Joanne lost 40 pounds by focusing on nutritious food and fitness. She struggled with weight gain on and off for four years. Tired of fads and quick weight loss schemes, she was ready to feel confident and healthy. She has transformed mentally, nutritionally, and physically.
What was your motivation?
After struggling with weight gain on and off for four years, I decided to stop cutting corners and participating in quick weight loss schemes. I invested by putting in the time and work I needed to work on me. My motivation was to feel confident in my skin and clothes without wearing baggy/ oversized clothes to hide my insecurities.
What inspired you to keep going, even when you felt like giving up?
My inspiration came from a YouTuber by the name of Shay Currie. She blogged her weight loss journey on her channel. Occasionally I’d follow up on her progress. A year later, after I returned to her channel, I was impressed but more so inspired by her transformation. So, I decided that I’d embark on my weight loss journey. Seeing her consistency and gradual progress made it more realistic for me and convinced me that I could do the same.
How did you change your eating habits?
My biggest struggle was eating out and cooking foods that are rich in fat or carbs. I decided that I’d change my diet to something healthier that would fit my everyday lifestyle. Most importantly, these foods fuel my body with the proper nutrients. I wasn’t eating red meat prior to my journey, but I stopped eating chicken and turkey. I decided to eat fish or vegan options instead.
I slowly stopped eating carbs, like rice, bread, pasta, and substituted them for healthier options, like couscous, quinoa, or veggie spaghetti made from squash. I increased my intake of greens through smoothies, salads, and juicing. I made sure I had two meals with greens.
I drank at least 1/2 my body weight in ounces or at least 64oz of water a day. I started eating with smaller plates, containers, or bowls to change my portion sizes, so I wasn’t overfeeding myself. Most importantly, when I bought food, I purchased healthy options, so I had no choice but to eat healthy at home or on the go.
What did your workout routines look like?
When I first started, I struggled, so I committed to 30 minutes a day, three times a week. Once I got into the groove of working out and felt more comfortable with the routine and workouts, I increased to 4 times a week for a minimum of 60 minutes a day.
I participated in classes at my gym, which consisted of weight lifting. I did core classes to target my abs, lower body classes for my legs and glutes, and upper body for my back, arms, and shoulders. I’d always mix up my classes or routines. If I did core and legs on Monday, on Tuesday, I’d focus on my back and glutes. Later, I started running or walking for 20 minutes a day. Currently, I walk or run for an hour 5 times a week.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
My starting weight was 158 pounds, and now I weigh 118 pounds.
What is your height?
I am currently 5 feet, 1 inch tall.
How long did your transformation take?
My transformation took me a year.
What advice do you have for others who want to lose weight?
My advice to others trying to lose weight is to set personalized weight loss goals. Meaning, do not compare your journey or results to other people’s accomplishments—set goals based on where you are mentally and physically. Gradually increase as you go.
Be realistic with the goals you set for yourself and make sure you are willing to commit to them. At the beginning of your journey, do not set high expectations or deadlines for when you’d want to lose the weight. Instead, focus on getting into a routine of building healthy habits mentally, nutritionally, and physically. Work on having patience with yourself and celebrate small milestones.
Doing those things will lessen the chance of discouragement or disappointments. Remember, there will be bad days and good days, but the goal is to keep going. It takes our mind and body a while to get used to a new habit routine, so ignore negative thoughts or feedback. Be consistent, and enjoy the journey.
Lastly, try to find a support system, whether it’s someone on the same journey as you or people in a fitness class. When we are a part of something or have a strong support system, it encourages us to keep going on our not-so-good days.