Latoya lost 18 pounds. For years, she was able to maintain a toned, athletic look, but that changed after becoming a new mom. This Alpha Kappa Alpha soror learned how to use clean eating, green smoothies and regular exercise to manage her weight and stay fit. Check out her journey.
Starting weight 140 pounds
Current weight 122 pounds
Never did I think that I’d ever share a before and after photo like this. Through my childhood years, during high school, in college and in my early 20’s, I maintained a small, toned, athletic frame without much effort. Therefore, I never struggled with body image concerns. It never crossed my mind.
Just like many other women, I got older, my life changed and so did my body. About a year after giving birth, for the first time in my life I was self-conscious of my body. As if being a new mom wasn’t a tough enough struggle. I experienced constant weight fluctuations and ridicule from family who highlighted these changes (and my gentle attached parenting style). I was just uncomfortable in my skin. I honestly believed that body image concerns were issues for teenage girls. Since that ship had long sailed, I was really in shock.
I am a Social Worker by trade, so I spend my days assisting others reach their goals. It was time I do the same for myself. The Counselor Needed Counseling (this will be the name of the book
I someday write).
I began researching weight loss regimens and again I hit a stumbling block as everything I came across only seemed to acknowledge those who wanted to lose 70-100 pounds. Losing that much weight is amazing and I applaud these individuals daily. However, it again made me question and second guess myself as my mere 20 pound goal seemed less significant.
After a while I stopped being so hard on myself. I stopped comparing my journey to others. I remembered: I gave birth naturally. That is one of the most amazing things anyone could do. So what if I gained a few pounds. That being said, I still knew I needed to make healthier decisions
not only for me, but for my daughter. The days of eating junk at 2am with minimal physical activity was a thing of the past.
For the last 2 years, I’ve made the conscious decision to eat clean and work out regularly. First, I changed my eating habits by using JJ Smith’s 10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse in January 2016. The purpose of the cleanse is to rid the body of toxins and introduce one to a healthier
lifestyle beyond the 10 days. Following the cleanse, I continued to drink green smoothies daily (1 for breakfast and 1 for lunch) with a clean meal for dinner. The book offers several clean meal recipes. Additionally, I gave up red meat over 10 years ago but that wasn’t enough for me. I eventually stopped eating fast food, limited my sugar/soda intake, and became familiar with vegan options. I stick to a full vegan diet 1 week per month.
I am active daily. I use my lunch break to walk for about 30 minutes. I try to workout at the gym but being a single mom of a 4 year old, that is not always possible. So, I workout a lot at home. 4-5 days a week. I love Team BeachBody programs (which also has great meal plans) or the elliptical machine. I also love playing, running and walking with my daughter, all which help get
my steps in for the day. I love my FitBit, because it holds me accountable! (I loved BWLW’s November walking challenge!)
My word of advice is consistency. Goals are not achieved overnight. Remembering why you started is vital. Additionally, finding a fitness regimen that you enjoy is important too. That saying of “enjoy the process” means a lot to me. If working out and making healthier choices appear boring or as just another “to do list task”, you won’t keep with it. Working out can be making the choice to walk in the park with your friends while catching up instead of having dinner and drinks. Workout out could be dancing around your living room, or going to the
gym. Taking the time and making the commitment to find whatever works for YOU is important, because your health is just that important! Disconnect with toxic people and connect with women, especially mothers, who have experienced similar struggles!