Update April 2018: Juvencia wrote in to share her progress. She told us about how she lost 72 pounds back in 2016. She’s maintained her success since then and gained 8 pounds of healthy weight/muscle mass.
How have you maintained your weight loss/continued to lose weight?
I have maintained my loss for 3 years, plus I’ve gained 8 lbs of healthy weight. I had become obsessed with being “skinny” and had gotten too small. Now, I’m more focused on toning up and gaining muscle mass. I have cut back on cardio to only 2-3 times a week and I weight lift 5 times a week.
The biggest thing that has helped me to stay on track is meal prepping every Sunday. Meal prepping really helps me stay on track so that I can accomplish my goals sooner rather than later. It takes the frustration out of having to cook everyday after a long day of work and after a good workout.
Of the lessons you’ve learned on this journey, what stands out the most?
I’ve leaned to not compare my fitness journey to other people’s fitness journeys, and to not be jealous of other people’s results. The only thing I can do is be the best version of me and make decisions that will benefit and not hinder my success everyday.
At this point, would you offer any new or different advice to others who want to lose weight?
My advice to anyone just starting out on their fitness journey is to be kind to yourself and your body, and to be patient with the process. Also, be consistent, and plan your meals and workouts accordingly. Failure to plan is planning to fail.
Weight Loss Story: Juvencia lost 72 pounds. She was inspired by looking at old photos of herself and by reading weight release success stories. Wanting to live a much healthier lifestyle, but not wanting to have to give up all the foods she loved, she embraced meal prepping and lots of cardio. Check out what she shared with us.
My motivation and inspiration came from seeing old pictures of myself before the weight gain. Also, I was motivated by looking at other people’s success stories and wishing that one day that could be me with a before and after photo. I just wanted to live a healthier lifestyle and was starting to get scared that my bad habits would one day leave me with irreversible side effects.
I changed my eating habits by meal prepping. In the past, when I would start a “diet”, I never planned what I ate. I just would wing it and that usually led to me consuming unnecessary calories. So, this time I knew that to be successful I would have to plan before hand. Planning my meals made it easier to stay on track, avoid temptation and eat the right amount of calories.
I also had to change my thinking and mindset. I didn’t want to diet anymore, I wanted to make a lifestyle change. The only thing I really omitted from my diet were sodas. Everything else I just made sure to drink and eat in moderation. I didn’t want to feel like I was restricted from eating something, because that would just make me want it more. I wanted to have a healthy, balanced, diet and that includes eating some not-so healthy things from time to time. I started drinking more water, to the point where I had to go to bathroom every hour, or so it seemed. I didn’t realize how dehydrated I’d been!
My meal plans usually consisted of baked meat (fish, chicken, tilapia), rice, pasta, oatmeal and boiled eggs. I also included a lot of veggies into my eating routine. Some of my favorites are string beans, corn, peas, lima beans and potatoes. The fruits that I love to eat are bananas, grapes, apples, cantaloupe and watermelons.
From the time that I first started working out and up until recently, I just focused on cardio. I jogged on the treadmill, jogged outside and worked out on the elliptical machine 5-6 times a week. I wanted to lose the weight as quickly as possible. Now, I’m focusing on toning and gaining muscle, so I’ve cut back on the cardio (3-4 times a week). I’m lifting weights and doing body toning exercises everyday, unless it’s a rest day. My goal is to gain 10 lbs of muscle.
My starting weight was 180 lbs, my current weight is 108 lbs. My height is 5’4″. My transformation took about 7 months, Jan 2015 – Aug 2015.
My advice to anyone wanting to lose weight is to just do it. I know that’s kind of harsh, but that’s the only way I can put it. It’s going to be hard, time consuming and you’re going to want to give up, but DON’T! Don’t try to do everything at once. Take it day by day. Start small (working out twice a week to 5 times a week). Meal prep, drink water and get plenty of rest. Lastly, don’t let other people’s opinions get in the way of your transformation! You only have one life to live, don’t live it with regrets.