Transformation of the Day: Yolanda lost 163 pounds. At 450 pounds, she was diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension. She knew the impact that those illnesses could have after losing her mother who battled with kidney failure. Check out her transformation story. She shared the ups and downs of her journey, and how she figured out what works for her.
My name is Yolanda and I have been heavy all of my life. I was born weighing 10 pounds and continued to gain weight throughout my life. I have tried so many diets during my life… from Jenny Craig, to Medical Weight Loss Centers, to Weight Management Doctors to Slim Fast. I was simply miserable.
My motivation to lose weight came when I got diagnosed with type II diabetes, hypertension and found out that I weighed 450 pounds (height: 6’2″). I cried because I had no idea that I had allowed myself to get that big. With time, I did get down to 384 pounds, but my health still was not the best. I was taking the allotted amount of oral pills you can take before the doctors place you on insulin shots. I was also on multiple blood pressure meds and cholesterol medication.
Losing my mom after her battle with kidney failure was also a major eye-opener to what the combination of diabetes and hypertension can do if healthy changes are not made. Every time I thought about giving up, I thought about what my mom went through, and I didn’t want that.
In 2010, my doctor told me that something had to give or he would have no other option than to place me on insulin. It was at that point that he suggested weight loss surgery. I remember thinking that this surgery would give me the body I’ve always longed for. I also believed that I would be done with all those medications. So, I was placed on a diet before having Lap-Band surgery and went from 384 lbs to 348 lbs (my weight on the day of my surgery).
After having the surgery, I did okay for a little while. I got into the 290s, but one thing surgery didn’t teach me was the fundamentals of changing your mindset. It didn’t teach me about the battle that comes with staying consistent to maintain a steady weight loss and keep it off. I ended ballooning back up to 336 pounds and once again feeling like I would never get my weight under control.
In 2015, I was introduced to my trainer Crystal at Revamp. I had the chance to discuss my weight loss battles with her. She explained to me that no matter what I did if I didn’t get my mind right, I wouldn’t get my body right. I would continue that cycle of losing the weight just to gain it back later. She said that I never needed surgery to get my health and weight in order, and she was going to teach me how to lose weight and develop the right mindset.
In March 2016, I decided it was time to do this. I did not have my Lap-Band adjusted or try any quick fix methods. Instead, I took the bull by the horns. I got focused and followed what my trainer was teaching me with regards to what I put in my body and what I needed to do to challenge my body.
Changing my eating habits was the hardest thing for me because I liked what I liked. I had to take baby steps. I started eating more veggies and more salads. I drank less sugary drinks and cut back on dining out at fast food restaurants. I ate more fruits when I would crave sweets. I opened my mind to foods that I use to think didn’t taste good, such as broccoli, asparagus, hummus, wheat noodles, green smoothies, etc. My personal trainer placed me on a meal prepping plan, either bi-weekly or monthly. The eating plans vary depending on the amount of weight I’m working to lose and the time frame. Also, I no longer eat anything hard after 7 pm, and I’ve given up pork and red meat.
In the beginning, I was not very active at all, but after joining Revamp my workouts became a mixture of one on one training (combination of cardio and bodyweight weight training), boot camp classes, yoga, kickboxing, Zumba, step aerobics and abs training. I work out 4-5 days a week.
I’ve now gotten back down from 336 pounds to 287 pounds, which is less than my last weigh in after having surgery. This has proved to me that I can do this with hard work and dedication, no surgery required. In the previous 5 years, I have lost a total of 163 pounds, and my journey will continue until I hit my goal weight of 200 pounds. It has not been an easy road, but by never giving up I’m well on my way to the finish line. Weight isn’t gained overnight, and it can’t be lost overnight. I’ve lost, and I’ve gained, but I refuse to give up.
My advice to others: Never give up. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t punish yourself because you may have setbacks. I had surgery and still encountered a setback, but I didn’t give up. I turned to a professional trainer who taught my mind, not just my body. You must believe in yourself and your ability to reach your goal because it is obtainable. Love yourself enough to take care of yourself. We only have one shot at this thing called life. Life is about quality, not quantity. Be the best you and the healthiest you that you can be.
I’ve started sharing on a daily basis via snapchat, sixtwoyoyo, and on Instagram, @sixtwolovely.