Transformation of the Day: Loretha lost over 220 pounds. She had cardiac issues, breathing problems, was passing out a lot. Eventually, she found herself admitted to the hospital where her doctor gave her the wakeup call she needed. She shared the details of how she took action and transformed her life.
I want to share how I lost over 220 pounds, going from a size 32 to a size 4. (Height: 5’3″) It was a long journey. I wouldn’t say it was a piece of cake, because it was not. It definitely wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. Again, this was no easy fix. It took work to the weight. I did this with pure sweat, tears and more sweat, lol. I used absolutely NO weight loss meds, creams, powders or shakes…. just eating better and working out.
I had been trying for long time to lose weight. I would always become frustrated and give up, which in turn caused me to gain more weight than before. Sadly, I often used food as a comforter when I was upset or as a means of celebration for an accomplishment. How often do we one reach for Ice-cream when we are sad? Or go to the greasiest, cheesiest burger joint to congratulate little Timmy for that A+?? That trend had to end!
In 2009, my weight became more than just a cosmetic issue for me. I HAD to lose weight because my life depended on it. I was having cardiac issues, breathing problems, was passing out a lot. I found myself admitted to the hospital for a week or so. With as much weight as I was carrying, I had been overworking my heart and it began to give up the fight. I remember waking up with my doctor standing over me saying, “Mrs, Bridges, you HAVE to lose weight. If you want to live, you HAVE to lose weight.” Those were hard words to wake up to, but can still hear them clearly as if if was yesterday. Those words are some of the few things I remember from that episode in the hospital, because I was on some heavy drugs. That reality check hit me hard.
The only way I was able to lose weight was to change my way of life and my mindset. I had to change my goals (from trying to fit this/that or trying to lose weight for an event). I needed a lifestyle change, not the temp fix that dieting can sometimes bring. I decided I had to do better. I wanted more for myself and I chose life. Finding motivation and having a great support system got me through. Love and support goes a long way, but you must also stay determined.
EXERCISE: In the beginning, I started out pretty easy. I started off by working out three days a week.
- 1 hr on the Elliptical
- 2 hrs riding bike
- 3 sets of 50 sit ups (50 regular, 50 to the right, 50 to the left)
- Weight lifting (I started off light by lifing 6 lbs weights) I followed this weight training video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPgKYsknKw4
- Walking on weekends
I did this for a few months. After a few months of getting use to exercising, I noticed a slight change in weight and wanted more. So, I started working out everyday. I don’t know too much about exercising, but I have a good friend who is a personal trainer who was able to give me some great pointers and exercises to add to my routine.
- I did the same routine I was doing before, but I did 20 reps instead of 10 reps with the weight lifting video.
- Walking every other day
- 50 Squats
- Jump rope
- Tae Bo (beginners)
I went a few months with this routine as well, as time passed, I got bored with the same routines (and I like a challenge). So, I went into what some called “crazy mode”. With this new routine I still kept the same exercise, I just added more. At this point, I was doing the whole routine everyday, three times a day. Most of you won’t have the time to do that, but I was able to at that time.
- 1 hr on the Elliptical (if you don’t have one you can use stairs)
- 2 hrs riding bike
- 6 sets of 50 sit ups (50 regular, 50 to the right, 50 to the left, then
- Weight lifting (now at 20 lbs ), 50 reps. www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPgKYsknKw4
- Walking every other day
- 100 Squats
- 50 Chair Squats
- Tae Bo (beginners-advanced)
- 10 sets of Stair Climbs (running down, then back up is one set)
- Hip Thrusts www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ec25SL8wKEA
- Thigh Master (do these at your preference)
- 40 Lunges (20 each leg)
- 40 Side Lunges (20 each leg) www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUX6Pz8vV0s
This may seem like a bit much, but this is just what I wanted to do to get the weight off. I’m not doing the three-a-days anymore. I’m back to exercising once a day, doing the last full routine. I recommend that you take your time, and don’t push too hard, too fast. Go at your own pace, but be careful not to stay in ‘simple mode’ too long, You will need to shift gears to challenge your body.
FOOD: I no longer eat any fried foods, gravies, or breaded meats. When I eat pasta, I only eat wheat pasta. When I fix my plate, I make sure to have more veggies than anything else on
the plate. Fruit and veggies are now 85% of MY diet. You don’t have to do it that way if you don’t want to, but I encourse you to be sensible with your diet. I also eat salads a lot, without all the trimmings -no cheese, bacon bits, and very LITTLE dressing. I drink plenty of water to help my skin tighten. This is very important as losing large amounts of weight can leave skin
Again, this wasn’t easy but I was determined to be healthy, be better and be HERE. I really hope this is able to help some of you, but what worked for me may not be for you. Remember, we’re all different. Try to explore where you are comfortable, without being miserable. A support system is very important when losing weight. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have, if I don’t know the answer, I’ll research it until I do.
ADVICE: PLEASE remember that it takes time to lose weight. Set reasonable, HEALTHY goals. Losing weight too quick is not a good thing and will cause more issues later. When you snack, opt for something healthy instead of junk food. You’d be surprised how much fruit can satisfy a sweet tooth. Also, instead of ice cream, opt for yogurt. Try to limit processed foods and foods high in sugar. That’s right, leave the drive thru’s alone. While you should limit bread intake, don’t go to the extreme and try to cut out ALL carbs and fats from your diet. The body does need some carbs for fuel. It’s a good idea to designate certain days to enjoy your favorite foods, but don’t overdo it Don’t use your ‘pleasure days’ to devour as much junk food as possible to make up for what you missed during the week, lol. Also, you should drink plenty of fluids (NOT soda, punch or concentrated juices). 100% juice, sugar free or caffeine free drinks and natural tea with honey not sugar is best.