How She Lost 105 Pounds With Weightlifting
Hi! Tell us about yourself…why did you decide to start losing weight?
Hi everyone! My name is Anam, I am currently 26 years old. I started my fitness journey around 19-20 years old, I was in college and like most young adults trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I was pursuing a career choice that turns out, wasn’t for me. I struggled so much, “do I want to continue down this path or do I quit and start something new?” “Oh but I am so far down my degree I can’t turn back now.”
I had a lot of anxiety, I was in a place in my life where I feel like I had no direction and was coping with it by “eating” my emotions. I didn’t realize I gained so much weight and was sitting at 297lbs.
I didn’t feel beautiful anymore, I didn’t think I was attractive, I didn’t feel valued. This shattered all my self-love, worth, confidence, and esteem. I was comparing myself to all the other girls on social media and every night I would cry thinking I was not good enough.
I really don’t know how to explain it other than a light bulb going off in my head. Overnight, I felt like enough was enough, I couldn’t handle being sad anymore. I want to be happy, I want to feel pretty, I want to see my worth again.
The very next day, with no plan, no idea how I was going to do it, scared out of my mind, I walked into the gym. Six years later and I’m still here, pushing, fighting, every day to get better.
What was your workout routine? Can you give us what a typical week looked like for you working out?
I workout 6 days a week. Mondays through Fridays are my standard weight lifting + cardio days. Saturdays I do spin in the morning, if I feel like I have some juice left in me I’ll do an abs routine or HIIT workout targeting my full body, otherwise, I call it a day and go home.
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I start with weight training and then do cardio for 40 minutes. In total, I spend anywhere between 2 and a half 3 hours per day at the gym.
My workout split is the following:
Mondays: Legs (quads focused)
Tuesday: Chest and Triceps
Thursday: Biceps and Shoulders
Fridays: Legs (Hamstring focused)
Sundays are reserved for Netflix, haha! Sundays are my recovery days, I may do a brisk walk around the house to keep some movement going, but other than that, I let my body rest for the upcoming week.
I definitely did not start with 6 days right off the bat. At the beginning of my journey, I was only going twice a week. That increased to 3 times, then 4, and eventually I got to 6 days. I would increase my days and time spent at the gym after I got into a consistent routine. Discipline and consistency are the biggest factors that helped me increase my time.
What was your nutrition like? Can you give us what a typical day of eating looked like?
I am currently in a caloric deficit and use the “MyFitnessPal” app to calculate how many calories I should be eating per day to lose weight. I mostly eat whole foods such as whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, chicken, etc.
I also incorporate protein bars, protein powder, greek yogurt, zero-calorie Gatorade, coke zero, almond milk, enlightened ice cream bars, popcorn, rice cakes, and whole grain-based cereals into my diet.
The only supplement outside of protein powder I use is BCAAs, Branched Chain Amino Acids. I mix BCAAs into my water and drink throughout the day for muscle recovery, fatigue, and electrolytes. My favorite brand is XTEND.
I try to balance my diet and not overdose on protein. I make sure to eat a sufficient amount of carbohydrates and fats as well according to the macronutrients that are calculated for me through MyFitnessPal. I eat around 1,700 calories per day, every 2-3 hours, so small meals throughout the day. This helps keep my energy level up and prevents me from overeating while I do my work/chores/errands.
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How did you stay motivated to lose weight? Did you ever slip up?
Anytime I have had to face difficulties in my life and was struggling to stay motivated, I would always tell myself “What are you fighting for?” “What is your priority?” “Why are you doing this?”
Self-talk is so important when you want to give up. You HAVE to remind yourself of your goals, the things you are trying to accomplish. You have to find it within you to say “no, I am going to keep pushing.” Setbacks are temporary, winning lasts a lifetime.
When did you start to notice progress?
I started to notice progress after six months of consistency. This meant disciplining myself to eat healthily and exercising for 6 months straight. It took a year to notice a major difference.
In the years in between, I was very flat. I would lose weight and then I would gain weight. I had moments where I was super focused on getting healthier, then I would want to take a break and live my life. This included traveling and eating delicious foods with my friends, which took all my hard work down the drain.
The pandemic took a toll on me. I lost all motivation to be healthy and as a result, gained a massive amount of weight. Gyms in my area reopened during phase 2 and ever since then I have been consistently going. I am down 105lbs, my goal weight-wise is to get to the 125-130lbs range.
Did you use any sort of trackers/apps/scales to track your progress?
The only tracker I have ever used is “MyFitnessPal.” I have checked out LifeSum and sometimes use that to compare my caloric intake to get a better confirmation on what MyFitnessPal thinks I should be eating.
Otherwise, that has been my “go-to” since day 1. I log all my meals, water intake, and cardio sessions into the app.
Are there any other fitness products that you used frequently?
I use a sweat belt by the brand Sweet Sweat, I only wear it when I do cardio!
Do you have any weight loss “hacks” or “secrets” that helped you succeed?
Every two hours or so I like to put my music on and walk for about 15 minutes around the house. It’s nice to take a break from work to clear my mind, but also get some movement/steps in for the day.
Do you have any fitness books/podcasts/websites that you’d recommend and why?
Where can we find more about you?
I like to show the mental and emotional aspects of my fitness journey while also illustrating the physical adversities one must face lifting heavy!
Would you like to share YOUR story on How I’m Fit?
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