How much did you lose?
I originally weighed 540 pounds, I got down to 160 pounds, my nieces said to me one day, “Auntie you need a booty pop”. I was like “what is a booty pop” then they told me and I was like OH HECK NO! I started to research curves and muscles in 2016 and set out on a quest to BUILD curves into my body giving it shape since my nieces were so insistent I was curveless and flat as a board. I then built muscle and today weigh 200 pounds and I’m curvy. I lost of total of 340 pounds naturally through nutrition and fitness!
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
I had a weight issue my entire life, but when I got to the weight of 540 pounds, I hated my life and felt like a prisoner in my own body, something my bad choices clearly had caused. I finally got tired of my own excuses and knew it was time to make serious life changes. I wanted a solution and no more quick fixes.
What made you decide to lose weight?
I really wanted to be alive for my children. I realized when my children’s father passed away and I was the only remaining parent, just having our fourth child, I had to take life-changing severe measures and change for the better.
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
Some of the most important things for me that I had to change what I had to heal my thought process personally, how I dealt with traumas and emotions, and stop using food as a source of coping. I had to heal my relationship with nutrition and learn the benefits of the human body and how they react to different foods. Gaining that knowledge really changed my life and my perception.
What was the most challenging thing you had to deal with during your weight loss journey?
One of the most challenging things I’ve had to deal with during my weight loss, and after, is the skin that was left behind from losing all the fat. It left behind a massive amount of loose skin in many areas of my body that became very uncomfortable to live with and deal with on a daily basis. It became painful, again making me feel like a prisoner in my own skin because I had been working so hard and healing every area of my life to just have this constant tug on me every time I did any activity.
Still, I learn to deal with it and manage it until I was able to have all the excess skin removed successfully. It’s not how some might picture it. I know for me personally, this was another life lesson and a learning moment. I got the skin removed on my waist, back, arms, and upper legs and it left a very FLAT curveless body with no dimensions. I had to start another health transformation to build muscle on my body to create curves after the skin was gone. Then I had to learn the perfect balance so I wouldn’t create any new loose skin. For me, this is a lifelong commitment to health and I’ve been through way too much to ever slip back now.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
Initially, I started seeing changes in a few months of doing things correctly. I felt better too and it was really motivating to have all these changes taking place. I began documenting it with photos to see how I transformed and that was very self-inspiring to do.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
It took me a little over 3 years to lose the 340 pounds then it took me an additional 3 years to learn how to balance nutrition and fitness to a comfortable place for my life. I have been maintaining and adjusting curves in my body ever since by adjusting my nutrition and fitness to meet my body’s needs. So, overall I have been on my health journey for 11 years so far.
Did you have any issues with loose skin after losing the weight?
I did have a very large amount of loose skin to deal with. It was very uncomfortable and I used Spanks to hold my loose skin into place while I saved up money to undergo the surgeries needed to remove the loose skin. My first skin removal was a circumferential 360 body lift, then I had to get an upper leg lift. I then got my arm skin removed and my final skin removal was just recently completed and I got a back lift.
How long have you maintained your weight loss and what are the most important factors for keeping it off?
I have been on this journey for 11 years so far. Five of those years were maintaining and conditioning while living very comfortably in my new body. Learning to love myself at every stage was the key. One of the most important factors for keeping it off is nutrition! I supply my body with the proper nutrition first and do all the physical activities after I have fueled my body. I also fell in love with nutrition and I have grown over the years with my knowledge and application of it. It’s very important to make sure you’re giving your body important nutrients to support living!
What keeps you motivated to continue your weight loss success? I remember how I once felt at 540 pounds and afraid to die! It was causing me self-harm by neglecting to be responsible for my life. I stay motivated daily because I never want to go back to that feeling, I love being alive! I love challenging myself and being capable. It feels so empowering to breathe fresh air and not have issues breathing from moving around. I love the freedom my life changes have given me and I love being active and exploring adventures. I love life, so for me it’s very easy to stay motivated now.
How has your life changed now that you have lost weight?
IT’S ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL! I love being alive and I am able to be more active with my children and my granddaughter. I have spent a lot of time teaching others around the world about how to discover what they want and need to change their own lives, and what that improvement looks like for them. I’ve met so many different people from every aspect of life and it’s been very empowering for each of us to share our stories of overcoming obstacles and making the changes needed to improve the quality of living.
Do you have any advice for others who are trying to lose weight?
I have learned that NOTHING is impossible if you are willing to put in the hard work required! You have to learn to celebrate the small successes and don’t give up. When you fall, do not stay down. To feel conquered you must rise and continue to try until you learn what works best for your life. What drives you and what gives you purpose is very important. Once you discover that about yourself you will achieve everything. You will have good days and you will have bad days. The difference is regardless of which day it is, you must put in the effort every day and you must show up for yourself in order to achieve your goals and dreams in all areas of life.
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
ShapeFit was part of the exploring I did to read about the weight loss success of others and how they achieved it. The website helps inspire you and keeps you motivated knowing you’re not alone.
Tina’s Weight Loss Tips
Weight Loss Tip #1: Make small daily goals and put in the effort.
Weight Loss Tip #2:
Be open to change and implementing new things. Remind yourself that this is what needs to be done because if the things you were doing worked, you would have already been successful.
Weight Loss Tip #3:
Educate yourself about nutrition and the importance of a variety of things and what it does for your body because it really is the most important step to all your success.
Weight Loss Tip #4:
Celebrate every little achievement because that will drive you deeper into your desire for life-changing success.
Weight Loss Tip #5:
Love yourself through every phase because beauty doesn’t come in a number. Empower yourself because your life matters. Invest in yourself because this is the only body you have.
Tina’s Weight Loss Eating Plan
What do you normally eat for breakfast?
It definitely changed over the course of my journey. The formula has always stayed the same and the contents changed daily. It’s always formulated like this below. This is the formula for every meal except for dinner which I take the carbs out and add more veggies:
1 serving of protein
1 serving of a healthy carbohydrate
1 serving of a healthy fat
1 serving of veggies
1 serving of fruit
Example: Omelet made with 3 egg whites, 1 cup of mixed veggies like peppers, onions, spinach, and garlic with 1 slice of white cheese and 1/2 cup of oatmeal with fresh berries.
What do you normally eat for lunch?
Same formula as above.
Example: Carb-less tortilla with 4 ounces of ground turkey taco meat. 1 cup of mixed veggies like fresh onions, green peppers, black olives, tomatoes, lettuce, and kale, to garnish tacos with. Top with 2 tsp of shredded cheese. A fresh fruit cup.
What do you normally eat for dinner?
Same formula as above except for dinner I remove the carbs and add more veggies.
Example: Baked chicken breast (8 ounces), 1/2 cup Puerto Rican brown rice, 2 cups of mixed steamed veggies.
What do you normally eat for snacks?
Cup of cottage cheese topped with berries.
What type of nutritional supplements do you take?
I use a protein powder to add more protein to my food intake. I usually drink it 30 minutes after my workout every day. I also drink water with electrolytes daily and I drink a beverage with antioxidants in it daily.
Tina’s Weight Loss Workouts
What do you do for weight training? I break up my body into different days because for me it’s been very successful. I like to alternate and work smaller stabilizing muscles on certain days and larger muscle groups on other days. For me, to build natural curves this ratio has been the most successful:
Monday: Legs, Core, Chest
Tuesday: Back, Arms, Shoulders
Wednesday: Legs, all small muscles and movements, chest: small movements, core (crunches)
Thursday: Back, arms, shoulders (do all the bending movements)
Friday: Legs (go deep on squats), chest, core
Saturday: Work on anything that feels weak during the weekly workouts.
Sunday: Rest day! Strengthen the mind (read, rest, and paint)
What do you do for cardio training?
I always do 30 minutes of cardio prior to working out since it helps me to loosen my body up and get my blood flowing. For this stage of my journey, I also like walking around the track (1 lap) between each set I do for weight training. I also like to bounce in place.
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