Returning home from an adventurous year of studying abroad and stepping on my glass scale for the first time, I took a triple double look at the numbers between my manicured toes. I immediately felt the warm tears building up in the back of my eyes and the feeling of total disgust creeping into my mind. I gained a total of 35 lbs from all of the empanadas, falafel, rice, beans and sharwama; I’d totally absorbed EVERYTHING (lol) during my travels from the African desert to the rainforest of South America. All of my worldly possessions turned against me (every small/medium size in my closet); even my rings were stubborn and wouldn’t release my fingers from their grip. I felt oddly uncomfortable around my family and the thoughts of facing my friends absolutely terrified me. I knew they would look at me differently since it was hard for me to even look at myself. I knew something had to change when I went to the mall and couldn’t fit my normal size or even the immediate size larger. So, I deliberately devised a plan of action! I needed a life size change.
I wanted…no..I desperately needed my once size 4 body back but I knew calming my negative “I can never get there” mindset was going eat me alive. I began telling myself that I would get there, imagining my new body and praying for patience and tenacity. All I had to do was get through each day. The constant meal prepping and researching of tasty healthy recipes kept me engaged in my transformation. I began to look forward to my workouts, focusing on each exercise while the encouraging words from J.Cole and Kendrick Lamar echoed through my Beats. I centered my mind on my daily goals and forgot about what I couldn’t do.
Like most people, I knew eating healthy was going to be boring, tough, and I honestly didn’t want the restrictions. Food was my weakness but I was willing to ignore my lustful cravings in order to be happy with myself again. Baby steps was definitely warranted in order to break my incredibly bad behavior. I did extensive research, reading everything about food and nutrition.
My first step was creating a No!! List, listing every food that would go from my lips to my hips.
Sample No!! List
- No Bread!
- No whites! (potatoes, rice, pasta, flour)
- No Candy!
- No Chips!
- No Pretzels! – Pretzels are my favorite snack but are almost as fatty as chips 😦
- No Soda!
- No Preservatives! ( frozen meals, pre-packaged meat..etc)
- No fast food!
- No ice cream!
- No cereal!
Step two: I decided to give up dairy, beef, and pork, and eat strictly fish, chicken, fresh veggies/fruits, and mulitgrains/ complex carbs. I started meal prepping for the week and even rewarded myself for the torture I endured with 1 cheat meal on the weekend; a slice of the biggest New York style pizza I could find and a small fry from Chick-fil-a with the sauce! I looked forward to those days lol. I’ll create a separate post on meal prepping 🙂
Step Three: I needed to exercise. To initiate Project Fat Loss, I began running/cycling 3 times a week for 45 minutes and 20-minute HITT(High Intensity Interval Training) circuits during the days in between, exercising 5 days/week. Initially, it was tough to get through the workouts without feeling like I was about to drop dead right there on the treadmill, but I focused on the results and imagined the end-game. After my first 6 weeks, I was slimmer, stronger, incredibly sore and ready for more. For those who find it hard to exercise, group classes are awesome to get you motivated while keeping you accountable. I still go to cycling classes twice a week. 🙂
When I stepped onto the scale for the first time in 4 weeks, I again took a triple double look, but this time I was elated that my hard work and sacrifices were not in vain. I wanted more. So I made up my mind that this would be a life change and I would continue to eat healthy and work out regularly. That was three years ago. Since then, I’ve modeled, placed in a national bikini competition, and even found the man of my dreams during a workout :). The point is that if you want to have the good life, you MUST have a healthy one. My challenge with my weight is a common battle like most people’s, but with a slightly different comeback. Make up your mind on the life you will live. My hopes are that you will choose”the good life”.
Live the Good Life.