Family Status: Single
Occupation: Interaction Specialist
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Pounds or Inches Lost: I lost 92 pounds!
Starting Weight: 280 pounds
Current Weight: 188 pounds
Erica’s Weight Loss Story!
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
I had a son when I was at the ripe young age of 15, and never really went back down after that. When I was a kid, I was always skinny and pretty much skin and bones. However I did get postpartum depression and it never really went away. Due to factors outside of my control, I had to give up my son for adoption when he was 5. I became very depressed and just ate everything all day, all the time, it was what I lived for. To eat! And I didn’t exercise, ever. Maybe just going up the stairs to my duplex.
What made you decide to lose weight?
My dad told me one day “Erica, you’re beginning to look a little too soft.” That’s when I got really angry at myself, for letting it ever happen, and I walked out the door at that very minute and started walking! Besides, my weight had grossed out my boyfriend and I couldn’t seem to hold down a relationship after he left me.
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
I decided to become positive. It really helped to look at success stories online and to see that I wasn’t the only one, and to see people who were even bigger than I was who were able to actually lose a ton of weight. For awhile I thought it was impossible at my size to ever get healthy again, but then I decided I had to change my attitude about that. I made up my mind that I would be one of the success stories one day. I ate much, much less and started bike riding all the time, and taking long walks. Now I’ve progressed and can do some running, although not for long periods of time yet. I also lift some weights, and do a LOT of Kundalini yoga, and pilates at home on my yoga mat to a DVD. I wear a pedometer everywhere I go so I can track my steps. 10,000 steps a day is the recommended amount from the Surgeon General.
What was most challenging about losing weight?
Making myself move when it felt more comfortable to just sit still and watch movies, making myself get to the gym when a nap seemed like more fun. Not running to the refrigerator every time life got hard. Also the process of exercising when I was that heavy before made me very upset, because moving actually hurt and I could feel how out of shape I was. That wasn’t a feeling that was easy to accept!
How long did it take you to start to see results?
I started seeing results almost right away within a few weeks. Granted, they were minor results. I just felt brighter-skinned, more radiant, a little more energetic, and slightly happier.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
To lose almost 100 pounds, it has taken me almost 3 years. Although sometimes I only maintain for months and months at a time, and that’s when I’m not as active.
How long have you maintained your weight loss and how do you do it?
I maintain by thinking about my health every single day. I even obsess a little, but that’s okay if that’s what it takes. Not a day goes by where I don’t pay attention to what my body is telling me, not a day goes by where I’m not planning out my next workout or writing down the next grocery list that usually consists of fruits, vegetables, and grains.
How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
My life has changed because I am not depressed anymore. Now that I’m not all bent out of shape (no pun intended) about my weight, I can actually start focusing on other life goals I have, and start planning for them, like going to college and graduate school. Before, I just didn’t know how to get myself out of that rut, and now that I’m out of it, I feel so much more free, open, happy, content, and esteemed. I smile more, I’m more friendly, I’m just finally O.K. with myself again, and as a result, my relationships and friendships are much better, and I now have a very high paying job when before all I could get was retail positions.
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
I just found ShapeFit.com a few days ago, but so far it has given me even MORE motivation because now I can see all these other people who have overcome this struggle, too!
Erica’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight loss tip #1:
Always record your calorie intake. It’s too easy to forget how much (or how little) you’re eating, so if you write it down or use an online diet tracker for these calories, you’ll be much more on track!
Weight loss tip #2:
Record all your physical activity. If you do 20 pushups, keep a log of that. If you walk 2.5 miles, write it down, too. Try to invest in a pedometer and make a goal to walk 10,000 steps per day.
Weight loss tip #3:
Don’t forget to always make sure you’re burning more calories than you eat every day. This is the safest, surest way to lose weight.
Weight loss tip #4:
Make sure to get rest for one day if you are feeling very, very sore. Don’t overwork yourself. Make sure you challenge yourself enough that the workouts aren’t easy, but don’t strain or pull any muscles! Let the sore muscles heal.
Weight loss tip #5:
If you mess up for a day, just start again the next day or even right when you notice you goofed up. We all slip up sometimes or forget to exercise for a day or two. Just notice the mistake, and then vow to make sure you don’t do it too often!
Erica’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
Multi Grain Cheerios. Banana slices in the Cheerios, and topped with about 15 raspberries in the cereal. 1 cup of 2% skim milk. Glass of water.
Flame-grilled boca burger (meatless) on two slices of whole grain bread. Pesto spread on one side, and lite mayo on the other, with about a tsp of ketchup. A few sautéed mushrooms and cooked onions to top the burger. A slice of vegan cheese melted on top. Glass of water.
1 cup of cooked couscous, topped with steamed veggies (carrots, broccoli, zucchini).
Snacks or Mini Meals:
Power bars, protein bars, cantaloupe, watermelon, baby carrots, etc.
Erica’s Weight Loss Workouts!
I lift 10 pound dumbbells on both arms for reps of 20. I also do lunges holding a 10 pound dumbbell.
1-2 hours of treadmill at least 3x per week, on a high incline.