Fitness was not a big part of my life growing up. By the time I was 18-years-old, I weighed close to 200 lbs. in my 5’-3” frame. What little photographs I took were strategically posed so that I hid behind people, or I styled my hair to conceal my widening face.
My lifestyle changed when I went to college in 2007. Our commissary was filled with healthy food options like whole grains, dark greens, and *gasp* vegan options. There were foods I had never seen or heard about before like tempeh, lentils, and quinoa. I also noticed during dinners with my dorm mates, they didn’t load their plates as I did. This was when I began to question my relationship with food.
I began to notice that I would eat the most during exam times. I would eat to keep myself awake while studying. I would eat to calm my nerves before a test. I was an emotional eater!
As soon as I started mirroring the eating routine of my friends, I lost 15 lbs. while other students were gaining the 'Freshman 15.' It wasn’t until senior year that I took a serious step toward a healthy lifestyle by putting more effort in cooking and regularly exercising. I tried out veganism and vegetarianism. I ran 3 times a week. I did regular aerobic workouts. Eventually, after a year of healthy food and exercise, I reached my goal weight of 140 lbs.
After a year, I slowly gained about half of the weight back. I restricted my diet so much that I would binge eat when I was anxious or depressed.
After a bad bout with depression in early 2017, I realized that my life needed a change or I would soon be back to 200 lbs. A healthier me was the first step toward regaining my happiness, self-confidence, and reinvigorate my passion for life.
In October 2017, I was 175 lbs. I created a plan to lose 35 lbs -- 1 lb. per week.
It wasn’t easy at first. I worked out for a month with no results. Then, I saw a personal trainer who gave me a great fitness plan.
Weight training 3x per week
Cardio exercise 2x per week
25-30% caloric deficient
Ban processed food from diet for at least one month to reboot my metabolism
Over the course of a few months I realized that losing weight was not going to solve all my problems. My problems were psychological. So part two of my goal was taking control of how I spent my time. I needed to socialize in healthy ways while spending 5 times a week exercising, so I started taking fitness classes. As I tried out class after class, I realized how much I was spending. I bought new workout clothes, sports bras, socks (I go through so many), training shoes, running shoes, pre-workout mix, and protein powder.
In January 2018, I devised a plan to find free or low-cost fitness events every weekend to save myself money. Each fitness class ranges from $15 to $34 in value, but I started finding them for free. So my new workout plan looks like this:
Weight train at the gym 3x per week
Alternate hip hop dance and HIIT class 1x per week
Free or low-cost class, including yoga, circuit training, and more
In addition to all these new changes, I started taking selfcare days to focus on my emotional needs. I started saying 'no' to events if they didn't enrich my life in some sort of way. One of the hardest to do was saying 'no' to drinking late at night and partying until the AM. Although I will still do this for special occasions, I needed to focus on healing my body.
It is now September 2018, and I’ve lost 29 of the 35 lbs so far! Fitness is my new lifestyle. I am feeling more confident, happier, and content in my life. I've learned to love my body now, not wait until I've reached my goal. Not only do I want to lose weight, I want to be stronger, run faster, and climb mountains. Now I want to share my story to help inspire others.
Starting Weight: 175 lbs.
Current Weight: 146 lbs.
Goal Weight: 140 lbs.
Total Weight Loss: 29 lbs.
Amount Remaining: 6 lbs.