Susan was too heavy and she had to do something about it. She is an inspiration to all of us that have struggled with losing weight.
She opened a new relationship with food. She changed habits, food choices, and made her family proud.
And she did it without Jillian Michaels yelling at her, or an expensive diet program.
This is her - before and after the weight loss.
Here are a few questions and answers about her successful journey.
What would you say is the biggest factor in your weight loss success?
Before losing the weight, I had excuses beyond belief. I have a busy schedule with working and graduate school work, so I convinced myself I couldn’t find the time to work out.
I convinced myself that eating fast food saved time in the day. And I also convinced myself that I financially could not afford to work out. In a sense, I convinced myself the world was flat.
One of my biggest influences was Livin The Fit Life. She is personal trainer who writes a “No Excuse Monday” and she successfully deflated all of my excuses. I sacrificed getting my manicures for my gym membership, since they cost the same each month. I fit my workouts in as my “wake up” routine each morning.
I even found that working out improved my studying! I thought it would take away from potential study time, but no! If I couldn’t studying during my cardio, I had more energy and motivation to do so after the gym.
I timed myself getting fast food versus making a meal at home, no time savings! Not to mention the overall unhealthiness of fast food that I slowly began to accept. When it came to cooking, I overhauled my kitchen and cooking techniques.
I began to measure the serving sizes and snacked on healthy things. And all of these were based on information I found on websites like Twitter, Spark People. I’m new to Snack-girl.com, so this is a more recent addition to my “healthy living” bookmarks.
I don’t want to down play my fiancé, parents and friends influence on my weight loss as well. My fiancé is a football player and provided plenty of workout advice and motivation.
My parents have health problems that could easily be passed to me in the future, so watching their ailments motivated me to act young! And my friends, who dealt with my motivational pictures in the car and home to keep my mind on track.
And I will never forget my late grandmother praising me for getting healthy in her final months. She was always a huge inspiration of mine in general, so to have her praise was just the extra push.
When you didn't lose weight for a few weeks - how did you keep motivated?
Whenever I didn’t lose weight, or even gained a pound or two during stressful times, I kept motivated with visual reminders everywhere. I put a note in my car to remind myself to drive past the drive thru.
I put the orange hunger monster on my refrigerator with a bubble saying “I’m just coming to get you! Fight me!”.
More recently, after changing my goals to more maintenance and strength training, I put up a picture of a female boxer from an ESPN magazine. I look at that picture everyday to remind myself what I need to do each day (kick butt!).
What foods and habits were the most difficult for you to give up and change?
DESSERT! I have always been a big dessert person, and not necessarily at the end of a meal. I love chocolate, sweets, doughnuts and everything with mounds of fat and sugar. I still struggle with this every day.
But I fight my urges by reminding myself of the damage that eating too much fat or sugar can cause. I look at my mother’s struggle with diabetes. I look at my father’s struggle with his heart and how excessive weight has affected him.
I do allow myself to indulge at times because I believe you must balance healthy lifestyle and enjoying life. I make sure my indulgences are planned and not impulsive.
What advice would you give to your "40 pound heavier" self?
Don’t be afraid! Get into that gym and move! Who cares what others think when you aren’t 100% on perfect form or lifting the same weight as them? Who cares if you need to take you cardio a little slow at first?
The point is getting there! The point is breaking the cycle that has developed in your family to lead to a healthier future for both you and your future children.
What is your favorite snack?
My favorite snack are petite carrots! I used to dip them in non-fat dressing, but I worked myself out of that by decreasing the amount of dressing every few days. Now, I bring a small bag of carrots to my 3 hour lectures and munch on them while others munch on chips. And I’m not even jealous or disappointed.
Carrots are sweet and don’t leave my fingers greasy when I’m taking notes. They are essential in my grocery list and at only 35 calories a serving, won’t break my goals.
Please share how you managed a weight loss success.
Want to read about snacks?
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The Worst Pizza on the Planet
A 130 Calorie Donut