Family Status: Married
Occupation: Retail support manager
Hometown: Hamilton, Ohio
Starting Weight: 320 pounds
Current Weight: 168 pounds
Current Waist Size: 29″
Amanda’s Weight Loss Interview!
How much did you lose?
I have lost a total of 152 pounds and went from a size 24 to a size 10/12! I started out at 320 pounds and I’m currently at 168 pounds which is 18 pounds from my ultimate goal of 150 pounds so I am almost there!
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
I was always overweight as far back as I can remember but I really started to pack on the pounds when I had kids. I started to become really unhappy when I was at my biggest because I was having a hard time just keeping up with my kids. I also work retail which is a pretty active job and I was having trouble keeping up the pace. Just walking short distances left me winded and even getting in and out of bed was becoming a struggle.
What made you decide to lose weight?
I decided to lose weight when I realized that my weight was holding me back from the things I wanted to do. I also had an old friend see me and ask me how far along I was when I was not pregnant and that sort of jolted me a little. I was struggling to walk even short distances, I couldn’t keep up with my kids and clothes shopping was a nightmare. I was just fed up with being obese and I wanted to try to see if I could lose the weight.
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
The most important changes I made were modifying my lifestyle as far as diet goes and adding exercise into my routine. I really feel that the combination of these two things were pivotal to my success. I eat healthier and I workout most days of the week.
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 during my weight loss journey was curbing my bad eating habits. I kept going back to drinking soda and eating fast food only to stall my efforts or regain some of the lost weight. It was learning to balance everything that I personally found the most challenging.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
It only took me a few months to start seeing results but there were a couple of times I hit a plateau or even gained weight because of trouble I was having keeping my eating under control. It has taken me 3 years overall to get to the point I’m at now.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
It has taken me 3 years overall to get to my current weight.
Did you have any issues with loose skin after losing the weight? If so, how did you deal with it?
I do have a little bit of loose skin on my abdomen, thighs and under my arms but it isn’t really that noticeable. I’m not quite to my goal weight yet so I’m going to lose the last 18 pounds before I worry about any skin issues. I probably won’t consider surgery unless it’s causing medical issues.
How long have you maintained your weight loss and what are the most important factors for keeping it off?
I am still losing so I’m not currently in the maintenance phase of my weight loss. I have managed to keep from gaining any significant weight back in the past 3 years though so I consider that a victory!
What keeps you motivated to continue your weight loss success?
What keeps me motivated to continue is how great I feel! I love being active, I love eating healthy and how it makes me feel. I have my life back and I’m enjoying it now more than ever! I have more confidence and the fact that I look better is a bonus. I don’t ever see myself going back to the way I was. I don’t ever want to feel like that again.
How has your life changed now that you have lost weight?
My life has changed significantly! I have so much energy and I am able to do more. I don’t dread summer time anymore. I’m doing better at work and recently received a promotion! I can shop in the ladies department which is still strange since I was used to plus size clothes for so long. I am way more active so my life revolves more around activities rather than eating.
Do you have any advice for others who are trying to lose weight?
My main advice to others trying to lose weight is just to never give up. You might mess up and slide back into old habits, but once you catch yourself just start again and keep going. You have to change your eating habits to lose weight and there’s no way around that, so allow yourself one cheat meal (just one meal not an entire day) of your choice with dessert and you will find it much easier to stick with your plan. That’s what worked for me. As far as exercise goes, please ease yourself into it. I didn’t and I kept getting hurt. There is no rush because this is for the rest of your life so just do what you can and build on that. If you try to kill yourself with exercise you will just give up. Be gentle with yourself, forgive yourself for any mistakes and just move forward.
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
Reading ShapeFit’s articles really helped me to stay focused and motivated, as well as educated.
Amanda’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight Loss Tip #1:
Make one small change at a time.
Weight Loss Tip #2:
Always eat breakfast, that’s your energy to start your day.
Weight Loss Tip #3:
Don’t ever skip meals! Skip snacks if you’re wanting to cut out more calories, but never a meal.
Weight Loss Tip #4:
Make sure you are eating enough for your activity level as you become more active. Listen to your body and don’t try to eat too few calories.
Weight Loss Tip #5:
If you want healthy weight loss then it’s all about sustainable change. Make sure anything you are doing you could do forever. If not then you need to change it.
Amanda’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
What do you normally eat for breakfast?
I normally have a protein bar and an apple or banana for breakfast.
What do you normally eat for lunch?
For lunch I typically have leftovers from dinner the previous night, so usually it’s a combination of veggies, chicken or fish with a some rice sometimes. I always want to include a protein and veggies.
What do you normally eat for dinner?
For dinner I also like to make sure I have a protein which is usually chicken or fish, sometimes turkey and veggies. Some of my favorite staple meals that I make include: Turkey tacos, eggplant lasagna, baked chicken with rice and veggies, spaghetti squash with veggies and garlic bread, and sometimes I cheat and eat out but even when I eat out I try to pick the healthier option and you learn that most places always have a healthier option.
What do you normally eat for snacks?
I don’t typically snack at all because I like to eat more during meal time but I like to keep cucumber slices, celery and baby carrots on hand if I feel the urge to snack because those items don’t have a lot of calories and won’t derail my day.
What type of nutritional supplements do you take?
I don’t take any supplements.
Amanda’s Weight Loss Workouts!
What do you do for weight training?
I do workout DVDs and my favorite is Jillian Michaels. I also like all of the Biggest Loser DVDs. I like using the DVDs because they challenge you and I have a hard time coming up with routines on my own and getting to a gym. Workout DVDs can be done at home with hand weights and a mat so you don’t even have to leave the house to get a good workout!
What do you do for cardio training?
For my cardiovascular workouts, I mainly run. I have a treadmill and I also like to run outside. I can run about 4.5 miles now and I am building on that. I also do some workout DVDs for cardio.