… even after you’ve lost some weight. During this journey, you should not be so focused on the time that it takes to lose the weight. Instead, focus on the process and learn during your journey, because there will be ups and downs on every path. No one’s journey is perfect.
What stands out the most?
Knowing my body and what works for me. As long as I keep my portions under control, drink a lot of water, and burn some calories, the weight will definitely fall off. I have learned that it just takes time. Also, I should not be so focused on the scale, because that can hinder your journey.
At this point, would you offer any new or different advice to others who want to lose weight?
Figure out what the reason or reasons are that have caused you to gain the weight in the first place. That is the key to winning the battle. For me, my biggest enemy is depression. I’ve dealt with depression since I was born. It increased after I had my second child. I never sought out help, so it got worse.
I got up to 392 pounds because I was an emotional eater. Whenever I was sad, I would eat. Whenever I was happy, I would eat. Whenever I was undecisive, I would eat… LOL. It’s not healthy to eat because of your moods.
I’ve also learned not to celebrate anything with food. Now, If I want to reward myself for my hard work I would go out and buy an outfit, buy makeup, or do something with my daughters. I used to just eat and that’s what made me so big. Food is for substance and not for pleasure. It is to fuel our bodies and our minds. If you look at it that way and only eat what you need to, it will be easier to control your portions and and maintain your weight/lose weight.