Transformation of the Day: Norma lost 80 pounds with healthy food and exercise. She was on three meds for high blood pressure, and she constant swelling in her ankles and feet. After a medical emergency, she decided that she didn’t want to die due to something that is under her control. Her journey started at the end of January 2020, and she hasn’t looked back.
My name is Norma, and I lost 80 pounds. My starting weight was 255 pounds (my highest was 270 lbs). I now weigh 175 pounds. I was a size 20, and now I wear a size 12. There were days when I wanted to give up, but I have an incredible support system that pushed me.
What was your motivation?
I was never happy with my weight, and I just kept eating my feelings away. My weight loss journey started on January 30, 2020. I had uncontrollable blood pressure and was taking three pills a day. I couldn’t go up or down stairs because my knees hurt so much. My ankles and feet were always swollen. Most of the time, I could not strap my sandals by myself. My husband or daughter had to do it for me.
One day, I was having a casual conversation with my bestie. He had the courage to tell me that I needed to get my weight under control, if not for me but for my two girls who will be motherless if I die. He shared his concern with me, and I remember being upset that he would say something like this to me. Three days later, I had a bad headache, and I did not feel well. My cousin, who is a Nurse, advised me to go to the doctor as she suspected it was my blood pressure. When I got there, my numbers were 168/110. My doctor was so concerned about my numbers that she ordered an EKG immediately. They gave me something to drop the pressure, and I had to stay in the office for an hour and a half so they could monitor the pressure. The doctor was afraid of letting me drive home in case I had a stroke.
The next day I decided that I don’t want to die because of something I can control. I decided to start that day, which was a Thursday. I knew I wanted to go low carb because I have done it before, and it worked. The following month, COVID-19 started. I decided I would not let that detour me from my goal. I stayed focused even though we were quarantined.
How did you change your eating habits? Tell us about your workout routine.
I lost the first 45 pounds by just eating low carb since the gyms were closed. Once the gyms opened up in June, I started doing boot camp and Zumba. By July, I started working with a trainer who helped me understand the benefits of weight lifting because I was a die-hard cardio girl. I also worked with a dietician who told me how many calories I should be eating daily to lose weight.
I LOVE food, especially pasta and desserts. I am a Haitian-American. Therefore, most of our meals consist of rice. I had to decide each time if that rice is worth it. It really is all about choices and wanting the results. I allowed myself one cheat meal a week, and that has worked well for me. It was like I had something to look forward to if I did well all week.
I enjoy working out, so I do it 5 to 6 days a week. I couldn’t walk for 5 minutes before. Now, I jog weekly. I can’t believe it! Now, I see this as a lifestyle change and no longer a “diet.” I am so proud of myself for doing this!
What is your height?
I am 5’10”.
Is weight loss surgery or skin removal surgery part of your overall journey?
No surgery. I am open to it in the future, though.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
With God, all things are possible. You can’t pour from an empty cup so take care of yourself. I spent many years taking care of everyone else while neglecting myself.
What advice would you like to share with women who want to lose weight?
My advice to the ladies is:
- Choose your why and focus on that.
- You don’t have to wait for Monday or the next month to start a diet.
- Know that you are human, and you WILL slip up. If you slip up, it’s ok. Just get back on track.
- Use whatever program works for You.
- Plateaus suck. Just change your routine/diet a little, and the scale will move.
- I cannot stress enough the importance of having a support team.
- Being overweight is hard, and exercising is hard. Pick your hard.
- YOU GOT THIS!!