Transformation of the Day: Maya lost 44 pounds. In November, she re-dedicated herself to a healthy, active lifestyle. She lost the pounds by teaching herself about nutrition, finding workouts that work and taking full responsibility for her success. She was inspired by our transformation stories she found online, including the ones we feature daily. Check out what she shared with us about her journey.
What was your motivation?
My motivation for losing weight was my desire to change my lifestyle. I was living a very lazy life at the time. I would go to work, get home and just want to sleep all day. I know that you’ve heard this saying before, but “I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.” Watching success stories on YouTube and viewing BWLW Transformations also kept me motivated and determined to reach my goals.
Prior to getting serious with my weight loss, I was weighing in at over 230lbs. When I truly dedicated myself to this new journey in November 2015 I weighed 224 pounds. I am 5’6″ tall and now I weigh around 180 pounds after six months of hard work and sweat. My journey is far from over. I still have 10 lbs to lose and keep off before I reach my first goal of 170 pounds. Knowing that I have other goals to achieve has also kept me motivated. After I reach that goal, my next big goal is to reach 140 pounds.
What inspired you when you wanted to give up?
On those days where I just wanted to give up, the main thing that kept me going was a post I saw on Instagram. It said “I know what giving up feels like, now I want to know what it feels like when I don’t give up“. It resonated with me so deeply, because I started trying to lose weight a few years prior and did not keep going. I guess I didn’t see the results I wanted right away. I also started off doing too much work and burned myself out. This time around, I started off doing 20 min workouts jogging/ walking the neighborhood block, as well as YouTube workouts. Over time, I built my way up to doing workouts for an hour and 20 minutes at a time.
I also started my Instagram page, @beautyflysoul, in November to assure to myself that I would keep going. Each time I logged onto Instagram, I was reminded of what I was fighting for each day. I also started following many success stories and pages of people who were putting in the work and yielding results. I coined the term #sweatgold because I know when I sweat I am working this fat off.
How did you change your eating habits?
I changed my eating habits slowly. As I said, before I tried to lose weight in the past and fell off. I had also done a lot of research on what was effective to eat while losing weight. I started this time by documenting what I was eating without changing my habits at first. Using the My Fitness Pal app, I soon realized that my habits were out of control. I was consuming well over 2000 calories a day without any physical activity besides walking to class or going to work.
I got serious about losing the weight and implemented what I had learned about eating clean and drinking more water slowly. I started by cutting out sugary drinks. I would mix water with my juice until I just didn’t like the taste any more. I substituted milk for almond milk, which was way better on my stomach. I also began cooking more at home and eating out less. I did not cut out eating at restaurants, but I did make myself more aware of what I was choosing. I would look for the plates with more vegetables or start off with a salad, light on the dressing, to fill myself up a little before eating everything else. I cut out eating cheese all of the time and I practiced a lot of portion control and balance. I would allow myself to eat certain rich foods, keeping in mind how much I was eating as well as how often that week I had that particular meal.
I stopped eating pork, but I was never a huge meat eater anyway. I switched from ground beef to ground turkey. I stopped grabbing the sugary cereals and opted for the whole grain kinds. I started eating more veggies and whole foods. I also started making sure I was having my breakfast (most important meal), lunch, and dinner. I will have fruits (like bananas yum) and dry cereal for snacks.
Another huge change was my sweet tooth. When I tried to lose weight and failed in the past, I was still eating candy like crazy. I called myself counting calories while also including a snickers or two every day. I had to cut out eating sweets and sugar so much. Now, I go without candy most weeks and if I can go without sugar in a recipe I will. When I have a craving for something I love I will let myself have it, but I am careful not to over indulge.
What did your workout routines look like?
I fell in love with Keaira LaShae‘s workouts on YouTube. After five months of doing those workouts, I decided to try joining her website. I’d hit a plateau and needed to switch up my routine a bit. Although my weight keeps fluctuating between 178 and 180lbs, I’ve managed to lose another inch on my waist for a total of 9 inches lost!
I try to do an hour of exercise each day with breaks when I need them. On average, I do 5 days a week, sometimes more and sometimes less. I started including heavier weights in my routines for strength training. I began with using 3-5 lb weights and now I use 10-15 lbs. I try to do legs one day, arms another day and core another day… or mix it up. I always include cardio but I’m more focused on weight training to bust past this plateau. Plateaus are my reason for looking at non-scale victories. Sometimes the scale can be deceptive, so you have to keep pushing and never give up.
What advice do you have for others who want to lose weight?
My advice to others is to LOVE yourself no matter what. As you change mentally and physically during this journey, you are going to look in the mirror sometimes and wish you could see the results you want exactly when you want them. Just know that loving yourself makes the wait a lot easier. Also take progress pictures because they will help you compare how your body is doing and keep you motivated to continue to change.
Another bit of advice is that you have to remember who you are doing this for. Although I had great encouragement from my fiancé, I was the one making sure I was working out when I needed to. I made sure I was eating healthy options. I was the one making sure that I did not give up. On those days when my workout partner bailed on me, I had to keep on moving no matter what. You might have people start this journey with you, but only you will determine if you finish or not.
On those days where you start to lose motivation, try looking at success stories. Whether it be on YouTube, BWLW or Instagram, these stories and experiences always help me get off my butt and move.
Most importantly, I encourage you to be kind to yourself. If you fall off for a day (or even three), don’t give up. Just keep pushing and come back even harder. Ever day you put in some form of work is a great day because you are trying and that is what matters.