FFFC: Please introduce yourself to our readers (i.e. your name, occupation, hobbies, etc.).
NM: Hello my name is Nancy McCaulay I work for a Consulting Firm in Northern Virginia. My hobbies are Graphic Design, swimming, running, etc.
FFFC: What sparked your weight-loss transformation journey?
NM: Taking a long hard look in the mirror and not liking what I saw or how I felt. Did I lack confidence? No Was I in denial….YES.
I would tell myself, you are black women and we have curves….no I was overweight with additional curves and rolls in places they didn’t belong. Don’t get me wrong I love my curves, etc. but I needed to be honest with myself. I got tired of lying to myself just because I could squeeze into smaller size and feel the waistband digging in my skin when I sat down, that I wasn’t “that big”. Cloths provide a wonderful camouflage but at the end of the day, they do come off. And what you see is what you are!
Could I walk up a flight of stairs without losing my breath, yep! I wasn’t necessarily unhealthy but I knew that my “healthy” state would be short-lived if I didn’t do something about it. So starting from a place of TRUTH my journey began.
FFFC: What was your beginning and current weight or measurements?
NM: My beginning weight was 247 lbs (July 2012) not sure what my beginning measurements were. I do know however, I was in a 16/18 now I wear a 12-14. I haven’t weighed myself for the month of July however; my last weigh in (June) was 204 lbs.
FFFC: How long did it take for your weight-loss transformation from beginning to end?
NM: I went to the gym the day after I took my before pic, July 21, 2012 so about a year.
FFFC: What physical activities did you participate in during your journey?
NM: I started off on the elliptical (30 minutes) and working out with my trainer 2x per week. I started getting bored with the elliptical (that was the only cardio I was doing…lol) so I decided to try Zumba (definitely wasn’t a class person) in place of the elliptical.
When I started Zumba, I hid behind the pillar in the room –everything hurt, jiggled, I was off beat, etc. I kept going because it was fun and the people were inspiring and supportive. Eventually, as the weight started to come off, not as fast as I hoped). I challenged myself to run a 5k —so I added running and Pilates (I have issues with sciatica and the Pilates works wonders for that).
FFFC: How did your eating habits change?
NM: I started eating more…..crazy huh? Was I eating badly? Not at all, actually pretty healthy. I try to eat pretty clean; avoiding processed foods as much as possible. After attending a free seminar realized that I was nutritionally ignorant! Everything I thought I knew about eating went completely out the window. He broke down the significance in eating a carb/protein with every meal. One of the major things I took away was, “you have to eat to lose”.
FFFC: What do you typically eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
NM: I actually don’t have a typical meal…..some mornings I will eat dinner food for breakfast (salmon, peppers and steamed vegetables). For the most part I try to stay away from processed foods (sugar, flour, etc.). The things that are constant each day are a liter of water first thing in the morning and a protein shake at least once a day.
FFFC: What is your favorite fitness activity?
NM: Running, Swimming and Dancing
FFFC: What do you do now to maintain your physique?
NM: Well, I am not in the maintenance phase right now; I still have about 25 lbs to lose. Since I’ve adopted how I eat and staying active as a lifestyle I may have to make some tweaks here and there but for the most part I look at it as a permanent staple.
FFFC: How did you develop and sustain the willpower to avoid the bad stuff (i.e. junk food, bad drinks, lack of activity, etc.)?
NM: Learned to be patient with myself and take it one day at a time and listen to my body. In addition, I allow myself a cheat “day” once a week. I don’t want to set myself up by saying; I will never have ice cream again, etc. that is not realistic. Now will I buy ice cream for my house? Absolutely not, instead I will go and have a scoop. That way I’ve satisfied my crazing without losing my mind. One thing I’m finding is that, when you feed your body good foods it starts to crave that. So even though I have a cheat day I may only want the ice cream and not the cobbler too. 🙂
When I don’t feel like going to the gym don’t—-sometimes you just need to rest. Other times, I get my activity other ways, swimming, going dancing or just getting out for a walk.
FFFC: What advice do you have for someone starting out on their weight-loss journey but unsure of how to begin?
NM: Make sure your head is in the game! My former trainer (CJ) told me that you can go thru the motions of working out but if your head is not in the game you are doing just that, going thru the motions”. Focus on getting healthy; the weight loss is the side effect. Make small changes; avoid processed foods (i.e. adding fruit instead of bread or eating oatmeal instead of Captain Crunch). Get a support group that is positive and motivating. Have fun and listen to your body…if you need to rest than do so. Try not to focus only on the weight loss—focus on getting healthier. It is less discouraging 🙂 Most importantly, don’t be held captive by the scale—take a picture instead.
FFFC: What do you think is the biggest misconception about this journey?
NM: I think there is a tremendous misconception that your success is measured in the number on the scale. I have heard sooo many people say to me, I should weigh, such and such for my height”. Based on those charts I should weigh between 107 – 145lbs. NOT I have more lean muscle than that!
When I tell people how much I weigh they think I am joking. No, you can’t weigh that much, you don’t look like it.
I remember looking at the biggest loser with my trainer Russ and saying, oh my goodness I weigh more than she does but I was in a solid 14 at the time and she was in an 18 (that was her before weight).
FFFC: Do you have any fitness idols? Who are they?
NM: I don’t really have any idols per se however, I do admire Ernestine Shepherd , Denise Richardson, Tosca Reno and Jillian Michaels
FFFC: How can readers learn more about your transformation and journey online (i.e. Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.)?
NM: I post my monthly pictures on my Facebook page in an album titled “My Transformation”