Family Status: Married
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Starting Weight: 302 pounds
Current Weight: 170 pounds
Pounds or Inches Lost: I lost 132 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 worked.
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.
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 Interview!
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 boot camp 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 it?
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 track.
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 Park”.