100+ Pounds, Female, Natural Weight Loss

How I Lost 140 Pounds in 2 Years Naturally (Interview)

Hi! Tell us about yourself…why did you decide to start losing weight?

My decision to start losing weight was pretty random and generic, to be honest.  I have had many failed weight loss attempts.  Losing 50-60 pounds and then gaining it all and then some more back.  

January 4th, 2018, my husband mentioned that his work was starting a weight loss challenge and wanted to know if I wanted to join him.  I figured, “weight loss is easier with someone, so why not?”  I couldn’t “compete” because I didn’t work there, but I figured, “what do I have to lose?” Obviously a bunch of weight!

My husband’s work only had their competition go for 4-5 months.  Once the competition was over, I realized whatever I was doing was working, so I just kept going!

In the first 11 months of my journey – I lost 70 pounds just by fixing my nutrition, this did not include any working out. 

What did you do for exercise when you started? Did you change it up throughout your journey?

All of my weight loss has come from working out at home (or outdoors).  I haven’t stepped foot in a gym.  The first 11 months of my journey were strictly nutrition. 

In December of 2018, my husband got me a stationary bike for Christmas.  I normally would bike for 60 minutes 5-6 days a week.  I would wake up at 4 am every weekday to workout before work. 

I like working out in the morning before work because then it is done right away.  There are so many factors that go into a day and if I waited until after work, I would come up with a million excuses not to do it.  So I get up and get it done right away. 

I also try to get 8,000-10,000 steps 5-6 days a week by walking on my lunch break and/or when I got home from work.  When it was cold outside, I would even drive to Target or Walmart on my lunch break so that I could still walk. It’s a little harder now that you have to wear a mask everywhere. 

Also during this crazy year/time in our lives, I found that doing virtual 5Ks really helped to keep me motivated and I attempted to pick up running.  Over the course of 2020, I have done ten 5Ks and one 6K. They may not be fast, but I got them done!

My next step will be to start toning my loose skin on my arms.

What did you do for nutrition when you started? Did you change it up throughout your journey? 

Besides counting calories, I have no specific type of diet because I love all foods too much.  I just learned that you can still eat all of the foods that you love, you just need to be more aware of HOW MUCH of those things you are eating. 

For example, rather than eating 5-6 pieces of pizza, eat two and then fill the rest of your plate with a side salad. 

You are still getting the food that you wanted and craved but you are being more conscious of how much of it you are eating.  In my opinion, life is too short to eliminate pizza, pasta, bread, and cheese! 

It took me about a year into my journey to figure this out but, I realized that I can still eat whatever I want, just do so in moderation.  The baker in me couldn’t give up sweets forever, that was never an option.  Balance is a hard thing to find, but once you do – life is a lot better. 

I think that’s something that people who “go on a diet” don’t realize.  They restrict themselves so much and think they can only eat lettuce and grilled chicken and then they end up binge eating everything once they have “had enough.” 

A few apps and websites have been so helpful!

First and foremost, I use the MyFitnessPal app on my smartphone.  You plug in how old you are, how tall you are, how much you weigh, and how much you want to weigh.  It gives you how many calories you should be eating a day to lose weight.  The daily food journal and tracker is so easy to use and comprehend. It also includes a scanner so that you can scan packages of food easily. 

After entering all of my information, I had 1,570 calories a day when I wanted to start losing the weight, now that I’m in maintenance mode I have between 1,800 and 2,200 depending on my activity level.  

I did not take any supplements.

I just did a lot of online research on how to up my protein intake.  I also researched so that I could figure out how much food I could eat (quantity-wise) and still stay in my calorie range.  Basically trying to figure out which foods I could eat a lot of that weren’t too bad for me.  

A lot of my frequent foods are hard-boiled eggs; greek yogurt; carrots; cottage cheese; light babybel cheese; and turkey sausage.

I try to drink 100+oz of water 5-6 days a week, too!

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How did you stay mentally strong when it was tough? Did you ever give up? How did you recover?

100% – everyone slips up, we are all human!

What made me successful? First and foremost, it’s my mindset.  I needed to change my mindset from gloomy Eeyore to bad-ass, can’t be stopped Wonder Woman.  Your mindset is literally your number one tool in successful weight loss.  If you believe that you can do it, you can.  And it also goes the other way; if you don’t think you can succeed…you won’t.

Losing weight is a mind game: change your mind, change your body.  It all starts there.

The other main thing about your mindset is you have to realize that weight loss isn’t a quick process (unless you are only trying to lose 5 pounds) and that most of the time there isn’t a quick fix to lose a bunch of weight. 

Sometimes people seem disappointed when I tell them that I just track what I eat, I try to eat better and be more aware of what I am eating. I also get up at 4 am to bike 5 days a week.  It is a process every single day and you can’t only put in the effort when you feel like it.  There are ups, there are downs – it takes patience and willpower.

And I want to be real with you – is my mindset always bad-ass Wonder Woman? No. 

Some days I struggle and some days I’m like Eeyore, but you know what? I realize how much better my days are and how much more positive my life is when I think like Wonder Woman.  So I just make sure that I think like Wonder Woman 95% of the time and only think like Eeyore 5% of the time.

I have no idea what part of my mindset changed, but I finally realized that as long as I was making the effort to make my life and health better, it didn’t matter how long it would take.  It doesn’t matter what the number actually is as long as I am making a conscious effort every single day to make my life better and that’s the best I can do for myself without getting burnt out or going on a massive binge.

If you are putting in the effort, there isn’t much else you can do, but trust the process.  Don’t obsess, you are making your life better regardless!

Did you use any sort of trackers/apps/scales to track your progress?

I mainly noticed progress in how my clothing was fitting me. Do you know what is one of the hardest things about being overweight? Gifts. Gifts from others. Gifts from your loved ones.

I had two shirts in my possession for a very, very long time. I even kept the tags on them. I had been holding onto a White Sox shirt that my dad had gotten for me since 2006.

I held onto it for 13 YEARS.

When it’s a gift from someone you just don’t have the heart to tell them that it doesn’t fit and you hold onto it in hopes that it will fit someday.

It took me 13 years to be able to fit into that shirt, that was one of my “big” moments. 

I also realized my progress when I ran into people that I hadn’t seen for a while. When you look at yourself every single day in the mirror, you don’t necessarily notice those changes day in and day out.  I saw a few family friends that I normally only see maybe two-three times a year.  Two of them told me that they didn’t even recognize me. That’s a pretty huge deal! 

They both had mentioned that my face had changed so much that they didn’t even realize it was me.  One of them even told me that I looked athletic.

When I hit my 100 pounds down weight loss – it was such a huge day for me, I hit so many different victories that day.

1.  I had lost 100 pounds since I started counting calories on January 4, 2018 – that’s more than 460 days – 16 months.

2. I now weighed LESS than it stated on my driver’s license. I didn’t even know that was possible!

3. I now weighed LESS than I did when I met my husband over 7 years ago.

4. I had moved my BMI from off the chart of Extreme Obesity of 57.4 when I started to Obesity of 39.

5. I was at the weight that I was the last time I stopped doing Weight Watchers back in 2011/2012 right before I met my husband.

When did you start to notice progress?

The main app that I’ve been using is MyFitnessPal to track my food and water intake. It’s free! I’ve logged in for 1,083 days in a row!

I try to track days when I’m not completely following my calories too, “Treat Days” – so that I realize how I used to eat on a normal basis daily a few years ago. 

It’s really eye-opening to see that I used to spend 95% of my day’s calories on just breakfast at McDonald’s!

I use “MapMyWalk” and “MapMyRun” for any of my walks and/or runs.

Do you have any fitness “hacks” or “secrets” that helped you succeed?

Water consumption! And decent sleep!

Drinking more water will make your stomach feel better and will clear up your skin. 

Getting a significant amount of sleep helps throughout the day!

What is your best advice to beginners who are looking to lose weight?

I cannot emphasize it enough: Consistency, Commitment, Discipline, Getting Rid of Excuses, and Not Caring What Other People Think.

Consistency/Commitment: 

I have consistently tracked my food for the last 560+ days.

Since December, I have consistently biked 4-5 days a week every single morning at 4:30 am.

Since May, I have committed to trying to drink 100 oz of water a day.

Discipline:
Sometimes I skip the bun because I want cheese. And I sometimes skip the booze because I want the fries. Another time, I’ll skip the free bagels at the office because I know what I’m eating the rest of the day and that will throw off my calories.  How bad do you want it? Enough to be disciplined?

Getting Rid of Excuses:
I had someone contact me on Instagram, someone I’ve never even met before, and she asked me how I’ve been so successful.  I went over a few things and everything I mentioned she had an excuse as to why she couldn’t do that.  I finally said to her, “you know, I got to the point where I just said to myself, ‘How bad do you want it?’, and I haven’t let anything get in my way since.”

Not Caring What Other People Think:
The thing that sucks about the world nowadays is that everyone is so judgmental.  One of the things that has kept me going was putting other people’s thoughts behind me, you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone.

“You’re only having one beer today?”
Yup, because I wanted fries instead.  Yup, because my cheat day was yesterday.

“Didn’t you just go to the bathroom ten minutes ago?”
Yup, but I’ve had 90 ounces of water already today.

“What do you mean you go to bed between 7:30 pm and 8:30 pm?”
I get up early to work out and want a good nights sleep

“You actually wake up THAT early to work out? Why?”
Because I don’t always know what my plans after work will be, and this way I know that I will be able to get the workout in if I do it in the morning.

What I’m doing is working and what I’m doing has allowed me to lose 140 pounds – who cares what others think?  They all may have an opinion but they all sure as hell wanna know how I got to where I am.

Commitment, Consistency, Discipline, Getting Rid of Excuses, and Not Letting Others Thoughts Get to Me!

I will tell you, it takes work, it takes dedication – but you CAN do it.  To be honest, I think the first step is just taking a look at what you are eating.  I’m not saying you have to count calories as I do, but what I’m saying is you should at least take an honest look at what you eat and how much of it you eat. 

You have to know: It won’t happen overnight, it won’t be easy, but oh my god it is worth it.  I think the biggest struggle is when you don’t see results right away.  It can be frustrating but just keep pushing.  Slow and steady works just fine – in the long run, it all adds up! 

Do you have any fitness books/podcasts/websites that you’d recommend and why?

The main websites that have helped me have been places where I can find lower-calorie, but still super yummy recipes!
Skinnytaste, Cooking Light, SkinnyMs

I’m not much of a podcast person because I don’t spend much time in the car or traveling to listen – but I was a guest on MyBigFatLife Podcast!

Where can we find more about you?

@cupcakesrolls2weightlossgoals on Instagram

I also have a blog – but I haven’t written in it a whole bunch recently, but it has A LOT of my thoughts during the process, my ups and downs! Here’s a link: https://wordpress.com/view/cupcakesandrollstoweightlossgoals.home.blog

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