Transformation of the Day: Ikepo Amanda lost 112 pounds. After her brother passed away due to a heart attack, she fell into a depression. Her wakeup call came when she learned that her blood pressure was out of control. She decided to honor her brother’s memory by reclaiming her health. Now, at 51 years young, she has spent eight years focused on doing just that.
My name is Ikepo Amanda Osawaye. I am 51 years old and had been overweight all my life. I have also been on various diets since the age of 15. I could lose weight but couldn’t keep it off.
When did you start your journey?
Eight years ago, my wake up call came when my blood pressure was out of control. I had gained more weight (after losing some) because I had lost my brother to a heart attack at 50 years old. I abandoned my workout routine and went into depression.
My cardiologist told me that I shouldn’t come to see him again if I wasn’t ready to lose weight. He said that my heart was carrying a bag of cement, and it was overworked. I decided to stay away until I lost a lot of weight.
I can remember his face well and him asking me what I was doing.
For the past eight years, I have embarked on a weight loss journey, which includes lifestyle change and a campaign to honor my late brother, Femi Ayoade. I started documenting my journey. As I lost weight, more people connected to me were encouraged to change their lifestyle.
How did you change your eating habits? What is your exercise routine?
I stopped watching TV and the series I used to follow. I used that time to go on walks instead. I used to snack when I watched television. Now, I treat myself to films on Netflix or cinema once in a while but careful not to slip back.
I keep a food journal, eat low carb meals, and count my calories.
I also started doing intermittent fasting (16:8), and just hit 250 days of doing it.
I began to enjoy doing things outdoors, like hiking trips, running, and fitness camps. I started traveling more, as well. I went on my first cruise in January 2017 for a week. It was a cruise marathon to six Caribbean islands.
I ran six half marathons and a 10km the cruise day. I never knew I had it inside me to do that. It was very sunny, and my running coach said, “Just do one half marathon.” I already injured my ankle, but I did it. Since then, I made up my mind that I will turn my pain into purpose.
It’s been a bumpy ride, but being accountable has helped me. I like joining support groups and having friends who are passionate about living a healthy life and encouraging each other. I do challenges on FitBit with my friends.
My goal is walking for a minimum of 10,000 steps a day, five days a week.
I carry weights and do strength training.
I also do spinning/cycling. I love RPM, boxing, and Body Pump classes.
I love high-intensity workouts. Currently, walking allows me to pray and relax, but exercise-wise, it does not do much for me anymore.
What motivates you to keep going?
My family motivates me, especially my daughter. We encourage each other, and she’s lost over 28 pounds. My why, which is my health, keeps me going.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
My starting weight was 288 pounds in May 2012. I weigh 176 pounds now.My height is 160cm (About 5’3″). My goal is 152 pounds.
My first initial transformation took 5yrs. I gain easily and lose weight slowly. I slipped, but I’ve been fully back on track since March 2018. I have been on the journey for 8 years now.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
I have learned it’s a lifestyle, and you need to be accountable and get support.
What advice would you like to share?
The advice I have for others is you need support. Get into group fitness. Get a fitness buddy who will motivate you when you’re not feeling it, especially when you have a lot of weight to lose. I thank my Healthy Bunch support group because they have helped me in my lows.