Tracy lost 41 pounds. Support from friends and family members was very important to her success. She heeded her doctor’s warning, changed her eating habits, created a vision board and exercised regularly to lose the pounds. Check out her journey.
What was your motivation?
I have always wanted to lose weight. I weighed over 200 pounds since my freshman year in college and that was over 20 years ago. I fluctuated between 220 pounds and 240 pounds, but I have always been active. I walked at least 3 days per week, but I was also a yo-yo dieter. At my heaviest, I weighed 239 lbs.
In April 2013, I lost my grandmother. During the week of the funeral, one of my cousins, Sarah, who was visiting from California, wanted to exercise because she had been eating badly. People were bringing cakes, pies, macaroni and cheese, chili beans, and of course mountains and mountains of fried chicken. I had a Zumba video that I had borrowed from my sister, so Sarah and I worked out together to combat all of the calories. Working out with her for those few days helped me with my grief. I cried of course, but I knew that my grandmother, who had lived a long and fruitful life, would want me to live and live abundantly.
So, I created a vision board which included my fitness goals. That began my road to fitness. I was also motivated by my doctor giving me one year to lose 10 pounds.
How did you change your eating habits?
Part of my journey, included opening up to my friends. One of my friends challenged me to give up soda for Lent. So, I gave up soda. I decided to drink water and flavored water instead. I also stopped eating fast foods, and started cooking dinner and taking my lunch to work. It didn’t mean that I gave up everything that I loved. I just changed my approach. If I wanted a burger, I made a turkey burger at home. If I wanted chicken, I made baked chicken at home. I’m not a great cook, so I use Pinterest a lot for ideas on making flavorful healthy meals. In addition, I tracked my calories using the My Fitness Pal app.
What did your exercise routine look like?
The biggest change I made was to hire a personal trainer. He has been really instrumental with my workouts and helping me to get stronger. I attend his cardio class on Monday and Wednesdays, and we workout together 3 times per week on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. After I workout with my trainer on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I attend Zumba classes. I also attend my trainer’s boot camp after my personal training sessions with him on Saturdays. It’s a lot, but I really enjoy working out. Training makes me feel strong, and Zumba makes me feel sexy. My trainer is constantly sharing recipes with me and giving me ideas on cooking. It’s not unusual for him to take a picture of a dish made at home and text it to me for inspiration. I’m an educator, so in the summer I have more time to exercise. I add a 30 minute walk to my routine when I can.
Starting weight/Current weight
I started at 239 pounds and I currently weigh 198 pounds, with the ultimate goal to get to 170 pounds. My height is 5’4 ½”.
How long did your transformation take?
This has been a long process. In December 2012, I started texting and sharing with my sorority sisters and friends about my journey. However, I didn’t really get focused until April 2013.
What advice do you have for others who want to lose weight?
1.) Love who you are right now. Weight loss won’t change what is on the inside. If you don’t like yourself now, weight loss won’t make you magically love yourself.
2.) Be open to sharing your goals with family and friends. Someone else may have similar struggles, and when you share with them you will discover who can help motivate you to push you to your goals.
3.) If you are on a tight budget, don’t let it stop you from pursuing your health and wellness goals. Look for activities that you can do for free. For example, I started out with walking and Zumba videos. I also checked out videos from the library, and used the My Fitness Pal and C25k apps which are free. I lost the first 10-15 lbs without spending large amounts of money.