I love sharing my weight loss story because many people I meet are struggling to achieve their own fitness and wellness goals. I have been told that my story gives people hope and helps them set realistic goals for themselves. I lost fifty pounds after college and I’m in the best shape of my life at age thirty-one. One day I looked in the mirror and realized I was fed up with feeling bad about myself. It all started with a decision to change my lifestyle. The rest is history.
I was very active in high school. Growing up in a small town, I was able to play all sports. I could eat like a pig and still be a string bean. I played basketball, volleyball, golf, track, cross-country and was on our school dance team. Once I got to college, my activity level decreased significantly. I also adopted some bad habits like drinking alcohol, staying out late and eating fast food.
The weight “snuck up” on me. I am a tall woman, 5’10 to be exact. I graduated high school weighing 130 – 135 pounds. At my heaviest weight in college, I weighed almost 180 pounds. I could not believe I had put on about fifty pounds in a matter of only two years. The weight came on so quickly that I had sizes ranging from four to fourteen in my closet. I was not happy with my body and I actually went shopping all the time, always looking for that perfect outfit to make my body look better. It never happened. The day it all hit me was a HUGE reality check. I overheard someone refer to me as a “whale.” It really hit home because this was someone I knew personally and I had been thin my entire life. This was the first time I struggled with weight.
I was not happy with the person I saw in the mirror and I knew I needed a lifestyle change. I was never one for dieting and got bored quickly with salads. I finally realized that when you have a great body, everything looks great on you. Once I was honest with myself and mapped out my goals, I started making small changes here and there. I started going out to eat less and committed myself to working out two or three days a week. It took me five years of trial and error to get rid of most of the weight. I later found out I could have dropped the weight in just a matter of months if I had only understood how big a role nutrition plays in how you look and feel.
I dropped from a size fourteen to an eight and felt really healthy for the first time in years. I took more of an interest in fitness and decided to challenge myself even more in the gym and aimed at sculpting a lean body. That’s when I heard about clean eating. My definition of clean eating is consuming non-processed meals every three hours, five to seven meals a day. I hired a nutritionist in March 2010 and my body drastically changed within just three months of consistent clean eating.
Who would have thought I needed to eat more to lose weight and get lean? My meal plan consists of 1,800-2,000 healthy calories a day. Since I eat every three hours, I always feel satisfied with my meals and it cuts down on cravings. I don’t obsess with weighing myself or counting calories on a daily basis. My husband and I cook in bulk two days a week. We save money each month by avoiding restaurants and save going out to eat for special occasions.
I know what foods work for my body and I plan a cheat meal every week or two to indulge. You have to find that perfect balance for your mind and body. I have found that by eating clean year round, I never have to “diet” or struggle with my weight. It’s the best feeling in the world. I believe that nutrition determines 80% of how you look, exercise being 20%. This explains why I spent years in the gym but did not get the results I was after until I focused on nutrition.
I make small weekly goals to stay on track and hold myself accountable. I lift weights three to four days per week and include thirty minutes of cardio three days a week. It is not necessary to work out for hours each day. In fact, it’s very easy to over train your body, especially when your nutrition is not on point.
Since my journey with eating clean, I have set several big goals for myself and am very proud to say that I have accomplished each one. These include writing my first book in order to help others, compete in fitness competitions, becoming a spokes model for one of the top nutrition companies in the industry, appearing on the cover of Oxygen Magazine and more. You can accomplish your goals; just go at it with everything you have. Take small steps each week that all lead to the big goal at the end. Hold yourself accountable.
Begin to think of yourself as they person you want to be.
Eat clean and follow your dreams.
Thank you for your interest in my story,