when you want something bad enough, you’ll stop at nothing to make it happen.
these were the words i often said when someone would ask, “how did you do it?”
the reality is, while i’d love to share some secret sauce or magical formula on how to lose weight & get the body of your dreams. it doesn’t exist. for starters, i don’t have the body of my dreams. i actually went on to have plastic surgery after my weight loss because of the extra loose skin i was carrying around. that’s a story for another day.
but, i simply decided that i wanted better for myself. for my health and for my confidence. i knew the only way change would happen, was if i decided to take small steps and put one foot in front of the other. it’s funny how that same mindset has played out in other areas of my life now, like business and even motherhood.
i picked a plan that worked with my lifestyle, and stuck to it. THAT’S IT. truly doesn’t get more simple than that. no, like actually stuck to it. no cheat days, or starting, stopping, and starting again. i was disciplined enough to keep going, because i saw the end goal. i knew what i wanted & where i was going. i had life changing tunnel vision.
I also needed to prove to myself that it was possible and i could do it.
okay now for some back story because you’re probably wondering how i got to this point.
for as long as i can remember i’ve always struggled with my weight. even as a child, i remember becoming more aware of my size with each passing year. i was bigger and chubbier than other girls my age. i had to special order my clothes and wasn’t able to really wear what was trendy. (praise be for all the plus size clothing lines that exist today – this actually isn’t a buzz kill anymore.) all while surrounded by family that was healthy, thin, and active. it was hard to fully articulate my feelings at the time, but looking back now those were some really really hard years. things became even more intensified in high school and then college, when you want so desperately to fit in. while my peers were cute, trendy, & navigating relationships with their high school boyfriends. i was not. i remember thinking if i was only thinner, i wonder if someone would ask me out.
i love how my story played out. looking back now, i see how i really dodged all the heartbreak i saw my friends go through. and because i dated no one in high school or college, i was able to fully focus on academics. i poured all of my energy into learning and working, a place i could really shine. i began to thrive and soar, becoming a super high achiever, while dreaming of all i would accomplish one day. and well, if you know me at all – you know that flame still burns bright. to this day, i’m still, so motivated to show other’s what is possible when you simply set your mind to something. it can be done.
over the years my parents had spent thousands, i’m sure, on all the diet plans i said i was going to do. or all the infomercial workout equipment i said i would use. out of desperation to help me, they said yes over & over, but to no avail.
even though i desperately wanted to make a change, i feared disappointing myself more than anything.
but everything changed, fall semester of my sophomore year in college. i was serving in the high school ministry at a church, when two dear friends approached me about joining them in Weight Watchers. the courage it must have taken them to even invite me into what they were doing, will never be lost on me. their boldness and invitation to walk alongside me and hold me accountable. they changed my life.
i agreed to think about it, but a few days later i said YES, and dove right in. i still remember our very first accountability chat. both of them were way more versed in the point system that Weight Watchers had in place. keep in mind this was back in 2008, Weight Watchers has since made huge strides in innovating their programs. so the specific plan i followed back then, technically doesn’t exist anymore. what they have now is seemingly far more flexible and way more adaptable to any lifestyle.
i decided early on that i wasn’t going to tell anyone what i was doing. again out of fear of failing. the only people that knew were my two pals that were doing it with me and my college roommate. since we ate together in the Cafe for almost every meal, i kinda had to tell her.
today Weight Watchers has an incredible app for tracking and point calculations, but back then i had my little points book and hand held calculator that i would take with me to the grocery store. i was so diligent about tracking my points, never missed a day. it became a huge part of my routine, habit if you will. i learned how much i thrive & enjoy tracking my progress.
Weight Watchers doesn’t tell you what to eat. you decide based on the points you have for the day. but very quickly I started to naturally make better and healthier choices so that i could eat more.
nothing worse than eating one thing that takes up the majority of your points and then being stuck for the rest of the day with no points left. i learned to be strategic. it was a puzzle, a fun game of sorts.
results came quickly, and to be honest, my body was probably in shock. i was losing about 7-10 pounds per month. by the time i was heading home for Thanksgiving break, i had lost 40 pounds. i knew walking in that day my parents would be in shock, and oh boy were they. i’ll never get over that surprise.
over christmas break that year, i lost another 10 pounds, so by the time i went back to school in the spring, my weight loss total was 50lbs. my peers were stunned. while they had seen me day in and day out for months, no one had really noticed until we were all away for a few weeks and then returned to finish out our sophomore year.
the attention, questions, and encouragement was insanely flattering. i’ve never felt more championed than i did in that season. what i wasn’t prepared for was the impact my story would have on other women walking similar roads. it was overwhelming in the best way.
in that season i really started to understand how powerful our stories really are.
i finished out my sophomore year and headed into summer. by the end of summer my weight loss was tipping 100lbs, 104lbs to be exact.
when i started i never really set out with a specific number in mind. but i knew i had gotten to a point where i didn’t need to keep trying to lose. i had gone from a size 18 to a size 4. my shoe size went from a 10 to an 8.5 – i even had to get all new underwear. the whole thing was so wild, but it felt right to transition into maintenance mode.
(side note, i’ve had 3 babies since this season and am MOST DEFINITELY NOT in a size 4 anymore. i’m a solid 6,8, & a 10 in shorts.)
that’s exactly what i did. i started to let up on the tracking and began my journey of simply being mindful of my diet. continuing to make healthy choices when i could, but also letting myself somewhat indulge if i went out.
i’m going to pause here for a second and speak to the exercise piece of this journey. i don’t enjoy moving my body. besides leisure walks or now chasing my kids around, i do not enjoy structured workouts, so back then i didn’t follow any sort of workout regimen. i would walk on a treadmill, in our on-campus gym for 30 minutes 3 times per week. that’s it.
i truly believe that weight loss is more about what you eat vs. how much you move your body.
maybe i’m wrong, again not an expert, simply sharing from my own personal experience here.
over a decade later, i’m coming to terms that exercise is actually more than just about losing weight, but can also have a profound impact on my mental health. so begrudgingly i’ve started taking leisure 30-40 minute walks around my neighborhood. surprisingly, i’ve come to love that time alone with the pavement beneath my feet. it’s been good for my soul. a way to decompress and process emotions, a release of sorts.
it’s been 14 years since one of the most transformative seasons in my life. i am not the same. i’ve since walked through weight gains & losses. 7 pregnancies, 4 miscarriages, 3 births, 3 postpartum seasons. months of trying to “get my body back” & then finally accepting its current state. i’ve felt shame, embarrassment & mounds of insecurity over the years even after walking through an accomplishment i should seemingly be proud of. but, as i’ve gotten older i’ve learned to silence the lies and step into boldness & confidence in my story and all that i’ve overcome.
you go through a season where you’re thinking, “this is impossible – this is actually impossible.” and then you just keep going and keep going, and then you sort of do the impossible.
at times this feels like the anthem to my life. i will say this, my weight loss journey has infiltrated and fueled every other aspect of my life. i see a mountain and never for one second doubt the climb.
when i say this experience changed my life. i mean it. not just my physical appearance, but how i’ve learned to be disciplined about everything i’m reaching for. i look at goals and think, “not if, but when.”
whatever mountain you’re facing, i see you. i understand the battlefield of the mind. i understand the fear and doubt you’re wrestling with. i get it. whether it’s weight loss, a fitness goal, business, a promotion, or maybe even a relationship, you are not alone. and you’re normal. we all go through seasons of questioning ourselves. but you are strong and capable. i hope one day you learn to clap for yourself.
i hope when you close out of this tab on your computer or phone, you leave both inspired and motivated. i hope you feel seen & encouraged to just take one step.
small steps in the right direction equate to massive movement over time.
overnight success doesn’t exist & there is no secret sauce. but action compounds over time. which means that when you set a goal and move in action, it will happen. you will get there. its impossible to not.
people use to always ask, “how do you stay motivated to keep going”. my answer is simple, “i never wanted to look back and wonder, what if. i wanted to look back when it was all said and done & think man, that was hard. such a grind, but i did it”. don’t look back and wonder. i can only imagine that disappointment would be devastating.
the only difference between where you are and where you want to be is simply time and the steps you haven’t taken yet. you can and you will. end of story.
so i know what you’re thinking, because i get this question the most. what do you eat? i still have to be very mindful about what goes in. i’ve learned to accept the fact that i’m never going to be able to eat whatever i want, whenever i want and maintain my weight. but i am learning what it means to truly nourish my body. am i perfect? no way. but generally speaking, on a given day, in a given week this is what i’m reaching for.
- cleantox tea – this helps filter out your liver & kidneys (the main organs that help your body pass toxins)
- essential meal – the BEST protein – it’s gluten free and vegan (super hard to find) 24g of protein and made with avocado oil, no seed oils. packed with vitamins and minerals, so basically immune boosting.
- lots & lots of iced coffee (IYKYK)
- greens synergy elixir – the best greens on the go with skin & gut health support all in one
- eggs, sometimes
- a lot of salad + all the good toppings – romaine, onion, green pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, sliced carrot, avocado, slivered almonds, grilled chicken
- lots of ground beef – in tacos or burgers
- grilled steak or chicken
- love me some rice
- baked potatoes
- steamed or sautéed veggies
- pasta, sparingly.
- so much mexican food – shrimp fajitas + margaritas
- chips are my love language
- tons of fruit – blueberries are my fav + cherries when they are in season
- dried mango
- popcorn obsessed
- guilty pleasure – dark chocolate chips
- dreamtea + immunity fizz – the best nightcap
things i try and stay away from:
- fried food
- fast food
- processed food – basically anything on the snack aisle, minus chips lol
this body is laced in imperfections. scars, stretch marks, flabby skin, vitiligo, reminders of some of my darkest days, but even some of my sweetest moments.
no one is void of insecurities, but confidence is a choice. i’m proud of her. the road she’s walked, what she’s overcome, & how she presses forward with grit, grace, & tenacity.
i’ve learned to appreciate and respect every “flaw” as part of my story. who i’ve become & the beauty that perpetuates, inspiring those around me.
don’t be fooled by what you see. confidence is a daily discipline. i quiet the voice in my head, stand firm on my truths, silence my fear and doubt, moving forward in action – hoping to inspire someone, somewhere to go take up space in the world.
YOU matter & your story is worth sharing. sometimes you just have to be brave enough to go first.