Transformation of the Day: Ry lost 55 pounds. Nine months after giving birth, she felt uncomfortable, unhealthy, and borderline depressed. She was also dealing with PCOS and back pain. She decided it was time to adopt a healthier lifestyle so that she could be an active, healthy, and happy example for her daughter.
What was your motivation? What inspired you to keep going, even when you wanted to give up?
While I was pregnant, I was only 1 point or percentage (however it’s calculated) away from being diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Then, after I gave birth, I had a hard time recovering due to internal bleeding issues during delivery. Accordingly, I was always lying around and getting lazier by the day.
When my child turned six months old, she started crawling. The day before she turned nine months old, she took her first steps. I soon realized that I didn’t want to be a mom who couldn’t play with her kid at home or at the park. I didn’t want my child to end up like me or develop the unhealthy habits I possessed. Also, I was tired of being out of breath from simply walking from one room to another to chase her down.
Not only was I uncomfortable, unhealthy, borderline depressed, but I also hated what I saw in the mirror! It had gotten to the point that I no longer felt comfortable undressing in front of my fiance. Even worse, I couldn’t fit ANYTHING in my closet. So I started wearing my fiance’s sweats and t-shirts, so I didn’t have to buy any new clothes.
The turning point for me came when I started gaining more weight and got to 198 pounds. I told myself I could NOT let myself get back into the 200s like I was when I was pregnant. Between the number on the scale increasing AGAIN, me being uncomfortable completing my mom duties, being depressed, and having no clothes left that fit, I finally decided enough was enough!
When I started my journey, I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I wanted to give myself a fair shot at success, so I gave it my all! The journey wasn’t perfect, but I was determined NEVER to have any of those feelings again. This process was kind of like leaving a bad relationship, and I was DONE. So even when I wanted to give up, I remembered my “why” – Why I started, the feelings I no longer wanted to feel, the image in the mirror I no longer wanted to see, and the daughter I had to be an example for. My “why” kept fuel in my engine.
Today, I still remember my “why,” but I have also dedicated myself to helping others come to the realization that I did by providing that gateway to a better, healthier life. I needed someone to hold my hand and teach me what to do, and now I do that for others. That keeps me going even when I want to go back to being lazy because now I’m not just an example for my daughter. I’m an example for EVERYONE of what is possible. Helping even just one person to not be in the kind of negative space in life that I was in makes me feel like I’m living in the purpose God has made me for. There’s no better feeling.
How did you change your eating habits?
With PCOS, it was hard for me to get pregnant. I tried Keto for a bit, but it was unsustainable for me. I’ve loved carbs since I was a baby, so it was too drastic of a diet for me. So, although I lost a few pounds, I gained it all right back (just like with all the dozens of other diets I tried).
While I was pregnant, I ate brownie ice cream sundaes almost daily. In addition, I had king-sized candy bars after nearly every meal, along with every other unhealthy food you can name (including fast food). At one point, I could arguably eat more than my 240lb fiance, which was quite a slap in the face, but it didn’t stop me!
Now, I have learned that the journey is 80% what we eat. This realization has contributed significantly to me losing weight and keeping it off.
My diet consisted of a more balanced nutritional approach that some may consider low-carb. I still use this approach today. It’s comprised of 40% protein, 30% fats, and 30% carbs. However, I don’t count calories or my macros. Instead, I fill my plate half full of vegetables, 1/4 with protein, and 1/4 with healthy carbs.
Additionally, I use Herbalife shakes and tea, which have been the highlighting factor in my success. I’ve learned how to eat right while using the products to help me reach my goals.
What did your workout routine consist of? How often did you work out?
When I first started losing weight, I didn’t work out much at all. If anything, I would do an hour of brisk walking. Instead, I focused on getting my nutrition right because even doing simple exercises like lunges (and sometimes walking) caused knee pain. Back pain was also an issue for me, so I really didn’t do much exercise.
Now that the weight is gone, I can exercise without pain. I play with my daughter without pain or insecurities. I don’t have any more knee pain or back pain. Also, I have recently gotten a gym membership to focus on lifting weights and muscle building. I use resistance bands and dumbbells for home workouts and the gym for my heavy lifting.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
I started at 198 pounds and got down to 143 pounds, which is a number I don’t even remember seeing in high school! I’ve been maintaining at around 145 pounds for a couple of months now.
What is your height?
When did you start your journey? How long did your transformation take?
I started walking and trying to figure out what the heck I was going to do around November 2020. Unfortunately, that didn’t yield much of a result. I actually started getting results when I changed my diet and began using Herbalife products in late February 2021. I have maintained 145lbs since about the end of July. Overall, it took about five months to lose 55 lbs.
Is weight loss surgery part of your journey?
I have not had weight loss surgery, but I respect those who have.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that sometimes we all need help figuring it out. Also, just because we’ve been doing certain things since we were kids doesn’t make it right! We may need to unlearn a LIFETIME of unhealthy habits to yield the results we want, which takes time! We didn’t get here overnight, and we won’t get where we’re going overnight.
The people you see on social media, at the gym, or even at the grocery store all had to start somewhere! It’s important to realize that it is not fair to compare Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 20.
What advice do you have for women who want to lose weight?
I advise you to start small and MAKE YOURSELF A PRIORITY. As women, we tend to take care of the house, the kids, the husband, our other family members and friends, and everything else. Meanwhile, we forget to take care of ourselves. You can’t pour from an empty cup, Queen! You HAVE to make yourself a priority if you want to lose weight.
So, here are a few tips:
First, trust God and trust the process. It all starts with asking for help because Faith without work is dead. Additionally, eat in smaller portions. Stop eating right before bed. Drink more water. Eat more protein. Don’t be afraid of exercise, specifically weight lifting!
Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of a brisk walk. Even 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there throughout the day is more beneficial than doing nothing at all!
Be kind to yourself, and when you mess up (I know you will because we ALL do.), jump right back on track like you never left! Doing something good consistently is better than doing something great inconsistently.