The basics: I’m Nakeshia Thompson (@keeshnicoletv), 25, and I live in Austin, Texas, as an assistant property manager. After breaking my ankle at 240 pounds and losing some of my mobility, I realized I needed to make a change and overhauled my diet and fitness routine. I’ve lost 94 pounds.
Food was my comfort whenever I dealt with anything that was remotely emotional in my life. Whether I was feeling happy, sad, angry, or bored, I felt as if there wasn’t an emotion that food couldn’t fix.
My idea of a good time was being as sedentary as possible and loading up on delicious foods, rotating between salty, savory, and sweet. I hated the idea of working out because I viewed it as something I would never actually be able to master.
I would look at big, beautiful women on Instagram and think, maybe if I act like I’m a proud, plus-size girl, I’ll learn to be happy in the body I’m in. But the truth of the matter was, I couldn’t fool myself forever. Deep down, I hated the way I looked.
Things eventually got so bad that I would avoid the mirrors in my home and out in public so I wouldn’t see how big I was getting. I even hid from taking full-body photos like it was the plague.
I had tried to lose weight a couple of times in the past, only to gain it back and then some. Obesity runs in my family, too, so I also carried the belief with me that I was destined to be overweight…..forever.
In April 2017, I was at my highest weight—240 pounds—when I slipped out of the shower and broke my ankle.
Losing my mobility over the months that followed helped to bring into perspective just how completely out of shape I was and how little I would be able to do for myself if I ever lost my mobility permanently.
Even hopping on one leg to grab the remote felt like running a 10k to me. I flat out told my doctor that crutches would not be an option because I couldn’t bare the weight of my own body. I vowed to myself that the minute I could stand on two feet again, I would begin to change my lifestyle and commit to losing weight.
Three months later, on July 1, 2017, I started going to the gym and doing light upper body exercises in a boot that allowed me to put partial pressure on my foot.
As time progressed (and with clearance and guidance from my doctor), I was able to complete more treadmill and elliptical workouts. Once the number on the scale finally started to move, I became even more excited and began incorporating healthier snacks and home-cooked recipes into my diet, which ultimately helped kick my weight-loss journey into full effect.
I’ve learned that the secret to losing weight and keeping it off is choosing a diet that you’ll be willing to stick to for the rest of your life. Diets that require extreme calorie restriction or completely cutting out an entire food group are almost certain to fail in the long run. I mean, who really could go for the rest of their life avoiding bread? That’s absurd to me.
So instead, I increased the amount of healthy food I was eating and decreased the less nutritious ones—simple as that. It’s okay to have a cupcake once in a while, I know. The point I try to make is to not over-indulge in those foods, but to treat myself here and there so I never feel deprived.
To make healthy eating easier for me, I organized my diet into “all the time” foods and “sometimes” foods.
My “all the time” foods included fresh/frozen vegetables, water, lean meats, fresh fruits, plain yogurts, etc. My “sometimes” foods included chips, juice/soda/alcohol, sweets, fried foods, red meat, and others.
For me, “sometimes” meant about once every week or two, and “all the time” meant at any point during breakfast, lunch, as a snack, or dinner, every day. Thinking of food as part of these two categories allowed me to learn how to eat to live—not the other way around.
Also, it allowed chips and candies to become more of a treat for me, and I quickly grew to appreciate those foods much more than when I was eating them on the regular.
An important point here that I wish more women realized is that on the days when you do decide to have a slice of chocolate cake, if you’ve been working your butt off up to that point, you can’t beat yourself up about it. Girl, close your eyes and savor every piece of that slice. Guilt-tripping yourself will only rob you of the pleasurable experience cake is designed to offer. As long as you pick right back up where you left off on your healthy lifestyle, your journey will still be right on track (trust me).
Here’s what I typically eat in a day now:
- Breakfast: Steel-cut oatmeal with cinnamon and blueberries.
- Lunch: A protein and a vegetable, like baked salmon and asparagus, as well as diced potatoes.
- Snacks: Fresh fruit, pretzels, or a handful of nuts—usually something with a bit of saltiness or sweetness to it.
- Dinner: Something protein-heavy with plenty of fresh vegetables on the side, like a home-cooked chipotle chicken bowl with brown rice or quinoa, corn, onions, peppers, and plain greek yogurt as a sour cream substitute.
- Dessert: Usually something that contains natural sugar, like plain Greek yogurt topped with frozen blueberries.
I’ve also learned how to savor a cheat meal, as opposed to a cheat day. Enjoying my favorite foods doesn’t always have to end in a binge. I’ve learned to enjoy one delicious meal without going overboard with breakfast, lunch, dinner, *and* snacks in between just because I feel like it.
After I gained full mobility back and was able to get serious in the gym, I started out by doing a lot of walking on the treadmill in my apartment community’s fitness center.
I would walk until I started to work up a sweat and I could feel my heart beating at an uncomfortable, yet tolerable pace. From there, I began walking on an incline. Inclines turned into light jogs, and jogs turned into full-blown running. Now I run every day, sometimes indoors and other times outside. I also suffer from asthma, so running used to be *such* a struggle, but now I fight to push my pace on the regular.
In the past year or so I’ve also been incorporating more strength exercises. Muscle mass helps to burn fat, so once I’m done with a run I take about 10 to 20 minutes to lift dumbbells and perform a few bodyweight exercises such as lunges, push-ups, and crunches.
I’m the type of girl that will forever be motivated by numbers. But it took me a while to realize the scale is not my friend.
Not all victories are won on the scale, I realized. So I came up with other metrics to use for measuring my progress. Obsessing over my weight did nothing but make me lose confidence. Instead, I now put more emphasis on other types of measurements such as:
- Distance: How far can I walk or run this week compared to last?
- Time: How quickly can I finish a mile on the treadmill this week compared to last?
Using more than just my scale weight or waist inches as measurement has proved to be much more satisfying than throwing myself to the mercy of a scale each week.
No matter what the scale says, no matter how my clothes fit, no matter what the reflection in the mirror staring back at me looks like, choosing to keep going on this journey is the number one reason why I’ve lost so much weight. I am a force to be reckoned with because I refused to give up on myself.
I have lost 94 pounds in about two years. This is the longest I’ve ever maintained this much weight loss in my life.
This journey is beyond worth it. I feel like I’m living a new life in a new body. Losing weight has impacted so many other facets in my life outside of just getting better in the gym. My self-discipline is so much more refined in every aspect of my life, and it impacts the way I work, the way I do business, and even the way I treat others.
This journey has been long and hard, but to have it any other way would be to lose the magic of the process. As the J.Cole lyric goes, “There’s beauty in the struggle.”
Source: Read Full Article