The most common questions in the fitness world: How do I lose the weight? How do I keep it off? What do I do if I fall off the wagon? In an attempt to figure out what it takes to completely change your life, get healthy, and maintain a remarkable weight loss, I interviewed three incredible women who have lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off.
I thought about including their before and after pictures in this post, but I realized they are so much more than those pictures. You really have to follow their entire journey. And, I think they all would agree that they’re “after” pictures are still not the end.
Brandy has lost 70 pounds! She is an RN, a saint like quality in itself, she’s funny, and she is crushing her journey (which I’ve been watching for some time on social media…creeper status). I was so excited she agreed to be apart of this interview! Follow her on Instagram @thatawkwardfatty.
Katie has lost 148 pounds!! Yes, read that number again. She is a teacher and a runner – a girl after my own heart! Check out this sweetheart for some motivation @weighlossindresses on Instagram.
Tiffany has lost over 70 pounds! She is a mom of 2 – proof us mommas can do it too! She is incredibly motivating and willing to help others. Check her out on Instagram @changingoneshaketatatime.
1. What/who motivated you to lose the weight/get healthy?
Brandy: “Back in January 2017, what motivated me this time to lose weight after failing countless times in the past was my need to lose weight for my health, not just because I wanted to be thinner. Being in nursing school at the time was my wake-up call as well as being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Disorder, which increased my risk of developing heart disease and diabetes later in life. I had to do something. I had to start taking care of myself.”
Katie: “I can’t say that there was any one single motivation to get healthy, but instead a culmination of little events across my entire life. I spent my entire life as an obese child and then adult, and somehow I just reached a tipping point! Since then, I haven’t looked back!”
Tiffany: “My family were def my starter motivators cause I never wanted to do any family activities or be in pics but then it turned into I deserve this and I’m doing this for myself.”
2. How did you do it? (i.e. what diet, what kind of exercise, etc.)
Brandy: “Instead of restricting my calories, I found a sustainable diet through calculating my Total Daily Energy Expenditure, which is basically how many calories your body requires to lose weight based off your current stats and activity level. I didn’t eat completely clean and I allowed myself carbs and whatnot. I drank one gallon of water a day and completely dropped soda and juice, etc. I also took up walking outside every single day and the weight began to fall off as I stayed consistent.”
Katie: “I lost my weight through Calories In, Calories Out (CICO) and exercise. I use My Fitness Pal to track my calories. At first, I started with zumba and other online workouts, but decided one day to use the Couch to 5K app and fell in love with running — now I’m a runner!”
Tiffany: “So after trying many things that did not work…I found Herbalife and have been able to lose 79lbs so far. I started Herbalife 1 year ago and the first 70lbswere just doing home workouts once or twice a week for 25 min. Then I joined a gym in April and surprisingly loving it!”
3. What is your favorite healthy snack or recipe?
Brandy: “I can never get enough of eating berries with greek yogurt. I think I’ve eaten this almost every single day since I started my journey.”
Katie: “My favorite healthy recipe is stuffed chicken! I love that you can stuff chicken so many different ways with so many different things. I stuff chicken breasts with spinach and feta, cream cheese, marinara and pepperoni, broccoli and cheddar, (basically anything that sounds good) then I bake it at 350 for about 40 minutes!”
Tiffany: “Fav snack when starting were these cinnamon carrot sticks! But then I burned my pan LOL now I have been having Quaker rice crisps and they are sooooo delish!”
4. What would you say is the key to weight loss success?
Brandy: “The key to weight loss success is to find a SUSTAINABLE diet and lose weight at a moderate pace. It didn’t take a couple of weeks to put the weight on, so it isn’t going to come off that quickly. Be patient, take care of yourself and trust the process.”
Katie: “I don’t know that there is any one “key”, but I do know that one HUGELY necessary component is finding out how to love yourself along the way. We all have so many barriers to loving ourselves, and we might need to break them down through therapy, reading books, or just talking with others on the journey. However, out of all the people I know who have been successful, it is because they’ve found ways to love themselves the entire journey — not just at the “end”.”
Tiffany: “I think the key is not giving up! Find what works and stick with it. Don’t go too hard and don’t deprive yourself. We are human!”
5. What would you say was/is your biggest hurdle and how did/do you overcome it?
Brandy: “My biggest hurdle was and is still bingeing. Although over the past year and a half I’ve developed many healthy habits, the old ones still creep up sometimes. I am currently working on allowing myself to eat the foods I want without feeling guilty or restricting myself to the point where I go on a week-long binge-fest. It’s a work in progress.”
Katie: “My biggest hurdle is eating while around others. I spend my summers primarily at a campground where we frequently have “family style” meals. There have been plenty of times where I had to eat before I came or had to bring my own food in order to stay aligned with my goals. I’ve had to learn how to say no to things and yes to myself. I overcame it by simply doing what I needed to do in order to be successful for myself.”
Tiffany: “I have hit many plateaus after losing so much which can totally get you depressed but having a team that supports you and tells you to keep going helps so much and I thank them soooo much. Because I have gotten out of every plateau.”
6. How has losing the weight affected your relationships? (marriages, friendships, etc.)
Brandy: “The weight loss has definitely affected my social life as I am so much more confident with myself now that I look and feel better. I went years without even attempting to date anyone because I hated the way I looked that much. Due to the confidence boost I also made plenty of new friends along the way — it was never my weight that made me lonely in the first place. It was me, and my lack of self-love that kept getting in the way. ”
Katie: “I haven’t truly notices that losing weight has affected my relationships. I suppose with my friends I now desire to do more active things to hang out with them instead of just going out to eat!”
Tiffany: “My relationships have improved so much cause I’m so much happier! Active!And I have been able to help so many people which has been amazing!!!”
7. What would you say to other women struggling to stay on track or get started on their own journey?
Brandy: “You just have to get out there and do it, start somewhere, making small changes along the way. And always remember that each morning you have the ability to start over. You will succeed as long as you don’t stop trying — you only fail when you give up.”
Katie: “Find your tribe and love them hard! I’ve found that the most encouraging way for me to be successful in this journey is befriending people from instagram! The fitness community on IG is one of the most welcoming, encouraging, inspiring tribes out there. I’m so thankful for the friendships I’ve made in the community and THEY are the ones who help keep me going.”
Tiffany: “I would say DON’T GIVE UP! Find something that works for you and stick with it! Keep going! Love yourself through the progress and take pics!!!”