Family Status: Single
Occupation: Medical Laboratory Scientist
Hometown: Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Starting Weight: 297 pounds
Current Weight: 160 pounds
Current Waist Size: 29.5″
Amanda’s Weight Loss Interview!
How much did you lose?
I have lost 137 pounds over 4 years! When I was in high school, I started at a pants size of 26 and 3XL top. Now after graduating college, I sit currently at a pants size of 12 and a medium top!
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
I was always overweight as a kid despite being active in sports. I was picked on and teased for my weight issues. I even saw dietitians and counselors for weight issues growing up. I was really unhappy in high school when I could never find cute fashionable clothes that fit me.
What made you decide to lose weight?
During my senior year of high school I was getting ready to attend college and I knew walking around campus tired me out physically and I would get winded easily. I also had a lot of health issues that scared me into losing the weight. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that flared up whenever I got sick. I knew the only way to not get sick was to become healthy and invest in my overall health. Since becoming healthy, I get sick less often which has allowed to keep my autoimmune condition at bay.
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
The very first thing I did was cut out soda and sugary snacks. I was drinking up to four cans of soda a day. I changed my usual lunch from having pizza and bread sticks to sandwiches and carrots. I increased my activity level and have now found exercise to be a hobby and not a dreaded task. I adopted mainly a vegetarian lifestyle but include some meats like fish and seafood. Reducing the amount of sugary foods in my diet was the most difficult but also the most effective. I retrained my brain to enjoy healthy foods I normally wouldn’t like.
What was the most challenging thing you had to deal with during your weight loss journey?
Dealing with the temptations at the college cafeteria. I would have much rather eaten pizza and ice cream for lunch but I stayed away from those temptations. Building my willpower strength was the most difficult part along with shying away from sugary foods.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
I slowly saw results after the first few months of starting my journey. However, by the time I had completed my first year of college, I had lost about 75 pounds from my starting weight. By the time I graduated I had lost about 137 pounds and I continue to maintain the weight I had lost.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
It took about 4 years.
Did you have any issues with loose skin after losing the weight? If so, how did you deal with it?
Yes, I still continue to have issues with loose skin. I have not gotten surgery for it yet but I’ve tried several methods to fix it. I body scrub, lift weights, and use wraps to reduce the excess skin and cellulite. I will always have stretch marks which serve as a good reminder of my journey.
How long have you maintained your weight loss and what are the most important factors for keeping it off?
I have maintained my weight loss for a few years. I found losing the weight over a long period of time helped me make it a true lifestyle change. I still have temptations to enjoy a bowl of ice cream or a cupcake but I have made an overall change in my life. I have made a healthy diet and exercise plan a natural part of my day. I love to cook with fresh new foods I discover at farmers markets. I love yoga and weight lifting which provides a good balance.
What keeps you motivated to continue your weight loss success?
My health keeps me moving. I want to be able to enjoy life to the fullest. I want to travel and experience life without having my health be an issue. I want to protect my body from the bad things and treat it like a well maintained machine. Throughout my medical coursework, I have discovered that the human body is really cool.
How has your life changed now that you have lost weight?
I have a greater ability to do things! I run races without having to stop and I have a lot more strength and overall energy. I like to go shopping for clothes and I love mentoring others on how to create a healthy lifestyle and discussing my journey with people, especially adolescents.
Do you have any advice for others who are trying to lose weight?
Keep going! It’s totally normal to have setbacks and frustrations during the process. It’s a slow process but it’s one you will be glad you never gave up on. Investing in your health is the best decision you can make!
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
ShapeFit.com provides good motivation to reach your goals.
Amanda’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight Loss Tip #1:
Avoid sugar and refined carbs as much as possible. Those foods will make you feel sluggish and throw your body out of rhythm.
Weight Loss Tip #2:
Find a fun activity that you enjoy and make it a priority. Workout with friends, attend a class or enjoy the outdoors. There are so many possibilities, but make sure activity is an important part of your day.
Weight Loss Tip #3:
Make sure you are eating because you are truly hungry and not just bored. It’s important to practice mindfulness. I struggle with eating when I’m bored, upset, or stressed. I found food comforting but it wasn’t helping me reach my goals. I had to be really in-tune with my body and only to eat when I was hungry.
Weight Loss Tip #4:
Smaller portions are key. Reduce the size of your meals by plating them on smaller dishes or using measuring cups. Portions are super important when trying to lose weight.
Weight Loss Tip #5:
Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated is very important. Our bodies need a lot of water especially when we are increasing our activity level. Drinking water will help prevent dehydration but also keeps you full. Sometimes when I feel hungry I’m actually just thirsty and drinking a glass of water will help to take away the feeling of hunger.
Amanda’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
What do you normally eat for breakfast?
Yogurt, oatmeal, or eggs. I usually don’t have lot of time in the morning so it’s often something quick and easy. I like to make quiche or avocado toast when I make brunch on the days I have more time.
What do you normally eat for lunch?
Salads, sandwiches, or leftovers. It often varies but I make sure I get the three main macronutrients (carbs, protein and fat). I like tuna, fish or grilled chicken for my protein. Carbs are usually rice or quinoa. For fats, I like peanut butter and trail mix along with using olive oil or coconut oil.
What do you normally eat for dinner?
I eat a lot of soups, salads, tacos and lettuce wraps. I try to focus on getting the 3 main macronutrients incorporated in each of my meals during the day.
What do you normally eat for snacks?
Carrots with hummus and apples with peanut butter are my favorite snacks. I also like to make homemade granola bars because I can control the ingredients.
What type of nutritional supplements do you take?
I really don’t take many supplements besides a daily probiotic.
Amanda’s Weight Loss Workouts!
What do you do for weight training?
I love lifting weights and doing yoga. Those are my two main exercise routines. I love being able to build up my strength and see changes in my body. Yoga helps me with mindfulness and gratification. Building strength with weights makes me feel powerful. It helps to tone and increase my muscle volume.
What do you do for cardio training?
I really enjoy cycling and spinning classes. They are a fun way to pump up my heart rate and blast away the stress and burn fat. I’ve never really been a runner but I like incline hiking and walking also.