How I Lost 130 Pounds In 13 Months At 33!
Hi! Tell us about yourself…why did you decide to start losing weight?
My weight has always been a struggle for me since I was a little girl. As such, being overweight my entire life, I used to hear all the time that I will never be “small” or “skinny” and for a while, I truly believed it. I even remember my doctor saying the same thing when I was a pre-teen. Throughout the years, I continued to gain weight, reaching my highest weight of 275 pounds after having my second son in 2016.
After having my 2nd son, I decided I would start at the beginning of 2017 to lose weight. However, I let “obstacles” become my excuses for why I kept falling off the wagon. Every week was a “new week to start” for the first 6 months of the year and it wasn’t until June of 2017 that I got the wake-up call I needed. With my eldest son’s weight becoming a concern with his pediatrician, I saw the cycle repeating itself all over again (he was in the 96th percentile for his weight at almost 2 years old). It was then, I knew I had to change if I wanted my boys to pick up healthier habits so they wouldn’t have to endure what I did growing up overweight.
What was your workout routine? Can you give us what a typical week looked like for you working out?
I worked out 5 days a week doing a combination of cardio & strength training exercises. During a typical week, I would do three days of cardio and two days of strength training with each workout lasting no more than 1-hour. For my cardio regimen, I would do a combination of steady-state cardio (i.e. walk/run 2 miles or cycle for 30 minutes) and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT really helped me to get rid of the stubborn fat in the abdomen and leg areas.
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For my strength training regimen, I would complete two full-body workouts a week, making sure I hit every muscle group. I started with using 5-pound dumbbells and as I got stronger, I increased the weight (I’m now using 15-20 pound dumbbells on average). Strength training really helped me to build lean muscle and boost metabolism, helping me to burn even more fat. Not only that, but strength training also helped me to minimize the amount of loose skin I was left with as I lost the weight.
What was your nutrition like? Can you give us what a typical day of eating looked like?
During my weight loss journey, I followed a low to moderate carb, high protein diet. Additionally, I started drinking green smoothies as meal replacements after reading about the 10-day Green Smoothie Cleanse by JJ Smith (I did this cleanse once a month). The cleanse helped me to detox not only my body but also my mind and helped me to develop a discipline around my eating habits. As a result, I found that my cravings for junk foods gradually went away.
I cut back on eating white carbs (sugar, bread, pasta, rice), fried foods, dairy (milk/cheese), alcohol & juices, and I eliminated beef & pork from my diet. I began eating more vegetables, fruits, and lean protein, such as fish, turkey, and chicken. I would also drink a gallon of water a day to help with keeping me full so I wouldn’t binge eat as I used to. Additionally, I did have a cheat meal once a week to give me something to look forward to as well as keep my body from hitting a plateau. Typically, my cheat meal would consist of more carbs which helped me not to feel deprived along the way.
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How did you stay motivated to lose weight? Did you ever slip up?
The first month of my weight loss journey I wanted to give up after stepping on the scale for 2 weeks and not seeing the numbers move, even though I had made changes to my diet and started working out. I was so determined this time not to give up like I did all the other times before, I decided to join and actually participate in a weight loss support group on Facebook. This group literally saved me from quitting AGAIN. I posted about my struggle with the scale in the group and received so much encouragement that it made me push through. That support system served as my reminder for what & why I was on this journey whenever I wanted to quit.
Having a support team or joining a support group really helps with accountability, not to mention, motivation. Seeing the other members post them before & after photos inspired me to go into a challenge with myself, to transform my body & ultimately, my life. I also encourage others in this journey to be patient with the process and to remember to show yourself grace along the way! Life happens but I’ve discovered that it’s not about what happens to you but how you respond that makes all the difference in being successful in this journey.
When did you start to notice progress?
My progress was more gradual. It wasn’t until I reached ONEderland (the 190s) I really saw how much progress I made, even though everyone else was already seeing it. Looking back through my progress photos the first year was my WHOA moment and really put the change in perspective for me. If there is one thing I always encourage people to do, it’s to take pictures along the way. Trust me, they come in handy on the days the scale does not move or change much.
Did you use any sort of trackers/apps/scales to track your progress?
Yes, I used MyFitnessPal to track my nutrition and Fitbit to track my workouts & steps. MyFitnessPal really helped put into perspective what and how much I was eating. It helped me to learn portion control and how each macronutrient (protein, carbs, and fats) impacted your results. Fitbit really made me more conscious of my physical activity level and would serve as my reminder to move more (I worked a desk job so I wasn’t on my feet much).
Are there any other fitness products that you used frequently?
I used collagen to help with my hair, nails, and most importantly, skin (it helps with your skin elasticity and tightening). I would add a scoop of powder to my smoothies every day. I like Naked Nutrition’s collagen and Neocell.
Do you have any weight loss “hacks” or “secrets” that helped you succeed?
Out of sight, out of mind. I found that clearing out my fridge & pantry of unhealthy food items kept me from indulging in them when I shouldn’t have been. If you must have a few unhealthy items, I recommend storing them in the back so that the healthier foods are seen first.
Another hack that helped me TREMENDOUSLY was finding healthy alternatives for my favorite junk foods. I made a list of simple substitutes that gave me the same satisfaction with fewer calories & sugar. So, instead of getting Pizza Hut, I started making my own pizzas using low carb tortilla wraps, veggies, and low moisture part-skim mozzarella.
Do you have any fitness books/podcasts/websites that you’d recommend and why?
Some of my favorite apps for weight loss and fitness include Fitonomy, Workout for Women, and PopSugar Fitness channel on YouTube. These apps help me stay in the know on health & social trends as well as help me when I am looking for workouts to do at home.
Where can we find more about you?
My Website: https://www.glowandgrowfitness.com
My Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vickinosecrets
My Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vickinosecretss
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