Family Status: Single
Hometown: Snellville, Georgia
Starting Weight: 233 pounds
Current Weight: 168 pounds
Current Waist Size: 35″
Marie’s Weight Loss Interview!
How much did you lose?
I lost a total of 65 pounds and my dress size went from a 1X (18/20) to a size 10/12! I also wear a 29 waist in pants. I started losing so much weight I needed to purchase a new wardrobe! When I was a size 14, I purchased a few items and my trainer and friends said, “Don’t buy too much because you’re still losing”. I went down to a size 12, then to a 10 (depending on the clothing line).
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
Growing up I was never overweight and always watched my weight. I was concerned with health issues, even though they do run in the family like heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity. I always like to stay active to keep my weight down and to be healthy. In Atlanta, there are so many people and so many things to do. I chose to spend my time at the fitness center when I first arrived here. After having a baby, I continued to go to the fitness center and take him along with me since there was a daycare on site. Then I deactivated my membership at the fitness center for a few years.
What made you decide to lose weight?
My weight issue began after I finished treatments of radiation and chemotherapy for my diagnosis of colon cancer in 2004. I noticed my weight gain instantly when I started gaining on an average of 3 pounds a day. My weight soared from 155 pounds up to 210 pounds and gradually I kept increasing in weight, so did my dress size until l reached 233 pounds and a size 1X! As the weight was increasing, I could not figure out what was going on inside my body to make me retain the weight. I gave up trying to keep the weight down and accepted the fact that this is the way I was supposed to be.
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
I had accepted the weight gain and was ready to live with it, until I started feeling sick at times and depressed. I knew I would have to lose the weight and make some changes before it killed me. That was the heaviest I had ever been in my life. The only exercise I did was walking the dog; which my doctor did not really consider the correct exercise to lose the weight. I was eating healthy without counting calories or using portion control, which I thought was great. I was now ready to take on the challenge to lose the weight with the help of a personal trainer. Losing the weight was important to me, so using portion control was key. I knew I could not do it alone and a personal trainer was what I needed. I had told friends I was going to get a personal trainer to help me for what I knew would be a long journey. It was my birthday (September 13th) and I was given the opportunity of a lifetime when I met my personal trainer Ezra Dew. It was as if God said, “It is time, now commit!”
What was the most challenging thing you had to deal with during your weight loss journey?
Staying consistent and doing cardio. After discussing my goals with my personal trainer to lose the weight, Ezra guided me through every day of my transformation. He assessed my profile history and eating habits. It was time to fool my body and change up my activity to a fast pace jog and then slow down to a walk. I had not jogged in years! Alternating one minute of each was used to help jumpstart my metabolism. He believed I was ready to make the commitment to healthy eating and to exercise with consistency. My cardio training at a fitness center is a continuation of what I was doing at the park. I also started myself out with some floor exercises in my bedroom before going to the fitness center. This consisted of sit-ups and leg stretches. I came to the point where I was not losing any weight after increasing my distance of walking and eating healthy; I started using the stair stepper at the fitness center which I did not find easy to do. This consisted of using HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), which consists of stepping at a fast rate for 1 minute then slowing down for 1 minute, repetitively, eventually increasing the time to 2 minutes each. This was also implemented to increase my cardio and jumpstart my metabolism. I started out with 10 minutes and increased my workout time to 20 minutes. It was not long before I was adding more equipment along with the treadmill for a cool down period then I was free to do whatever else I wanted to do on the equipment. As my walking increased, so did my energy level, which allowed me to move quicker for a longer period of time.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
Everyone else could physically see the changes my body was taking on; everyone but me. I saw the scale moving downward every week which I was impressed with. That was motivation for me. I really noticed the change when people started saying I needed a new wardrobe about 2 months after I started.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
Half of my weight came off during the first 3 months. At that time I went through a family crisis and maintained my weight for 2 months, then started losing again. I took off 30 pounds when my focus on my weight loss returned.
How long have you maintained your weight loss and what are the most important factors for keeping it off?
I have managed to maintain my weight for 10 months after losing the 65 pounds. I am always on the go, so this worked out fine for me. Changing my activities and eating habits was the start of my transformation. Now, I eat clean and enjoy eating natural and fresh foods. This is when I started feeling so much better about myself and my energy levels sky rocketed. When I was not eating the 1 meal and 2 shakes a day, I would alternate to having 6 small meals a day. It was also important to learn what to choose when eating out. There is usually something on the menu that you would usually overlook and might choose the unhealthy foods that taste good. It was helpful to learn what you can order from the menu when dining out so I could stay on my meal plan or close to it. There is always something you can eat without going hungry during the day but it might be difficult when you do not have healthy food with you. So I learned to always pack my meal bag and stay focused on my goals. Ezra led me through the everyday transformation of my body and a true lifestyle change.
What keeps you motivated to continue your weight loss success?
Taking my weight loss to the next phase is motivated by the success stories I read on ShapeFit.com and seeing all of the transformation photos.
How has your life changed now that you have lost weight?
I have gained more confidence and I am motivated to help others by sharing my story with them. After my transformation of losing 65 pounds, I can’t help but to smile most of the time! I feel so good and I am so blessed! There was a time when I thought I would never lose the weight. Now I look good and feel good. I have my health and have a new agenda for my life. Since I have maintained my weight for the past 10 months, I am ready to take it to the next level and lose another 20 pounds and work on my strength to help tone up my physique.
Do you have any advice for others who are trying to lose weight?
Set goals for yourself and stick to a plan so you can reach that goal. Believe in yourself and watch your transformation take place. You will be so inspired to tell others and help people who think they cannot do the same thing you did. Motivate someone!
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
The success stories along with the before and after photos are so encouraging. The ShapeFit.com website is full of information, like healthy weight loss recipes!
Marie’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight Loss Tip #1:
Don’t eat until you are full. Portion control is the key.
Weight Loss Tip #2:
Stay consistent with your healthy eating and exercise plan.
Weight Loss Tip #3:
Do your cardio (HIIT workouts) in the morning before breakfast to burn more fat.
Weight Loss Tip #4:
When eating out, everything looks good on the menu so be selective and choose the healthier foods which will make you look good!
Weight Loss Tip #5:
Believe in yourself and prepare your meals at home to take with you for the day.
Marie’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
What do you normally eat for breakfast?
Egg whites with peanut butter and sometimes oatmeal with half of a grapefruit.
What do you normally eat for lunch?
Chicken or fish with green veggies and some sweet potato.
What do you normally eat for dinner?
Turkey, chicken or fish, with 2 veggies and sometimes brown rice.
What do you normally eat for snacks?
My snack is usually a protein shake, made with water, or some trail mix.
What type of nutritional supplements do you take?
A protein shake for a meal replacement made with almond milk and fruit. I also take a multivitamin with amino acids and a fat burner.
Marie’s Weight Loss Workouts!
What do you do for weight training?
I generally use the machines at the gym. The stair stepper burns a lot of calories, and walking or jogging on the treadmill. I also like to do water aerobics when I don’t use the machines.
What do you do for cardio training?
I have trained my body to want to do my cardio first thing in the morning to feel refreshed and have a clear head to plan my day. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is what I do when I am pressed for time in the morning.