Transformation of the Day: Victoria lost 110+ pounds. Her desire to make herself proud and be a healthy example for her kids was the driving force that kept her going. She cooked more meals at home, found substitutions for unhealthy foods, and discovered a passion for fitness during her journey. Now, she’s a Certified Personal Trainer, and she’s kept the weight off for more than three years.
What was your motivation? What inspired you to keep going, even when you wanted to give up?
My initial motivation for getting started was my kids. Seeing my eldest son (who is now six years old) struggling with his weight as a one-year-old triggered me to make a change.
I knew that to break the cycle, but first, I had to become the example that he needed by losing the weight I spent my entire life carrying. (I graduated high school weighing 250 pounds).
What first began as a journey to lose the weight I gained from my pregnancies turned into a challenge within myself to see how far I could go. As someone who spent their entire life believing they would always be overweight, I wanted to make myself proud for once and do something I always thought I couldn’t do. That desire to make myself proud and be a healthy example for my kids was the driving force for me to keep going on the days I wanted to give up for the 100th time.
How did you change your eating habits?
I began to eat more lean proteins (chicken, turkey, and fish) and completely removed beef and pork from my diet (going on five years now!).
I also made a lot of substitutions, such as using Stevia instead of regular sugar and replacing refined carbs (white bread, pasta, and rice) with whole grains and vegetables. Another change I made included cooking my meals at home versus going out to eat all the time and cutting back on my consumption of processed, frozen foods.
I increased my daily water intake to a gallon a day and started tracking my meals through MyFitnessPal to develop mindfulness and discipline around my eating. Lastly, I had one cheat meal a week (usually on Saturdays) to maintain a sense of balance in my diet and avoid hitting a plateau along the way. This gave me something to look forward to at the end of the week.
What did your workout routine consist of? How often did you work out?
I began by walking a mile a day, 4-5 times a week. As I got more comfortable exercising, I started working with a trainer for a month to learn about the gym equipment and the best workouts for losing weight and building strength.
After a few months, I found myself working out 5-6 days a week, with 3-4 days focused on cardio and 2-3 days focused on strength training. Eventually, I fell in love with exercising and fitness, so I became a Certified Personal Trainer through ACE.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
My starting weight was 275 pounds. I got down to 145 pounds but did not feel that was a sustainable weight for my lifestyle. Also, I missed some of my curves. As a result, I put on muscle and currently maintain a weight between 165 and 170 pounds.
What is your height? I’m 5’4″.
When did you start your journey? How long did your transformation take?
I started my journey in June 2017. It took me between 13-14 months to lose 130 pounds.
Is weight loss surgery part of your journey?
No, I have had no surgery.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is that whatever you do to lose weight, you have to keep doing it to keep the weight off. Also, there will be phases in your life when your weight fluctuates, and that’s okay! Instead of focusing on a single “goal weight” (like I did the first year of my journey), I focused on maintaining a healthy weight range that was sustainable for me, especially since I wanted to build muscle (which meant the numbers on the scale would increase).
What advice do you have for women who want to lose weight?
You have to take care of your mental health before you can truly take control of your physical health. You can lose all the weight in the world, but if your mind isn’t right, you’ll still be unhappy and self-conscious…just in a smaller body.
You are the only person who stands in your way of being successful in this journey. You just have to get out of your own way and believe in yourself to develop the self-discipline and motivation necessary to keep going. To fix your weight, you really have to fix your mind first. Nothing is impossible unless you make it impossible.