Lauren lost 25 pounds. Working and going to school full time, coupled with a toxic relationship, took its toll on her. She was always tired and was experiencing breathing problems. I love her story, because she never gave up. Despite ups and down, she has continued to take action and figure out what worked and what didn’t work for her. She knows that it’s not about how fast the weight comes off, it’s about creating a healthy lifestyle.
What was your motivation?
I had recently gotten out of a very emotionally exhausting relationship and I had completely left myself go. On top of being in school full time, working two jobs AND juggling that toxic relationship, I had completely given up on my own needs and health without even realizing it. It had gotten to the point where I would be out of breath from walking and talking at the same time. I couldn’t sleep on my back or on my sides comfortably, because it difficult to breathe. I was always tired, always groggy and never wanted to do anything.
I made the decision to take my life back. I had given up so much of myself to everyone else that I was feeling like I had nothing left. My motivation was to get back to the point where I felt good about myself and was actually happy about life.
What inspired you when you wanted to give up?
I am the type of person who does not like feeling like they can’t do something. I failed so many times when I initially started this journey (and I still do sometimes). However, I always got back up because I never wanted anything or anyone to defeat me, or make me feel like I couldn’t conquer the challenge.
How did you change your eating habits?
I started drinking more water. Water is the key to fitness! It hydrates your body and rids you of all of the bad toxins in your body. I drank water every chance I could. I stopped frying foods. Usually tried to stay away from fast foods, but with being in school and working so much made it difficult to take the time to stop and cook. So, when I did eat out, I tried to stick with the healthier options.
I tried so many programs when I started my journey. The two that I remember the most were Herbalife and Whole30. My first try was with Herbalife. It works for some people. Some people lose a serious amount of weight with it, but it wasn’t for me. I also tried the Whole30 diet. That did not work for me, because of the numerous restrictions on what you were not allowed to eat. I was hungry all the time and ended up caving on the junk food. In retrospect, I was unprepared when I started the diet. Whole30 is the most successful when you prepare first by reading up on recipes and meal prepping.
What works best for me now is to stay away from fried foods and limit my intake of bread. I cook with olive oil instead of vegetable oil, and I try to stay away from butter. Lots of proteins, vegetables, and fruits make up my meals. I also try to meal prep for the busy nights, full of work and school. It makes it easier not to eat the junk food or the take out if you already have something prepared.
What did your workout routines look like?
At first, I tried going to the gym everyday. I would stay for two hours and work out until I felt ready to pass out. I had no game plan and all I did was just try machines that looked interesting. Not the best strategy. April 2016, I was at the gym on a leg day and I pushed myself too hard. Ended up popping my knee out of place and had to be put on crutches. This kept me out of the gym for a few months. Now, I work with a personal trainer two times a week and I try to get to a fitness class one or two times during the week.
Starting weight/Current weight
My starting weight was 310 pounds (not proud of that). My current weight is 285 pounds. My Goal weight is to be under 200. I am 5’5″ tall.
When did you start your journey?
I started my journey March 2016. My transformation is not over yet. I still have so much left to do, but I’m taking it one day at a time. I will reach my goal weight!
What advice do you have for others who want to lose weight?
The biggest thing is to KEEP GOING. When I injured my knee, I was depressed and upset. I ended up turning back to my old habits and regained all the weight I had lost. Had to start all the way over from the beginning. You will have setbacks. Things happen. Injuries occur. You will cheat on your diet. We’re only human. Don’t beat yourself up. Acknowledge it and start over the next day. You didn’t gain it all in one night, so it can’t be lost all in one night. Be patient. Keep working and don’t give up.