Mariah lost 90 pounds. She experienced significant weight gain during her college years. After graduation, she started her transformation, motivated by self-love. Intermittent fasting and renewing her relationship with God are two key factors in her success.
I looked into the mirror the day after graduation, May 16, 2015, and I knew something had to change. I was unhappy with my spirit, my demeanor, and with myself. What I thought was the best decision then was the worst experience I could have put myself through.
Late nights, early mornings, overwhelming workloads, and unlimited access to cafeteria buffets, dorm snacks, and fast food. The ‘Freshman Fifteen’ had nothing on my ‘Undergrad Unknown.’ College took over my life and body. I weighed 280 pounds at 21 years old. Where did I go wrong? When did this happen? I didn’t know much, but I knew something needed to change. That’s when the growth began.
Spiritually, I renewed my relationship with the Lord, studying scriptures, listening to podcasts, joining prayer calls, and finally, EMBRACING His Word. I gained the mental and emotional strength to disconnect from seasonal people, places, and things that were harmful to my well-being. I truly discovered myself, and I loved her. By 2017, I started my career in my chosen field and lost 30 pounds of pure depression and neglect. Next, I took a risk and joined a gym.
Talk. About. Intimidation.
In reality, it was the final key to the self-love lock. Now, I had a goal to focus on, something to look forward to. I began to love the pain of the weights, the sweat on my forehead, and my loose clothes. A real transformation had begun.
Four years later and 90 pounds smaller, I stand tall at 5’6″ and 190 pounds.
What inspired you to keep going?
My inspiration in beginning my weight loss journey began with myself. Before anyone could look at me, want me, etc., I needed to love myself. It ALL had to be for me. Times were hard, and things were not easy. Intermittent fasting was not a readily accepted change for someone who was 22, a recent college graduate, and would eat a hardy three-full meals a day. I exchanged the chips for cardio and donuts for dumbbells and GOT TO WORK 3-4 times a week. It was becoming my happy place.
How did you change your eating habits?
My intermittent fasting schedule is 12 pm-8 pm (my eating window). 8:01 pm to 11:50 am is my fasting period. During my eating window, I mostly eat high protein, low-fat foods, and I plan out my meals at the beginning of the week. I am a HUGE advocate for meal prepping with lots of vegetables. It causes me to make better choices throughout the week, while also cutting the risk of snacking on something I shouldn’t. Not to mention, I tend to save more money when I meal prep.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is that it’s okay to fail. It’s okay to view someone else’s journey as being “faster” or more effective, and momentarily wonder what their secret is. Use that energy. Transfer it to motivate you to remain consistent and know that your story will be different from anyone else’s. That’s what makes it yours. Remain unique.
What advice would you like to share with women who want to lose weight?
It’s funny. I believe my biggest lesson has now become my advice. My advice is to stay unique. My 3-year journey is not going to be your 3-year journey. Every individual is shaped and built uniquely, so why would our journeys be the same?
Another piece; don’t sweat the small stuff. Your weight wasn’t gained overnight, so it won’t come off overnight. Please be gentle on yourself. Reflect, reset, and repeat. You can do it.
Now, I’m dedicating a lot of my spare time to individuals in similar situations as me… people who are simply in need. I am a small business owner. (@winter.rose.llc on Instagram) I have a full range of workout accessories for both men and women. Personal Instagram: @lovee.ri_