Transformation of the Day: Paula lost 32 pounds. She transformed her body and her mindset by pushing herself in the gym, becoming a runner and going natural. Her line of work helps her to remember the importance of a healthy lifestyle. “I am responsible for eviscerating the organs out of the body for the Medical Examiner. It is a very visual experience, because I see the damages that an unhealthy lifestyle does to the body.” Check out what she shared with us (including a sample of her meals).
Highest Weight: 152 pounds
Current Weight: 120 pounds
My name is Paula Gipson and I am from Atlanta, Georgia. I am 29 years old and I’m a Death Investigation Specialist with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
My weight loss journey began in January 2010. A month after I graduated from college with a degree in Health Science. During my sophomore year until my senior year in college, I put on 35 pounds. I made a lot of poor choices with food and went overboard with bread, cheese and plenty of desserts. Looking back, I realize that I was eating because I had easy access to food with my selected meal plan at my college. Going to Asian buffets and eating hot wings were my ultimate weaknesses. Also, I made multiple excuses not to exercise. The biggest reason was my hair. I had used a relaxer in my hair and wanted to keep my hairstyle on point at all times.
When I moved back home after graduation, my father told me that I could not be out of shape and unemployed. Therefore, it was long overdue for me to join a gym. I joined a gym during the first week of January 2010. I just want to say for the record, that it was not initially love at first sight. I began using the elliptical machine for 20 minutes and walking on the treadmill for 60 minutes.
As the months wore on, I became more motivated when I saw people around me running at a rapid rate on the treadmill. I just knew that if they could do it, I can do it too. I started jogging for 15 minutes in intervals at a steady speed. I set monthly goals for myself. For example, I told myself that I would run one mile straight, nonstop, for a month and increase my speed on a weekly basis. Next thing I knew, I was running at full speed and doing three miles in 23 minutes.
My fitness regimen took off in November 2012 when I chopped my hair off and went natural. It was the best experience ever, because I knew I could workout harder without worrying about my hair anymore. At this time, I was running 5 to 6 miles 6 days a week. Within the past year, I have incorporated strength training to my workouts.
It felt good when various people at my gym began to compliment me on my physique. More importantly, I love it when people asked me if I ran track or cross county.
I made adjustments with my diet, such as cutting back on my meat and eating more vegetables. Today, I can honestly say that I shy away from fast food restaurants and any excessive, unhealthy
snacking. My diet consist of the following:
- Breakfast: Oatmeal with banana and hardboiled egg or Raisin bran with light almond milk.
- Lunch: Green spinach salad with sweet tomatoes, cucumber and carrots, with a side of fruit.
- Dinner: Grilled fish with steamed veggies or spicy kale wraps, with sweet potato fries.
- Snacks: Raisins, pretzels, or apples.
- Plenty of water
There are some major motivations that keeps me going on my weight loss journey. First, it was the death of my Aunt and Uncle, who died of cardiac related issues 2 ½ years apart from each other. Secondly, my job requires me to interact with the human body on a daily basis. I am responsible for eviscerating the organs out of the body for the Medical Examiner. It is a very visual experience, because I see the damages that an unhealthy lifestyle does to the body.
During my fitness journey the most rewarding part is being motivated by other people and being a motivation to the young, middle aged and older people. I always tell people that the journey is not easy, but the struggle is worth it, because the results are rewarding.