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How I Went From a Size 16 to a size 3, Fat to Fit in Months
Started Out Obese
There is a formula for losing weight. We all have our own formula specific to our bodies. I started my weight loss journey weighing over 200 lbs. I have tried many diets and various exercise routines. There have been times that I’ve gotten down to 160 lbs but never less than that. Even those times I slowly increased back up to 200 lbs. Today, I weigh about 126 lbs and happy at a size 3. So I went from a size 15/16 to a size 3. My only regret is that I did not know my body’s formula sooner. I would like to shed some light on one or two diets and fitness routines as well as how they helped or hurt my weight loss journey.
Before and After photo
Don't Give Up!
My Diet Failures
The first diet I ever tried was Atkins. This diet was truly awesome. It was challenging at first to learn what to eat. Basically, you need to eat protein primarily and limit the amount of carbs you take in on a daily basis. Reading the Atkins Diet book, “Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution”, is a good start if you are interested in trying this. It gave me the energy I needed to function. I was not hungry as I was able to eat bacon, eggs, meat and much more. However, there was one issue for me. I noticed that after a week or two, I was barely eating. Now, the Atkins diet does put our bodies in ketosis, which causes the body to burn fat primarily for energy rather than the carbs we eat. Being in ketosis causes less cravings and decrease in appetite. This is all great for a person trying to lose weight and I lost about 30 lbs in the first month. The only problem was I really have never been a big meat eater. I enjoy different meats on occasion, but not enough to eat every day for a long time.
Slowly but surely I was barely eating. After a while I started to increase the carbs I was eating until I was no longer in ketosis and gaining back my old weight. I did exercise on Atkins. I found the old Taebo videos wonderful to shed a lot of body fat. Of course, it took a couple years to convince myself to move on to another plan to try and lose weight. In between Atkins and now I have also tried partial fasts and 500 calories per day plans. I cannot lie and say that these plans did not work. They worked, but the weight did not stay off. Also, one of the times that I was on a super low calorie diet, I became so depleted of nutrients that I was in constant pain. I would not recommend this way of losing weight.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
I think it’s best to discuss what I discovered. I read some articles written by “America’s Biggest Losers” contestants and it got me on the right path. Eating was not the only part to a successful weight loss program. Exercise, for me, was the main ingredient. I discovered that those contestants were doing like 4 hours of cardio per day! Wow! I decided that I was desperate and that I wanted to do that too. I started out with like 2 hours per day broken up in an hour before breakfast, 30 minutes for lunch and 30 minutes before bed. I slowly increased each interval until I was up to 4 hours per day. I ate smaller portions of salads, grilled and backed poultry or seafood, and veggies. The weight was pouring off effortlessly. None of my clothes fit anymore. It was wonderful!
It’s been over a year now and I am still fit. I had to decrease the amount of cardio I was doing and increase some strengthening exercises like push-ups, which I still do. The reason I had to decrease the cardio was because I no longer had enough body fat to fuel these types of workouts. The way I decreased is that I would drop an hour and see how my scale responded over a week’s time. Every time I hit a stall I would readjust up or down to see which was the problem. Sometimes I discovered that I was eating too much for my new smaller size and I discovered that also because we should never eat until we are stuffed. I should feel satisfied and not stuffed. I also stopped eating just because it was a certain time of day and people suggest I should eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I am not a robot. If I am hungry, I eat a healthy snack or meal based on my hunger level.
Whole Grain Cereal & Apples
How Many Diets Have You Tried?
What Works For You?
I also realized that losing weight was not just physical but mental as well. If you do not change the way you think about food and exercise, you will not be able to keep the weight off. I realized that I love to run and my favorite machine is the treadmill. I cannot live without doing cardio on a treadmill and my push-ups regularly. Recently, I have discovered that I love vegetables so much more than meat. I have decided to get my protein from beans, and veggies. I also consume whole grain cereals and granola. I do still eat meat occasionally when I go out to party and have fun. I eat vegan on a daily basis and only eat meat or whatever fun foods I want when I go out. This has kept me fit for over a year and I am very comfortable with what I am doing.
It is important that whatever plan you choose that you feel so good doing it that it doesn’t feel like a burden or something you cannot wait to stop doing. If that is the way you feel than you are doing the wrong thing. I am excited about every vegan meal I create. Even on fun days when I am hanging out and eating whatever junk food I desire, believe it or not, I secretly long for my return to my healthy vegan food. That is how I know that this is the right plan for me. I cannot imagine any other eating plan. As for my 2 hours of cardio per day, it was I love! If I am tired, drained, or in pain of course I do not push myself. However, it is a part of me now and I feel incomplete without it. I need to do my cardio and it makes me happy. I never knew how athletic I was until I actually incorporated it into my daily routine.
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To be truly successful you have to get off the sofa and out the bed. You have to take walks and move in order to get fit. Also, and I cannot believe I did not mention this sooner, the health benefit. I mean the state of your blood pressure and heart rate will improve. High blood pressure runs in my family and my blood pressure when I was obese was around 124/90, which is pre-hypertension and now it is typically about 110/65 and my resting pulse is usually under 60, but when truly relaxed they are even lower. I make smoothies with kale and other wonderful superfoods and I notice that I rarely get sick. To find the right formula for weight loss, you have to be brave and adventurous. Try the healthy foods that you have turned your nose up to in the past. They may not be as bad as you think.
You Can Do This!
You can be successful in your weight loss journey. Do not look at it as a tool to lose weight, but as steps in changing your life. Along with changing your life, you have to be comfortable with what you choose because if it is too overwhelming you will not want to stick with it. I love eating healthy now and feeling empowered. I want that for everyone. I hope that this advice will help others and I remember a time when I thought I would be obese forever. It was so hard to stop eating fast food, Chinese food, cookies, cakes, pies. It is so funny that now I am at a point that I never even had to give those up. I only needed to limit how often I ate those things. Remember, you can still eat those crazy foods, but your average days has to be spent eating healthy and doing some cardio. Incorporate that into your life and you will lose the weight you want.