Welcome to back for another Transformation Tuesday series! Today we’re hearing from Veronica!
Q: When did you realize that you had a weight problem?
A: A: Around the time I was 8. I was heavier than the other kids and couldn’t preform as well in P.E. classes.
Q: What made you decide to do something about it?
A: I never wanted to be overweight and had unsuccessfully tried all my life to drop the weight, but there was a lot of misinformation out there and I spent most of my life yo-yoing, doing every diet, weight-loss pill and supplement out there, seeing “diet doctors”, etc. Around the time I was 24 my husband and I decided to get really serious. I had a lot of friends and families having kids, a lot of unhealthy parents with unhealthy babies. My entire youth was wasted on don’t, cant’s and diets, I just didn’t want my future child repeating what I did.
Q: When did you start?
Q: How much weight have you lost?
A: 150 pounds.
Q: What is/was your goal?
A: I wanted to weigh a healthy 145 lbs, and I’ve surpassed that 🙂
Q: What weight loss program or eating modifications do you follow?
A: I sat down with a nutritionist. Luckily I found a program at NYU Langone’s Weight Management Office that for a reasonable one-time fee gives you access to a nutritionist for life at the university. The advice I was given was life changing. I cut down on processed foods and added sugars. I stuck to a high protein diet, lots of veggies and fruits and cut out extra unnecessary carbs and weaned off sodas and juices. The best advice I received was not to completely cut out foods that you love, just remember that moderation is key!
Q: Can you explain your basic program?
A: On workout days for breakfast I’ll have carbs for a pre-workout energy boost, and a protein shake for post workout recovery. When I don’t workout I’ll just skip the cereal and only have a shake. For lunch I’ll either have left overs or a sandwich with some greens or a fruit on the side. Dinner is usually some sort of protein with vegetables, though I’ll allow myself a pre-portioned size of rice or pasta occasionally as well. I usually allow myself 1-2 snacks a day, and generally eat more on workout days. My snacks usually have little to no added sugars and around 150 calories. On the weekends I make smart choices, but I allow myself to eat what I want. I usually aim for about 50 grams of protein intake a day.
Q: Do you exercise?
A: Yes, I love it now!
Q: How often and how much?
A: I workout about 4-5 times a week, though I slowly worked up to this number! I originally started at just once a week 🙂
Q: Where and when do you exercise?
A: I exercise at a nearby Title Boxing Club usually at the 7:15AM class right before work.
Q: What exercises work for you?
A: I found out that I do MUCH better in a class environment than on my own. Gyms were always intimidating for me, and I often found myself not knowing what exercises I should be doing. The boxing classes I take work great for me because I feel that I get a full body workout within the one hour session. We do Cardio, Calisthenics and of course Boxing/Kickboxing, and often burn around 800+ calories a session according to my husband’s FitBit. That’s not even considering strength training after class!
Q: What are your trigger foods?
A: Anything sweet!!!
Q. How do you cope with temptation?
A: I let myself have it of course! I failed badly during my yo-yo diet days by banning foods I loved and then over indulging in them when I got off my ‘diet’. I figured I’d continue to fail if I kept making junk food a taboo so I let myself have them, and not the crappy low-fat, low-cal garbage out there, I mean REAL high calorie, fatty food. Sometimes I’m in the mood for a doughnut, but I’ll decide instead on getting 2 munchkins. I got to try 2 flavors, and saved half the calories and sugar as a full doughnut, plus the added benefit of letting myself indulge without feeling too guilty. Same goes with ice cream! Buy the 3.6 ounce ice cream cups, they often come with a little spoon inside of them! There are plenty of ways out there to let yourself indulge without having to feel awful, just make sure you know when to stop! Make the decision BEFORE you eat on how much you plan to eat.
Q: Have you ever gotten discouraged? What do you do about it?
A: Sure, I’ve gotten discouraged plenty of times. Most of my life I had actually settled with being obese and thought It was impossible to lose so much weight. When I saw people who had gone through what I just finishing accomplishing, it gave me a lot of hope. I thought, “If they could do it, why can’t I? What’s stopping me?”.
Q: How did you feel about looking at photos of yourself? Has that changed?
A: I used to hate looking at my old pictures. I used to hate who I was, what I looked like, etc. Now I respect and appreciate the old me. I went through a lot being at my old size, and it sure wasn’t easy getting to where I am now. I thought as soon as I lost weight I’d want to get rid of all my fat pictures on the wall, but now when I see them, I remember where I came from, and it’s a really empowering feeling.
Q: What is the best benefit of losing weight for you?
A: Just being able to physically do more. Cross my legs and arms comfortably, not worrying if I’ll fit somewhere or if the seat belt fits around me. I’m not as tired, sex has improved greatly, clothes usually looks great on me, and any pain that I had has completely vanished.
Q: Do people ask you for advice? What do you tell them?
A: First, know that this is going to be a life long commitment, and you’re not going to lose weight overnight. But if you want to be healthy, you need to take that first step! Find a support system to help you take that step, whether it be family, friends, or individuals online. There are hundreds of thousands out there going through the same thing as you are! Write down what your blockers are, what’s keeping you from losing weight, and what steps do you need to do to correct those issues? Find tools to help you lose, whether that be measuring cups and scales, fitness/diet tracking apps, or a basic food journal. Eat clean, cook a lot more, and involve your family! It’s quicker to make you and your kid a PB+J sandwich than it is to sit in the McDonald’s drive-thru! Avoid processed foods that make us fatter! Be adventurous and try new vegetables, you might actually find something you like! Stop making excuses and if you mess up, don’t wait until Monday to get back on track! Sometimes we mess up, just keep your eye on the goal! Make gradual changes, that is by far the most important recipe for success!
Q: What have you been able to do that you couldn’t have done before?
A: Pushups, Pull ups, defend myself, run without pain, I mean…the list goes on. I couldn’t feel more physically free and alive. It’s extremely liberating.
Thank you, Veronica, and congratulations on your success! We’re glad you were willing to be be a part of our Transformation Tuesdays, and hope your story inspires others! Just like us, now you’re another person who’s been there. 🙂