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I started my weight loss journey after losing my mother to cancer. I was at my lowest of lows, being trapped in an obese body with a broken mind. You could say I had several causes for continued weight gain, escaping the pains obesity causes: cracking knees, sore back, trouble sleeping, and of course feeling ashamed on the inside. I wanted to be happy and feel alive, for my family and myself. I wanted to smile.
I endured working out because I knew one day (or at least believed) that I’d no longer feel the pain of obesity. I made a choice that I no longer wanted to be heavy and miserable! So I decided I was going to do whatever it took to force my body into being healthy and happy. One day a time, one thought at a time, one rep at a time, one bite at a time – I changed me! If I can lose 134 pounds and take back my life and my happiness, anything is possible – you just have to believe!
The longer I was obese, the less life I felt in my mind, body, and deep in my soul. I’m 35 years old, 5’6” tall, and 280 pounds was my heaviest. I was walking with such pain. Even simple things fatigued me like walking to the other side of the house, getting up from a chair, and even bending down to bathe my kids strained my back and knees. I was struggling just to breathe and be happy every day. It was constant suffering from the inside out! I was unable to beat the pain, so I decided to force my body to change. I didn’t want to live like that anymore. I felt like I was dying… and I felt alone.
In my first attempt at losing weight, I lost about 50 pounds over the span of three year, but it was all yo-yoing — I didn’t know what I was doing. With the help of a friend, I learned about macros and weight training. In the year that followed, I dropped another 84 pounds from healthy eating, weight training, and cardio on a consistent basis. I Googled “how to loose three pounds a week” and for me, that meant keeping my calories between 1,250-1,350 and burning 600-800 calories a day through cardio (Sundays rest). I also did resistance training three to four times a week. The goal was to lose as much fat as possible and build as much muscle as possible.
After getting that figured out, I began tracking my macros (on top of calories), meaning: carbs, fat, protein, and sugar. I did all of this with a simple, free food app, My Fitness Pal. I kept my daily protein up to 150 grams or more, carbs 150 grams or less, fat 50 grams or less, and sugar 50 grams or less! Quest Bars became the guilt free treat in my restricted diet. When I needed the sensation of eating something sweet, I reached for a Quest Bar. My favorite is the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. They’re loaded with fiber, flavor, and nutrients, becoming a part of my newfound lifestyle. Whoever says you can’t eat healthy and still have flavor clearly hasn’t tried one yet.
Over time, I was working out differently to build more muscle and eat more because as you get more fit and lower your body fat, your muscles require more. These days I have to work harder to achieve the same calorie burn. Losing weight is at a standstill, but that’s okay, because for me it’s about reducing my body fat and reshaping my body composition. My body fat when I was at my heaviest was 45 percent and now I’m at 19.4 percent. The key is to start out slow and make small changes. Stay consistent!
The road to losing weight and becomine healthier felt like every hour and every minute was a struggle. It truly is about taking one day at time, one thought at time, one rep at a time, and one step at a time! You have to retrain your mind and body and all the small steps that make up the bigger picutre. It’s really all about the journey. Before you know it, one day you will look back and smile, knowing that you never gave up, and most importantly that you believed in yourself when there was no belief anywhere to be found! I’m now far from obese and far from 280 pounds. When I look back, I don’t see all the pain that once consumed me. I see a chapter in my life that I took into my own hands and kept on writing. This is my life, these are my choices, and this is my story to be written. And I choose health and happiness. What story are you writing?