Joi lost 67 pounds. She is an airline pilot and a member of Sisters of the Skies. When she began her transformation journey two years ago, she’d recently lost her mother to stage 4 ovarian cancer. She was also battling postpartum depression and the weight she gained during pregnancy. She shared with us how she took action to create a healthy and active life.
My name is Joi Schweitzer, and I am from Atlanta, Georgia. I am a wife, mother, and airline pilot. Fun fact, black women make up less than 1 percent in our industry. One of my hobbies on the side is mentoring and encouraging women of color to follow their dreams and live life to the fullest!
I started my weight loss journey about two years ago. I gained 60 pounds during pregnancy, and I was battling postpartum depression (the baby blues). Also, I’d just lost my mother to stage 4 ovarian cancer (which had taken apart of my soul after she was gone). Needless to say, my spirits were low and there was an imbalance in my hormones after giving birth. I needed an outlet and something to turn to because I felt myself wallowing in my sorrows.
I knew my mother would have wanted me to keep going and live vivaciously, not only for me but for my newborn baby and family. I knew I had to muster up the strength to stay strong.
I’ve always been very athletic, playing sports in middle school and high school. So, I turned to something I was naturally good at. I started to get very active. My son and I would take walks in our neighborhood. The walks turned into runs. Eventually, I was lifting light to medium weights not only to lose weight but lose the sorrow and depression that was holding me down. I would work out 3-4 times per week, and I was feeling mentally and physically strong!
I began to change my diet around incorporating fruits and vegetables and eliminating fast food.
I am 5’4,” and my starting weight post-pregnancy was 192 pounds. Now, I weigh 125 pounds. It took me about two years to lose the weight because I wanted to go the healthy route. I got back down to my original size 4 jeans, and I am living a healthy, happy life for my family and me.
Fitness has changed my life. Not only am I able to say that I got my life back, but now I can help women and my fellow aviators maintain a healthy lifestyle on and off the road.
The advice I would give to women who want to lose weight is to change your mindset on how you view food. Look at food as fuel for your body rather than eating for comfort or out of boredom. Food heals the body, but it can also destroy the body.
My motto is, “Live life to the fullest, stay active, eat clean most of the time and treat yourself some of the time because life is about balance.”