Let’s jump in to her story:
✋ At what moment did you realize you HAD to lose weight?
I can’t exactly pinpoint one turning point. There were multiple instances that made me realize I had to lose weight. At first, I could feel my clothes getting tighter and tighter. But then I just figured I could just blame the washing machine for shrinking my clothes. Soon enough, I started to hate when people would take photos of me because I just looked huge. Relatives started pointing out my weight gain as well. It definitely hurt so there was that emotional aspect as well.
I always had it in the back of my mind to lose weight. It wasn’t until the lockdown started because of COVID that I suddenly had all the time in the world. I told myself that I could either stuff myself full and eat whatever I want OR I could take this opportunity to change my ways. I chose the latter and the rest was history.
1️⃣ What was the first step you took towards transforming your body?
I started by logging my meals to keep track of my food. I wasn’t even counting calories then (I didn’t even know how to do that lol). I just had an old notebook that I used to write everything down. I started slowly then kept going until it turned into a daily habit. I still count my calories to this day—it helps me keep accountable on the days I go over!
💻 What apps/websites/resources did you use?
I mostly used MyFitnessPal (to track my calories) and YouTube + Reddit for inspiration and tips.
🍳 What kind of adjustments did you make to your diet?
I wanted to make things as easy as possible for myself so I figured I should be consuming things that I genuinely liked. I really wanted this to last and not just be a one time fad diet thing.
I really love smoothies so I started incorporating those to my diet. They satisfy my sweet tooth albeit in a healthy way. I started eating more “whole foods” like fruits and veggies as well and I tried to limit my carbs and sugar consumption as much as possible. Most importantly, I stopped having midnight snacks (ahem, more like midnight meals haha). Other than that, calorie counting has been the game changer for sure. I didn’t realize how much I was actually eating until I started logging my food. Being aware of what I put in my body has made all the difference for sure!
🥕 What were your go-to staple foods that helped you achieve your goals?
I love a good avocado + egg toast in the morning. I also love smoothies (as previously mentioned).
I love breakfast food, as you can tell haha. I also made my own banana + oat pancakes that were really yummy but healthy. I also had a lot of salmon + rice + broccoli dinners.
💪 Can you talk a little bit about what you found to work the best in terms of physical exercise? What worked best for you and why?
I started off doing Jillian Michaels Body Revolution. It’s a 3 month HIIT based program where you do 30 minute work outs 6 days a week. I love the program as the workouts are only for 30 minutes but they are very fun so you won’t be bored! Not to mention JM is very… uhhh… motivating LOL.
I would also go on hour long walks on my “rest” days. I also really like Chloe Ting workouts. These work best for me because they are structured and they are only for 30 minutes max so it’s hard for me to talk myself out of doing them. Having structured workouts that are efficient are a must for me, personally.
🧾 What was the best advice you received (or read) along the way?
“The only bad workout is the one you didn’t do.”
You have to be okay with half-assing things sometimes. An all-or-nothing mentality can derail your progress. It’s a slow progress but you’ll get there if you keep going.
🥵 What was the hardest part about your journey? How did you overcome it?
The hardest part has been maintaining balance. Some days I’m too hard on myself and I push myself to the limit. Other days I’m so unmotivated. I overcome it by telling myself that it’s the little habits over time that really count. One fast food meal won’t derail my progress just as much as eating a salad one time won’t make me magically skinny. That’s why consistency is so important.
I also remind myself that I’m only human and some days I will want to eat more than I usually do. As long as I don’t give up and keep doing my best 70%-80% of the time, I’m good. Weight loss journeys are anything but straightforward. Life is full of ebbs and flows after all!
💡 Was there an ‘aha’ moment where everything began to click?
When I was overweight, my feet hurt SO bad and I had no idea why. It wasn’t until I lost a significant amount of weight that they stopped hurting. Now I feel much lighter and I can do way more. That was also the moment where I realized that weight loss is not JUST about your body. It’s about your health, your mental health, and everything else in between. It really is life changing.
😎 How has your life changed since the day you took your before photo?
My life is unrecognizable now, haha! I feel a lot more beautiful. I actually like working out now. I’m more aware of what I put in my body. I try to apply the same mentality to other facets of my life: slow progress is better than no progress. You have to be determined and be resilient when things get hard. Only you can change your life. You have the choice, so own that power.
❤ Based on your experience, what advice would you give to our readers who are starting off as the ‘old’ you?
I’m only 23 so I’m still quite young. I would say it’s never too late to start your weight loss journey. Start whenever you’re ready!
Thanks for the interview, Ana!