Transformation of the Day: Jonika lost 63 pounds. This proud mom knew that her children would be influenced by her bad habits. She was also experiencing health issues and didn’t like what she saw starring back at her in the mirror. Determined to love her body again and live a healthy lifestyle, she took action. Check out her story.
My name is Jonika D. So, far I have lost a total of 63 pounds, give or take a few (as my weight fluctuates). I started my journey at 254 pounds and I’d gotten down to 191 pounds. Currently, I’m usually between 195/200 pounds. Technically, at 5′ 7″, I’m “supposed” to be at 175 lbs, so that’s my next goal. That’s only so that I’ll be able to comfortably sculpt and tone my body without worrying about the scale.
I began my fitness journey when I got tired of disguising my body. I was always uncomfortable and I had begun to have phantom health issues. I experienced unexplained dizziness, poor circulation, and swelling or “water weight”, just to name a few. I also never liked to look at myself in pictures, or the mirror. I didn’t recognize the person looking back at me. I also realized my children were watching, and my bad habits were rubbing off on them. I couldn’t let them down.
I tried the weight loss pills and powders, but nothing worked like good old fashioned hard work. I had tried working out on my own a few times and successfully losing weight, but that was it. No muscle tone, no strength, and the second I ate anything I wasn’t supposed to, I’d gain some of the weight back. I became delusional. My clothes still “fit” so I never let myself believe that I had gotten as big as I was… until I woke up to the reality.
In March of 2014, I decided to commit to getting active. I did what I knew how to on my own for a couple of months. My kids pushed me to go to the gym (they loved the kids club), so that part was easy. However, I couldn’t push myself (and sometimes still can’t), so I enlisted the help of a friend who had been studying to become a personal trainer. I set a weight loss goal of 54 pounds, which would put me at 200 pounds. We worked 3 times a week for 3 months and I had toned by body but hadn’t lost any weight. My friend suggested that I cut down my portion sizes and incorporate more lean meats and fresh veggies into my diet. By this time, it was July 2014. With the changes, I lost 14 pounds in 2 weeks. I won’t pretend that it was easy to lose the remaining 40 pounds to get to my first goal. As anyone who does weight training can attest, lifting and losing can be difficult. Oh, the temptations! In the end, I reached my goal at the end of July, 2015.
In addition to weight training, I also picked up Zumba, hip hop classes and boot camps when available. I also went kayaking once, and can’t wait to go back.
Anything to stay active.
The advice I would give to someone trying to lose weight is change you eating habits first. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. If you don’t think you can eat that way for the rest of your life (with variations of course), then don’t eat that way. Find an eating style that works for you. Also, have fun with your workouts! If you don’t have friends to start with you, be open to meeting some where you workout. I’ve met so many awesome people that keep me motivated on this journey.