First of all, I would like to thank everyone for their well wishes with my husband’s accident! It meant a lot to me for all the nice words you had to say!
I am so lucky to be meeting so many people with weight loss success stories to add on to my growing list!
I would like you to meet Erica, she has a great site called “Certifiably Fit“. She’s made a major transformation in how she lives her life and I think by reading her story you will learn what made her so successful!
I asked her my standard questions, so without further ado, here is Erica!
1). What was your “Aha” moment when you decided you needed to do something about your weight?
I can’t really pinpoint it to just one moment. It was a collection of things that lead to me finally taking action. In January 2007, I finally made the choice to break free from the body I had trapped myself in. At 5’4”, I weighed in at 248.5lbs which put me in the morbid obese category under BMI standards. I had a slew of health issues, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, severe heartburn, sleep apnea, etc. I had to push the shopping cart anytime I went to the store otherwise I wouldn’t be able to make it through the shopping trip. I couldn’t walk very far without extreme pain in my legs or becoming very out of breath. I had socially isolated myself and hated leaving my apartment, even for work. Earlier in the Fall of 2006 my uncle was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and I knew I was next inline to follow the path that several of my relatives had. All of those things contributed to my decision to change my health status.
2). Had you tried to lose weight in the past – were you successful when you tried? What method did you use to lose weight this time?
Sure did. I tried a lot of the diets that where popular for their time. I would have some short term success but then I would fall off the “diet” and regain even more than I had lost to start with. This yo-yo situation went on for about 10 years. This time I stop focusing so much on weight loss and focused on making changes that would better my health in all aspects. There was no strict plan so I was never on or off a plan just making choices and focusing on making them healthy permanent choices. I focused on all aspects of my life that affected my health: physical fitness, mental & emotion health, sleep patterns, stress management, healthy nutrition, etc. My goal was better health and weight loss was a result of working on it. Weight loss wasn’t the main goal; it was one of the outcomes of all the choices I was making for overall better health.
3). How long has it taken you to lose the weight so far?
I made the choice to maintain the weight I lost back in Oct 2009. So, if we are just looking at the weight loss part of my journey it took me 2 years & 9 months to loose the 100lbs. I have been maintaining my weight within a range of 1-2lbs since then with hardly any trouble at all.
4). What keeps you going? Were there times where you wanted to give up?
Even though my weight loss portion of the journey is over I am still on my journey to live as healthy as I can. What keeps me on this healthy journey is the fact that I never want to feel as horrible as I did before I changed. I keep little reminders around to keep me focused. I have the full version of my before picture on my refrigerator, I have kept my ID at work with my old picture, and I refuse to take out the several links from my watch and wear it loose so I am reminded everyday of my progress.
Sure there where times I want to give up. We all have challenging moments when we are on a journey like this. What kept me moving forward was recognizing that the most challenging moments are the moments that contain the most powerful lessons. You just have to be willing to take the time to learn from the hard times and take what you learn to keep moving forward.
5). Did you exercise while losing weight, if so, what do you like to do for exercise.
Absolutely! I started with just walking around town and some very beginner DVD’s. Now I vary it up with all kinds of things. Biking, strength training, my own circuit training routines, Wii Active Games, DVD’s, walk/jogs, & walks. I am constantly putting together my own workouts to do. I workout 6 days a week, and vary what I do on a daily basis to keep it fun and to keep making progress with my fitness level.
6). Do you track what you eat in calories, points, portions? What types of things do you like to eat now?
I never counted calories or points on this journey. I just focused on learning portions by measuring things and cut out the processed crap and moved towards whole foods. I don’t measure much now unless I feel like I am getting too heavy handed on my servings, and then I just do it for a short time until I readjust. I also didn’t make big changes all at once; I broke it down into smaller steps and added them gradually. I try to eat every few hours so that I don’t let myself get super hungry. I eat 3 meals and 3 snacks everyday. I focus on fruits, veggies, whole grains, nonfat/ reduced fat dairy, and lean protein sources (both animal and plant). I always make sure I drink plenty of water and I limit caffeine intake. I follow what I call the 90-10 principle, meaning 90% of what I eat should be unprocessed/minimally processed. Having that 10% allows for treats every once in a while and keeps me from feeling deprived of things I like but shouldn’t eat very often.
7). What are some tips that have helped you a long the way?
Don’t try to make a whole bunch of changes all once. You just overwhelm yourself and are more likely to give up all together.
Don’t let the scale be your only measure of your progress. Take measurements, get your body fat % measured, get blood work checked, and keep track of how you feel emotionally.
Use slip ups as a way to learn, not as reasons to give up.
Avoid setting a time sensitive weight loss goals. Instead set non-weight related health goals. Health related goals will get you where you want to be weight wise without the added pressure of a deadline of weight loss.
Try to anticipate high risk situations and come up with an action plan ahead of time.
Get moving everyday.
When starting to exercise work at your level of fitness, don’t worry about how you compare to anyone else. Just get out there and move.
Celebrate all of your accomplishments in life, not just those related to weight loss.
Build a support team. Online, friends, family, co-workers, etc.
8). Did you have people in your life that weren’t positive towards the changes you were making?
Nope, thankfully I got a lot of support from everyone around me.
Random Facts To Share:
– I received my certification as a personal trainer through the American Council of Exercise in March 2010.
– I will be spending this summer interning with a fitness company during my summer break from my full time job at the University I work for.
– I’m currently working on my Lifestyle & Weight Management Consulting Certification through the American Council of Exercise. Anticipated date of completion is Sept 2010.
Thanks so much Erica for sharing your story with everyone!
For more weight loss success stories, go to the top tab on my home page under “Weight Loss Success Stories” and read a lot of other people’s triumphs over the scale and their lives!
Is there a part of Erica’s story that relates to you?
UPDATE!!! Here is her new website address: Certafiably Fit
AND, here is her new training site: Certifiably Fit