Transformation of the Day: Tonya lost 45 pounds. She didn’t like how she looked in pictures and didn’t want any of her photos posted to social media. She started her journey last summer by joining an online training program. With meal prep, lots of exercise and intermittent fasting, she has transformed.
What was your motivation? What inspired you to keep going when you wanted to give up?
My motivation was looking at pictures of myself. I realized that I did not look like myself, and did not want to post any photos on my social media. My inspiration was looking back on when I was healthy and in shape several years ago. Last summer, during my anniversary, I kept saying that I hated every picture I took with my spouse and not to post any because I was too big.
I took one last look at myself in the mirror last summer with no clothes on and realized how bad I let myself go. I was wearing a sundress that would hide my shape and pants with elastic in the waistline along with a loose-fitting, size XL shirt. I knew then that I had to change how I eat.
I joined the Heat Challenge because I needed something to get my motivation and drive going. It is a competition, so that gave me the push I needed to get started. Watching other people’s results was greatly motivating. I knew I could do it once I set my mind to it. I worked out 5-6 days a week and sometimes twice a day.
How did you change your eating habits?
I changed my eating habits by getting the meal prep routine down, Mon-Fri. Meal prepping really eliminates the temptation to buy fast food when you are at work. I prep and take my breakfast and lunch to work. I had my dinner waiting when I got home. I also made sure to only eat during my window, starting at 10 AM and nothing after 8 PM since I was doing the intermittent fasting.
I stopped eating a lot of bread and foods with high sugar. I started eating more protein, veggies, and fruit. I did not count calories or macros. After doing the Heat Challenge a few times, I learned portion control when meal prepping. As I got used to my new normal, I realized you don’t miss bad foods when you see the results you worked so hard for. I do have cheat meals sometimes, but I don’t overdo it. I want people to know just because we change our lifestyle to a healthier lifestyle, it does not mean you can’t indulge here and there. As long as you have a workout routine, and you continue to drink lots of water and burn calories, your body continues to burn fat.
Tell us about your workout routine.
I worked out 5-6 days a week on the Heat Challenge and sometimes twice a day. I would do fasted cardio in the morning before eating and weight training or HIIT later. I love cardio, and the treadmill is my best friend. I had to get used to weight training because I use to say, ” I don’t want to look masculine.” After learning its about toning and not lifting heavy, I got used to the weights. Now I have no problem using weights. Two days a week would be HIIT workouts. The other days would consist of running 3-5 miles on the treadmill or getting on the stair master for 40 minutes and weight training.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
My starting weight was 215 pounds (The biggest I have ever been). My current weight is 170 pounds. My goal weight was 175 lbs. My new goal is to get down to 165 lbs and maintaining.
What is your height?
I am 5’6″.
When did you start your journey? How long did your transformation take?
I started my journey at the end of July 2019. It took me until March 2020, almost eight months, to get to where I am today.
Is weight loss surgery part of your journey?
No, I did not have weight loss surgery. I do believe it’s needed for some people who have been battling obesity most of their life and have over 100 lbs to lose. I only needed to lose 40 pounds, and now that I have reached my goal, this is the part where the work really comes in with maintaining.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is your health is very important. As we get older, we have to be more conscious of what we put into our bodies. You can still indulge in some of your favorite foods in moderation. You don’t have to work out seven days a week to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Also, meal prep can become your best friend. It allows you to stick to a plan and not stop at your favorite fast food and pick up unhealthy foods.
What advice do you have for people who want to lose weight?
First, prepare yourself mentally to transform your body into how you want it to look. Don’t try to look like someone else. Our bodies are all made up differently, and some people lose weight in stubborn areas faster. Stay your course.
Know that it’s easy to put the weight on and even harder to get it off. Start in the kitchen, where 80% of your weight loss happens. Add the other 20% in the gym, where you will burn fat into muscle and tone your body.
Each week, take a picture to compare your progress from your first week. Don’t get on the scale every day or every other day. The scale will make you feel like you are not doing enough. Try on clothes you have not been able to wear because that’s where you see real results. I tried on some pants I have had for over 20 years, and now I can fit them again. My waistline went from a 36 down to a 28. Your clothes don’t lie.
I stuck to intermittent fasting. This type of fasting makes you rely on that 10-hour eating window (only liquids after that). Do fasted cardio in the morning on an empty stomach. This is when you burn fat faster.