I get a lot of questions on what I did to lose weight, how I started and how I stay motivated. My first answer is weight loss was much more than numbers and measurements for me. It was all about me reclaiming my life and finding me after my ex husband left me. I knew I needed to make drastic changes to pull myself out of deep debilitating depression and it had to begin with learning to love me. My goals seemed impossible to reach. My reflection, I didn’t even recognize. I had literally lost my identity. Who you see today is a product of no short cuts, hard work, discipline and healing from the inside out. Thank you for tuning in to me #BloomingUnapologetically.
I had a wakeup call when my ex husband left me in August of 2016. The day after he left is when I had the official epiphany that I had hit rock bottom mentally, physically and emotionally. What sparked my weight loss journey was needing to reclaim my life after all that I endured in my marriage. I have featured this story on my blog post “ What Changed? The Day I Found Out My Husband Was Cheating Again.” I also share more of my divorce story throughout my other blogs.
Where did you begin?
I knew I was in no mind set to fully commit to exercise so I began with my eating habits. My struggle with weight gain and unhealthy eating habits was mental for me. I was an emotional eater and I ate for all occasions. Happy, mad, sad, angry, you name it, I escaped or celebrated with food. I was also an overeater and ate enormous amounts of food because I wouldn’t get full. I lived off of fast food, burgers, fries, pizza and fried foods. Anything salty, greasy and savory was my go to. To conquer these toxic eating habits I knew I had to do something drastic. I went vegetarian shortly after my ex husband left. I don’t recall the exact day I transitioned to vegetarian but it was in August of 2016 after watching the documentary Forks Over Knives on Netflix. In January of 2016 I had already cut out red meat and pork but I decided I could no longer turn a blind eye to the poison and toxicity I was consuming. Eliminating meat from my diet limited my toxic go to’s. It was like weaning myself off of my drug of choice, toxic food. I immediately had to be more conscious of the food I consumed. I had to find alternatives to meals I spent my life eating and I admit at the beginning of my vegetarian journey I pretty much ate fast vegetarian foods. I still ate mozzarella sticks, pizza, and anything that just didn’t have meat in it. It took me a few months before I started eating healthier plant based foods but by October of 2016 after a 40 day mind, body and soul fast, I was able to commit to a healthy vegetarian lifestyle.
I have since gone vegan! June 19, 2018 marks my 1 year vegan anniversary! Watching What the Health on Netflix gave me the final push to commit to a full plant based lifestyle.
When did you go plant based?
Vegetarian August 2016- June 18, 2017: No meat but I was still eating dairy- cheese, milk, dairy products
Vegan since June 19, 2017: no meat, no dairy or anything that contains animal products
How do I transition and what can I eat?
A huge part of my wake up call came from watching two documentaries, Forks Over Knives and What the Health on Netflix. I highly suggest to start there. First gain the knowledge and firm reasoning as to why you need to make a lifestyle change then take action. Those documentaries spoke volumes to me and I vowed to change my diet completely. I suggest transitioning at your pace. I know a couple people who went vegan cold turkey but as I have shared, I personally began my transition in stages. I started by cutting out red meat and pork in Jan of 2016. By August of 2016, I stopped eating all meat but still ate dairy. By October of 2016 I incorporated a more whole foods plant based diet but still ate dairy. By June of 2017 I went fully vegan, cutting out dairy and all animal products. I personally am still learning and evolving as a vegan. As a vegetarian I was spoiled because my closest friends had their own meal prepping business and I ordered my weekly meals from them. We all transitioned to vegan together and having them around resulted in a huge support system. I’ve since moved to Boston in September of 2017 and I no longer have that cushion to fall back on. I actually have to prep and plan meals and I get my meal ideas and recipes from YouTube and Instagram! There is so much support out there for transitioning vegans and even veterans! I follow many vegan and plant based pages on Instagram and they are loaded with recipe ideas and content. There is so much to eat as a vegan. I promise you will not be missing out. I also consider myself an emerging vegan foodie. Wherever I travel I love trying out new vegan restaurants. The app Happy Cow is literally my best friend. I suggest searching for vegan or vegetarian restaurants in your area. Give it a try even if you aren’t ready to fully transition.
When did you start exercising?
I actually didn’t begin working out until April 2017. When I lived in Dallas, TX I had workouts 6 days a week for at least 1 hour. I reconnected with my trainer who helped me lose 40 pounds back in 2013 and he referred me to a boxing gym that he trained out of. On Mondays and Tuesdays I attend boxing boot camps at S.W.E.A.T Boxing Gym in Irving, Texas. On Tuesday nights, I completed a 3 mile run along the Dallas skyline with a running group called We Run The Trinity. On Wednesdays, I had a private training session with @sh.bravo which consisted of HIIT full body conditioning, focusing on core, legs and upper body. Thursdays were my rest days and I finished up the week by running an additional 9 miles between Friday and Sunday for a total of 12 miles a week.
When did you first start seeing results?
The first 30 pounds of weight that I lost between August 2016 and March 2017 came solely from changing my diet. I was not working out consistently at the time. When I began working out in April of 2017, the weight began falling off. Every week my trainers were telling me that I looked like a new person. I was losing 15-20lbs in a month. Cardio played a huge role in this. Running 12 miles a week was the catalyst. I was outside running in Dallas summer heat and working out 6 days a week. By the time I moved to Boston in September of 2017, I was down 70lbs.
How did you keep up with your weight loss moving to Boston?
The first few months of me moving to Boston was dedicated to me getting acquainted with the area and getting settled in. I wasn’t on a specific workout regimen, but I tried to stay active with occasional runs and at home workouts. My vegan lifestyle truly held me down until I was able to commit to training again. In January of 2018 I joined my current trainer Travis and his training program, Body Prime Fitness. At the first weigh in and before I even began training with Travis, I was astonished to find out I managed to lose an additional 20lbs since moving to Boston.
I currently work out 5 days a week.
Monday- Friday I attend 3 HIIT group classes at Body Prime Fitness
Saturday: 1hr personal training session with Travis
Sundays are two a days: 1hr personal training session with Travis and group kickboxing workout at Body Prime Fitness
Workouts are a variation of outdoor & indoor HIIT cardio, kickboxing and weight training.
What was your starting weight?
I began the current stretch of my weight loss journey starting at 310lbs. Last time I weighed myself over a month ago I was 217 lbs and have lost 93lbs to date! I have been on this weight loss journey for some years now but my current progress, the 93lb loss, began in August of 2016 and there is no end date.
Update as of Aug 2018: Now over 100lbs down
How do you track your progress?
I don’t weigh myself often. I usually wait a few months in between before I step on a scale. I track by progress pics and the way my clothes fit. Also, comments from people who see me regularly help me know that I am still losing. Since training with Travis my focus has been weight training and tightening up loose skin. The numbers on the scale may not be moving dramatically but results are pouring in, skin is tightening, I’m losing inches and my endurance and strength is increasing.
What is your goal weight?
My current goal is to get under 200lbs. My ideal weight would be between 180-185lbs. My current mission is to tighten up as much loose skin as possible. It’s not terrible but it is a visible reminder of how much progress I’ve made. It bothers me some days but that just motivates me to keep going. I would only consider excess skin removal surgery after I have exhausted every option within my power. Learning to love all of me in each stage of my transformation is my goal.
What inspires you to keep going when you want to give up?
What inspires me to keep going when I want to give up is remembering how it felt to hit rock bottom. I never want to go there again and I vow to do everything within my power to prevent that from happening. I also have a host of friends, family and social media followers who have followed my journey and cheer me on along the way.
What advice do you have for others who want to lose weight?
I would tell anyone who wants to lose weight to go for it wholeheartedly. Start before you get to the point of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. I saw myself sinking slowly, but my perception of slowly was way more dramatic than I had realized. By the time I finally brought myself to do something about it, I had reached my rock bottom and it has been a hell of a time getting back afloat. Change your eating habits first to set the foundation for your results. If you want to follow in my footsteps, I would definitely recommend watching What the Health and Forks Over Knives, which can both be found on Netflix. Those two documentaries are life changing. Commit to exercise as the next step and watch your transformation accelerate.
My Fav Vegan IG Pages for Recipe Ideas and Inspiration:
My Dallas Trainers:
Personal Training with Bravo:
Group Boot Camps:
S.W.E.A.T Boxing and Training
500 S Belt Line Rd #500, Irving, TX 75060
We Run The Trinity
3000 Gulden Ln, Dallas, TX
My Boston Trainer:
Body Prime Fitness
172 Neponset Ave, Dorchester, MA
My Thank Yous:
I want to thank my 3 vegan trainers/holistic nutritionist/friends Victoria, Korinne and Micah aka Bravo. You poured in to me and encouraged me every step of the way. I couldn’t have done it without you and I am forever grateful for the addition of you all to me. To Travis, I spoke a trainer like you in to my existence so that I can keep up my momentum and reach my goals even after moving to Boston. I am beyond proud of the results we have achieved already and it is truly a pleasure to work with you. I appreciate your structure and dedication. I know you are just as invested as me and I trust you to help me reach the goals I want to achieve. Tatyana, yes you! My new Boston BFF and vegan coach. I know we just met (reconnected) but this is only the beginning! We are truly going to make some magic happen!
My friends, followers and social media family, all your likes, comments, encouragement and support mean the world to me. You push me to keep going and continue sharing. Thank you all for being my motivation to continue #BloomingUnapologetically.
Last but not least, You, thank you for being the ghost writer to my bloom.