Transformation of the Day: Sabrina lost 60 pounds. This mom of three was facing a number of very serious life challenges and medical issues. She found a plan that worked for her, not just because of the instruction and direction she recieved, but because of the support and positivity she found. Check out her story.
My motivation to lose weight started with me seeing a photo of my son and I at his mother son dance. I rented a designer dress for the event, found the most gorgeous shoes and bag, and should have felt stunning. Instead, after getting someone to take pictures of us at the dance, I immediately wanted to run and hide after looking at the photos. I remember thinking, “Am I really this big?”. I remember staring at my shoulders in the picture and realizing that it wasn’t just my stomach (which had always been a problem area for me). I had become fat. Instead of crying instantly, I saved face and enjoyed the rest of the event with my son… taking more pictures of him instead of us together.
When I got home and looked in the mirror, I decided that enough was enough. I had to gain control over my life. I had health issues that could cause me not to even be around for my children if I didn’t get my health under control. I have had high blood pressure since I was only 19 years old. My blood pressure was at stoke level because I was not taking my meds regularly. My metabolism was horrible, and I only had a bowel movement about twice a week. I was also experiencing severe headaches, stomach cramps and chest pain.
Not only was I unhealthy, but I was going through a lot emotionally due to my husband’s affair that occurred some months prior and a recent sexual assault.
When I got home after the event, I decided then that it was time to focus on me. I had lost myself, but I loved myself and knew it was time to take care of me. I decided that I wanted to control/change everything that I could take control of in my life, and stop stressing over the things I could not control.
It was Spring 2017 when I began this journey. I decided to be more active and to seek ways to make working out fun and enjoyable. I wanted to develop new and healthy habits. Lucky for me a trainer by the name of DeShaun Johnson was doing free standing abs classes on top of Stone Mountain. We would climb the mountain and do 30 minutes of standing abs. That class was amazing, and I loved the view from the top of the mountain. I would use the climb and the walk back down as a way to deal with the emotional strain in my life. Then, I would come home and pop in a Shaun T video. Cize was my actual favorite workout program, but I saw better results with Insanity. (I bought many of these programs and never completed any of them.)
With time, my efforts increased my stamina, but the weight loss didn’t come as I had desired. Then, someone told me about a 28-day program called RI28 and that changed the game entirely. The difference with this program compared to the others is the day to day access to the trainers who created it, as well as the network of support you get from group members. Everyone was so supportive and shared everything! I had never seen anything like it. These people were not only posting their meals and workout pics, but they were showing everything… rolls and all. You got to see people who look like you complete the workouts and watch their bodies transform in as little as 28 days. They would share tips and recipes as well. The actual creators of the program would go live to answer questions and educate us about fitness and health.
To top it all off, the group is a sea of positivity. This is what makes it easy to open up and share. You can post a picture like my before pics above and everyone would comment positively helping you to see your progress when your eyes can’t. Seeing others push through the challenge helps prevent you from giving up. It got to the point where the group would be the first thing I checked in the morning and the last thing I checked at night. I credit the support of this group for my continued motivation and success with the program.
During my first month, I lost 8 pounds and missed the mark on the meal plans. The trainers later called me out in a group chat. They told me I could not get my grilled chicken and kale from fast food restaurants due to the high sodium content amongst other things. My previous diet was all fast food and one unhealthy home cooked meal a day. Even when I tried to eat healthily, I failed because I would buy pre-packaged meals from the grocery store that were listed as healthy, but loaded with sodium and carbs.
RI28 changed my diet to a carb depletion diet. I was not allowed to eat salt, beef or pork. I was only allowed to drink water. I ate mostly oatmeal, fish, chicken and select vegetables, like spinach, kale, and sweet potatoes. I ate grapefruit to satisfy my sweet tooth and help cut fat. I would sometimes take a shot of apple cider vinegar in the morning which I mixed with my freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. I drank half my body weight in water daily and the following month and followed their meal plan religiously. That month I lost 15 pounds. I continued to follow the program every month for a year using the week in between challenges to enjoy a cheat meal or two or dine out with friends.
In the summer, I would wake up first thing in the morning and do my daily RI28 workout which is only about 30 minutes of HIIT. At the beginning that is all I could give. The videos were very challenging, and I would be dripping in sweat afterward. However, that workout was all that it took to see results while following the meal plan. That is even with me modifying some of the moves because my core wasn’t strong enough to lift my legs. I would use the wall or sofa for support. By my third challenge, I was much stronger. I was slaying burpees and looking for other fitness activities to do to occupy my time since I was a teacher and didn’t want to spend the summer ruining my progress. Eventually, I was able to do two videos a day, or meet up with DaShaun for a water resistance abs workout he hosted at a neighborhood pool.
I also found new ways to hang out with friends, like picnics on top of the mountain, heated yoga, twerk yoga, etc. The trainers from RI28 would also invite us for free or low cost $10 classes at their gym, Loft Athletic Club, in Atlanta. My RI28 family became more than an extended family to me. Members have become long-term friends. One member even helped me pay for my son’s asthma medicine when I almost had to sit out a challenge due to money issues related to his medical needs. This support also kept me motivated, and now I am motivating others and looking out for them as a way to pay it forward.
Now, I am down about 60lbs. I started at about 186 pounds in April 2017, and now I weigh 126 pounds. This journey is amazing. Getting results and seeing the change kept me motivated. I dropped about a dress size or two each challenge. I started in a size 14 (squeezing into 12s), and now I’m a size 2.
My health is much better, and I am happier now. My blood pressure is now at safe levels. My energy is through the roof. I have broken my soda addiction (used to drink a 12 pack daily). My skin and hair are benefiting from all the water I drink.
My advice to anyone is to love yourself enough to commit to a better you. Find a routine or program that you enjoy and that works for you. Don’t be afraid if you lose friends in the process. Those who don’t understand you and stray away at first will come back around after watching to transform. You will find that you motivate them eventually. It is fun to watch those who were negative at first now occurred to me for advice and support. So, don’t listen to negativity. Set smart goals for YOURSELF. If I listened to people who told me that I didn’t need the program and that I should stop, I would still be a chubby mom of three with high blood pressure.
Also, take side by side photos monthly to help you see your progress. Stay off the scale because it is the devil. The numbers fluctuate and can distract you from your goals. Lastly, trust the process.”Your dream body isn’t on Amazon. It won’t arrive in two days”. I accomplished this without surgery or magical pills. You can do it, so get to it!
Disclaimer: Reference or link to any specific product, diet plan, exercise plan or service mentioned in the weight loss stories we share is for the information of our readers, and does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by Black Women Losing Weight.