LIVESTRONG.COM Username: witness2fitness
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LIVESTRONG.COM Member since: March 21, 2015
Age: 30 | Height: 5'9"
BEFORE Weight: 268 pounds Pant size: 24
AFTER Weight: 183 pounds Pant size: 12
LIVESTRONG.COM: What was your life like before joining LIVESTRONG.COM?
Before joining LIVESTRONG.COM I was very unhealthy and unhappy with my life, especially with my appearance. I used to eat a lot of sugary and deep-fried foods. I could eat a family-size bag of chips myself without any trouble. I didn’t exercise at all, and although I was always given a clean bill of health, I felt fatigued and lazy all the time
I’ve lost two brothers and a sister in my life. When my eldest brother, David, died of suicide in 2008, I went down a very self-destructive path. I drank a lot, even though I’d made a public declaration that I’d stop. I used to wish something bad would happen to me. I didn’t want to live.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What was your inspiration for making a change?
In November 2012, I watched my brother Kevin slowly pass away from liver failure. Seeing him try so hard to fight for his life made me realize that I needed to make changes and live my life in a better way. These two experiences highlight how much our older siblings can influence us. When my brother David passed away, I became self-destructive. When I lost Kevin, I was inspired to be stronger.
LIVESTRONG.COM: How did LIVESTRONG.COM help you lose weight?
When I finally came across LIVESTRONG.COM, I had already started to try to make changes, but I had no idea what I was doing. I quickly subscribed to the weekly email newsletter. Before this, I used to think I could eat whatever I wanted as long as I worked out. This led me to become frustrated early on and even give up a few times. All the tips, advice and other people making changes inspired me, educated me and encouraged me to keep going.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What was your support system like?
I seek support from the community on LIVESTRONG.COM, a couple of Facebook groups that highlight fitness and a few fit people in my community.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What’s your favorite way to work out?
I love to walk everywhere I go, and I enjoy dancing. I am slowly but surely gaining the endurance needed to go on runs!
LIVESTRONG.COM: What’s your weekly exercise schedule?
I work out about 20 to 40 minutes a day, four to five times a week. I work as a gardener, so it all adds up, and I live a very active lifestyle.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What’s a typical day of meals and snacks for you? Any food tips?
For breakfast I usually have oatmeal or scrambled eggs with chicken. Lunch is salads and soups. I snack on apples, bananas, blueberries or raspberries. For dinner I’ll have chicken or just veggies and dip. It varies, but I find these are my staples. I also take a multivitamin most mornings.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What’s the range of calories you eat on a typical day?
I have 1,000 to 1,500, depending on whether I’ve indulged in a treat or something deep-fried. I still enjoy those types of foods as well and don’t believe in depriving myself.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What are the healthy stapes that are always in your kitchen?
Oatmeal, bananas, apples, carrots, hummus, nut butter, granola bars, boiled eggs and cheese.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What’s the biggest challenge you faced?
I had a lot of self-doubt and made bad choices with food. Sometimes I don’t have the motivation or the will to work out and eat right. To be honest, I would have been more fit and farther along in my journey if I had been consistent and more self-assured.
LIVESTRONG.COM: What advice or tips can you share with those trying to make a positive change in their health?
If I could give anyone advice, I would say get out of your own way! There is nothing I can do about all the little failures. I just simply choose to focus on and celebrate all the small successes along the way — they all add up.
It helped me to drink green tea and water and to limit the cream and sugar in my coffee. I walk everywhere and listen to music as I work out. I love finding live versions of songs, and when I hear the crowd cheering, I pretend they’re cheering for me!
LIVESTRONG.COM: What is your life like now?
I feel so much better about how I present myself to the world. I feel good when people tell me they’ve been inspired by me. I love to work out and eat good food now, although I still love my bad foods. I won’t be able to ever completely resist them. Food addiction is just like any other addiction, you can only take it one day at a time. Be kind and gentle to yourself throughout the process.
I will never be where I was once, I can guarantee that. I will respect and love my body. It is the only one I have, and I can’t wait to see what it is capable of!
What Do YOU Think?
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