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weight loss stories

not afraid to start over

WOW – here we are, 2015 – New Year, New Things…right?

Well, for me 2015 is a year of “starting over.”

My weight loss journey went on a complete halt in 2014.

Between relocating to Atlanta, starting new jobs and balancing life in a new city, I had a lot going on. PLUS Atlanta has toooooooo many fabulous and delish eateries…and being the foodie I am…well, you already know (just being honest!)

When I first moved to Atlanta, I started a fitness group on Meetup.com as a way for me to get out of the house, explore the city and meet new people while finding some fit friends aka “accountability partners.” The group was super fun and going well but I grew tired and weary.

So, after going through some things, the scale started to creep back up. Thankfully I’m not back to square one BUT I am trying HARD to hit my first goal all over again; to get UNDER 200 pounds! With a frame of 5’3″ I should NOT be anywhere close to 200 pounds SO I feel obligated (and in need of accountability) to once again, document my fitness journey for both accountability and the hopes of inspiring you.

This time around, I am going to do some things differently. Wonder what they are? Well, here goes.

1. Enjoy where I am right now. When I started my journey in 2013, I was so discouraged with the scale not moving quick enough. I was aiming so much for the finish line that I did not enjoy or appreciate my “present” moment and totally missed out on small victories (clothes getting too big, face looking slim, shopping where I wanted to even though I do that now #smiling) It got to the point that I honestly was ready to throw in the towel and say forget it because I hit a plateau and that darn scale would not budge!  I think it’s very important for anyone who is on a health/wellness journey to enjoy where they are in the “now” while striving towards the ultimate goal. Realize and understand that this is a LIFESTYLE change and not simply a FAD diet to get into a cute dress.

2. Chill out with the “EXTEME” behaviors. I was totally dependent on Weight Watchers…no, seriously! If I could not count the points in something I was putting in my mouth, I would spit it OUT – literally. I was truly obsessed with my weight loss and if I didn’t see a change I would be ridiculously upset. This time around, I am going to teach myself how to BALANCE my life (as this is a LIFESTYLE change) and learn how to eat. I purchased “The Skinnytaste Cookbook” and I’m well on my way to learning how to eat clean and enjoy my food WHILE keeping balance.  I’m not about that baked chicken and bland broccoli life – didn’t I say I as a foodie!

3. Do not be afraid to share my downfalls. Listen, I am NOT perfect. Nothing about me or my life is perfect, not even my eyebrows :). I’m a foodie and I LOVE TO EAT but I love myself more and my health is very important to me. Therefore, I am not an extremist, I’m a realist SO if you see me post a pic of a cup of my deslish Yoforia or a glass of wine, please don’t judge me. I think it’s important to show a real documentation of what really happens in someone’s life when they are on a journey to better health. The struggles, the downfalls, the victories, etc. – it’s all real and all very relevant!

So, here we go and CHEERS to a very prosperous, SLIM and FEARLESS 2015!

be inspired.

 

second time’s a charm: meet farrah

SW: 291   |  CW: 218  |  GW: 150/160

“This is my second-time around the weight loss block!”

In 2009, I was fortunate enough to join the Weight Watchers At Work session at my job. I lost about 70 lbs and maintained it for about year until my pregnancy.

Needless to say, I gained the weight back plus an additional 10 lbs. I was so angry with myself for allowing my pregnancy as a crutch to “eat for two.'”

By the way, that is the biggest myth in the Book of Weight Loss rules. After having my daughter, I realized that I am not only her mother, but I am also her living example. I needed to be here for her and I also desired for her to have healthier lifestyle; better than I had as a child.

Secondly, most of my clothes in my closet were from my first weight loss. It was not cool wearing maternity clothes AFTER the baby was born – I was not having it. In having my revelations and breaking points, I began to slowly revisit my Weight Watchers tactics.

I started with watching my portion sizes, limiting my sweets slowly, trading my liquid sugars for water, and exercising on a regular basis.

Since January 2012, my life has changed because it’s not a diet anymore – it’s my lifestyle. I finally got it that every day is not going to be stellar moment. However, I am constantly checking myself for areas that I can improve.

I still have a lot of weight to lose, so I have to keep my eyes on the prize. If I feel myself slipping too far, I tighten up my regimen right at that moment and refocus. As before, a failed moment was a failed journey and I would stop – but not this time!

I also have a greater understanding that this thing is no longer about weight loss. It is about taking care of me because only I can take care of my body.

“Others may love me, but only I can love and care of my BODY as it belongs to me.”

The greatest advice that I can give is to cater to your likes. Make it comfortable in your everyday flow of life. If you have a sweet tooth, try alternatives to refined sugars or use honey.

If you are a fried food lover, you don’t have to give it up completely. Maybe once or twice a month to satisfy your indulgence or substitute. Just know whatever you eat that is out of line; you will have to work out harder to get rid of it.

Your daily diet is really what pushes the weight. Trust me, it is not the easiest thing at times, but sometimes you have to take one for team and it all depends on how bad YOU WANT IT!

Some day’s you may feel like you want it more than other times, but the secret is this…Ready?

Here it is…

KEEP GOING.  DON’T GIVE UP.

“Consistency will be your best cheerleader along this journey.”

be inspired.

praying for supernatural weight loss: meet kim

SW 307  |  CW: 228  |  GW: 175

“I had been chunky for most of my life. My mom said it started when my sister and I were little.”

Our family said “they’re too skinny, you need to feed those kids!”

Being young parents, my mom and dad listened to our family and started to “feed us.” I was around 8 or 9 years old. My eating habits spiraled out of control as I was able to make choices on my own. I never ate a lot but I ate a lot of the wrong foods. My mom was never that parent who made us eat all of our food or foods we didn’t like. She gave us the choice to eat or not eat what was cooked. As we all started to learn to eat better we realized that she was not wrong in allowing us to choose but, that we should have been limited in our options.

I started my weight loss journey when I was in the 10th grade. If I remember correctly, I weighed 250-260 lbs. My mom, sister, and I joined Curves for women and I thought oh this is it, I’m finally going to be smaller. But I did not realize the research that I needed to do to help with my success. I also didn’t realize my mindset about food needed to change.

While in high school, 11th grade I believe, I lost 30 lbs because I cut out eating junk food and I had some physical activity in gym. I quickly gained that back when I started my undergrad program, around the time of my parents’ divorce. I’m not sure if it was the stress from the divorce or not that made me eat but my mom had to work longer hours and my sister and I chose not to cook or eat healthy so we ate out! It wasn’t hard to gain the weight (30 lbs and more) with me eating out 3-4 times/day and eating 3000-4000 cals/day!”So, as many people who try to lose weight, we paid for a membership that didn’t get used!”

“I owe my weight loss results to God and the mindset He’s given me to do the research!”I became more serious about losing weight early 2006. Honestly, I didn’t want to lose weight for health purposes, I just wanted to lose weight so that I could wear clothes from wherever I wanted them from! So I did A LOT of research on how many calories I needed to consume and burn in order to lose weight. I “stopped” for a while, about a year, and started back up in 2007. I’ve been off and on the bandwagon but each time I started back the “rest time” got shorter and shorter. Working out and eating right became more of a lifestyle. I’m not perfect now but I surely don’t eat 3000-4000 cals/day like I used to!

I prayed and still pray for His supernatural weight loss and not only the will to workout but also the follow through! My journey has taken 7 years (on and off) but yours doesn’t have to! 😉

I’m not done with my journey, I have 50 lbs left to lose. I will continue to push through and pray! If you are reading this and feel like you cannot lose weight because you’re “too big” don’t give up on the thought! I know what it’s like to feel hopeless and being on the top end of the journey. But trust me day by day week by week and prayer by prayer you will get stronger and more hopeful!

Life for me hasn’t changed much with the exception of me being more conscious of what/how much I’m eating. I still weigh myself daily because it helps me to monitor my progress if I don’t do so well on a day. But I am able to shop in stores that I hadn’t been able to in the past!

I must say THAT ROCKS

Connect with Kim on instagram @keys2luxlife

be inspired.

shedding the weight gave her confidence: meet apryl-joi

SW: 170  |  CW: 146  |  GW: 140

“It was the main/only sense of accomplishment I felt around that time. I hated both jobs, was miserable, and single. I had no idea where my life was going.  Working out and losing weight made me feel accomplished. Proud. Amazing.”

On the outside looking in, I may seem like a fit girl who has known her way around the gym or someone’s sports field for much of her life or that being fit is and has been an easy journey, but this is far from my truth.

I am a 29 year old personal trainer who wishes to inspire, encourage, and motivate others to live a healthier lifestyle through my own active lifestyle. I’m passionate about people, see the best in others, believe that anything is possible, and want to make a difference however and whenever I can.

Looking at my life prior to now, I would have never imagined in a gazillion years that I’d be where I am today as far as my health and physique are concerned. I must give all praise and glory to God for taking my life on the journey through which it has been so far—it has surely been a ride!

Now, let’s take a moment to get to know me—Apryl-joi. I am a curvy girl with muscles, standing 5 feet 5 inches tall, rocking 146 pounds that have been earned naturally and honestly. But I haven’t always been this girl. At the age of 18, I was diagnosed with an illness that could only be controlled at the time with medications that included steroids. If you know anything about steroids, they increase your appetite, cause weight gain, and cannot be stopped abruptly–but one must be weaned off of them slowly—this means the effects last much longer than anyone would anticipate. THIS is what caused the dreaded weight gain, but to family and friends, I looked somewhat normal and they got used to seeing me thicker than my usual.

Well, I wasn’t. I carried around this weight and rocked size 12s and 14s for 4+ years. The college I attended had an awesome workout facility, but I only took advantage of it about 1 to 2 times per semester. Yeah…the weight was surely going to fall off that way….NOT! While teaching high school Spanish back in September or October of 2008, my best friend encouraged me to start walking and working out at and around the school once the students were gone for the day. I was sick of looking and feeling the way I did and there was a new-found spark in me that was unlike any time before.

I had never taken weight loss and getting healthy and fit seriously until this time around. I took my friend’s idea of getting active and ran with it! Instead of working at school, I snagged an inexpensive gym membership and began to dedicate at least 3-4 days of activity in fitness classes, on the weight machines, and on even got some dreaded quality time on the Stairmaster.

I started at 177 pounds and had a goal to get down to 140 pounds. I didn’t have a time frame in which I wanted to do it, nor did I truly have a plan, I just knew that I would stick to physical activity, change my eating habits slowly but surely, and that I wouldn’t weigh myself for at least 2 months. I wanted to be surprised at my first weigh in and boy was I!

I can’t quite remember what I had dropped by Thanksgiving, but I was happy with the progress (any progress should be celebrated) and I was determined to keep pushing. By my 25th birthday, I was truly ready to reveal the new me. I was no longer self-conscious about wearing dresses, I felt inclined to wear my arms and shoulders out, and my stomach was no longer a huge issue—pun intended.

Overall, I would have to say that weight loss helped me to discover a greater sense of pride and confidence in myself. I am a natural social butterfly, but the weight loss allowed me to be even more comfortable in my own skin. Since my fit life journey began almost 5 years ago, I’ve been able to encourage, inspire, and motivate others through my journey—struggles, minor fluctuations, and all. I have surprised myself with the level of dedication, strength, and perseverance I’ve been able to display.

I’ve proven that a woman can be strong, successful, ambitious, inspirational, and beautiful, both inside and out, through any process or journey, and accomplish exactly what she sets out to do, and more.

The one thing that keeps me going is remembering where I started and never wanting to go back.

Along with excess weight come excess emotions, health issues, and sometimes a negative self-image, which can lead to negative behaviors.

If I had to give one piece of advice to my Classy Fit Gals, I would say to always remember your WHY during your journey and to never, no matter what, give up—a lot is riding on your decision to get and remain healthy.

be inspired.

tapping into her inner “solance”: meet kendra

SW: 243   | CW: 195   |   GW: 175/180

*Goal Size is 10!!*

“The breaking point in my journey was when I went to the doctor thinking I had sleep apnea because I snored like a monster.”

After wasting time and money to find out that it was a simple issue as me just losing weight, I knew I had to get going.

I started going to Zumba and in February 2010 and became a certified instructor. I knew as an instructor I had to look my best which in turn motivated me to lose more lbs. I wanted to be healthy and not feel like a rock dancing.

When I started my journey I was a size 18 going into a size 20…I knew that was not going to happen and I had to make some life changes. I have been seriously working at this since about June 2010 and it’s been a rocky one. From traveling the world and “living” in a war zone, my weight has definitely been a roller-coaster.

“Getting healthy has changed my life tremendously.”

I know that I WILL maintain a health lifestyle. I am not trying to be a size 2 but a size healthy. Being healthy has made my life more exciting. I would never think I would be the girl that wanted to work out. The feeling you get after a great sweat and good thigh burn is the best. I love doing HIIT, Tabatas, Zumba, and minor weight lifting for my workout rush.

One thing I want women to remember  is who are wanting to start their journey is this – you did not gain the weight overnight so don’t expect to fall asleep and wake up skinny. If you do, let me know the secret! Just take your journey one day at a time and remember not to compare your hips to hips. We are all beautiful and individually made to be YOU and no one else.

Set your goals on how you want to look, and make YOUR vision clear! Make sure you reward yourself (and not with just food)! Give yourself certain incentives that will give you an extra push and make you feel good.

Always a have a great supporting cast…I’m so thankful/BLESSSEDDDDDDDD that I have friends and family who will support my many journeys in life and it helps!

Being healthy should be a journey for all.

be inspired.