Update January 2017: Nardia‘s transformation shows that lean muscle can make a major difference in the way we look. This proud mom and Army Vet lost 23 pounds, lots of inches and she looks great. (Check out her update and what she shared with us back in 2016)
I’m a working mommy of 2 (my youngest is 2 years old). I’m also a disabled Army Vet, personal trainer and coach. Losing weight and staying in shape is struggle for anyone. It doesn’t matter who you are. I’ve heard a few people say, “Only 13 pounds in one year?”, when they look at the first photo compared to the second photo. 38 inches lost far out weighs any amount of pounds, in my book. Sometimes people see photo of transformations and they don’t understand the process that comes with a transformation. I’ve always been athletic my entire life. Fitness is not something I just picked up overnight. After my pregnancy, I gained weight and came to understand just how difficult it can be to lose weight. I had to work to transform my own life. Notice, I said my life, not just my body.
Even though I’m a personal trainer, I am also a mother who works a full-time job as a Sheriff’s officer. My job presents many stressors, and on top of that I work the night shift. Getting up, going to work at 11pm, coming home at 7 am and then tending to two kids (one of whom is an infant) is no easy task. During my transformation, my usual day consisted of taking my oldest daughter to school and having my baby at home. Then, I’d go to work at night. This is still my routine. The only thing that has changed is that the baby started school this September. Most days, I’m getting 2 hours of sleep.
To those who may think 13 pounds or 23 pounds isn’t good enough, realize that you don’t know what it is like to walk in another person’s shoes. People may think that losing weight happens quickly or easily when they see people post snapback pictures where someone transformed in 3 months. It doesn’t work like that for everyone. You may have other issues, medical or personal, and who doesn’t? Don’t just make an assessment when you see someone’s transformation and think that it took them too long to lose the weight. Any amount of weight loss is an accomplishment. People focus on quick fixes and try to do all these extreme things to lose weight, because society paints a picture that you should be able to lose the weight in less than two or three months after having your kid, but that’s no the case. – @fitdastruggle
February 2016 – Awesome Mommy Transformation: Nardia lost more than 22 pounds and lots of inches. Like a lot of moms, she dealt with postpartum depression. She didn’t let a very difficult work schedule, illnesses and the affects of injuries she endured in her army days hinder her from changing her life. Check out what she shared with us.
Hi, I’m Nardia and wanted to share my weight loss story with you. Even if I can motivate just one person with my story, I’m ok with that. When people are looking from the outside in, I’m sure they think, “Nards, you don’t know what it feels like to struggle with weight all your life!” You know what? They are half right, I’ve always been athletic. However, I’ve had my own struggles as I’ve gotten older because life happens. I had injuries and illnesses from my Army days, a bad back, screws in my feet, everyday pain or swelling, arthritis in my Achilles, plantar fasciitis, PTSD, depression and internal health issues, like hypothyroidism. Also, I have high prolactin from my pituitary gland, which makes it difficult to lose weight. Despite this, I’ve been a fighter and a “no excuses” type of person.
19 months ago, my life changed drastically. I had a new baby and some postpartum depression from dealing with another child. We’d just bought house and I started a new shift at work, from 11pm-7am. I also had an extra 35 pounds of insecurities. I was overwhelmed.
As strong as we think we are (Yeah, I just pushed this baby out with no meds and no help. Yeah, I did that.), the mind can break you down. Postpartum depression is something we hate to admit as women. It made my insecurities more pronounced. It just wasn’t me I was seeing when I looked in the mirror. I thought, “Whose body is this?!” Even though my husband was like, “Babes, you look good. You just had a baby”, he had no freaking clue! They aren’t the ones experiencing the body change. Having a child changes your body. It truly changes you and not everyone bounces right back. And… lets be real… it just isn’t the same anymore. Gravity and breastfeeding… ugh! Not to mention taking care of this little person while trying to take care of yourself can bring you to your knees. As a “working mommy”, you are already doing so much more.
After I had the baby, I lost 13 pounds right off the bat. I was amped and started exercising 4 days later. However, as soon as I went back to work (6 weeks later), I didn’t last more than a week. I had no plan, no time management and no motivation. One of the hardest things was adapting to working overnight. My reason for the shift change was that financially our little family couldn’t afford childcare for 2 kids. It was and still is the most difficult adjustment. I would work from 11pm to 7am, come home have the baby and my hubby took our oldest to school. I would just pass out and most days I didn’t even eat much. Then, I would get up and pick up my oldest from Preschool at 2:30 pm and from there I’d be up until the next day to repeat the cycle. As the baby got older she slept less, which meant less sleep for mommy.
I was wishing I could drop her off somewhere, with a family member, a daycare… just for some sleep. New Jersey is expensive and the average daycare is $1100 a month in the area we live. Ridiculous! Not to mention my oldest was still preschool age and that wasn’t free either. The best option for baby was to keep her at home.
It’s hard being a full-time working mom by itself and finding time to do everything; work, cook, clean, laundry, grocery, take care of miscellaneous things, homework, take care of baby and spend time with the family. Now, I wanted to add time to get back in shape. There isn’t enough time in a day. Make me a clone, dayummm! On average, I would have 2-3 hours of sleep, Monday to Thursday. That didn’t include when I worked overtime or doubles.
It took me about 6 months, after going back to work, to start exercising again. I started at the beginning of Nov 2014. I decided to lose the weight for my birthday, but that didn’t work. I had no motivation. It me took a month of trial and error, not to mention falling off the wagon a few times, to get right. It wasn’t until December 5, 2014 that I went all in. What changed from November to December? Seeing a Thanksgiving pic of myself. I didn’t like what I saw at all. This time around I had a plan, I had motivation (my body) and my mind was right.
During my journey, I had to do lots of changes/reassessments along the way. The main issue was trying to find a eating routine for my crazy schedule. How do you eat when you’re up for 20 hours of the day?! I’ve tried different patterns of eating to get it right. I’m constantly adapting and making changes as I go. I drink protein shakes (Spiru-tein is the brand I use) and having homemade smoothies as my meal replacement has helped me eat less and still get the nourishment I need, so I don’t feel like I’m overeating.
Eating Habits: I stopped eating process foods and I cut back on dairy products. I try to use mostly organic and gluten-free products. I only eat organic fruits and veggies. I eat 5-7 times day and have 3-4 high protein meals. I eat using the 85/15 rule and carb cycling. 85 percent of what the body needs and 15 percent of whatever I want, because I love ice cream lol and I want to curb the cravings. So, that’s about 3-4 cheat meals a month. Carb cycling for me is eating healthy carbs; bake or boiled potatoes, sweet potatoes, sweet yams, brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, and wheat bread (rarely). I have 3 high carb days on days that I’m doing lift heavy: legs, back and a rest day. I eat low carb for 4 days, only eating carbs from veggies.
Exercise: Life can be so crazy that it’s easier to just do nothing, but I needed the exercise! It kept me sane, helped me relieve stress and makes me feel so much better. I do everything! I keep my body guessing and constantly challenge myself. You’ll be amazed what the body can achieve once the mind believes. I do HIIT training as my cardio or other types of cardio 2-3 times and week. I also do weight training 5-6 times a week. I just started implementing yoga on my rest days, because stretching and flexibility is my weakness.
One of the things that has helped me is being able to workout at home or outdoors. My little gym may not be huge or have all the equipment you find at your average gym, but it has everything I need. It also saves me time. It is convenient when all I have is 30 minutes. I can run downstairs or even go outside and get it done. I don’t waste time getting to the gym or trying to find a sitter. It’s an investment in myself, because the best project you’ll work on is you, body and mind!
Advice: Find like mined individuals that can give you motivation on the days you need someone screaming in your face, like a drill sergeant. That’s going to keep you on track. Trust the process and stick with it. My favorite saying to myself is, “Slow progress is better than no progress, because it adds up with time.” I would recommend that you read, research and educate yourself, because it’s not a one size fit all journey. Make it your new lifestyle, not just something you do because you want to lose weight or look good in a dress.
I’ve lost 19 pounds and 22.5 inches, however, I haven’t gotten on the scale since Sept 2015 because the scale is the devil. If I followed it, I’d lose my mind. I use my clothing to assess my weight loss and I take lots of selfies.
Starting Weight: 186.5 lbs
Weight as of in Sept. 1, 2015: 167. 5 lbs
Measurements: Sept. 2015 measurements:
From Bust 39ins to Bust 36ins
From Upper waist 35ins Waist 38ins to Upper waist 30ins Waist 32ins
Upper Arm 15.5ins to Upper Arm 12ins
From Hips 47ins to Hips 44ins
From Thigh 30ins to Thighs 26.5ins
From Calves 16.5ins to Calves 15ins
You might think that’s not a lot, but considering all the factors in my life I’ve come to accept it. If I sat around doing nothing, nothing would have been achieved.
I’ve gone months without losing any weight, (hence why I boycotted the scale). I will not quit, no matter how long it takes. It’s better to keep going than to start over. I am proud of where I am now, because I feel healthy. I will continue to work on losing weight, because I have a personal goal to be back at a fit 150 pounds. If I don’t get there, I’m ok with that, because I’ve come a long way.
Family, friends and fitness is what keeps me going. I love living and I’ll do anything that will help boost this life of mine. Exercising and motivating others does that for me. Exercise to be fit, not “skinny”. Eat to nourish your body, living is worth the #dastruggle.