Mylitta’s Weight Loss Statistics
- Name: Mylitta
- Age: 45
- Family Status: Married
- Occupation: Entrepreneur
- Location: Tampa, Florida
- Height: 5’9″
- Starting Weight: 304 pounds
- Current Weight: 173 pounds
- Current Waist Size: 35″
Mylitta’s Weight Loss Interview
How much did you lose?
My initial weight loss was from a high of 304 pounds down to 143 pounds in about 15 months. But that was actually too low of a weight for me and I looked too thin. So then I went back up to where I am now which is at 173 pounds and I stay within a range of 170-180 pounds maximum. Initially, I went from a size 28 down to a size 8 in pants and dresses. Now at my healthier weight, I wear a size 10-12. My chest was a size 44 DD and I suffered from massive migraines from the amount of pressure I was carrying around my neck. Now I wear a size 36 C/D.
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
I wasn’t always overweight. While in high school, I weighed 140 pounds and was an athlete. I played basketball, volleyball, ran track, was a cheerleader and in my senior year was voted Homecoming Queen. My struggle with my weight started shortly after walking across that graduation stage and into the pressures of adulthood. Little did my high school friends know that their classmate would be facing health problems related to a combination of unhealthy choices and a sedentary lifestyle. I worked multiple jobs and the stress of everyday situations got the better of me. And in a span of a few years I had gained over 160 pounds! This happened because whenever I needed to cope, food was my drug of choice. I was so out of control that I remember standing up in my kitchen cooking dinner, and at the same time, I was eating a sandwich and a bag of chips. I was actually eating while I was preparing to eat!
What made you decide to lose weight?
My unhappiness started when I would often feel trapped inside my own body and I didn’t know how to get out. Overtime, my frustration grew and I was slipping further into a deep depression. It wasn’t seeing the 304 pound number on the scale that made me change. I knew I had gained weight because I could feel it in my body and I hurt all the time. And It wasn’t the fact that I had to take medications for my high blood pressure and high cholesterol because I figured those issues went hand-in-hand with my excessive weight gain. But what got my attention and what caused me to want to start fighting for my health was when I heard my doctor say, “You are borderline type-2 diabetic and if you don’t do something soon you are asking for a host of additional problems.” When I heard that I froze because I knew people who had diabetes and had to have their foot or leg amputated. I could not picture myself without my feet or legs. Nor did I want to keep going on the same unhealthy path I was on because I felt like I didn’t know who I was anymore whenever I looked in the mirror. I left the doctor’s office knowing what I needed to do and was unhappy and feeling depressed. However, it didn’t keep me from stopping off at two fast food restaurants on my way home! Food was comfort for me and instead of eating when I was hungry, I ate when I was hurting. But that night after crying in the shower and replaying the doctor’s words in my head, I made myself a promise that I would start heading in the direction of getting healthy.
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
When I first set out to start losing weight I knew enough to know I needed to take in less calories and put more energy out which basically means eat less food and get moving more! So I researched how many calories and fat grams I should be consuming each day in order to lose weight. I started keeping an eating journal and wrote down what I was eating to see where I was going wrong. To my surprise I was taking in 7,000-8,000 calories a day along with 450-500 grams of fat! I should have only been eating a maximum of 2,000 to 2,500 calories and 35-40 fat grams daily. Once I got control of my numbers and started to look at food labels, I had better control of what I should be putting in my body and how much exercise I needed to do each week. I had to develop a different type of relationship with food. Instead of living to eat, I had to start eating to live. I needed to fuel my body with the things that would enrich my health and my daily lifestyle. Instead of the excessive 2-3 heavy loaded meals a day that I was eating when I was overweight, I learned to have 6 small mini-meals throughout the day. I didn’t overeat at one particular meal because I knew I would soon eat again in a couple of hours. The key for me was to slow down when I was eating as the feeling of fullness doesn’t take place until after 20 minutes from the first bite. To help with controlling my eating and cravings, I drank at least 16-20 ounces of water every time I ate something. It made me feel fuller and caused me to slow down while eating because I would incorporate the water in between each bite. I would also prepare my meal on a smaller plate to make my smaller portions look larger and to eat less food overall. When I was overweight, my portion sizes were totally out of control! I had to figure out different ways to get control of them, so whenever I ate out at a restaurant and my entree came to the table, I would ask for a to-go box. I would put half of the portion away for later that day or for lunch the next day. I would always say, “Whenever eating out take half of it out.” That way I could still enjoy eating out with friends and family, but not overindulge in any one setting. I also had to tell myself to follow the 80/20 rule. To not beat myself up if I fell off the horse and had a cheat day or didn’t feel like working out. That as long as I worked out and ate healthy 80% of the time, the 20% when I didn’t wouldn’t hurt my long term goals.
What was the most challenging thing you had to deal with during your weight loss journey?
One of the most challenging things to deal with when losing weight was I had to realize that what I did to lose my first 30 pounds, I couldn’t do to lose the next 30 pounds because my body would get used to the exercises I was doing. I also didn’t need to eat the same amount of calories I had consumed when I was 30 pounds heavier. It was about gaining an understanding of making adjustments as I was losing to create a calorie deficit each day. I would need to mix up and add to my workouts in order to continue to lose weight. In the beginning, this was a little frustrating because the scale wasn’t moving, but then I realized what I needed to change. After I learned this, it made the rest of my journey a lot easier!
How long did it take you to start to see results?
When I first started out at 304 pounds I was too embarrassed to go to the gym. So instead I danced in my living room like no one was watching and did this to my favorite music for 30 minutes, 5 days a week. I also changed my eating habits and cut out all sodas, juices, etc. I lost 32 pounds in the first 2 months doing this. As the weight was coming off, I noticed I started sleeping and had more energy. After losing the first 90 pounds, I no longer had to take medications for my blood pressure or cholesterol!
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
It took me 15 months to lose the weight!
Did you have any issues with loose skin after losing the weight?
Oh yes! After losing over 160 pounds, I definitely had loose skin. I think that if I didn’t lose the weight while doing exercise and weight training, I would have had even more loose skin. After reaching my goal weight and realizing no amount of exercise or diet was going to get rid of my excess stomach skin, I decided to have a tummy tuck as a reward to myself! After realizing that my chest was still very heavy and causing me problems even after losing weight, I also decided to have a breast reduction to relieve the pressure off of my neck and shoulders. I’m now happy to say that I no longer suffer from massive migraines anymore!
I’ve learned that we all deposit fat differently. Depending on our age, how long we were carrying the weight, whether we included weight training along with the elasticity of our skin, it all plays a huge role in how much loose skin we will deal with while losing. Having all the extra skin and now having “battle scars” after the surgeries, I can say that it was all worth it for me because I completely turned my health around. I promised myself that I will never fight the weight loss battle again in my 50’s and beyond. My battle now is to maintain and find different ways to stay active.
How long have you maintained your weight loss and what are the most important factors for keeping it off?
I’ve battled my weight 3 significant times in my life and this last time clicked for me because I started with the end in mind and developed a support team and tools around me. This time it has been a little over a year and a half and I know there’s no going back because my health is too important. As we age it gets harder to lose the weight due to hormones, menopause and a slower metabolism, etc. So I have built health into my mindset as the determining factor as to why I cannot let myself get so out of control ever again.
What keeps you motivated to continue your weight loss success?
What keeps me motivated is knowing I found the strength to fight for my health this time for good. I realized it was okay to start again, to fall down 7 times and stand up 8. Realizing I no longer have all the day-to-day complications I had when I was carrying the excess weight is huge. Being healthy for my family is important also because I am able to spend more quality time with them and without discomfort or pain. And lastly, not having to take a host of medications anymore is a blessing for me.
How has your life changed now that you have lost weight?
I no longer feel trapped inside my own body and I have so much more energy now! I am not avoiding certain people anymore out of fear of judgement or embarrassment. I feel stronger and more in control of my life and I feel inspired to share my story with others as a way to give them hope on reaching their goals.
Do you have any advice for others who are trying to lose weight?
My best advice is to start by starting. Don’t wait for it to be Monday or after the next holiday, when the kids go back to school or the next event (those were always my excuses). Just start today by making one more healthier choice than you did yesterday. Move a little more than you did yesterday. Deal with your feelings and allow yourself time to understand your “why” and then dig down deep inside of yourself and find that same strength you used before and get to it! Always remember it’s one day and one pound at a time.
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
Having a go to website like ShapeFit.com to turn to is imperative for weight loss success long term. Because even after we reach our goal weight, having the right resources and tools will help to keep us motivated and informed. Seeing other weight loss success stories are huge motivating factors as well and providing eating and exercise options is priceless!
Mylitta’s Weight Loss Tips
Weight Loss Tip #1:
Create a weight loss vision board. See yourself already at the finish line and put words of inspiration on your board as a daily reminder that you can do this. Successful people have a plan. Let’s make this time different from any other time you may have started to lose weight by envisioning yourself already at your goal weight and healthier. And remember we are stronger than the desire for unhealthy foods and an unhealthy lifestyle. You got this!
Weight Loss Tip #2:
Decide on your diet and exercise philosophy! Write it down and make it real. Are you going to follow a keto, vegan, or intermittent fasting diet? Will you walk, dance or bike ride 5 days a week for 30 minutes? Figuring out what you will do and which routine you will follow is key.
Weight Loss Tip #3:
One trick that helped me as I was losing was to add weight back to my body while working out. Like adding 5 pound leg and arm weights or a weight vest to myself to burn more calories and fat. I would try different aerobic classes and definitely incorporated weight training into my routine as this is so important in losing and maintaining weight.
Weight Loss Tip #4:
Be accountable for what you put in your body. Every thing you eat and drink should be tracked. It’s also important to track your fitness routine as well. The apps I like to use are Lose It which is really good at helping you calculate how many calories you should be eating each day based on how much weight you want to lose and Weight Loss Workout for Women because it provides a variety of exercises you can do to lose weight.
Weight Loss Tip #5:
Be kind to your mind and forgive yourself for the weight gain while you take it one day and one pound at a time. Break your weight loss goal up into 5 stages so the overall goal doesn’t seem so overwhelming. For instance, if your goal is to lose 100 pounds then you will have 5 stages with 20 pounds each. As you are losing, check off the completed stage and focus on the next until you finally reach your goal!
Mylitta’s Weight Loss Eating Plan
What do you normally eat for breakfast?
I eat 6 meals per day (breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack). I love smoothies and often have one for breakfast and even for dinner on the days I have a light evening meal. I like using vanilla soy milk, almonds, bananas and strawberries and add in a scoop of protein powder. I am a lover of all fruit so I mix it up some mornings. I also like avocado toast, boiled eggs, fresh fruit, oatmeal or yogurt with granola.
What do you normally eat for lunch?
Turkey or chicken breast sandwich or a wrap, a salad, vegetable stir fry, veggie chips or fruit. I limit my bread intake to only once a day, so if I have any for lunch or breakfast I will not eat any for dinner.
What do you normally eat for dinner?
Lean meats or seafood (baked) with vegetables or a salad. I limit my carb intake, but I do eat potatoes, rice and pasta.
What do you normally eat for snacks?
Fruit, vegetables, nuts, crackers, raisins, pretzels, protein bars, zucchini chips, celery with peanut butter or celery with vegetable dip, yogurt, sunflower seeds, trail mix, hard boiled eggs.
What type of nutritional supplements do you take?
Protein powder, multi-vitamins and fish oil.
Mylitta’s Weight Loss Workouts
What do you do for weight training (exercises, workouts)?
I weight train 3 days a week. I do 3 sets of 12 repetitions and perform tricep extensions, bicep curls, squats, leg raises with leg weights on, circuit training, push-ups, sit-ups and kettlebell exercises.
What do you do for cardio training (exercises, workouts)?
I do cardio 5 days a week. I run 3-4 miles each day or I do 45 minutes of boxing or dancing exercises. I also add in a 30 minute bike ride for a second session of cardio a couple nights a week after dinner.