Update May 2016 – Check out Hannah’s awesome update photo. We featured her story back in 2014.
July 2014 – Weight Loss Story of the Day: Hannah lost 63 pounds. This sista from the UK wrote in and shared her weight loss success story in great detail. She transformed her body and her health with consistent exercise and a very clean eating plan. Her story shows that you have to come out of your comfort zone to change your lifestyle. Here is her story…
My name is Hannah Davies and I’m 24 years old. My weight has always fluctuated with my emotions and my relationships, never to empower myself until now. I must admit I was never really happy. I was a teenage mom, living in shared housing when I met my partner and felt complete and comfortable. A mixture of depression and unemployment after university was a recipe for disaster. I grew from being 150 lbs in 2010 to 210 lbs in 2012. From a size 10 to a size 18, I gained 3 dress sizes! I believe that a combination of poor diet, exercise and lack of knowledge and self worth was my greatest downfall.
In June 2012 my family and I went to Poland to celebrate the marriage of my Uncle. The BEFORE picture you see was taken whilst in Poland. This picture was my looking glass, my realization that if I didn’t change my lifestyle now my weight would just increase. I lost 5 lbs whilst away due to the amount of exercise the family did. This was the start. Upon returning to England I tried fad diets where all you had were meal replacements but found these were short term effects and no example to be setting my son. From there I joined my local gym and took the exercise classes. I found great enjoyment in yoga and Pilates. Although joining the classes was hard as I felt like the biggest person in the class, I drew strength from my partner at the time (who is a bodybuilder). He reminded me that “everyone starts somewhere” and that “Nothing in life comes free”. I started to surround myself with like minded people, enjoyed my classes more and Googled for healthier ways of living. I ate six small meals a day which were weighed on a food scale.
- Meal one spinach omelette 2 egg whites and one yoke
- Meal two chicken or turkey and asparagus or broccoli
- Meal three protein shake, small amount of almonds or natural almond butter (like peanut butter but found in health stores)
- Meal four fish with broccoli or sweet potato
- Meal five almond butter
- Meal six protein shake.
I had a cheat meal/day once a week but this did lead to a yoyo effect of loosing weight in the week and gaining on the cheat day. I find now that if I want a treat I will have it as this is now a lifestyle not a diet. I’ll be honest I found it incredibly difficult to eat so much and of a such limited types of food. I always ensured there was at least a gap of an hour between eating and going to the gym which usually happened after meal four. Always had meal five and six straight after the gym to ensure my muscles got the protein they needed to repair and replenish for the next day.
Although the optimum time to exercise is the morning being a mother this was not possible. I would always warm up with 5 minutes on a cardio machine, then train the group of muscle for that day whether it be arms, back, shoulders, chest or legs and then finish with 20-25 minutes of fast walking on a incline. Although the optimum duration to burn fat is when your heart rate is high (40-45 minutes) I felt bored staying in the gym for that long. I found that by December 2013 I had gone down to 165 lbs but then stopped loosing weight and felt as hard as I tried I couldn’t loose anymore! My job as much as I love it, is predominantly stationary this was also a contributing factor.
I split from my partner of four years in 2014 and decided it was time to do something for myself. Since July 2014 I have gone back to a diet similar to this, gained a training partner and started running, something I haven’t attempted since i was a teenager. I completed the Race for Life in 24 minutes and entered a half marathon. My goal is to run the London marathon and be on stage in a body building completion September 2015. My goal in the next few years is to start kickboxing and dancing again. That is something that I always enjoyed but never felt confident to participate in when I was my larger self. I want to go on stage not to win, but to stand there feeling empowered and proud knowing that anyone can do anything no matter where they started, if they believe, chase the knowledge and have the courage to change their outlook on life.
As of today 07/24/14, I am proud to say I weigh 147 lbs and recently bought my first 8/10 dress. I’m not skinny and wouldn’t want to be. I’m muscular and healthy, which is all I ever wanted. I walk away from my journey knowing that true strength and happiness comes from within and not reliant on others. I would wish you luck in your journey but instead I shall wish you strength and happiness.