How This Mom Lost 115 Pounds and Got Abs! (Diet and Workouts)
Hi! Tell us about yourself…why did you decide to start losing weight?
I tipped the scale at 260lbs after I had my first baby in August of 2015. I also found myself tired and I simply had no energy to do anything. However, my weight did not hit me until my husband’s work holiday party one year. I struggled to find a dress that would fit me, I went from store to store and left so defeated. When I finally found my dress, I was completely shocked at my dress size, I was so embarrassed that my husband would have to walk into his work event with me. So I put on my confident smile and attend the party, but when I looked back at the pictures I couldn’t believe that was me.
Knowing I wanted to be an active mom for my daughter and a role model, I knew I had to make some changes to my health. My daughter is one of my greatest motivations because she is a warrior who went through a lot medically when she was born. She is a fighter and I decided I needed to be a fighter like her.
Then I had my second baby, my handsome son and my weight went back to 216lbs. However, this time I knew exactly what I needed to do. So once I recovered from my C-section, I started to put in the work. Now I had two reasons to get fit and healthy, as my babies are my world.
What was your workout routine? Can you give us what a typical week looked like for you working out?
I was never a stranger to the gym, I had yoyoed with my weight my whole live but never like this. So I did what I knew, I walked through the doors of Goodlife slightly embarrassed and concerned about what others would think of me nonetheless I went straight for the treadmill and started walking.
View this post on Instagram
When I went on the treadmill, I did so like I normally would have, I set the treadmill to what once was a comfortable pace, to quickly learn I could no longer keep up with that speed. I was winded and exhausted just after one minute. But I did not get discouraged, I just brought down my speed and kept ongoing.
At the beginning of my journey I stuck to cardio primarily, switching from the treadmill, cross trainer, and eventually the stepper and StairMaster. I would always challenge myself to higher intensity levels and increasing my time. I would go to the gym at least 5x a week for about an hour and a half and I started to get results, the pounds started melting off.
I eventually hit a point where I felt comfortable incorporating weight training. See I fell into the trap that cardio is the only way but it is not. Maybe if I had incorporated weights from the beginning I may have not had as much loose skin, but who knows. But once I started lifting weight, is when I fell in love with working out. I was amazed to see what my body was capable of doing. I was getting stronger and stronger with each day that passed by, lifting heavier and accomplishing workouts that I thought were far too advanced for me.
Then came the turf… it was as if a switch turned on. I gravitated towards the high-intensity interval training style of workout. I would challenge myself daily and with the amount of sweat I dripped, you would think it was raining inside the gym. But that sweat made me push even harder. As I saw my body get sculpted and my muscles started appearing, there was no turning back… I finally had abs… I had delivered my baby by c-section, and I was taught that was impossible.
My key advice when it comes to working out is to find something you enjoy so it doesn’t feel like a chore. This is when you truly tap in and get laser-focused on your goals and honestly nothing can stop you then, because you become thirsty for that workout; that feeling of soreness and seeing all the things you thought were out of reach become so easy for you to perform. Also start with baby steps and as your make progress continue to challenge yourself.
What was your nutrition like? Can you give us what a typical day of eating looked like?
When I first started on my journey, I had to watch how restrictive I was being with my nutrition as I was still breastfeeding my baby. So the main switch I did was to reduce my carb intake to good carbs and cut out the processed carbs. I increased my protein and veggies intake drastically. I actually felt like I was eating more food than I was before.
The main supplements I started taking were protein shakes and probiotics to promote good gut health.
A typical day of eating for me:
– Breakfast -1 whole egg and ½ cup of egg whites with spinach, onions, and mushrooms on top of whole wheat bread with ¼ avocado
– Snack – Low-fat yogurt with berries, chia seeds, and granola
– Lunch – Chicken breast and Quinoa salad
– Snack – Veggie sticks with Peanut Butter
– Dinner – Chicken breast or salmon, whole wheat rice, and brussels sprouts.
I also increased my water intake to a gallon – boy did I go to the washroom a lot.
Like this weight loss story? Get more exclusive weight loss stories delivered to your email inbox every Thursday!
How did you stay motivated to lose weight? Did you ever slip up?
Was I motivated 100% of the time? Not always. I had my share of slip-ups and in the beginning, I would punish myself for those slip-ups with extra cardio. This behavior is something I quickly learned to change, because you can have a slip up as long as you get back on track the next day.
My greatest motivator was always my daughter. I always wanted to be that mom she could be proud of and looked up to. My baby girl was a fighter from day 1 as a newborn, so what would be my excuse. Just looking at my kids always kept me focused, as I knew they were always looking up to me. When I would workout in front of them, they would both join me. They would say I want muscles like mommy and honestly that was the best feeling, because I felt like I was being the type of role model I wanted for both my kids, especially for a young girl.
Another motivator was seeing the results show from all the hard work I was putting in, my success was staring back at me in the mirror each and every day.
The hardest time for me to stay on course was losing my mom in 2017. I was in peak shape, but the loss of my mom shook me to my core. I was lost and did not understand her sudden passing. My love for working out was challenged as the only thoughts through my head were my moms last moments on repeat, I couldn’t breathe in the gym so I stopped.
I gained about 15-20 lbs after losing my mom and then it hit me. Why was I throwing my health away, when that is one of the reasons my mom was no longer with us. I did not want her passing to go in vain, instead, I kept her vision in my thoughts and pushed harder than I have ever pushed before. She was a fighter and I had to do her proud.
When did you start to notice progress?
The first week when I started back at the gym, I lost 5lbs and I was shocked. However, seeing that number really motivated me to keep doing what I was doing but harder each day. Because of that mentality, I continued to see great results week in and week out.
Eventually, I did hit a plateau, but I quickly learned that meant I needed to make a change. That is when I introduced the HIIT style of workouts. Just like that the pounds started to come off. I hit a point in my journey when I changed how I gaged my success to inches and how I felt in my clothing over the number on the scale. When I started gaining muscle the number on the scale eventually stopped moving slower than ever, but I was getting tighter and felt like I was the smallest I have ever been.
Did you use any sort of trackers/apps/scales to track your progress?
To be honest I didn’t really track my nutrition in any app or tracker. I just knew what and how much I should eat and did it. I would adjust my nutrition based on how it made me feel and the results I was seeing.
I would never track my workouts in the beginning, however that changed when I started lifting weights. Then I would write my workout plans in a planner and list my weights so that I could keep progressing my weights correctly
Are there any other fitness products that you used frequently?
The only fitness products I used daily were Protein shakes. I also took BCAA to aid in muscle recovery. For the longest time I would only drink coffee before my workouts, but I eventually hit a wall with that, and need the extra pick me up from my hectic daily life with a pre-workout. However, I only used a pre-workout if I really needed it.
Do you have any weight loss “hacks” or “secrets” that helped you succeed?
I found eating before 6 pm really helped me, I was allowing my body efficient time to burn off what I ate before bed. Drinking peppermint tea really helped curb my cravings at night. The biggest tip I would say is to find alternatives to things you really enjoy. For example, I love chips, so now we have opted for mini rice cake chips instead. Don’t get me wrong, I will still have chips here or there but not on the regular at all.
Also, make small manageable goals. When we achieve realistic goals, it keeps us motivated to keep going and not get discouraged.
What is your best advice to beginners who are looking to lose weight?
JUST START. It can be something simple as walking or cutting sugar out of your diet. Start by making small changes and watch the big changes come along. Be your own personal cheerleader. Celebrate the small and big wins equally. Your journey is in your hand, so take it and show the world what you are made of.
Where can we find more about you?
You can find me on Instagram! @mbxhnfit
Would you like to share YOUR story on How I’m Fit?
We’d love to hear from you! Please send us an email and we’ll get in touch shortly!