Family Status: Married
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Starting Weight: 174 pounds
Current Weight: 114 pounds
Current Waist Size: 27″
Erica’s Weight Loss Interview!
How much did you lose?
I lost 60 pounds and went from a size 14 to a size 2!
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
I was a steady 150 pounds for most of my life until, thanks to a bizarre twist of fate (a terrible ankle injury that resulted in 5 screws and 1 plate), my weight skyrocketed and I gained 25 pounds. While that might not sound like a lot, at only 5’2″, I definitely noticed it.
I remember at one point my surgeon told me it was quite possible I’d never be able to participate in any strenuous activities again for the rest of my life. Hearing that was absolutely terrifying. Although he wasn’t right about that part (I’m a personal trainer now), it did take me almost 8 months to walk again without assistance. My weight peaked at 174 pounds.
I felt terrible about myself. I knew I needed to take control of my life (and weight) or risk never feeling good about myself again. Being 60 pounds overweight sucked! But being uncomfortable in my own skin was even worse. I was burnt out from work and putting everything before me.
What made you decide to lose weight?
I knew it was time for me to make myself a priority and that’s when I saw the one thing that would really drive my weight loss journey. The pink bikini! There I was, flipping through Prevention Magazine when I came across an adorable pink swimsuit that I knew I had to have. This little number was so dang cute and I became obsessed with fitting into it. I knew, deep in my heart, that one day I would wear that thing and that was the moment I declared my intention to ditch the extra pounds and get my freakin’ life back. Don’t get me wrong, I had my fair share of haters who shot me the side eye, but I was determined.
I kept my routine simple at first. I started eating right and working out like a mad woman but the shift really came not just because of those things, but because I was finally putting myself first. What really changed for me was the intention to care for myself first and to love the body I already had. Of course, there were tons of obstacles and frustrations and at times I almost wanted to give up. But then I would remember it all and especially the message from my surgeon. The side eye glances that said, “Yeah right.” Oh ya, and obviously the pink bikini was a big reason too 🙂
I ended up losing the weight in 22 months but what I gained was even more fabulous. A trust, confidence and love for myself I never even thought possible. And see, that’s the thing. People think “losing weight” is the answer to happiness, and that quick fixes and deprivation diets and crazy “probably not FDA approved pills” will do the work for them. But if you really want to be healthy and get all the good stuff that comes along with it (confidence, a successful business, you name it), you really just have to choose yourself first!
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
The most important changes were eating 6 small meals a day, drinking 10 cups of water a day and focusing on a high protein, low carb diet with lots or veggies.
What was the most challenging thing you had to deal with during your weight loss journey?
The biggest challenge for me was my nutrition.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
It took 6 months to really see major results. I went in circles for a while.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
How long have you maintained your weight loss and what are the most important factors for keeping it off?
Over 3 years.
What keeps you motivated to continue your weight loss success?
My clients and all of my wonderful followers. I practice what I preach!
How has your life changed now that you have lost weight?
I am now a fitness and nutrition expert who serves clients on a daily basis to achieve their goals using some of the very same principles I used in my journey.
Do you have any advice for others who are trying to lose weight?
Take it one day at a time. If you don’t like yourself or how you look in the mirror, your brain goes crazy with scary thoughts like, “I’m not good enough.” And because your brain doesn’t know the difference between a thought and the truth, over time you start to believe it. You should also celebrate all of your victories (scale and non-scale) along the way.
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
ShapeFit’s weight loss stories are very motivational.
Erica’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight Loss Tip #1:
Take one day at a time. Small steps equals great success.
Weight Loss Tip #2:
Celebrate all of your victories along the journey.
Weight Loss Tip #3:
Don’t compare your journey with someone else. What someone else achieved will be a bit different from you. People get discouraged when they can’t lose a certain amount of weight in the same time frame as someone else. It’s okay since every person’s body is designed differently.
Weight Loss Tip #4:
Don’t stare at the final goal so much. Sign up to complete a 5K or some other health and fitness goal which will help you avoid focusing on the final weight loss goal too much.
Weight Loss Tip #5:
Pay it forward! When you achieve your goals, help someone else out. Share your story or encourage someone else to start their journey.
Erica’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
What do you normally eat for breakfast?
I love eating a 1/2 cup of oatmeal and having a protein shake!
What do you normally eat for lunch?
Tuna over spinach with balsamic dressing.
What do you normally eat for dinner?
4-6 ounces of lean meat (chicken, ground turkey, fish), 1/2 cup of starch (potato, rice, pasta), steamed veggies.
What do you normally eat for snacks?
I love snacking on veggies but my favorite snack is 1/4 of banana and 1 scoop peanut butter on top of a rice cake. Yummy 🙂
What type of nutritional supplements do you take?
I take a multivitamin.
Erica’s Weight Loss Workouts!
What do you do for weight training?
I train with heavy weights a few days a week (upper body and lower body). I love doing wide-grip pull-ups for my back and shoulders. I also do deadlifts and squats with an Olympic bar for my legs and typically use 80-135 pounds.
What do you do for cardio training?
I do intense cardio a few times a week (sprint intervals) and I also walk 3-5 times a week.