Arlette recently shared an update of her 3 year journey. She’s lost 110 pounds and totally transformed. After losing her job and ending a relationship, fitness helped her to transition to the next phase of her life and to regain her health. This fomer world champion in powerlifting is now running marathons and preparing for a bodybuilding competition. She is a force of nature and she shared some awesome insights.
Starting weight: 250.8 pounds ( 114kg)
Current weight: 140.8 pounds ( 64 kg)
Following up on the previous blog post on my weight loss story, I wanted to highlight on how social media played a major part in my 3 years journey to a healthier lifestyle. If you know me or have followed me on social media, you have seen how my life has changed during the last 2 to 3 years. It seems like just yesterday when I uploaded the pictures of me volunteering for the Dublin Jameson Festival in March 2015. I had actually reached 114KG / 250.8 pounds and lost 2 kg that week, since I was so depressed. The next day, I could barely eat after I had jumped on the scale.
Up to that day, I thought I was fine. I was competing in weight lifting and training 3 to 4
times a week in the gym. I was under the impression that I could get away with anything. As long as I could lift weights, my health wouldn’t be at jeopardy. The truth is that I was out of breath while just walking up stairs. Something as simple as putting on my shoes was an issue. I had to put my feet up a chair to be able to put my shoes on. I was walking quite a bit but would get out of breath if I had to increase the pace or run after the bus if I was late. Also, my knees and back used to hurt a lot. I thought it was related to lifting weights, but the more I started losing weight the more realized how being overweight had an effect on my body.
My story is a bit different from some of the others you may have read, as I had been working out on and off for the past 10 years. I even worked as a personal trainer from 2007 to 2009 in Educogyms. In 2010, I decided to change direction and went back working in an office, which contributed to my massive weight gain.Plus, I was in a great relationship and was feeling comfortable. I didn’t feel under pressure to lose weight, because my ex-boyfriend loved me the way I was.
My life changed in 2014. I broke up with my ex. Then, I lost my full time job and my nice apartment in Sandyford. In September 2014, I was heart broken and had to start all over again. I decided to make the best of the situation and took a digital marketing course. Studying full time while still training in powerlifting helped me get through the break up. Breaking up with my ex and losing my job at Microsoft are the best things that have ever happened to me. I was eager to succeed and get my life back on track. Once I was sorted with my new place in Greystones, settled down in the course, and got a part time job as a digital marketing consultant, I could finally focus on my health.
My journey really began in March 2015. For the previous 14 years, I was struggling with my weight and wanted desperately to get under 80 kg/ 176 pounds. First, I tried to understand myself and my relationship with food. I realized that I was eating food for comfort when I felt bad about myself. I was also overeating in the evening because I ate too little during the day. I started to change my eating habits by doing the following:
- Eating more regularly during the day
- When I felt bad about myself, I’d go for a walk on the beach and breathe fresh air. Meditation first thing in the morning also helped me to feel better about myself and work on what was going on in my mind first before focusing on just the physical.
I stopped eating the following: take out, pastries, white pasta, white bread and white rice. I started to substitute foods that I liked with healthier options. For instance, I loved traditional fish and chips. Instead of buying the unhealthy fish and ships in a take away shop, I would cook a healthier version. I also love pizza and muffins, so I would cook a healthier version at home. I found out there are tons of healthy recipes online to choose from. That way, I never felt like I was starving myself or missing anything. I started eating more frequently and eating more vegetables, salads, fruits and lean
From March 2015 to December 2016: I did 60 minute weight training sessions, 4 to 5 times a week in the evenings after work. I did 30 to 60 minute cardio sessions, 2 to 3 times a week. It could be running, walking or roller skating. I also do very long walks for up to 4 hours, 2 weekends a month. I live along the beach and love to walk from the beach to the city centre.
Since January 2017: I have been training towards a body building competition so the intensity in terms of training is much higher. My nutrition is a lot different as well. I do six weight training sessions a day, either mornings or evening, and 6 cardio sessions for 45 to 60 minutes 6 days a week. Since it’s my first year competing and I started with a high body fat percentage, I have to work very hard to reach stage standard. Once I do couple of competitions, I won’t have to prep as long.
I have maintained my weight loss for the past 3 years because at first it meant something to me. What I mean by that is the weight loss was just a result. I knew that ultimately it had to mean something bigger to me than just a number on the scale. I wanted to have a healthy lifestyle so that I could be happier, fitter and go back to working in the fitness industry. Now, I will be able to help and inspire others to reach their fitness goals too. I knew that if I only focused on the scale I would fail. It had to be meaningful. My transformation was at every level, spiritually, mentally and physically.
What has helped me to maintain?
1. Meditation every morning helps me remain focused on my goals, help me to be positive and thankful for everything I have in my life.
2. Cooking and preparing my meals in advance.
3. I competed in powerlifting. I’ve also transitioned to running half and full marathons and bodybuilding. I always have a competition or a race on the horizon which keeps me motivated.
I have learned to love myself at any size, even from the day I started this journey. The more I was loving and kind to myself, the more I was able to appreciate the results. Also, I learned not beat myself up too much when I fell off the wagon when it came to my nutrition plan. I have made mistakes and it’s fine. It didn’t stop me.
Check out my blog article for more advice and tips.