I Lost 97 Pounds: Denna’s Amazing Weight Loss Journey

I suppose I’ve always had a weight problem. However, it wasn’t until my late 20’s that I felt it was an issue and I needed to do something about it. And I yo-yo’d from there.

NAME : Denna
BEFORE WEIGHT : 242+
AFTER WEIGHT : 145
POUNDS LOST : 97 (so far)

HOW DID YOUR WEIGHT AFFECT ANY ASPECT(S) OF YOUR LIFE?  I didn’t have the endurance to be as active as I would have liked. It also affected my confidence level. Once I got to a certain weight, I felt like people were staring at me thinking I was disgusting and wondering how did I allow myself to become so big. It began to deter me from doing things I really enjoyed like going to amusement parks. I was always worried the safety belts wouldn’t fit.

WHAT WAS THE “TURNING POINT” THAT GOT YOU STARTED ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY?  My turning point was when my husband passed away from circumstances beyond his control. I knew if given the choice and he could do anything about it he would be here me and the kids. I had control. I could choose to eat myself into an early grave or I could choose to become healthy and live. I could choose to not my kids orphans.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED?  I started with a determined mindset. I promised myself that this time I would stick with it no matter what it took or how long it would take. I would reach my goals. Then I hired a trainer. And I haven’t looked back once.

HOW LONG AFTER YOU STARTED DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE RESULTS OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS EFFORTS?  It was several months before I really noticed changes. My face was becoming smaller and my clothes looser.

WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART?  I had to overcome changing the way I viewed food. I had to learn how to eat, what combinations to eat as well as when to eat. I never liked to eat early in the morning, so breakfast was a real challenge. It still is really. But know I know I have to start my day off right.

DID YOU EVER WANT TO GIVE UP? WHAT KEPT YOU GOING?  No, I never wanted to give up. I had times when I was frustrated but never wanted to give up. Knowing that I was worth it kept me going. Wanting to break the cycle of yo-yo dieting and finally really be successful with this journey kept me going. The fact that others had taken notice of my weight loss and my dedication and they began to say I was inspiring or motivating them to get started. I had become somewhat of a leader and you can’t lead, motivate or inspire by quiting.

DID YOU HIT ANY WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAUS? HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM?  Yes, I had plateaus. I had to change up my workouts as well as tweak my nutrition.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO LOSE MOST OF THE WEIGHT?  A little over a year.

DID YOU HAVE ANY NON-SCALE VICTORIES?  Yes, seeing my clothing size go down. Starting my facebook page www.facebook.com/GRGTTJ and motivating others. Overcoming being an emotional eater.

WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY DIET LOOK LIKE COMPARED TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?
– Heavier
– no breakfast or high carb breakfast (cheese grits, chees toast, eggs)
– I ate lots of fast food as well as processed foods. ( hot dogs, packaged lunch meats, boxed meals, sugar cereals etc) Sweet tea, lemonade

Now:
– I eat breakfast ( plain oatmeal with protein powder, eggs)
– I have 5 small meals most days. I no longer eat refined sugar, or processed foods)
– My diet consists of lean protein, chicken, fish, cruciferous veggies, fruits. I drink 80-100oz of water/day

HOW DOES YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY COMPARE TO WHEN YOU WERE HEAVIER?  I’m much more active now. I just completed my first 15k in January. I’m also participating in the Spartan Obstacle Race on March 7th. I really enjoy doing the obstacle challenges. This will be my 4th. I challenge my teens to foot races, and push-ups you name it. Before, I became winded after just a few minutes of activity and I’d have to sit down. I just wasn’t capable of doing much, although I wanted to.

MY WEIGHT LOSS TIPS & TRICKS

Decide to start and never quitDon’t compare your journey to anyone else’s journey. They may loose faster than you but you have no idea what they are doing behind closed doors. And you are genetically different.Make a menu and take 1 evening a week to prep your food for the week. It makes life so much easier and it sets you up for success.Everyday will not be perfect. That’s to be expected. But when you go off track try to start back the next meal, not the next day or “Monday” 🙂Try different things, to remain active.

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Once I got to a certain weight, I felt like people were staring at me thinking I wondered how did I allow myself to become so big? She's an inspirational weight loss success story for all black women and African-American females losing weight seeking before and after pictures, programs and healthy meal plans.

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