Weight Loss Story of the Day: Tashima lost 40 pounds. This proud mom felt that her son deserved a fit and healthy mom. She did her research and found lots of resources online to help her on her journey. Now, she’s sharing tips and information with us that she’s learned along the way, as well as her success story.
My name is Tashima Walker. I’m from the island of Jamaica, 30 years old and I am the mother of a 2 year old son. My health and fitness journey started after the birth of my son in December 2012. The reality hit me very fat that my “baby fat” wasn’t going away on its own as everyone had told me. That fact was compounded by the result of a Health Risk Assessment (HRA) I had in May 2013. It was then that I discovered that I not only overweight but also now at risk for chronic lifestyle diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension. In that moment, I decided that I was going to live my best life now, not tomorrow, next week or next year. I was going to start today. I made this decision for my son, as he deserved a mother that was healthy, fit and able to be there for him in every aspect of his life.
The internet and social media was a big motivator and source of information for me. I started researching how to lose weight the healthy way and made notes of the most consistent pointers I saw on proper NUTRITION coupled with EXERCISE. I eventually found some amazingly fit moms on Instagram, like Natalie Jill (Nutritionist, Fitness Model and Trainer), My Nguyen (Meal Prep Guru) and Audrey (Fitness Fanatic). I have since started weight training at the gym, while still using fitness experts on Instagram and YouTube to keep me motivated with workout and meal preparation tips.
I started at 185 pounds with a size 40 waist (UK size) and a size XL. This was the largest I’d been unto that point, at 5’7” tall. Throughout the first year of my fitness journey, I stayed away from the scale and used the fit of my clothes to chart my progress. At the end of year one, I weighed 155 pound and this was achieved from changing my diet and working out at home for at least 3 days a week. I initially stopped eating baked foods such as breads, donuts, cakes and anything with flour. I also cut most white foods like potatoes and switched to more complex carbs such as sweet potato, pumpkin and plantain.
These are some nutrition tips that worked for me during year one and even now:
- Portion control – It is critical that we know and understand the basic food groups and the daily required intake. This also speaks to having understanding the serving sizes listed on food labels to ensure we are not overeating.
- Eat meals that contain less chemicals and minimal processing. For example, having boiled eggs and soaked oats is more nutritious than cereal.
- Water is essential to maintaining a healthy body and mind, as the body is approximately 70% water. H2O also needed to filter out waste from the body.
- The body absorbs nutrients best when consumed raw or in a liquid form. Eating fruit, vegetables salads and smoothies are MUST.
- Never skip a meal especially breakfast; most people are fat as they skip meals and even more are sick due to skipping breakfast. The reason is simple. During sleep the body goes an extended period of time without food. As such it is important to re-energize with morning meal as this helps to regulate our blood sugar level.
- The 80:20 rule is a reminder that we are humans and we will falter. However, the key is to maintain a healthy diet 80% of the time. That way, the 20% that we may fall off our plan will not be too detrimental.
- Meal planning and preparation is a must. I plan my days from breakfast to dinner especially when I am going to be away from home. The temptations are too real and we easy slip up by snacking.
Presently, I weigh 145 pounds with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 20 and I wear a size Small. I have also reduced my waistline to 29 inches and increased my hips by 1 ½, which I contribute to weight training. I have advanced from home works to training at the gym for 3-4 days for the week. Today, I have lost and kept off over 40 lbs and have developed lean muscle in places I never thought existed. I am fit, healthy and happy. I can safely say that I am in the best shape of my life.
My best advice to anyone, especially my fellow sisters, who wants to make that step to a healthier you, is to decide that it’s a long term lifestyle change. This is a lifelong journey. Set small measurable goals that you can redefine as you progress and achieve them. However, don’t tie them to events or measurements; meaning losing this amount of weight by that date or reach this size by that date. To capture my progress when I started weight training, I challenged myself to do a wall assisted handstand and also unassisted pull ups. This helped me to chart my progress and also forced me to work harder on my upper body and core strength.
Trust the process and believe in yourself. Commit your time and efforts to learning new things. Result will never happen overnight. It will take time, especially for others to notice your progress. However always remember progress is progress no matter if it’s slow and spelled in common letters. The only failure would be to remain where you are without making any change.
My current health/fitness regimen includes the following:
- One raw meal daily, most times a green fruit/vegetable smoothie
- Manage my processed food intake by meal preparation and planning
- Weight train at least 3 days per week and HIIT cardio once a week
- Increase my lean protein and healthy fats intake by having more nuts, vegetables and fish
- Minimize/limit meat consumption to fish and chicken
You can follow me on Instagram @mizz_waughker where I share my transformation pictures, meals and work out tips. I also have a blog (which is a bit dormant due to limited time) which is www.josefeenstrinketbox.blogspot.com where you can also get information on meal preparation, weight loss tips and motivation, among other things. My ultimate goal now is to keep progressing and challenging my body. I am also in the process of completing an ebook which will contain healthy eating tips and facts, as well as meal preparation ideas.