Update May 2017 – Tiffany wrote in to update us on how she has worked to maintain her transformation. We’ve been following her journey since 2012 and she is an inspiration.
How have you maintained your weight loss/continued to lose weight?
I’ve kept off a majority of the weight by keeping in mind all the blood, sweat, tears that I’ve put into getting the weight off. I keep in mind how much better I feel and look at a healthier weight. I don’t allow myself to go back to old eating habits too long when I fall off the wagon. A ton of self talk is involved, like… “OK. You ate a donut today. You can’t have fries too.” My starting weight was 284 pounds. At one point I got down to 154 pounds. Now, I weigh 190 pounds. I think 170 lbs will be my comfort zone.
What has worked for you in terms of eating habits and exercise?
I make sure that I workout no less than 3 times a week on a bad week and 5 or 6 on a good one. I always lift weights. Also, I got a Fitbit to keep track of my daily steps. I’ve got to push myself a bit to get in the cardio, but I just see exercise as something I have to do.
Eating habits? Meal prepping helps a lot. On Sundays, I cook enough meals for 4-6 days. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and 2 snacks. I stick the meals in the freezer. About once a month, I do a 1-3 day juice cleanse. I’ve also kept myself clean of red meat for almost 5 years and pork for nearly a year. Mostly, I just never give up on trying to make good decisions daily. Even when I fail, I just keep trying to be better with the next bite and with my exercise routine.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned on this journey?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to be patient with myself and to accept myself. Changing your habits is hard work. My goal shouldn’t be to look like anyone else, but to be the best version of myself. What stands out most is that there isn’t a finish line. This is a life long journey and everyday you have to consciously take steps in the direction you want to go. Maintaining weight loss is much more difficult than losing, so staying conscious is pertinent.
At this point, would you offer any new or different advice to other people who want to lose weight? My advice to anyone wanting to lose weight is, make sure you are doing it for you. Take note of non scale victories (sleeping better, more energy, clothes fit better, health stats are better). See food as something you can enjoy and, most importantly, as fuel for your body. Remember, while you have to give 100% of yourself in all aspects of your journey, diet is the biggest factor. You have to eat better quality food, possibly smaller portions, and, believe it or not, you have to eat frequently. So much of losing weight is about changing your mentality first. You can do it!
July 2015 – Tiffany lost over 100 pounds and we have followed her story over the last few years. She recently wrote in to give us an overview of her amazing weight loss journey…
What was your motivation? What inspired you?
After many failed attempts to lose weight, I had just turned 40 years old and felt like my body was falling apart. For the first time, the doctor was forcing me to go on blood pressure medication which is something I was dead set against. I was determined to get off the meds as soon as possible.
How did you change your eating habits?
I changed my eating habits pretty slowly at first. I slowly took out things like adding salt to my food, eating fried foods and putting mayo on my sandwiches. I also put my salad dressing on the side. Eventually, I stopped drinking cows milk, red meat, and started adding vegetables to every single meal, including breakfast. One of my biggest problems was portion control, so I had to train myself to eat less and to choose foods that were more filling. That meant eating more foods with fiber, good fats and healthy carbs.
What did your workout routines look like?
When I first started this journey in 2010 my workout routine consisted of probably about an hour and a half of cardio every single day. I did things like TaeBo, treadmill, elliptical machine, and cardio classes, like step class and Zumba. Eventually, I was convinced by several trainers to start weightlifting and that is when I really saw the shape of my body change. If I could do it all over again, I would’ve incorporated weights from the beginning and not done as much cardio as I did. I think cardio creates a lot of weight loss but not as much fat loss.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
My starting weight was 284 pounds. I got down as low as 154 pounds. Then I had skin removal surgery and that caused some health problems that I’m going to have to live with for the rest of my life. Ironically, the health problems that I incurred have a lot to do with the food that I can eat now and that affects keeping the weight off. What used to work so easily for me to keep the weight down, I can no longer do as freely. I go into detail about that on both of my fitness pages. The stress of those complications lead me to put some more weight back on, so now I’m about 184 pounds. I refuse to start this journey over again, so I am fighting like hell to keep this weight off, both in the gym and in the kitchen. I’m pretty muscular so I may or may not look that weight, however I’m also trying to take off maybe about 10 pounds. I don’t think I want to be as small as I was before. I was pretty thin and I’m 5’6″ tall. The journey continues!
How long did your transformation take?
It took 2.5 years to lose 128lbs total. My body continues to transform into a more curvier, more muscular body then when I initially lost the weight. I am five years into this transition over all.
What advice do you have for others who want to lose weight?
For those who want to lose weight, my first suggestion would be to really understand why you put the weight on in the first place. Figure out what habits you have that you’re going to have to change to help you get and keep that weight off. Make a commitment to yourself to feed your body food that is prepared in a healthy manner. Commit to a certain amount of exercise on a regular basis. Regardless of how long you think it’s taking for you to see the number on the scale go down, stay committed and stay the course. Don’t give up. It’s not a race, it’s a lifestyle.
You can follow me on Instagram at @meltmindandbodyfitness as well as my Facebook account: meltmindandbodyfitness. There you will find a very honest and open view into my weight loss journey as well as my journey to live an emotionally, physically, and mentally fit life! Previous posts on Tiffany’s story
- Tiffany lost 125 pounds – 2012 feature story
- Update: Tiffany lost 128 pounds and had surgery for excess skin – 2013
Update Sept 2016 – We’ve been following Tiffany’s amazing progress since 2013. She is very transparent about her ups and downs and is the picture of determination.
“I started this journey into 2010 at 40 years old because the doctor forced me to go on blood pressure medication. I begged him not to, as I had already lost 10 pounds and I promised to lose more, but he felt that I wouldn’t lose the weight. He told me that I was fat, I had been fat for a long time and that most people don’t lose the weight. I was determined to get off the blood pressure medication because many of my family members digested way too many pills, several times a day. My motivation was not to become another statistic.
Through consisting exercise and a swift change in diet, I’m proud to say that 2 1/2 years later, I have lost 128 pounds. I decided to have skin removal surgery. Just when I thought my weight loss journey was over, it had only just begun. I’m very open and candid with my followers about the twist and turns of my journey. I let them know that everyone goes through ups and downs and it isn’t easy, but it is possible at any age, any cultural background, and any socioeconomic group. Through honesty and a little humor I let my followers know that actual health and fitness isn’t just about your body. It’s about your heart and your mind is well.” – @meltmindandbodyfitness