Update May 2018: Twanja lost 25 more pounds for a total of 65 pounds gone. Check out her update.
I started my weight loss journey in May of 2017. I lost 51 pounds within the first 5 months. My current weight loss total is 65 pounds. Then, I decided to focus more on building lean muscles. Everyone’s body is different and it’s not going to do the same as someone else. What I’ve learned over the course of this journey is to stay focused and pay attention to what my body is doing.
I had to teach myself not to worry about others people’s journeys, because it will become a distraction… especially if I’m not seeing the results I’m looking for. There are so many different ways to lose weight. I’ve listened to a lot of people talk about different programs, different methods, diet pills, or even plastic surgery. What I’ve found that worked for me is clean eating and working out. I can recall times when I said I can’t do this or that. The moment I said I can and tried, it all worked out. When I stopped making excuses for myself and found ways to get things done, I realized that I am the only person that is holding me back. I can do anything.
I’ve been told that it takes 21 days before something is deemed a habit. In order to maintain my success, I have to look at it beyond just losing weight. It’s a lifestyle change. I look at it as an opportunity. I stay consistent each day. I tell myself that no matter what life brings, my world doesn’t stop and that I have to keep going.
I focus more on what I’m eating versus working out. I do work out 6 days a week, but the key to my weight loss has really been what I eat. I’ve become very creative with healthy dishes that are satisfying and nutritious. For the most part, I eat very clean and prep all of my meals. Even when I’m going on vacation, I pack different things so that I don’t fall off track. I also make fun dishes so that I don’t deprive myself.
When people hear weight loss, they immediately assume dieting. When people hear diet they immediately assume starvation or eating salads. What if I told you that I enjoy eating a turkey burger with lettuce and tomatoes with a side of sweet potato fries? Or what if I told you I make fried chicken in my air fryer without adding any type of oil? There are ways to eat well and still maintain a healthy lifestyle. I fuel my body and give it the nutrition it needs to function. There is no magic portion for this, it only takes you committing to yourself and holding yourself accountable.
I have the opportunity to help someone else change their life as well. A few years ago, I pitched an organization. I wanted to be the face of Jenny Craig, just like Kirstie Alley. I wanted to be an inspiration to others. I wanted to motivate others to live their best life, and I wanted to see myself become fit. I decided to become the face of my own brand: Fit & Fierce.
Transformation of the Day: Twanja lost more than 40 pounds. She let go of her excuses and began sowing her energy into herself the way she’s sown into others to lift them up. Clean eating, portion control and working out at home was important, but focusing on her WHY was key to her staying motivated. Check out her journey.
I started my weight loss journey a few months ago. Over the years, I’ve been helping others live their dreams and I let mine slip away. One day, I decided that I needed to sow into myself what I’ve been sowing into others. I wanted to live my best life.
My before picture was taken 3 years ago and I weighed over 250 pounds. In my after picture [middle], I weigh about 208 pounds. Can you believe I am wearing the exact same dress?! The first time I wore this dress was at my best friend’s wedding. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was panicking, because I could not find the right body shaper, and I hated the way I looked in this dress. The day she tagged me in this picture, I wanted to delete it so badly. I was so ashamed of my body, the way that I looked, and the way that I felt. It took some time for me to say enough is enough and to do something.
I remember praying daily and saying to myself that I had to do something about my weight. Over the years, I’ve had several gym memberships and didn’t use them, because I was too busy at work or too tired to go after work. I was in a place where I routinely changed clothes 5 times before heading out to work. Every day, I was crying and very emotional. I was unhappy in my own skin. I’ve always believed when there is a WHY, you become more motivated. My why stemmed from me feeling tired of making excuses.
When I finally had enough, I started working out daily no matter how tired I was. There were nights when I’d come home late and I was still determined to get my workout completed. I felt that if I missed one day, it would set me back. I was afraid that one day would become two days, and then I’d be right back where I started.
My daily workout consists of cardio and weight training at home, working out is a small percentage of the weight loss equation. The more impactful part of my weight loss journey was eating right. I started eating very clean and watched carefully what I ate. I preppare my meals at home in advance so that I’m not be tempted by eating out or grabbing something cheap off the dollar menu.
Sure, I still eat out, but I make better choices. My favorite restaurant is TGI Fridays. I would normally get a rack of Jack Daniel ribs. Yes, a full rack! Now, I have learned to enjoy the salmon. Instead of a side of fried shrimp, I eat grilled shrimp. People think that when you eat clean you only eat salads. There is more to becoming healthy than eating salads. Although I love to eat salad, I also like Mac N Cheese. I still enjoy Mac N Cheese, but I have it made with wheat noodles and I eat smaller portions. Meal prepping and portion control takes discipline.
When I have tough days and I think about falling off, I remind myself of where I’m headed. Life has to be more than ice cream cake, cheeseburgers and pizza. Some days, you have to fight harder than others and know that you are worth more than your addiction.
My advice to others would be: When you want something bad enough let your WHY become your determination. Let your WHY drive you! The journey starts with discipline. If you think you can cheat here and there and work it back off, you will find yourself starting over again. I have done that many of times. Discipline yourself and when those urges come you can say, “NO, I got this!”
People ask me what is my secret. There is no secret, just clean eating and working out daily. Ever since I started this journey, I’ve become more focused. I have clarity and I’m happy. Because of all of the love shown and my passion to help others, I decided to become a coach so that I can help people reach their goals. I was taught that we can’t walk this life alone. We need each other.