Transformation of the Day: NaTasha lost 63 pounds and has gone from a size 22 to a size 14. This proud mom and talented singer wanted to be more active for her daughter. She felt like she was slowly killing herself by not taking care of herself, so she decided to change. Here is what she share with us about her journey…
Hi, my name is NaTasha and I have always struggled with my weight. I have suffered from asthma as a child and uterine fibroids in my early 20s up to now. All of the different medications I’ve taken have been a negative factor in me maintaining a healthy weight. I even had several myomectomy surgeries to remove my fibroids, but unfortunately they continue to come back.
Being an overweight African-American woman puts me at higher risk for them returning but that wasn’t enough for me to change my bad eating habits. My motivation truly came from my daughter, who is 3 years old. She was and still is my main motivation. No matter how she is feeling, she is always ready to run, jump, dance, sing. She truly is just a living example of pure joy.
I became real sluggish and lacked the strength to keep up with her whenever she wanted to dance, go to the park and do any physical activity. I still did as much as I could, but I knew I was letting her down by not being able to spend more of the necessary quality time in the areas that she loved. Watching a movie and coloring wasn’t enough. I needed to move with her and I couldn’t do much. I was slowly killing myself by not taking care of myself.
I noticed after one fun, exciting day for her I was drained. I didn’t realize how bad I had gotten until I got footage back from a production I was in and I didn’t recognize myself. My daughter on the other hand recognized me. She told me that my costume was too tight and I needed to give it away to charity. That was my “ah ha “moment and I vowed to change no matter how hard it would be. Now, my daughter is my regular workout partner rain or shine and continues to keep me motivated.
I changed my eating habits by becoming cognizant and accountable for my choices. In order to do this, I started counting my calories using MyFitnessPal. By inputting all of my meals, I was now aware of the damage and held myself responsible to not make the same mistakes over and over gain. Counting calories required me to make small changes by cutting out sodas, juice and sweet iced tea. NO MORE wasting my calories by drinking them. I always drank large amounts of water so increasing my intake of it was no issue. I replaced my daily drinking of two bottles of ginger ale to water, water and more water.
I then stopped snacking. My snacking use to consist of chips, chocolate bars, sugary ice cups, cookies, Cheetos and more junk. I would take daily trips to the local dollar store and purchase boxes of movie theatre candy that I would eat in one day. I completely cut that out. As a matter of fact, I stopped going to the store until I knew that I could resist buying anymore candy. You would be surprised how much sugar is in a handful of M&Ms. I stopped with fast food and going out to eat unless I could verify that the health content of the food was beneficial for me. I stopped eating late at night, roughly an hour and 30 minutes before bed. The only exception is if I was working late and if I did it eat late it had to be something packed with protein (egg, nonfat Greek yogurt, lean meat) with vegetables.
I made sure that I ate breakfast; skipping meals would cause me to over eat. I also started increasing my vegetable intake and made sure I had a serving with each meal (breakfast, lunch dinner- in between snacks). I decreased my carbs and eliminated fried foods, except for once a week. I have one major cheat meal or item (French fries) a week because depriving yourself will cause you to over indulge. After a while your body and mind will not want to cheat, but if you must have just 1 meal and not a whole day. If you do anymore than that, you will regret it (trust me). Also, I recently started replacing a meal with a green smoothie and that is usually before or after my workouts.
After 6 years on my job, I finally started to consistently get up and take my breaks at work. I used them for walking. I started off with a daily goal of 5,000 steps and moved it up to 6, 000. Then, I increased my goal to 10,000 and I gradually continue to increase my steps. I also increase my distance, as well as my speed. I continue to challenge myself and avoid boredom. At home, I would work out 5-6 days a week using the app DailyBurn. This helps me with cardio and strength through HIIT workouts. Sometimes, I will do two workouts because I am energized and excited that I could keep up. Now, I have incorporated at least 15 minutes of dancing after my work out with The Fitness Marshall’s videos on YouTube and 2-3 days of weight training.
I weighed in today and I am down 63 lbs, having gone from 282 pounds to 219 pounds and from size 22W to size 14. I am 5’7″ tall. My transformation has taken about 5 1/2 months, I started on Labor Day Monday, September 7, 2015, after the weekend when I had my last plate of BBQ, and I am still going.
Advice for others: Take baby steps. Rome was not built in one day, so pace yourself. Set realistic goals that will challenge you but not discourage you. Never base your journey on someone else because everyone is different. Believe in yourself. You can do more than you really give yourself credit for. If you aren’t ready, then get ready because you’re only wasting time. Don’t tell anyone your weight loss, dieting, exercising goals. It becomes discouraging when you progression is slow and all eyes are on you. Instead, let them tell you they see change and then fill them in. Finally, this is your life and it is up to you to live it.