Update: Tameika lost 90 pounds, and she has kept pounds off for 15 years. Our Jamaican Canadian sista released the weight by eating healthy food, training hard, and focusing on creating a sustainable lifestyle. She also developed a passion for helping women change their lives. We asked her to share how she has been so successful with maintenance.
When did you start your journey? How long did your transformation take?
My journey started 15 years ago. It took me nine months to lose 90 pounds, and I’ve been able to maintain that weight loss for 15 years!
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
My starting weight was 230 pounds, and my current weight is around 140 pounds.
What is your height?
I am 5’2″.
Is weight loss surgery part of your journey?
No weight loss surgery.
What has made you so successful at maintenance?
In my opinion, maintenance starts with your weight loss journey. Even when losing weight, it was very important to me to develop a lifestyle that was sustainable.
I had lost weight and gained it back so many times that I was committed to finding something that would stick to long-term. Because of this, I always steered away from extreme diets, programs, and approaches (as attractive as they were). Maintaining my 90-pound weight loss has been relatively easy because I’m just living a lifestyle that I built while losing weight.
Why do you have such a passion for helping others?
For the last ten years, my full-time focus has been helping thousands of women achieve the same success I have found. I have a passion for helping others because I see how the industry steers us in the wrong direction. The industry makes us believe that we have to take extreme measures to see results (cutting carbs, going on diet plans, working out intensely, etc.), and that’s just not the case.
I help women see how attainable a balanced and healthy lifestyle can be. I help them assess their true areas of opportunity on this journey. This usually consists of finding the RIGHT approach, being patient, and staying consistent/committed. With all of the demands of life and what society places on us, this process should not add stress. It’s my divine mission to help as many women as I can see this is possible.
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What you’ve learned about living a healthy lifestyle, fitness, and yourself as a person?
I’ve learned that anything I put my mind to, I can achieve. I’ve never felt so empowered, strong, and confident in my abilities as I felt after losing weight. Since I’ve lost weight, I’ve gone on to travel the world full-time, start my own business and become extremely successful. I’ve just been able to step into my power. I think it all started with taking control of my health journey and finding success with that.
What is your motivation?
My motivation while losing weight: I knew that I had so much potential, but the excess weight I was carrying was holding me back. I had dreams that I wanted to accomplish, and I needed a strong physical body to get me there.
When I wanted to give up, I would allow myself to have the moment, feel bad, and hop off the wagon. However, I always made sure it was a temporary situation. I would always get back on that wagon, and I never beat myself up. I incorporated a lot of grace into my process. No matter how many times I fell, I would just get back up. It was that commitment [to simply getting back up] that allowed me to keep going. I accepted the fact that I could never be perfect 100% of the time, and that had to be OK.
How did you change your eating habits?
To change my eating habits, I focused on doing things in a sustainable way. For example, I had an addiction to sugar. Instead of cutting sugar out of my life cold turkey (which I had tried and failed 1000 times before), I slowly started to remove sugar from my life. Instead of having a full chocolate bar, I would have half a chocolate bar. This slow but steady approach to all of my habits has allowed me to integrate healthy habits into my lifestyle seamlessly.
What did your workout routine consist of? How often did you work out?
15 years later, my workout routine hasn’t changed much at all. I still stay away from extreme programs and find ways to incorporate healthy and sustainable habits into a lifestyle. For me, that means working out four days a week and doing yoga two times per week. My typical week looks like this:
Monday – Upper Body Strength Training + 10,000 Steps
Tuesday – Lower Body Strength Training
Wednesday – Yoga + 10,000 Steps
Thursday – Core + 10,000 Steps
Friday – Yoga
Saturday – HIIT + 10,000 Steps
Sunday – OFF
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far/What advice do you have for women who want to lose weight?
The biggest lesson/piece of advice I’ve learned over the last 15 years is that this lifestyle is for life. I invite anyone who is approaching this journey to think about the long-term journey. Once you lose the weight, you’ve got to maintain it! Instead of approaching this journey like a race that will come to an end, approach your journey with forever in mind. You’ve got to make it sustainable, and you’ve got to make it enjoyable!