What made you decide to finally commit to losing the weight for good?
I have struggled with my weight all of my life and it’s always been a battle. After the birth of my son, I knew I had to do something not only for myself, but also for my family. I could barely walk around with him before–I had to sit down; I was only going downhill. I was at work one day and made the decision to join WW (formerly Weight Watchers) right then.
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How much weight have you lost and how did you do it?
I have lost 99 pounds and I did it all on WW. I’ve been on the program for over three years. It’s all about consistency.
What is your goal weight? Have you reached it? How long did it take?
I’m about 10 pounds away from my goal weight with WW and I’ve been on the program for over three years.
What other diets/routines have you tried in the past?
I’ve tried counting calories, diet pills, seeing a doctor and getting prescribed medication, etc. You name it and I’ve tried it all! The biggest problem with fad diets is that it’s not sustainable long-term and as soon as I lost a little bit of weight, I would gain it all back.
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What has been the hardest part of your journey?
It’s been the negative talk inside my head. I look at myself in the mirror sometimes and I still see myself 99 pounds heavier and pick myself apart. It’s definitely something I’ve been working on to switch my mindset.
You have more than 30,000 followers on your Instagram account. How has sharing your journey on social media affected you and your weight-loss journey?
I started my Instagram as an accountability tool. A place where I could post my meals, progress pictures, inspirational messages and join a community of like-minded individuals. It has been a huge part of my journey and it has affected my journey tremendously. I never imagined that by creating this account that I would have the biggest group of cheerleaders constantly encouraging me and inspiring me on a daily basis. I met some of my best friends through Instagram and even traveled across the country to meet them for a long weekend! I sometimes get comments or messages from people that aren’t the kindest, but I’ve learned to let it go and just hit the block button.
Who/what inspires you to keep going?
My family. I’m not only doing this for myself, but also for them.
What does your typical day look like?
A day for me starts by hitting that alarm button and jumping out of bed to get going! Some mornings I do an early workout and come home to get ready for work or I walk into my kitchen and get my coffee brewing while I wake up everyone else. I typically don’t eat breakfast until after I get to work, and I have it packed in my lunch bag. After school drop-offs, I head to work for the day. I pack breakfast, lunch and snacks to keep me on track. After work, I do school pickup and then home to get dinner started. If the weather is nice, we will go outside and ride bikes or take a walk around the neighborhood before it’s time to start winding down for the night.
Typical healthy meal is for you:
A healthy meal for me is a lean protein like grilled chicken, rice and a vegetable. I am also a creature of habit and tend to eat most of the same things for breakfast and lunches during the work week, (e.g. plain nonfat greek yogurt with berries and a sandwich with pretzels and fruit for lunch).
Fruit, carrot sticks, popcorn, pretzels or any of the WW snacks because I’m obsessed with them all.
Cheat meals/cheat snacks:
The best thing about WW is that no foods are off limits! I may have a day where I use more of my daily allotted points on pizza or ice cream with my family, but nothing is considered “cheating.” It’s my lifestyle!
Do you find yourself focusing more on diet or exercise? Or do you try to find a balance?
I definitely have a good balance. I work out four to five times a week and always schedule time to do so for myself.
What is your favorite way to work out? How do you motivate yourself on the days you don’t want to exercise?
Last year I started attending Orangetheory Fitness and it’s an HIIT workout class that focuses on cardio and strength training. Now I attend classes four to five times a week either early in the morning before work or in the afternoons. There are days I don’t want to exercise, but what motivates me to go is that you have to sign up for classes online. I’m more dedicated if I’m signed up and it’s on my calendar to go!
How has your weight-loss journey affected your family?
It has affected them most definitely for the better. I am the mom that I’ve always wanted to be. I want to be active with them and I am no longer sitting on the sidelines. My husband and some of my family members are also on WW, so we are always checking in with each other and our progress.
What advice do you have for others, especially moms, who are struggling with weight loss?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself first. I had to learn to take time for myself whether it was meal prepping in the kitchen, working out, or even doing some sort of self-care like taking a long bath or reading. Consistency is key! You’re not going to be perfect every week. Things happen, but as long as you are consistent and stick with it, you will see long-term success.