Family Status: Boyfriend and child
Occupation: I am the founder and owner of Mind Your Macros, an online weight loss coaching company that focuses on a well-formulated, ketogenic diet.
Hometown: Wimberley, Texas
Starting Weight: 296 pounds
Current Weight: 159 pounds
Current Waist Size: 29″
Misty’s Weight Loss Interview!
How much did you lose?
I’ve lost 137 pounds so far! My goal is to lose half my body weight. I went from about 60% body fat to 25% body fat and from a size 26 down to a size 8! I also went from a 48D cup size down to a size 34C and even my shoe size changed from a 9.5 to a 8.5!
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
I was an active kid and always ate healthy foods, thanks to my parents. I am sure that is what kept me from being an overweight child. In 2004, when my grandmother went into home hospice, I quit school and moved in with her to take care of her and that was the first time I put on a massive amount of weight. I went from 130 pounds to 285 pounds in what seemed like no time at all. I started the Atkins Diet in 2006 and lost over 100 pounds but gained the weight back when I added carbohydrates back into my diet.
I was commuting and working crazy hours, eating junk food and my only exercise was walking from my house to my car and then from my car to the office. I was an alcoholic and I drank an untold number of calories from vodka several days of the week. I developed a herniated disc that gave me chronic, constant nerve pain so bad that I couldn’t walk, sit or stand unassisted. I spent months lying on the couch and sleeping because I couldn’t walk the 10 feet from the door of my bedroom to my bed.
I wasn’t able to be the mom I wanted to be. I couldn’t take my daughter anywhere and couldn’t do things with her. My husband had to put socks on my feet because I couldn’t bend my legs and reach my own feet due to the pain from my herniated disc. I felt so low. I felt like nothing. I gained the weight back and then some over a 7 year period ballooning up to 296 pounds!
What made you decide to lose weight?
I had back surgery in August of 2015 and that relieved the nerve pain but I was still unable to walk more than 100 feet and I still had back pain. Because of my inability to work, I used up all of my leave time and eventually had to quit my job due to the threat of termination. With the loss of income I was forced to sell my home.
On February 20, 2015, I decided I had enough. I was angry at myself, the pain, my weight, my situation and basically everything. I was only 35 years old and wondered how I ended up at almost 300 pounds, out of breath, sweaty, in pain, unemployed, and an alcoholic living in my dad’s rental house. So I decided to change. I quit eating carbs, drinking and smoking cigarettes on the same day.
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
I stopped eating carbohydrates (I keep them under 20 grams per day in order to keep my body in ketosis). I eat adequate amounts of protein to maintain my lean body mass and I use fat as a caloric manipulation lever which means I eat less when I need to lose weight and more when I want to stop losing weight. I count macros (macronutrients are protein, carbs, fat), not calories and I weigh and track all my food with a diet tracking program called MyFitnessPal.
What was the most challenging thing you had to deal with during your weight loss journey?
It takes special determination to keep going even when you can’t see results. I think it’s the same thing with the diet. People want immediate results and get down when the scale doesn’t move with consistency but weight loss isn’t linear. I know I’m eating fewer calories that my body needs and I’m using a lot of energy weight lifting so even if the scale doesn’t always move I know that I will lose weight. You just have to trust the process.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
I lost 20 pounds in the first month, so I saw results immediately.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
It took me 18 months.
Did you have any issues with loose skin after losing the weight? If so, how did you deal with it?
I have some loose skin under my neck, arms and on my stomach. Mostly, I’ve combated it with weight lifting since I’m putting on muscle where the fat used to be. I wear a compression tank top all day long to keep things smooth and one day, if finances allow, I will have surgery to get rid of all of my loose skin. After working this hard I would love to get rid of the last vestiges of that part of my life.
How long have you maintained your weight loss and what are the most important factors for keeping it off?
I’m still losing weight. My first major goal is to lose half of my body weight but I will continue to lift weights and lean out after that. I will try to stay in ketosis for the rest of my life. When I get to my goal size (20% body fat), I will keep my carbs under 20 grams per day to stay in ketosis while eating the same amount of protein but I will increase the amount of healthy fats that I eat. That way I can raise my calories until I stop losing weight.
What keeps you motivated to continue your weight loss success?
Myself! It comes from how I feel and how I look. My daughter is so proud and she shows me off now. I have a lot of people who find inspiration in my weight loss success. Besides being a weight loss coach (My Facebook page is called Mind Your Macros), I also administrate a Facebook group called “Ketogenic Dieters” with 30,000 members. It’s motivating because I remember being exactly where they are when they started. It feels impossible to lose half your body weight so I post pictures of my journey to keep them motivated.
Taking before and after pictures is also important. The last time I lost weight, I swept the old “me” under the rug and forgot about her and I then let myself slide back into bad habits. Going back and looking at those old pictures can be painful but it would be worse to end up like that again.
How has your life changed now that you have lost weight?
I can travel now! I probably could have traveled before but I was terrified that I’d need a seat belt extender. I’m happy and active! I lift weights, do yoga and run with my dogs. I can do things like go to “Meet The Teacher” without having a panic attack. I can sit in booths in restaurants and little plastic chairs no longer feel like they are going to collapse under my weight. I can walk without breaking into a sweat. I’m no longer embarrassed to shop for clothes or eat food in public.
Do you have any advice for others who are trying to lose weight?
Never feed a craving. Cravings are like stray cats, if you feed them they will never go away. You can “white knuckle” it through the cravings or if it gets too intense, you can redirect your brain by doing things like eating a pickle, brushing your teeth, drinking water, taking a walk or painting your nails. You can’t eat with wet nails, right? The cravings will go away in a week or two and you will be left with control over your food and a pride of willpower you might not have known you possessed.
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
Watching other people get in shape is always motivating!
Misty’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight Loss Tip #1:
Stop eating carbs (at least more than 20 grams a day).
Weight Loss Tip #2:
Make sure you eat adequate protein because you don’t want to lose muscle mass while you are losing fat.
Weight Loss Tip #3:
Don’t try to recreate low-carb versions of the food that got you fat, sick and addicted in the first place. It’s about finding a new way of eating that you can sustain for a lifetime.
Weight Loss Tip #4:
Follow your macros (grams of protein, carbs and fat) and make sure to weigh and track everything you eat! You can use my “Mind Your Macros” macronutrient calculator on my Facebook page.
Weight Loss Tip #5:
Keep it simple! There is no need for elaborate recipes in your first week. Keep your protein lean and your vegetables green. Don’t be afraid of spices though because simple does not mean boring.
Misty’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
What do you normally eat for breakfast?
Monday through Friday, I have a protein shake (1 scoop) with unsweetened cashew milk as a pre-workout meal before I lift weights. On Saturday and Sunday, I only eat 2 meals each day.
What do you normally eat for lunch?
8 ounces of baked chicken with half an avocado and streamed broccoli slaw with some olive oil on it. I’m staying dairy-free and nut-free until I reach my goal weight. Sometimes, I have Indian style curry tuna which is made with tuna, avocado, bell pepper, zucchini, garam marsala, curry, turmeric and chili.
What do you normally eat for dinner?
Salmon, shrimp or lean hamburger (no bun) usually served with the other half of my avocado from lunch and more vegetables like cauliflower, zucchini and broccoli. It sounds like diet food but the amounts that I get to eat are massive. I eat over a pound of meat a day, a huge avocado and 1-2 pounds of vegetables!
What do you normally eat for snacks?
I don’t snack. I eat 2-3 meals a day spaced out by at least 4 hours with no snacking.
What type of nutritional supplements do you take?
I take a multivitamin, D3, biotin, magnesium, fish oil, choline and I have to supplement sodium. Crazy, right? In ketosis, your kidneys excrete sodium so you have to replenish it or your body is depleted and that is what causes the “Keto Flu”. It’s not your body craving carbs like the Internet would have you believe, it’s your electrolytes that are out of balance.
Misty’s Weight Loss Workouts!
What do you do for weight training?
I lift heavy weights for 1 to 1.5 hours a day, 5 days a week and I try to do yoga for an hour a day, 5 days a week.
What do you do for cardio training?
I have never done any cardio to achieve my new physique! My results have come from diet and weight lifting.