Weight Loss Story of the Day: Katreina lost 72 pounds. She shared a whole lot of detail to let us know how she was able to lose the weight. She had many ups and downs, but she has learned how to put together a weight loss plan and lifestyle that works for her. Read her story and be inspired.
Starting Weight—380lbs (likely higher, this is once I got on the scale)
The “physical” journey of losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle began for me just over a year ago. I say “physical” because I have been 300+ pounds since 7th grade and had been suggested to lose weight by several doctors. Though I’d received these suggestions, I’d never actually put any effort into losing weight. I was a very involved teenager—drill team, student council, drama club, you name it! I participated in pageants and was very popular and outspoken. In my eyes, “I was the flyest big girl you’d ever meet”. By my senior year of high school, I was tipping the scale at around 310lbs! I then went on to college, and of course, got even bigger. Before I knew it, I had gained so much weight that size 22/24 clothes were fitting really snug. I convinced myself that the “cuts had changed” at Lane Bryant and began proudly wearing size 26/28 clothes.
I continued to gain weight—meal after meal, emotion after emotion. During this same time, I also witnessed first-hand the health struggles of my mother who is an insulin dependent, type 2 diabetic. Although I knew something needed to change, I continued my unhealthy habits. By October of 2012, I was fitting comfortably in size 28 and I decided that I had to turn things around. I joined the YMCA and found a local trainer to begin working out with. After going to 4 sessions, I told the trainer that I wanted to “take my birthday off” which was November 2, 2012 and I never returned. My membership at the YMCA had also become an afterthought—they were getting a ‘monthly donation’ every month because I hadn’t been there once since signing up.
In March of 2013, I was shopping in Torrid and as I tried on different items, it hit me that I was looking for a “5” and no longer a “4”. I decided that it was time to actually put in the 100% effort. I began slowly making attempts to work out here or there and eat more vegetables and ‘healthy’ snacks. I stopped buying candy and sugary snacks. I also cut back on the number of bottles of juice that I bought at the grocery store. I did little things here and there. During this time, my girlfriend kept suggesting that I get on the scale and weigh myself. Despite her suggestions, I didn’t. I began doing 15 minutes of an internet workout video that an acquaintance had suggested. This type of slow-paced attempt at losing weight continued for two months. It was during this time when I truly realized just how hard it was going to be to lose weight!
In May of 2013, a friend of mine who’d been walking with me every now and then challenged me to complete 100 miles in May with him. His mother had passed away in May of 2012 and he wanted to complete 100 miles in honor of her one year memorial. I was nervous! I couldn’t understand why he’d asked ME of everyone he knew to join him in this. But, I agreed and I knew that if I wasn’t going to do it for myself, I had to do it for him because he’d ask me to participate and I certainly couldn’t let him down! Here is where my seriousness kicked in—I decided to finally weigh in, and boy was I in for a baffling surprise! I was tipping the scale at 380lbs! I couldn’t believe that I was almost 400lbs. How and when did this happen?
At this point, my mind was made up! No matter how difficult it got, I could not turn back. I owed it to myself! After all, I had never truly done anything solely for me—everything I’d ever accomplished was always for someone else. I am the first one in my family to graduate from high school and college and since the age of 12 I’d been taking care of other people and not always taking the best care of myself. This was it! I made my mind up that it was time I prioritized myself.
I began by walking, everyday! I would leave my house and just walk until I couldn’t anymore. Some days outside, other days I would go to the YMCA. The entire month of May, I averaged around 4 miles a day. I also began going to Zumba—some days only making it through 30 minutes. But I never stopped going. Soon after, I started setting weekly goals: one for food, one for exercise. In the beginning, my goals were things like: eat 3 times a day, drink 64 oz. of water, no junk food, write everything down, be active for at least 30 mins every day, workout twice a day at least 3 times in a week, etc. It was always about MY PERSONAL BEST. I did not try to compete with anyone except myself. Every week was a new chance to beat myself from the last week!
When I first began, it took me 30 mins to complete half of a mile. I couldn’t breathe. I was tired and sometimes I would cry as I walked and gasped for air. The end of May came and we completed the 100 miles! By the end of the summer, I was beginning to jog (more like trot, lol) and was doing a mile in 20 minutes. Recently, I completed my first 5k (3.1 miles) and finished in 47 minutes!
As time passed, I met more and more people who shared different tips and tricks. I have learned so much about myself and my body. That’s the best part about this journey—the growth! Everything I thought I knew, I have had to unlearn. I’ve tried more foods this past year than I’d tried over the course of my entire 25 years of living! I have been on this journey for just over a year. I now workout 5-6 days a week for at least an hour, eat 5 meals and drink a gallon of water a day. While I’ve lost 72 lbs, I know that I am just getting started! My current regimen is much different than where I started and as I continue to grow, I know that it will change even more. I am not where I want to be, and I could focus on that. Instead I choose to focus on the fact that I’m nowhere near where I began!
For all the women who are wondering if they can do this and how—please hear me when I say YES YOU CAN! All it requires is a made up mind, consistency and a willingness to embrace all aspects of YOUR PERSONAL BEST! ALL aspects—good and bad! Remember that each day is a new day and that it’s not about the destination, but rather the journey. You will fail. You will cry. You will mess up…and that is alright. The beauty of it all is that the more scenic the route, the more you will enjoy the rewards of it.
I am happy to help in any way I can! Feel free to reach out to me on Instagram: @Driven_Ndeavors or on Facebook: Katreina Saliu. Remember that you are already enough and have everything you need right now to get started!
Thank you for reading my story. I hope it deposits into your life and your journey. Peace and fruitful energy sent your way… Shine brightly Queens!