Family Status: Married (newlywed)
Hometown: Wheeling, Illinois
Pounds or Inches Lost: I lost 95 pounds!
Height: 5′ 5″
Starting Weight: 240 pounds
Current Weight: 145 pounds
Amanda’s Weight Loss Story!
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
I was always active growing up and fairly average-sized. I struggled with my weight a little bit here and there through the years, but I played sports since I was young and was a 3-sport athlete in high school so I never got to be “overweight”. Problem was, I was able to eat more then because I exercised so much. So my eating habits weren’t great and it stayed that way for years. And I never loved exercising; I just did it in high school because I had to when we had sports practices, etc. I graduated high school at about 155 pounds. I then had the classic “go to college and gain weight” syndrome. Except instead of gaining the “freshman 15”, I ended up gaining about 50 pounds over my 4 years in college. Once I wasn’t forced to exercise at sports practices, I simply didn’t. The late night snacking, big portions, poor nutrition and a drastic reduction in exercise caught up with me. Then after graduating college and moving out of state where I didn’t know anybody, food was my comfort. That and a desk job contributed to my gaining 35 more pounds in the next 2 years. I tipped the scales at 240 pounds. As the weight continued to increase throughout college and beyond, I had always felt unhappy but never did anything about it.
What made you decide to lose weight?
I reached the breaking point after 2 things happened: 1) I saw a picture of myself and my fiancé at a friend’s wedding. I couldn’t believe that was me. I had gotten so used to not taking pictures or not looking at pictures of myself, that I wasn’t aware of how big I had become. 2) I got to the point where I dreaded figuring out what to wear. No matter if it was for work each morning or for a special event: the first thing my mind went to was, “What am I going to wear?” and not in a good way; that was a horrible feeling. I knew I needed to lose weight not only to feel better about myself, but to feel healthier.
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
I really just started keeping track of what I was eating and eventually incorporated exercise. I began tracking my calories, fat and other nutrients with the help of Weight Watchers materials. The big thing for me was making it a lifestyle change. And the keys to doing this were really just portion control and developing a high awareness to the food I eat.
What was most challenging about losing weight?
Going to the gym doesn’t work that well for me. I still don’t love exercise, so I had to find other activities that I could tolerate and that I could be motivated to do. Otherwise I wouldn’t do it. What worked for me was to use an at-home Nordic Track (the old-school, clunky wooden brown one). But despite its appearance, it worked! All that it needed to do was get my heart rate up so I could get a good cardio workout. And the other key is that I can watch whatever I want on TV while I do it. I found that reality shows really pass the time well, and I end up not even feeling like I’m working out. The show that also really inspires me is The Biggest Loser. I’ll watch that while I workout and it really motivates me to keep going. The other thing was that I wanted to tone up, but not really bulk up. So I started to use resistance bands (instead of weights). This helped tone up my muscles and gain muscle mass without looking like a bodybuilder.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
After losing those first 25 pounds in 3 months, I started incorporating exercise about 4-5 times per week. From there, I would lose 2-4 pounds per week. Some weeks I’d plateau, but I kept going and my overall weight kept decreasing. Another key thing, other than straight-up diet and exercise, was my mind set. I had been wanting to lose the weight for years, but there’s a difference between wanting to lose weight but not making the effort, and wanting to lose weight and really committing to it. Something just clicked for me. You can WANT to lose the weight all you want, but I think something really has to click before you can actually commit to it and DO something about it.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
It took about 12 months. I wanted to lose weight by doing it the right way. I didn’t want to quickly lose a drastic amount of weight just to gain it all back again. So I began by counting points, eating smaller portions, and cutting out soda, and I lost 25 pounds in about 3 months.
How long have you maintained your weight loss and how do you do it?
About 1 year. I just think of pictures from before and that motivates me. Also knowing that I’d like to start a family and be a healthy mom someday.
How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
It’s so much easier doing everyday things. I don’t have to stress about what I’m going to wear and how uncomfortable I feel in everything. I also enjoy life so much more.
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
ShapeFit’s weight loss stories are very inspirational.
Amanda’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight loss tip #1:
Don’t deprive yourself of what you love or you’ll binge once your willpower is gone. Instead, find a low calorie or low fat option that will still satisfy that craving. Have a small portion of it and you’re set, no damage done. I love the 100 calorie packs or the Weight Watchers chocolates. They satisfy your craving but you don’t overindulge.
Weight loss tip #2:
When I started out, I felt hungry all the time. The trick for me was to drink a lot of water between meals. It not only filled me up but it’s a healthy, no calorie way to go. I also cut out soda completely. It may taste good but it’s just empty calories. Instead, try the Crystal Light singles pack. It still has flavor but without the high calories.
Weight loss tip #3:
Going out to eat is a treat for us and I didn’t want that to end just because I was on a diet. A trick I found that worked was to just eat half of whatever I ordered. Take the rest home. It’ll be a good treat for the next day.
Weight loss tip #4:
Listen to your body when you eat. Your stomach doesn’t tell your brain that you’re full for something like 20 minutes. So, mindlessly eating in front of the TV or without conscious thought can get you into trouble. Before you know it, that whole bag of chips is gone. Only eat until you’re comfortably full and that doesn’t necessarily mean until the plate is empty.
Weight loss tip #5:
Don’t get discouraged. Everyone has a bad day. Just don’t let those bad days string together and turn into bad weeks or bad months.
Amanda’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
1 piece of wheat toast with a thin layer of low-fat peanut butter. It jump starts my day.
1/2 can of Progresso Weight Watchers soup, one apple, one 100-calorie pack of crackers or chips. Or substitute a low-calorie/low fat ham & cheese sandwich instead of the soup.
1 chicken breast with seasoning, 1 cup green beans, 1 glass of milk.
Snacks or Mini Meals:
Lots of water. It fills me up whenever I get a small ‘hunger pang’ or a small apple for a snack
Amanda’s Weight Loss Workouts!
Resistance bands for arms (multiple variations, taught by a trainer), leg lifts, push ups, etc. 3 times per week.
35 minutes on an old school Nordic Track, 3-4 times per week. This works for me because I don’t like going to a gym very much. I can do this in the comfort of my own home, watch the shows that keep me focused and motivated to finish my workout. Sometimes I’ll add 400-450 jump rope repetitions also.