Family Status: Mother
Occupation: Business Administrator
Hometown: Athens, Tennessee
Starting Weight: 265 pounds
Current Weight: 152 pounds
Current Waist Size: 28″
Melissa’s Weight Loss Interview!
How much did you lose?
I have lost a little over 100 pounds and about 16 pant sizes! I was originally a 22 pant size and I currently wear a size 6. I regretfully did not take before measurements but I know I have lost many inches overall!
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
As a child, I was actually a very healthy weight. However, I always saw myself as overweight. I got married when I was in high school and that is when I really started to gain weight. I had my daughter when I was 21 and gained 100 pounds when I was pregnant with her. By that time I just let myself go. I did nothing to change the way I lived and felt it was hopeless anyway.
What made you decide to lose weight?
In 2014, I went to the doctor and he diagnosed me with type 2 diabetes and told me that I needed to lose weight. I was put on a ton of different medications for high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. By the summer of that year, the doctor wanted to put me on insulin. I knew at that moment that I had let it go too far. I asked him to give me three months in order to lose the weight that I needed to lose so I would not have to be put on insulin. That was when I became motivated and my journey truly began.
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
I would say that the most important change I made in my life was my eating habits. Before starting on my journey, I would eat fried foods, fast food and desserts every day. Being a diabetic, the doctor recommended that I do a carbohydrate restrictive diet. At the beginning, I cut carbs out almost completely. In the first five months that was all I did. The second most important change I made was incorporating exercise into my lifestyle. I paid for a personal trainer that taught me how to workout. Lastly, an extremely important change I made was the way I viewed my weight loss journey. I no longer saw it as a diet but as a true lifestyle change. This was something that I was going to be doing for the rest of my life, not just something temporary to lose weight and then stop.
What was the most challenging thing you had to deal with during your weight loss journey?
The most challenging thing I had to deal with was other people. Although my friends and family would try to be supportive, I would constantly hear things like, “One piece won’t hurt”, “Come on, just try it”, “You don’t need to lose weight, you’re so beautiful already”, etc. I was always dealing with people trying to “force-feed” me their opinions because I wasn’t eating as much as I used to and they thought I wasn’t eating enough.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
It took me around four months to start seeing results. I was really overweight so I had quite a bit to lose before it started to show on my body. However, I saw results on the scale and in how I was feeling long before that.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
It took me between 9-10 months to reach my current weight. I lost the majority of the weight after the first 5 months and then slimmed down and toned up for the next several months.
Did you have any issues with loose skin after losing the weight? If so, how did you deal with it?
Since I was overweight for so long, I did have to deal with a lot of loose skin all over my body. My biggest issue was around my stomach. In 2015, I had skin removal surgery. I had a tummy tuck and I had skin removed from my arms and back.
How long have you maintained your weight loss and what are the most important factors for keeping it off?
So far, I have maintained my weight loss for a little over a year through continuous healthy, clean eating and regular exercise. Like I said before, this is a lifestyle I will have for the rest of my life. I have totally changed my nutrition and the way I eat. Since I am no longer a diabetic, I have incorporated healthy carbs but still continue to eat clean.
What keeps you motivated to continue your weight loss success?
There are a lot of reasons that I stay motivated to continue my journey. The main reason is that I now love how I feel and how I look. I never want to go back to being that person I was before. I also want to set a good example for my children. I want to be healthy for them and show them how to be healthy in return.
How has your life changed now that you have lost weight?
I am so much more active! I love going for a run or for a hike. I love being outdoors. I also have so much more confidence in myself. I actually feel sexy for the first time in my life. I can finally dress up and go on a date and actually want people to look at me. I am such a happier and more outgoing person than I was before. I feel amazing!
Do you have any advice for others who are trying to lose weight?
The main thing I would advise others is to always remember that you are worth it. You deserve to be the best version of yourself. You deserve to be happy, healthy and confident in yourself. Don’t do it for anyone else. Do it for yourself because you are worth it. Never give up and always remember why you started.
Melissa’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight Loss Tip #1:
Start slow. If you cut out every single bad food that you love and start working out seven days a week all at the same time, you are not going to stick with it. I started with eating healthy and even giving myself a treat once a week. I didn’t start incorporating exercise until five months into my journey. No matter where you start you will eventually reach your goals. Starting out slow and sticking to it is better than sprinting from the start and giving up halfway through.
Weight Loss Tip #2:
Learn how to exercise. If you have never truly exercised before then you are not really going to know the correct technique or which exercises you should be doing in the first place. If you can afford it, I recommend getting a personal trainer. I did and it was one of the best decisions I made.
Weight Loss Tip #3:
Get a workout buddy. If you are just starting out and are nervous or embarrassed about going to the gym then a workout buddy is a great thing to consider. They will keep you motivated and accountable. It’s always great to have someone right there with you going through the same thing as you so you can support each other to keep going.
Weight Loss Tip #4:
Commit to a schedule and meal preparation. When you do decide to start working out, I found that scheduling when you are going to go the gym to workout and then sticking to that schedule is the best way to get you there. If you know when you are going to be at the gym then there is less of a chance to have a scheduling conflict. Also, prepare your meals in advance. I am always on the go and usually get home late. I don’t always want to spend time cooking dinner every night when I could be relaxing. So, I found that when I prepared my meals a week at a time, I always knew what I was going to eat and when.
Weight Loss Tip #5:
Tell everyone what you are doing and how important it is to you. This will keep you accountable if your friends and family know you are trying to eat healthy and workout. Also, they will be more supportive and will be less likely to jeopardize your journey.
Melissa’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
What do you normally eat for breakfast?
I am out the door early in the morning so I need something quick for breakfast. I usually have a protein shake with almond milk and a banana.
What do you normally eat for lunch?
For lunch, I will often have a ground turkey burger with spinach. I will also usually have a healthy carb like a sweet potato and some green vegetables.
What do you normally eat for dinner?
For dinner, I will have a salad with grilled chicken, a lot of green vegetables like cucumbers, peppers, broccoli and cauliflower along with a yogurt dressing. I also fix meals following the “21 Day Fix” meal regimen.
What do you normally eat for snacks?
For snacks, I have several different options. I may have a Quest protein bar, fruit, almonds or almond butter, or some green vegetables. For the occasional treat, I will eat some whey protein ice cream.
What type of nutritional supplements do you take?
I take a women’s multivitamin and whey protein powder.
Melissa’s Weight Loss Workouts!
What do you do for weight training?
I like to lift weights and do resistance training. I follow the “21 Day Fix Extreme” fitness regimen from Beach Body.
What do you do for cardio training?
I love going for a run or a walk. I also enjoy spending a day hiking in the mountains.