When someone asks you what your biggest accomplishment is… what do you tell them?
The first one that comes to mind for me is weight loss. Every single time. I don’t know if this can even be considered an accomplishment… but I consider it mine. When I was 19 years old, I weighed in at 285 lbs. WOAH, right? I absolutely could not believe that I’d let my weight get that out of hand, but it had, and it felt absolutely hopeless. I feel like weight loss journeys often begin with one deciding moment. For me, it was this photo.
This photo was taken at my friend’s 19th birthday party. I had never looked at myself as being that big before. It was the rudest awakening I’ve ever experienced. I even had a couple of friends who saw the photo approach me and gently tell me they thought it may be a good time to start taking my health into consideration. I cried, defended myself, wallowed in self-pity… and then got in my mom’s car (I was a teenager LOL I didn’t have my own car) and drove down the street to join a gym. That was the day it all started. I waltzed into the Goodlife in Etobicoke Ontario (near Toronto), signed up, and got on an elliptical. Like literally, that’s exactly how it went. I remember what I was wearing, too. Bell bottom stretchy pants and a GIANT cotton white men’s t shirt. I burned 500 calories in less than 30 minutes. It was the most enlightening feeling of all time.
I kid you not; it took probably 2 months to lose my first 40 lbs. My body was so used to not moving at all ever, and the shock of actually getting my heart pumping that hard shot me right into the gear I needed to be in. I feel like when you start a weight loss journey the weight comes off so easily at first, and the moment it starts to get hard is when you get discouraged. That’s where the fallout is.
I’ve been asked a million times… how did you do it?! What’s your secret?! And I always come back with the exact same story, and get the exact same response:
Cool! Thanks girl!
I think people are expecting me to say… “well I took this pill and 3 weeks later, I was 120 lbs less!”
Man, I wish that was the answer, I really do. All of this shit takes time. But honestly, the time is going to pass anyway, and you may as well spend it putting the work in. Yeah, a year is a long freaking time. But, one year will go by whether you want it to or not, and you get to be the decider of how you want to feel once that year passes.
Quick fixes don’t exist. What do exist are slow starts, and long plateaus, and heavy breakdowns… but also a strength you never could’ve possibly known exists. You don’t have to become some kind of gym rat, or be obsessed with working out, or enjoy the health aspect whatsoever… but you WILL love how you feel while you do it. I can promise you that.
Like I mentioned earlier, I get a lot of questions asking HOW. So what I’m going to do for you here is give you a step by step time line as to what worked for me. This is how I did it. This won’t work for everyone… but it may help you get started in the right direction.
STARTING WEIGHT: 285 lbs HEIGHT: 5’8 GENDER: Female BUILD: Average CURRENT WEIGHT: In the 160’s.
1. CHANGED MY DIET
The very first step I took was changing my diet. I did not do keto, or cut carbs, or do anything that couldn’t be sustained for my entire life. It didn’t seem worth it to me if I was just going to gain it back anyway. I still ate normal food. I bought thinner sliced bread, ate a lot of veggies and hummus, a lot of fruit, and stayed away from my typical go-to’s like Nutella and McDonalds. I also tracked EVERYTHING in MyFitnessPal. I still do to this day. It’s a game changer, and literally tells you exactly how many calories you need to be eating.
2. JOINED A GYM
I joined Goodlife after a week or two of solid healthy eating. Doing everything all at once can make things challenging. One step at a time is honestly the key. I went and made it my goal to burn 500 calories a day during cardio. The more overweight you are, the less time it takes. As my weight started to get lower, my daily calorie burn goals changed, but for the first while, I did this.
3. LOST 40 LBS AND STAYED THAT WAY
I lost my first 40 lbs. and sustained it for 3 years. For real… I took a very long break. This happened while I was in college. I didn’t gain any of it back, but I sat around 240-250 lbs for a very long time. I honestly think these periods of waiting and letting your body find its way can really help with success in the long run. Do keep in mind, though, that 2 years is really excessive LOL.
4. JOINED WEIGHT WATCHERS
I will preach Weight Watchers and the entire WW community until the day I die. You can join them in many different ways (just online, going to meetings etc.) The price you pay varies on what kind of membership you’d like. I checked into weight watchers for the first time December 2014 at 256 lbs. When I left the program, I was down to 190. I never even gained back one of the pounds that I lost with this program. The meetings are amazing, the community is like family, and it is worth every penny, I miss it all the time. They didn’t even pay me to say this I promise LOL (I wish they would, damn).
5. GOT BACK INTO THE GYM
After 2 months of weight watchers and losing about 20 lbs. (so far)… I was feeling myself and feeling healthy. This is when I really started deep going back to the gym. During this workout period I got below the 200 pound mark and that was what really motivated me to keep on going. Once that happened, I continued healthy eating and quit weight watchers. The weight came off a lot slower than I would’ve liked at points… but you can’t quit because of that.
6. ENDURED PERIODS OF NOT WORKING OUT AT ALL, BUT CONTINUING NUTRITION.
It is SO common to fall off the wagon when it comes to gym going. Finding the motivation is really really hard. As long as you keep your eye on your nutrition you are so golden Pony Boy.
7. DISCOVERED ‘COMMUNITY’ GYMS.
I’m not sure what else to refer to these gyms as other than “community gyms”. These gym’s cost a little more to go to than a regular gym, but the motivation you find while going to these gyms is like no other. Due to the fact that you have to actually book classes, you don’t really have a choice but to go. It’s worth every penny. I started with group classes at Goodlife… then spent a couple of years at RUMBLE Boxing gym (in Calgary, Alberta) which was amazing. Now I go to f45 Marda Loop (also in Calgary AB). These gyms are good for EVERYONE. No matter where you are in your journey, and I couldn’t recommend finding a gym like this more.
9. BOOKED MY WEIGHTLOSS SURGERY
This is an expensive feat. This is not something everyone will NEED to do, and also not something everyone will be able to do. It changed my life, though. January 11, 2019 I had 7 lbs of excess skin removed from my back and abdomen. This loose skin was a result of the major weight loss. I’ve had a few girls ask me “is it even worth it if I’m going to have all this loose skin after?” oh honey YES. My god YES! You have the skin anyway, it’s just that it’s empty instead of full…which is undeniably healthier. You’re beautiful no matter what your skin looks like, and do not let this aspect of weightloss deter you from trying. Please. I promise you it is worth it.
10. MAINTENANCE AND MUSCLE MASS
The thing about weight loss, is that you’re never really “done”. It’s a weird thought to know there will never be a day where you’re like okay cool I’m all done that was fun onto the next thing! It’s something that you’ll be partially working on for your entire life. This isn’t a bad thing, though. It’s just part of taking care of yourself, which I will always continue to do. I weigh myself a whole lot less these days, and work more on losing body fat and gaining muscle, toning, continuing to get strong after surgery, and learn to love myself again.
Listen babe, I know this sounds like a lot. Like a shit ton of work that you may or may not be willing to put in. You may never fall in love with Kale or eating carrots as a snack or tracking your meals or running on a treadmill, but you will fall in love with walking through the mall and not breaking a sweat, and feeling comfortable in your skin, and feeling taken care of by YOU. I promise you. If you have any questions please reach out. I’m going to write another blog about the weight loss surgery that I went through and all of the details and the cost of that, and that’ll be coming soon.
This is for all of the times I’ve been asked “how did you do it?”
I wish there was an easier reply. But I hope this helps you… and I KNOW for a fact, without a doubt, you absolutely can do this.