Transformation of the Day: Deborah lost 135 pounds. This Alpha Kappa Alpha soror found out that her weight was taxing and wearing down her heart, causing a slower heartbeat. Also, keeping up with her athletic son’s schedule was becoming a challenge. She decided to take action. Check out her story.
What was your motivation? What inspired you to keep going when you wanted to give up?
I am from Oxford, MS. I am 35 years old, and I have a 12-year-old son. My motivation was my son and my heartbeat, which was slow due to my weight. My son is very athletic, and it was hard to keep up with him as we traveled to practices, games, tournaments, and championships. When I went in for my annual, my doctor noticed that my heartbeat was slow. She knew I was perfectly healthy, but my weight was wearing and tearing at my heart at the age of 33.
When I wanted to give up, what inspired me was my son and a photo of me at my highest weight.
How did you change your eating habits?
I changed my eating habits by learning to eat healthy 85% of the time. I prepared healthy snacks and meal prepped for my work lunch. I would eat an egg a day (egg muffin, crack an egg bowl, etc.), 3-4 oz of meat, and 1 cup of vegetables. If I eat any kind of carbs, I will only eat ½ cup. I don’t have carbs with every meal or eat them every day. I drink plenty of water, drink protein shakes, and use portion control.
If I were to eat something not so healthy, I would eat a small amount just to knock the urge off and then work it off. I stopped drinking anything that’s made with sugar. I use Splenda in my coffee as a sweetener, and I no longer buy drinks for the house. If I have a drink at a restaurant, I only get one cup (no refill, no to-go cup), and I get a cup of water also. I also stopped frying food in my house. If I have a taste for something fried, I will go to a restaurant and get a kid’s meal to knock the urge off.
What did your workout routine consist of?
I have a gym membership at a 24/7 gym where I do all types of cardio, leg workouts, abs workouts, cycling, use the elliptical and lift weights. I also work out outside when it is warm. My outside workout consists of running the hill, walking the square, or Lamar park trail. My home workout consists of air squats, jumping rope, jumping jacks, scissor legs, and crunches. I work out 3-5 days a week.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
When I started this journey, I weighed 327 pounds. Today, I am weighing in at 192 pounds.
What is your height?
I am 5’9″.
When did you start your journey? How long did your transformation take?
I have been on the journey on and off since 2004. I would lose weight, and then I would gain it back, plus more. This last transaction, I have been consistent since 2017.
Is weight loss surgery part of your journey?
Yes, I had Gastric Sleeve surgery on June 18, 2018. Some people think that it is the “easy” way out, but it really is not. When you wake up, you will be the same size, and you still have to eat right, workout, use portion control, and drink plenty of water to work your tool. There are so many people who talk down on the procedure, but I guarantee if they had the extra funds, the insurance, the paid time off, and completed the eight-month process to get approved for the Gastric Sleeve, they would do it also… instead of judging the people who have. This was one of the best decisions that I have made, and if I had to do it over again, I would. I am very pleased. I will continue to stay focused, set another goal, and reach it.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
I think that my biggest lesson on this journey is to always do what is best for you. There will be people who will not be happy for you. There will also be people who do not agree with your decisions but keep pushing. You will lose friends and family when you start doing what is best for you! Live your life!
What advice do you have for women who want to lose weight?
If you want it, go for it! No matter what weight loss road you take, it will not be easy, but it will be worth it in the end. It is all a mindset thing. Stay focused and determined.