Lifestyle Prior To Change
I realized I had a problem with my weight when I walked into a clothing store in my hometown of Atlanta. The sales associate informed me that the largest size they sold was a size 16. At the time, I wore a size 20. I was 2 sizes too fat to shop in their store. Dejected and humiliated, I left the store.
It was the beginning of my realization that I had become fat.
When I started my marketing company in 2002, there was one man I credit with helping me get my company off the ground. His teachings had been immeasurable. It meant everything in the world for me to finally meet this “guru” several years later in 2006. Having my picture taken with him was the highlight of my trip.
However, when the picture was sent to me via email, I didn’t recognize the woman I was looking at. I smoked a pack and a half a day, ate like a man, and it showed.
I looked like I’d check out of life and that wasn’t the case! When I noticed my oldest son developing “love handles” at age 11, I knew I had to do something!
How Did You Make The Transformation?
I was my own guinea pig at first. I tried every ‘fad diet’ or weight loss pill imaginable.
I wished every week when I went to my local vitamin store that the manager would say, “We’ve got a new Magic Pill that’ll make you lose 60 pounds overnight. All it costs is one of your legs and to shave your head.” I would have left the store limping and bald!
But there was no magic pill.
Having grown up in Japan, I knew that the Japanese method of “kaizen” (making small changes to see big results) would be of the most help.
So I started off eating a salad at lunch. It still had creamy dressing, cheese, croutons, bacon bits, etc. But it was a salad. There was lettuce in there somewhere! After a few weeks, I eliminated the cheese. Then the croutons. Then the bacon. Then I changed the dressing.
The same went for my fitness. I started exercising during commercial breaks for my favorite TV shows. Then I ventured outside and started walking. Then slowly progressing to jogging. Then to lifting weights.
One day I looked in the mirror and realized, “Holy crap! I’ve lost 80 pounds!”
Now I could shop in any store I wanted. I could meet anyone, famous or otherwise, and be proud of the person I’d become, inside and out.
Eating is an absolute JOY now! I look forward to tasting each meal, preparing it with the same enthusiasm I have for my “alone time” at the gym.
I no longer look like I’ve checked out on life. I look on the outside like I feel on the inside – A MILLION BUCKS!
Eventually, I wrote a book about my weight loss called “What if You Were Thin” (available at http://www.whatifyouwerethin.com) to give other men and women the courage to take the first step and know that, regardless of how insurmountable the obstacle may appear to be – the weight CAN and WILL come off if you’ll just take the first, small step.
What Supplements Did You Take?
- EAS 100% Chocolate Whey Protein
- Women’s One-a-Day MultiVitamin
What Was Your Diet Plan?
A sample day of each meal eaten throughout my transformation:
- Breakfast: Homemade banana walnut oatmeal (with either 1 scoop protein powder or a side of turkey sausage)
- Midmeal #1: Peanut butter taco (calm down. It’s just a slice of bread with natural peanut butter smeared on it, folded in half)
- Lunch: Large salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing, 4oz grilled chicken breast, 30g fresh fruit
- Pre-workout: Gaspari SuperPump (I prefer the Refreshing Orange Flavor) – 20g with 8 oz water
- Post-workout: 1 scoop EAS Protein Powder with 8oz water, 30g fresh fruit
- Dinner: 3oz protein (chicken, turkey, or lean red meat), asparagus, 1 small sweet potato with 1 tbsp reduced fat butter and a dash of cinnamon
- Dessert: 1 cup sugar free Jello
What Was Your Training Approach?
A sample week of each exercise used throughout my transformation including sets, reps, etc.
Daily Workout Warmup:
Monday and Friday:
- Leg press 2 sets of 15 reps warmup, then 3 sets of 15 reps
- Leg curls 2 sets of 15 reps warmup, then 3 sets of 15 reps
- Standing calf raises 2 sets of 15 reps warmup, then 2 sets of 15 reps
- Front Lat Pulldowns 2 sets of 12 reps warmup, then 3 sets of 12 reps
- Hammer Strength Press 2 sets of 12 reps warmup, then 3 sets of 12 reps
- Cable Tricep Extensions 2 sets of 12 reps warmup, then 3 sets of 12 reps
- Cable Curls 2 sets of 12 reps warmup, then 3 sets of 12 reps
Tuesday and Thursday:
- 30 minute hike on local trail
- Incline crunches 3 sets of 15 reps
- Hyper extensions 3 sets of 10 reps
- Leg raises 3 sets of 10 reps
- Russian twist 3 sets of 15 reps
- Side crunches 3 sets of 15 reps
- V-Up 3 sets of 12 reps
Advice For Others
- You aren’t in competition with anyone else but yourself. Focus on becoming the best YOU and being happy in your own skin first and foremost! Master that, and everything else will fall into place naturally.
- Never underestimate the power of eating ENOUGH. I wasted a lot of time unnecessarily due to not eating enough food during the day to fuel my body in order to lose weight.
- Understand that while technology allows us to have everything around us instantly – YOU are not technology. Since this is the only body you’ve got, take the time to build up your health while losing weight CAREFULLY and you’ll be rewarded with a lifetime of looking great!
"You aren’t in competition with anyone else but yourself." Beautiful and inspirational quote. Great job on your transformation.
You look great! and I like that you look happy even in your "before" photos - like, you were still living your real life and doing well - even if you wanted to change. Great job!!!
Congrats on your life change. I too have made a decision to improve my health to be a living testimony that it can be done...one small change at a time. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Way to go! It sounds like you have transformed yourself into an outstanding role model for your son, not to mention, transforming your own life!
Great motivational article!!