Family Status: Married
Occupation: Special Needs Teacher Assistant
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Starting Weight: 301 pounds
Current Weight: 155 pounds
Current Waist Size: 36″
Meghan’s Weight Loss Interview!
How much did you lose?
I lost about 146 pounds and went from a 44 inch waist down to about 34-36 inches. I also went from a size 24 in pants down to a size 8/10. My body fat percentage was in the high thirties and it’s now in the low twenties!
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
After my mother had triple bypass surgery. I was seven years old and began to chronically binge eat as a way of coping with anxiety which stemmed from the trauma. I consistently gained weight and peaked at my highest weight of 301 pounds at the age of 18 in my senior year of high school.
What made you decide to lose weight?
In 2011, I had lost about twenty pounds from walking to work which was the distance of three miles round trip. A close friend asked if I would like to go with her on her runs, but walk instead, and let me go hiking with her quite frequently. She also taught me about eating clean meals and I eventually began to lose a lot more weight. I then got really interested in health and fitness and began to train at higher intensities and really cleaned up my eating habits.
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
I began to exercise daily and learn more about effective weight loss strategies that were healthy and progressive. I also began to eat clean which means that I focused on fruits, vegetables, and lean meats that would give me proper nutrients like healthy fats, lean protein, natural fructose, and complex carbohydrates.
What was the most challenging thing you had to deal with during your weight loss journey?
The hardest thing to deal with was my anxiety because that was the reason that I would binge eat. Binge eating was such a coping mechanism but after I began to use fitness and clean eating as a healthy alternative of coping, my anxiety lessened and coping with it became much easier.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
Overall, it took me about two years to lose 146 pounds but I truly began to shape my goals according to healthier ideas. I started to focus more on body composition (muscle vs fat) and not just weigh myself. After losing the weight and hitting 150 pounds in 2012, I began to incorporate resistance training into my workout routine which had been focused mainly on cardiovascular exercise. I began to burn more fat and build more muscle which makes me feel strong and healthy.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
Overall, it has taken four years to reach my current weight and body composition. However, I have maintained the same weight, or close to it for about two years since the initial weight loss.
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 about 2.5 years. The best way to keep off the weight (body fat) is by eating your recommended caloric intake and getting in the correct number of macronutrients along with staying active, yet having fun in the process. When you learn to enjoy eating healthy and keeping your body busy, weight loss becomes a lot more fun and a daily part of your life.
What keeps you motivated to continue your weight loss success?
My motivation comes from those who are also on a fitness journey. I will be a certified NASM personal trainer by the end of June, so I can share the same happiness that I have attained through changing my health. Each day I go out there and challenge myself so that I can motivate others to do the same, and in return, I stay constantly encouraged to keep going.
How has your life changed now that you have lost weight?
After losing weight, I learned a lot about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, which basically means inner motivations versus external motivations. After having a major weight loss transformation, a fire burns inside you to accomplish other goals and to keep trying every time you fail. That progress is also seen by others, and with encouragement and positive words, I have stayed motivated to keep pushing forward to reach my goals.
Do you have any advice for others who are trying to lose weight?
My advice to others is to always love yourself at any weight and remember that putting in the work is worth the results. I also would like to say that it is not going to be easy, but it’s worth it. Each weight loss journey is incredibly different and depends on one’s goals and effort. If you stay consistent, you will see results even if it takes time. Progress is progress, so just keep going!
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
I have always found a lot of helpful workouts on ShapeFit.com and often use them for my daily routines. This is also an essential part of weight loss! Keep your routine fun and always try new things. This is why it’s great to check out new fitness articles from ShapeFit!
Meghan’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight Loss Tip #1:
Success in weight loss heavily depends on nutrition. Make sure to have healthy and balanced meals but do not deprive yourself of the things you enjoy. Moderation is key.
Weight Loss Tip #2:
Stay active but also make your activity fun! Some people enjoy certain activities over others. For example, I love running, kickboxing and weight lifting, and usually focus on those as my major sources of physical activity. Find what you enjoy and work with it! However, don’t be scared of trying new things!
Weight Loss Tip #3:
Don’t get discouraged. Weight loss can take time but that is why losing weight is a journey. There will be ups and downs, and some days will be harder than others. However, if you stay consistent and put in your best effort each day, progress will come.
Weight Loss Tip #4:
Surround yourself with positive people. It’s easy to throw in the towel when you’re not encouraged to stay on track. Surround yourself with friends and family who will push you to keep going and even join you on the journey too. Plus, it’s always fun to get fit with friends!
Weight Loss Tip #5:
Remember that there will be off days and that is okay. Weight loss is not a straight line of perfect progress. If you have an off day, start again the next morning with the same determination you had the previous day. Keep trying, you’re only human!
Meghan’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
What do you normally eat for breakfast?
Typically, I usually start my morning off with a supplementary protein shake that consists of whey protein, a banana, a half cup of strawberries, and a half cup of almond milk. I get up very early to go long distance running so it’s important to have protein afterward to avoid muscle loss.
What do you normally eat for lunch?
For lunch, I usually enjoy 3 ounces of chopped chicken breast, half a cup of brown rice, and a side of broccoli or asparagus. I also usually pack a side snack of sliced melons or strawberries!
What do you normally eat for dinner?
For dinner, I love to focus on lean meat and vegetables. I usually make chicken and a side of either broccoli, asparagus, red potato, or mushrooms! I love using chicken as my main source of protein for dinner.
What do you normally eat for snacks?
Because of my goal of gaining muscle, I like to have Quest protein bars as snacks some days, but I usually love to pack a half cup of melons or strawberries. Sometimes I’ll enjoy a 1/4 cup of trail mix that includes almonds, dried blueberries and pecan halves! Those are just a few of my favorite snacks.
What type of nutritional supplements do you take?
I use whey protein and also take fish oil capsules to get a healthy amount of fat into my diet.
Meghan’s Weight Loss Workouts!
What do you do for weight training?
I like to focus on using multiple exercises, three days a week. On Tuesdays, I focus on training my back and biceps which usually consists of back rows, both with pulleys, cables, and dumbbells. As for biceps, I focus on a variation of curls with dumbbells and barbells. Thursdays, I focus on chest and triceps. For chest, I like doing exercises that use cables and dumbbells with a variation of presses and flyes. On Saturday, I focus all on legs and glutes. I love doing weighted lunges and squats along with adduction and abduction exercises. Gaining muscle is not always a bad thing for women and it actually creates a lot of curves and tones up a lot of areas. As for abs, I do them with each workout and alternate my abdominal workouts with different variations of repetitions and overall duration.
What do you do for cardio training?
I absolutely love running. However, I also love doing HIIT (High Intense Interval Training) and kickboxing too. Anything that gets my heart truly racing is exhilarating to me!