Weight Loss Success Stories - Natasha Barnes Lost 132 Pounds
First Name: Natasha
Family Status: Married
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Pounds or Inches Lost: I lost 132 pounds!
Starting Weight: 302 pounds
Current Weight: 170 pounds
Natasha's Weight Loss Story!
Accepting The Challenge To Change
ERROR!! That is what my scale said when I stepped
on it. I was devastated. I read the instruction manual and the maximum
weight for the scale was 330 pounds. How could it be that I weighed
more than 330 pounds. So I searched for a scale with a 400 pound
capacity. I ordered it and when it came in the mail, I ripped it
open, placed it on the floor and stepped on it. I couldn't believe
my eyes, 350 pounds (my max weight in January, 2004). My spirit
was broken and my heart shattered, how could I let this happen.
With those 350 pounds came low self esteem, emotional chaos, bad
health and a suffering relationship.
Since I can remember I was always a "Big Girl". Throughout
my school years I was known as "fatty" or "tons of
fun". There were times when I would prepare myself for school
by looking in the mirror or drawing a picture and calling myself
names, in an effort to get as many tears out as possible, so that
I would not cry when the name calling started. I didn't want to
give them the satisfaction of seeing my tears.
Time and time again I have tried to conquer the one thing I couldn't
and that was my weight. Many of nights you could find me ordering
a magic fat blocking pill or a series of workout videos or some
fancy machine that gave you ripped abs, all money wasted. Nothing
Then it happened, in September 2008, I hit a wall. After having
my son in April 2008 and a maternity leave filled with eating just
because I was bored, I weighed in at 302 pounds wearing a size 24/26.
Yes, for years I had lost and gained and this is where I ended up.
The moment had finally come, my mind, body and spirit all reached
the pinnacle of being fed up! I wanted out of the 300's and bad.
I was at a breaking point. I would avoid looking in any mirror,
looking at my reflection, or even my shadow for that matter. I truly
hated seeing myself.
BEFORE PHOTOS AT MY HEAVIEST (350 POUNDS)!
I was finally ready, ready to change me for me. I prayed and prayed
hard, that God would give me strength and most of all discipline,
to finally go all the way. To stick it out and not workout for two
weeks and find some excuse to quit. I prayed that He would stay
by my side and bless me to make it through. I prayed for a miracle.
So my husband and I developed a plan to change our lives once and
for all. Each time I tried losing weight, my goal was to be 180
pounds. So I decided to stick to this lifetime goal. Wow, I need
to lose 122 pounds. That is a whole person!
The plan we developed was a 6 week boot camp series, in which we
would complete the 6 week boot camps until we reached our ultimate
goal, meanwhile setting intermittent goals for each 6 week camp.
With this boot camp, we worked out 5-6 days a week, 45-60 minutes
a day, while eating 1,000 to 1,200 calories per day. We would eat
5-6 small meals and drink the recommended 8-10 cups of water per
day (usually) and then weigh in faithfully every Monday morning.
This is our recipe for success!
My journey was filled with victories, milestones and of course
some obstacles. However, knowing that God was with me and making
the commitment to myself and accepting the challenge to change was
my motivation to push on.
As the weight began to come off, I was so excited! Size 22, 20,
18, 16, 14
My passion for working out and eating healthier
grew as I lost the pounds. The scale became my motivator instead
of my enemy.
Now I am happier than I have ever been in my life, weighing in
at 170 pounds. I have lost a total of 132 pounds and now wear a
size 8/10. I can't believe it. I finally made it, not only to my
goal but past my goal. The feeling is indescribable, being able
to shop on the "other side" of the store. Then not being
able to fit the smallest size of some of my old time favorite stores.
My mind has not completely processed the fact that I am a new woman,
with a new self esteem and not at all afraid to look in the mirror
any more. After 10-15 years of struggling, I finally made it! If
I can do it, anyone can do it.
My faith in God, focus, discipline, and commitment were all key
elements in my journey to weight loss success. Not to mention the
support of my awesome husband, who also followed the program and
lost 80 pounds.
Natasha's Weight Loss Questions & Answers!
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
I have been unhappy with my weight for approximately 11 years.
What made you decide to lose weight?
I have been trying to lose weight for 10 years. I finally hit
a wall after I had my son and weighed more after my maternity
leave than after I gave birth. It really hurt to gain more weight
than when I was carrying my baby.
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
The most important change was that I was doing it for myself.
Not for anyone else but myself. Also ensuring that I only kept
healthy food in the house and not allowing unhealthy things to
even get in the cart. Also being more disciplined and setting
intermittent goals. I set 6 week goals so that I wouldn't be overwhelmed
by the total amount that I was aiming to lose.
What was most challenging about losing weight?
The most challenging part was staying dedicated to eating right
and working out through the holiday season especially. I have
always started, worked out hard for weeks and then just stopped.
However, pushing yourself to do it when you don't feel like it
was the most challenging. Even when life events make you want
to just stop and eat whatever, pushing through all those things
is very hard.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
I started to see results within the first six weeks. I was able
to lose 32 pounds the first 6 weeks because I stuck with it and
ate vegetables, fruits and lean meats and worked out 5-7 days
per week. All on my own, my husband and I created our own 6 week
bootcamp and followed it together. We have also built our own
gym in our home.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
It took 9 months for me to reach my goal.
How long have you maintained your weight loss and how do you do
I have maintained so far for 7 months. I continue to workout
and watch my calorie intake. If I need to revamp or refocus, I
complete a modified version of the plan that my husband and I
created, whether its only 3 weeks or 2 weeks, just to stay on
How has your life changed now that you've lost weight?
My life is awesome! I actually can say I love myself now, before
I could not. I have confidence in how I look. I feel amazing and
healthy. I can finally shop in stores that I wouldn't even look
at in the past. I cry sometimes just thinking about how much happier
I am being healthier and I feel so much better inside and out.
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
The various tips and articles have been motivating and help add
to my fitness knowledge base.
Natasha's Weight Loss Tips!
Weight loss tip #1:
Make sure that you are doing it for yourself.
Weight loss tip #2:
Set short term goals that will lead you to your ultimate goal.
Weight loss tip #3:
Take it one choice at a time (food options).
Weight loss tip #4:
Find a partner that will stick by you and motivate you.
Weight loss tip #5:
Set yourself up for success by only having healthy items available
to eat in your home.
Natasha's Weight Loss Eating Plan!
Fiber cereal or oatmeal, fruit and water.
Salad with lean meat (or no meat) and light dressing.
Baked fish and vegetables.
Snacks or Mini Meals:
Fruit, yogurt, light ice cream.
Natasha's Weight Loss Workouts!
I have not started weight training yet.
I do 1 hour on the elliptical machine. Or, I do 30 minutes on
elliptical machine and a workout video called "Walks in the
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