Weight Loss Story of the Day: Roleen lost 80 pounds and has kept the weight off for years. After years of unhealthy eating and a diagnosis of pre-diabetes she decided to change her life and fight obesity. Here is what she shared with us about her journey…
What was your motivation? What inspired you?
I am completely comfortable sharing that I was in a dark place when my initial weight gain happened. As a self-proclaimed “chubby girl,” I have always enjoyed fast food, junk foods and sweets. Eating unhealthy foods was a norm for me. As an adult, those habits continued. In 2002, I began a toxic relationship that resulted in years of trying to heal the pain with food. During this time, I gained over fifty pounds and was clinically “obese.” In 2005, I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic and I had to lose weight to avoid being on medication. I was scared, but I knew I had to make a change!
How did you change your eating habits?
At first, I worked on portion control. I ate the same foods (fast food, junk food), but in smaller doses. I lost 10 lbs just by eating less, but I was unable to lose more than that. Once I hit a plateau, I researched exercise routines and added more fruits and vegetables into my diet. At my heaviest, I ate fast food for all 3 meals. There was literally no food in my fridge, only cans of soda. My kitchen cabinets and pantry were filled with an assortment of chips, cookies and other junk food. I emptied my cabinets, threw away the soda and replaced the junk with healthy foods. I was able to lose 70 additional pounds by eating better and exercising.
Now, I stock up on lean meats, fruits, vegetables, hummus and whole grains. It’s so much fun to research new recipes to try out. Eating healthy is so delicious and filling. I eat many times throughout the day, instead of three big meals. I plan my meals out and freeze what I don’t eat. I carry a large insulated lunch container with food so that I don’t make bad food choices at work.
What did your workout routines look like? How often did you workout?
Six times a week, I do cardio and toning. I rest on Saturdays. My cardio is either jogging, running or a group fitness class. I teach Zumba on Tuesday and Thursdays. Toning is free weights, machines or exercise moves with targeted muscles. Exercising should be fun. I love going to Zumba and kickboxing classes because the music is enjoyable and I get amped up from it. It’s important to find an exercise routine that you enjoy so that it doesn’t feel like a chore.
What was your starting weight? What is your height?
I went from 190 pounds to 110 pounds at 5’2″ tall.
How long did your transformation take?
A year and a half. I have maintained goal weight since 2006.
What advice do you have for others who want to lose weight?
If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail! Meal prep is extremely important to losing weight. Avoid social eating at work and bring your own lunch and snacks instead. My go-to lunches are: huge salads filled with all types of veggies, soups, chilli, soups and lots of healthy snacks. Before going out with friends, look up restaurants online so you can plan what to eat. Try to eat foods that are natural and from the earth, instead of processed. I love eating juicy, lean cuts of steak or salmon at restaurants, paired with grilled or steamed vegetables. Brown rice and plain sweet potatoes are another healthy side options.