My Weight Loss Story

My Weight Loss Story (From 225 lbs to 158 lbs)

before and after weight loss

Let me start by saying that this journey has not been all about losing weight, but about making a lifestyle change. My website is not totally dedicated to weight loss, but I will be sharing fitness and health tips with you often therefore I want to share my story with you to let you know that I’ve been there too. I’ve been on this journey for the past 10 years and I refuse to go back. I’m telling you my story so that you will know when I give you weight loss advice, it’s from a place of understanding and love, because I want you to succeed. I want you guys to understand that I’ve struggled and you may struggle too, but if you stay consistent and continue to push through, it will all be worth it. So here goes my story….

  • It all started when I was a baby… ha ha ha, just kidding, but look at those chubby cheeks.

 

  • I’ll start with my high school weight(2001-2002). I was pretty active, however, I didn’t play organized sports, just recreational activities here and there. I never had any issues with my weight. It was something I never really thought about. I was tall and slim, 158lbs. and 5’9. I was a pretty confident teenager (If you couldn’t tell from the “Foxy” t-shirt below, lol)
highschool 3

158 pounds

highschool 1

highschool2

  • …until around my senior year of high school. My breast grew a lot, and I began to have severe neck and back pain. I  became very self-conscious about them. My doctor recommended that I have a breast reduction, so I went under the knife. The pics below are of me, still in high school and after the reduction. Not much changed about me, except the size of my breast…
highschool 6

After my breast reduction

highschool 4

Senior pic. After breast reduction

  •  My senior year of High school is when I met my now husband, Alex. He was already in the military when I met him, 2 years my senior.  We fell for each other fast.
highschool 5

Alex and I 2002

  •  Fast forward to after high school (2002-2003). I moved away for college and let’s just say that the “Freshman 15” is a real thing. I ate fast food all the time and didn’t really care much about being active. I worked two jobs and went to school full time so I didn’t really have a lot of extra time to think about working out. Besides, I was still pretty comfortable with my weight, it just wasn’t a big deal. Overall, I gained about 20 lbs. In the pics below I was probably about 177 lbs.
I gained 20 lbs my first year in college

I gained 20 lbs my first year in college

  • Alex and I were still dating and he would come visit me at school all the time, until the Army sent him to Korea for a year. We continued our long distance relationship. Around the end of my sophomore year of college, Alex returned from Korea and we decided that we no longer wanted to live apart from each other, so on a whim, we decided to get married. The pic below is of me and Alex on the day we got married (2004). Although I’m not into big weddings, one of my biggest regrets is that we didn’t have even a small ceremony. We were so in love and in such a hurry to get married, that we just went to the courthouse and did it. By the time we got married, my weight ballooned up to about 183 lbs.
The day I got married 2004

The day I got married 2004

college 3

183 pounds

  •  Shortly into our marriage we got pregnant, and the following year we had our first daughter (2005). Unfortunately two weeks after she was born, Alex was deployed to Iraq. For 15 months it was just me and Aniyah. She became my world. I went back to college full time, but other than that, everything I did was focused around Aniyah. I had gained 25 lbs during my pregnancy, which put me at 208.
I reached 208 during my first pregnancy

I reached 208 during my first pregnancy

pregnant 1after baby 3 after baby 4

  • A few months after giving birth, I was able to drop 15 of those pounds, but I was still pretty heavy. This is me at 193 lbs, about 6 months after having the baby..
193 pounds

193 pounds

  • When Alex returned home from Iraq, I weighed 195 lbs. Below is a pic of me with my God daughter at the park and another of me at a military ball.

after baby 2-6 after baby 7

  • A few months after he returned home, we got pregnant again with baby number two. I gained about 30 lbs. the second time around, but when you add that to the already 195 lb frame, that put me at 225 lbs.

pregnant 2-1

The 2nd pregnancy put me at 225 lbs

The 2nd pregnancy put me at 225 lbs

  • 3 weeks after giving birth to Ariana (2007), Alex had to be deployed to Iraq AGAIN… Unlike the first time he deployed, the second time, I became depressed. I had a newborn and a 2 year old to take care of. Side note: My hat goes off to all the mothers out there, especially those with young babies working or going to school full time, it’s no easy task. I thought that breastfeeding would help me drop some of the weight, but boy was I wrong. 6 months after having Ariana, and I was still 215 lbs.
2nd deployment. Saying goodbye to Alex 220 lbs

2nd deployment. Saying goodbye to Alex 220 lbs

after baby 2-2

215 lbs

215 lbs

215 lbs

215 lbs

215 lbs

215 lbs

  • A friend of mine who ate healthy and worked out encouraged me to go to the gym. Going to the gym for the first time in 4 years was so discouraging. I felt like everybody was staring at me and didn’t know which piece of equipment to get on, so I just went for what I was already familiar with, the elliptical machine. I was too intimidated to do anything else out of fear that people would see me using the gym equipment wrong, lol. On my way out of the gym, I checked my blood pressure on one of those self-service blood pressure machines. I couldn’t believe what I saw. My blood pressure was high… and I was only 24 years old. Later that week I went to the Doctor, and he confirmed that my blood pressure was in fact high. I got more blood work done and discovered that my cholesterol was on the high end too. Not high enough for medication, but high enough for me to wake up and realize that I’d better do something before it got out of control.

 

  • I came up with a meal plan and a workout schedule right away. I researched dieting and exercise day in and day out for weeks. I came up with a 1500 calorie, two week meal plan based off the foods that I liked and posted it on the refrigerator as a reminder.  I ate the same things over and over again from week to week. I scheduled my workouts at the gym for the same time everyday and I brought a treadmill for the house.  I made it a priority to workout 5-6 days per week. The health scare was motivation enough, but I also knew that my husband would be coming home from Iraq in 6 months and I wanted to look good for his return. I did not want him to come back home and see me the same way I was before he left. The pics below is of me during the ½ way process of my weight loss journey.  Although I had lost about 30 lbs., I still wore maternity style shirts because I didn’t know how to dress my body.
I started losing weight but kept wearing maternity looking clothes

I started losing weight but kept wearing maternity looking clothes

My sis tried to help me find clothes that fit

My sister tried to help me find clothes that fit

  • Anyway, I was on a mission. I became the cardio queen. I would work out from an hour to an hour and a half every day, doing the elliptical or treadmill. I didn’t know how to do much else, and it seemed to be working so I just kept going. I made a new goal. I wanted to wear a dress on the field to pick Alex up when he returned from Iraq. That was a big deal to me because I wasn’t really comfortable wearing dresses due to my size. In less than 6 months I was able to drop over 50 lbs. I reached 172 lbs and I was pretty stocked about that.
2008 Alex returned from deployment. I wore a dress for the first time in a long time.

2008 Alex returned from deployment. I wore a dress for the first time in a long time.

  • When he got home (2008), I didn’t stop, I kept going. My lowest weight during that time was 168 lbs.
lost weight

168 lbs

 

I started to feel better about myself

I started to feel better about myself

  • I started to gain my confidence back, but I still wasn’t all the way there mentally. Alex took me on a trip to Miami when he returned home and I wouldn’t even wear a bathing suit to the beach. I look back at those pics now and think, gosh, I looked great, why didn’t I wear a swimsuit? But I guess it was more of a mental struggle more than anything else.

beachlost weight 3

Over the next few years, I was able to maintain my weight for the most part. I would fluctuate between 170 lbs -177 lbs, but I was okay with that since I was still able to fit my clothes. I worked out regularly, but kind of ate what I wanted to eat, which wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great either.

  • In 2012, I decided I wanted to join the Army, which was a lifelong dream that I had put on the backburner. I was in decent shape, but I was nowhere near where I needed to be for Army standards. I ran on the treadmill and worked the elliptical like a pro, but I was not very good at running on ground, which is very important to the Army. I quickly realized that nothing will prepare you for running, except for running itself. I also wasn’t used to lifting weights, since cardio was my thing. I started making running and lifting weights a part of my daily workout regiment and my body began to change again for the better. I changed my diet to low carb and began seeing muscles that I never knew existed. I was taking my fitness to a whole other level. Below is a pic of me and Alex’s 2012 anniversary trip to the Bahamas. I was finally comfortable enough to wear a 2 piece.

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  • I worked my butt off to get ready for the Army.

weightloss army 4

  • Army training was not easy for me. I was motivated on some days and struggled on others, but I was determined to complete it. Once again, my body transformed in ways I didn’t know possible, but I was finally able to reach my goal of becoming an Army Officer in 2013. I was 158lbs in the pic below, but unlike my high school weight, I had muscles to go along with it.
158 lbs of lean muscle

158 lbs of lean muscle

  • And to this day, I continue to work-out and push myself. I try to stay between 158-165 lbs.  I was able to get my weight down to 148 lbs while training, but I didn’t like the way my body looked at that weight. Maintenance is my number one goal, but I also want to get faster and stronger too. I have a long lean frame but I realize that I’ll never be super skinny and I don’t want to be, so I’ll just continue to work on being fit. I work out between 4-6 days a week, even if it’s only for 20 minutes, I try to do something. I also try to eat clean and drink plenty of water, but it still gets hard some days. Don’t get me wrong, I have fun and I love to indulge sometimes, I just try to make healtheir choices overall. Sweets are my weakness, and it will always be a struggle, I suppose. But I made a choice over 7 years ago, and I never want to go back to that uncomfortable, self-conscious, unhealthy girl I used to be. I will continue to post fitness tips, meals, and workout motivation. Some people may get tired of seeing it or hearing it, but the day I stop talking about it is the day I lose my motivation. Talking about it, somehow helps me stay on track. It holds me accountable and I get to help other people out in the process.
I'm going to continue working on me.

I’m going to continue working on me.

 

No longer afraid to put on a 2 piece

No longer afraid to put on a 2 piece

  • I started using AdvoCare products in 2013. I use it to help supplement my diet and stay on track. My husband started using it first and lost 18 lbs. on the 24 day challenge. I later found out that a lot of athletes also use AdvoCare products to increase athletic performance because they are safe and effective, so I figured I would give it a try too. Of course I don’t consider myself to be some top notch athletic performer, but the performance elite line does a great job at helping me to increase endurance and build muscle. Now, I spend my extra time helping other people reach their health and fitness goals. For health and fitness coaching, click here.  To learn more about AdvoCare supplements for weight loss, energy, or sports performance, click here.
AdvoCare helps me with my performance while working out.

AdvoCare helps me with my performance while working out.

 

For fitness tips and nutritional coaching, please feel free to contact me at teamnoel.advocare@gmail.com

 

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