Toni lost 88 pounds. She fell into a cycle of binge eating lots of fast food and yo-yo dieting. By learning about nutrition and analyzing her eating habits, she figured out what works for her and got lasting results. Because of what she learned and committed to, she was able to get right back on track after giving birth.
In 2015, I was a teenager living on my own for the first time. I didn’t really know how to cook, and we lived in a food desert, so you can put two and together and see how that impacted me. Ultimately, I started mainly eating fast food, and my weight skyrocketed. The more I ate, the more I craved. My appetite got bigger, and my fast food “meals” turned into full-on binge episodes. My regular Jack order was four tacos with extra cheese, a large fry, three egg rolls, and a large Hi-C – totaling a little less than 2,000 calories. I’d feel terrible, but I’d do it all again. I went from 180 pounds to 245 pounds in just a few months.
At that point, I started to yo-yo diet. I put on more weight, and the binge episodes got worse. It got to the point where I’d have tons of physical pain immediately after eating as well as crying fits and hating myself – that is until 4 hours later when I had to do it all again.
I hit 270 pounds and had my second miscarriage. That’s when I realized I had to do better—no more yo-yo dieting. I needed to take a better approach, so I LEARNED. I downloaded MyFitnessPal and started tracking my calories and drinking more water. At this point, I hadn’t changed my diet. I just wanted to get a general idea of what I was consuming on a regular basis.
I googled nutrition facts and identified the “quick fix” diet culture bull. I learned about real, sustainable weight loss, watched videos, looked up food science, and learned about the bliss point. I watched people’s journeys both with and without sustainable eating habits.
Finally, I adopted a sustainable method of eating, one that didn’t require me to cut out everything that I loved and change my entire lifestyle (because that would vehemently lead to my downfall). Diets fail, and people end up gaining the weight back because cutting out the foods you love isn’t sustainable for long-term permanent weight loss.
I never worked out in the past, so I decided I wouldn’t change that either. I knew exercise was NOT something I could permanently commit to. I had to make PERMANENT changes. So I only focused on my diet by cutting nothing out and simply adding.
I drank a gallon of water a day every day for over a year. I also added more greens and veggies to my diet. Most importantly, I didn’t restrict myself. For example, if I wanted pizza, I’d simply not eat my usual five slices. Instead, I’d have two slices and add a side salad with a vinaigrette to fill me up. If I wanted a chicken sandwich and fries, I’d have a SINGLE chicken sandwich and a small fry. Then I’d balance it out later that night by having zucchini pasta with veggies and ground turkey. I focused on balance and stopped overeating. As a result, I have less desire for fast food and sugary foods.
Fast forward to over two years later and after childbirth: I’m still not working out or sticking to some excessive gym plan when I’ve always hated working out, and I have still kept the weight off.
I started at almost 275 pounds (height: 5’6″) and came down to 197 pounds before getting pregnant. I got a bit nervous around that time, but I stayed diligent and overcame. Yes, I gave in to a lot of cravings during pregnancy and went up to 213 pounds. Now, I’m four months postpartum, and I’m down to my lowest weight in years at 187 pounds (and still steadily losing). My goal weight was 180 pounds, but I’m not stressing the last 7 lbs. I genuinely love my body, and I love the lifestyle and diet I’ve created for myself.
I would tell anyone not to take any shortcuts on their health. Choose longevity and sustainability over quick, semi-permanent results any day!
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