Update Sept 2017: Sophia lost 88 pounds and she’s successfully kept the weight off. Today, as a certified fitness instructor, she is helping people in her area achieve their goals. We asked her to share how she’s maintained her success as she approaches her 47th birthday. Check out what she shared with us.
I am currently headed in to the 4th year of my weight loss journey. I have successfully maintained my success for three years (as of March 2017). Currently, I am a certified instructor in 4 areas of fitness, teaching at one of the largest gym facilities in my city. I have also had the opportunity to work side by side with the trainer who helped me reach my goals, assisting him in a community bootcamp in our city. Working side by side with him was a wonderful experience. Having a chance to speak and mentor others on their journeys has been the most rewarding thing of it all.
At first I went into my weight loss journey with a mindset focused on dieting, losing pounds and getting skinny. However, over the years I have learned that it’s not about being skinny for the moment. Instead, it’s about making a transition into a lifestyle change. I have learned to eat foods that I never ate before that are now satisfying to me and that I enjoy eating. I no longer emotional eat when problems arise. I have learned to be active and stay moving during those most difficult times in my life.
My advice: Stay in the race. As I tell the people in my classes, “Don’t give in or up. You are in control. Don’t be defeated, just stay focused.”
Today, I feel great. I turn 47 years old in less then a month. I can tell you that I haven’t felt this good before. Feeling healthy and looking healthy is such an awesome experience. I’ll leave you with this: Be encouraged. You got this! Keep it healthy!
Transformation of the Day: Sophia lost 88 pounds over the last 2 years. She made a commitment to healthy eating, meal planning and exercise with the help of a personal trainer. Now, she is helping other people reach their goals as a Certified Spinning Instructor and Licensed Zumba Instructor. Check out what she shared with us about how she took action to change her life.
I remember one day when I was sitting on my bed getting dressed for work, and all of a sudden as I began to bend down to tie my shoe I came up to breathe and could not catch my breath. That day was my turning point. Obesity does not run in my family, so I have been on a weight battle for a long time. Taking pills, shots, weight loss shakes… whatever I thought that would get rid of the pounds. At one time, I was down to 135 pounds. I was skinny, fragile, felt unhappy and did not look healthy. I would starve myself and thought eating salads everyday would keep the weight away. Of course, that eventually got boring and I began eating and picking up weight again. At this point, I just gave up and said, “Whatever, I’m going to eat when and what I want.” Later, before the blink of an eye, I was at my heaviest at 220 pounds. I have never been that heavy, even when carrying my sons to full term during pregnancy.
So, I was over it and done. I knew it was time for me to take full control of my health and my life. I was talking with a great sister friend of mine who was on a weight loss journey and she encouraged me to talk with a personal trainer who attended our church. At first, I was like “been there”. I did that for a minute, a long time ago and I was not trying to waste my money just to fail at that again. Time passed and I happen to visit a gym down the street from my house where my friend was a member as well. I was finally introduced to the trainer while working out and he asked me to come back to a workout room in the back of the gym. I remember it as if it was today. I came out that training room after working out with him that one time and I never looked back. That was March 2013 and he became my trainer. My weight lost journey started.
I must admit it was hard at first. My personal trainer had me eating a meal plan that was pretty tough, but I was determined to make the change. I was not wasting my pennies for a second time. I worked out 3 days a week for 30 minutes (sometimes 45 minutes). His first advice to me was “Sophia, I can take care of you in the gym, but when you leave me you’re on your own. You have to do right and stay faithful to your journey.” Time past and I begin to see the pounds disappear. I was so amazed that I could hardly wait to work out. I begin to drop so much weight that people swore I had a weight loss surgery, but of course I hadn’t.
Changing my eating habits was hard at first. I really had to go cold turkey. No sweets, fried foods, pasta, sodas and juice. I ate wheat bread, turkey, baked foods, lots of green vegetables, fruit and tons of water. I gave up my favorite of all favorites: sweet tea. Changing the way I ate felt very strict at the time, but now it has become a healthy lifestyle. I still eat all those healthy foods, but from time to time I have treats. It’s surprising that I can eat or taste something sweet or fried for just a moment and then I’m over it and I don’t want it anymore. I have learned not to deny myself some of the sweeter things I like, just as long as I do it in moderation.
I started out at 220 pounds and as of today I am a healthy 132 pounds (height: 5’6″). Started in a size 18-20 and now I am in a size 0-2. I feel better at 45 years old than I did in my twenties. I have not only met my goal, but invested in lifestyle fitness changes. I am now a Certified Spinning Instructor as well as a Licensed Zumba Instructor. I try to encourage others that may be struggling with their journey. I remind them that it can be done. I advise them not look at this journey as a diet or losing weight, but to look at as a lifestyle journey and lasting change. I am happy to have seen so many friends succeed and start their journey. In the future, I am looking to become a Weight Loss Life Coach so that I can help others fight for their life and earn it back. As always I end with this simple message as I end my day; Peace and Blessings and as always keep it healthy!!