Update Jan 2019: Mercedes is more toned and 15lbs leaner for a total of 130 pounds gone.
How have you maintained your weight loss and continued to lose weight?
I was doing Keto and intermittent fasting, but I found an amazing trainer who pushes me every morning with challenging but fun workouts. Out went the keto and fasting because I need carbs for energy. I couldn’t do HIIT workouts in a fasted state.
Exercise: I workout at 5:15 am 4 days a week before working with my trainer. I also work out on Saturdays at 11 am with my trainer. On Sundays, sometimes I do my own thing.
Eating habits: I operate from a mindful perspective when it comes to eating and honestly it’s always changing. I eat veggies, fruit, seafood, and poultry. I eat beef occasionally. I still eat low to moderate carbs, but they mostly come from whole foods. My protein powder and bars are usually plant-based, but I alternate between plant based and whey. Try to eat only 1200 calories a day.
At this point, would you offer any new or different advice to people who want to lose weight?
I would tell other people to prioritize getting healthy and feeling good. The weight loss will follow. Getting on the scale and looking for results will drive you crazy. Remember, this is a process. Honestly, the slower the weight comes off, the less likely it will come back. For me, this journey has been almost six years in the making, and there is no one way to do this. Find your fit and apply it to your life! Don’t be scared to challenge yourself or seek out help from others! @mercedes.35
Transformation of the Day: Mercedes lost 115 pounds. Seeing the women in her family die young made her focus on her own lifestyle choices. Over the years, this Delta Sigma Theta soror figured out what works for her when it comes to nutrition and exercise. She fell in love with weight training and recently went Keto. Check out her story.
What was your motivation? What inspired you when you wanted to give up?
My motivation came from being uncomfortable in my own body. As I got older and became more educated, I could no longer eat the way I had been eating my whole life. The motivation grew because women in my family were dying young. I’m talking early 30s, 40s, and late 50s. I think poor nutrition played a role in most of these deaths and that definitely inspires me when I want to give up.
How did you change your eating habits?
I began in 2013, not really knowing what I was doing. I started out by cutting out liquid calories and limiting fried foods. I ate a lot of chicken breasts and tilapia with veggies. I also ate a lot of fruit.
I tried Herbalife once or twice, but did not stick with it. Instead, I switched to Equate weight loss shakes from Walmart for lunch or snack. I also ate a lot of tuna packs daily as a snack or lunch.I was still eating pasta, brown rice, beans, etc.
I lost about 80 pounds from 2013-2016. Then, I plateaued and became frustrated. In spite of this, I was able to maintain the 80 pound weight loss. In 2017, I gave up pork and became more mindful of my eating. Started eating a lot of salmon with green leafy veggies and sweet potatoes. I eat beef occasionally now. In early 2018, I switched to a Keto/Low carb diet.
What did your workout routine look like? How often did you workout?
In the beginning, I did hella cardio and minimal weight lifting 3-4 times week. Now, I prioritize weight lifting over cardio and I love it. As of June 2018, I got a trainer that I do group workouts with 4-5 times week.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
My starting weight was 305 pounds and my current weight is 190 pounds. My height is 5’7″. (all natural, no surgery)
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
I learned how to eat to live and not live to eat.
What advice do you have for people who want to lose weight?
Start small and take it one day at a time. Follow BWLW and other inspirational pages on IG for food ideas, tips, workout regimens, etc.