Weight Loss Success Story: Saalihah lost 91 pounds. She worked hard to change her life to avoid chronic health issues and develop a healthy lifestyle. Read all about her 2 year weight loss journey below:
What was your motivation?
“My motivation was first myself. I realize I have to live in this body on a daily basis and I got sick and tired of being sick and tired literally and figuratively. I often denied that I could have any medical problems because there isn’t a history of health related issues in my family. I also assumed that because I was young nothing could happen to me. Not me! No way! In 2011 I was encouraged to check my blood pressure and results were pre-hypertensive. At that moment I had a nervous feeling about my future and silently, to myself, I knew I had to change. Suddenly, along with knowing the results of a simple blood pressure test, I began have chest pains that weren’t explainable. I didn’t want to go to the doctors and be told something that would frighten me any further, so when my birthday came on December 2011 I made a commitment to myself to change my life for the better. I never looked back.”
How did you change your eating habits?
“I changed my eating habits by counting my calories. At first, I used a food journal where I wrote every bite, lick and taste. I then moved onto Myfitnesspal where I kept a daily log consistency, documenting all food eaten and any workouts I would do. My stopped eating anything white, increased my fiber intake to at least 25 grams per day and consumed a decent amount of protein and healthy fats. My water intake increased and my sodium decreased. I read labels (which kept me the stores longer) to avoid buying foods with high fructose corn syrup, MSG and trans fat (also goes one known name as hydrogenated cottonseed oil or palm oil, often found in the ingredients). Choosing more vegetables and fruit over refined sugary foods.”
What did your workout routines look like?
“My workouts were of a variety, from kickboxing, strength training, walking, aerobics, HIIT, kettle bell workouts, and running. I embraced running seriously in 2013 and have done several races which included completing 3 half marathons. My dedication to exercise is so serious that I have over 150 workouts videos saved in my Youtube playlist to-date. Most of the time my workouts would be done in the morning before 9am. I started off with working out 3-4 days per week and then moved to 5 days per week consistently. As I lost weight my health improved and I wasn’t getting sick as much, thus allowing me to stay on top of my workouts.”
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
“My heaviest starting weight in 2006 was 247 lbs but in 2011 my starting weight was 236 lbs. My current weight is 145 lbs.”
How long did your transformation take?
“It took me 2 years.”
What advice to you have for others who want to lose weight?
“My advice to others is focus on what’s most important in your life that and “living well” should be at the top of the list. If we aren’t taking care of or loving ourselves, how can we give the best to others? Learn to put yourself first and know that YOU matter above all. Stay consistent, even if your steps are small the point is to never give up. When obstacles cross your path knock them out with a plan of action. Focus on smalls goals such as “I want to lose my first 5lbs”. Write down your goals and share your journey with others. This keeps you accountable. Finally, be determined, remain patient, understand life will try to trip you up but always bounce back and remember your ultimate goal. I am proud to say, I am a black woman losing weight!”