How I Lost Over 300 Pounds in 20 Months (Interview)
Hi! Tell us about yourself…why did you decide to start losing weight?
I have been on weight loss journeys in the past, including 2 times having lost around 150 pounds before I started this current weight loss journey. But nothing I would do was long-lasting and I was just looking for short-term fixes and I could only do that for so long.
A trip to Nashville with 3 friends in April 2019 was a trip that I will never forget because it went so badly that ultimately it flipped the switch for me that I needed to start prioritizing my health or I was going to end up 6 feet under, and I was done putting myself through mental and physical hell.
What did you do for exercise when you started? Did you change it up throughout your journey?
The main thing I have done since April 2019 is something so simple, but at one time was very difficult for me to do consistently, because of the constant pain in my knees and back from holding all the weight that I had, and that was walking.
I began walking 10,000 steps a day and was able to consistently do that after almost a week from when I began. Now I aim for 25,000-30,000 steps a day. I have walked more than a marathon within a day (I’ve done this 5 times since August 2019). In addition, I walked 50 miles within a day on October 23, 2020, which came out to 102,000 steps.
I do push-ups, situps, jumping jacks, and run stairs on occasion, and have slowly added more and more as time has gone on. I do want to start weightlifting more, at the very least to tone up my body and tighten up some loose skin I have, but as long as I can keep walking, I plan on making that part of my regimen.
What did you do for nutrition when you started? Did you change it up throughout your journey?
When I began, it was 3 meals and 2 snacks a day for me. When I found out about intermittent fasting, it sounded very similar to what I was already doing. I began implementing it where I have an 8-hour window where I eat to spread out my eating. Whenever I want to be more strict, I do OMAD (one meal a day). For me, it’s more like 2 meals in a day. I can only do that for a week at most at a time because I love to eat haha.
I love to still eat my favorite foods like tacos and have found ways where I don’t use all the extra ingredients and extra portions like I did in the past. There are so many ways you can do tacos without getting bored, pack a lot of flavors, and also make it healthy and guilt-free.
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I personally do not like to count calories. That was something I did in the past and it made me go crazy after a while because of how obsessive I was with every little thing being documented. As long as I know I’m making the right choices, I know I’m gonna be ok with my food decisions.
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How did you stay mentally strong when it was tough? Did you ever give up? How did you recover?
I kept going back to why I was doing this. Because I wanted to better my health, not just for me, but for my family and friends who have supported me through my ups and downs. I was done making excuses and saying that something was impossible and with every goal I’ve had along the way, I’ve crushed it and kept going.
Giving up was never an option for me because I felt like this was my last chance to finally get it right with fixing my health. Everyone has a mental lapse of judgment now and then along the way, but I wouldn’t allow myself to be off course for too long and was very accountable for all my actions in these past 20 months.
I recommend having a good support system that will call you out when you’re not on track and don’t let negative people influence your life. Reach out to others on social media, who know all about the struggles with weight loss and can understand what you’re going through and help if you are stuck.
Did you use any sort of trackers/apps/scales to track your progress?
I have an app on my Samsung Galaxy phone for Samsung Health, which tracks all of my steps every single day. If I wanted to, I could do more on there, but I strictly use it just for steps. I have used the scale throughout and used it to check my weight every day. But when I got to 299 pounds in mid-June of 2020, I stepped back a little and was only going on the scale once every week or two. I was too focused on the number and realized that this was so much more than just a number on a scale.
When did you start to notice progress?
I lost 79 pounds in my 1st 90 days and although I didn’t see much of a difference in pictures right away, I was feeling way better about myself and a lot more confident, and that only grew in time.
Walking became effortless, clothes started to fit properly and I had to get a new wardrobe, but luckily I had kept a lot of clothes from the past, so I didn’t have to buy everything.
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I lost a lot of weight pretty fast but knew that my mindset wasn’t sustainable by going full throttle as I had.
Taking a step back and slowing down the weight loss was the best thing for me and I know that I will keep it off because of my mental strength.
Do you have any fitness “hacks” or “secrets” that helped you succeed?
I have a big problem with eating before bed and I used to want to eat a big meal before sleeping. Now when I have a craving my go-to is non-fat flavored Greek yogurt with granola, so I get my fix and don’t ruin my day.
I have a food addiction so there were plenty of times where I would just go to sleep instead of binging. I thanked myself that next day for not giving into temptation.
What is your best advice to beginners who are looking to lose weight?
- Have patience. It took a long time to get to a certain weight, and it will take a while to lose that extra weight. This doesn’t happen overnight.
- Be consistent with whatever your plan is and if that doesn’t work for you, there is no shame in switching it up to something that can work with your schedule.
- You need to fix your head before you can fix your body. This is the most important one. I thought I fixed myself in the past, but mentally I was a mess. Overtime I needed to acknowledge my addictions and my other issues, get to the root of the problem and know I can’t do those things anymore because it dragged me down so much in the past.
Do you have any fitness books/podcasts/websites that you’d recommend and why?
I think David Goggins is unbelievable and look to him for inspiration as far as someone who is a warrior who never quits in anything and gives me a lot of strength at times.
Where can we find more about you?
Instagram Profile Link: @frankislosingweight
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