Please introduce yourself to our readers (i.e. your name, occupation, hobbies, etc.).
Hi there! My name is Elle and I’m a part-time Educational Resource Facilitator and full-time mom to a busy toddler! I love keeping busy and trying new things with my family. I am also an admin for a Facebook accountability/support group so that keeps me busy and involved in the fitness community while allowing me to pay it forward!
What sparked your weight-loss transformation journey?
After my daughter was born in 2015 I knew that it was time to make a change once she started becoming more active and reaching for foods I was eating. My diet was pretty bad and I didn’t want those bad habits to be passed down to her. I lost the baby weight pretty quickly thanks to breastfeeding but even then I was still obese. My highest weight was 320+, I don’t know the exact number because I stopped looking at the scale during doctors visits a month before she was born.
What sparked your weight-loss transformation journey?
When I started my transformation in March 2017 my weight was 260 lbs. My current weight fluctuates between 205-210 lbs for the most part.
How long did it take for your weight-loss transformation from beginning to end?
My transformation is ongoing and I’ve lost over 100 lbs in total but I really started to take my health and fitness seriously in March 2017. So it took a year to get the results I have currently.
Which physical activities did you participate in during your journey?
When I started my journey I did not want to join a gym. The thought overwhelmed me and I knew I could get results at home. I also didn’t like the idea of taking time away from my daughter if I didn’t need to. So I pulled videos up on YouTube and did them from home! The price and convenience was exactly what I needed! I focused on HIIT and cardio videos from Jillian Michaels, PopSugar Fitness & Millionaire Hoy. In the beginning I was working out 5 days a week for a minimum of 30 minutes. Eventually I started incorporating Beachbody videos into my routine: Insanity, Core De Force, etc.
How did your eating habits change?
My eating habits needed an overhaul. The first thing I did was start keeping a food journal, I used MyFitnessPal. I was SHOCKED at how much I was eating, I really had no idea how quickly a handful here and a sip there could add up. It wasn’t so much about what I was eating, just how much. I had a set number of calories for the day and I had to make choices that allowed me to stay within that range.
What do you typically eat for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner?
What I eat depends on my activity for the day. Overall I try to limit bread, white rice and pasta. I like to do fasted cardio so I wake up and workout before eating. Afterwards I either grab a protein shake or I will whip up a high protein breakfast. This usually includes: turkey bacon, eggs w/ cheese & veggies, 1/2 an avocado.
Protein pancakes are another favourite for breakfast!
Snacks: Guacamole w/ Stacey’s pita chips
Hummus w/ fresh veggies
Lunch: tuna w/ mayo & fresh veggies
Dinner: quinoa taco skillet
spaghetti squash lasagna
chicken breast w/ brown rice & broccoli
grilled steak w/ baked potato & roasted peppers
What is your favorite fitness activity?
My favourite fitness activity weight training. I love feeling strong and lifting heavy allows me to do that. Another favourite is Zumba and anything physical I can do with my daughter.
What do you do now to maintain your physique?
Now I have switched up my fitness mindset from losing weight to maintaining and building muscle. Since that is my new goal I had to adjust my routine accordingly and instead of cardio 5 days a week I now alternate between weight training in the gym and cardio. I am active 4-5 days a week. As far as food goes I am definitely not as strict as I was initially but still limit carbs and fast food.
How did you develop and sustain the willpower to avoid the bad stuff (i.e. junk food, bad drinks, lack of activity, etc.)?
I have never had very good willpower but I am a results driven person so when I started seeing results that kept me going. I also allowed myself to have a cheat day from day one, I know that depriving myself entirely would only result in a binge somewhere down the line. What keeps me going a year later is thinking back to those early days and how tough it was to get started. I don’t want to have to go back to that point so I would rather push myself now to keep going.
What advice do you have for someone looking to get started with their fitness journey but not sure where to begin?
My advice for beginners is to find a friend/family member/group that you can go to for support and accountability. It’s hard enough to begin but doing it alone makes it that much more difficult. Don’t feel pressured or intimidated to join a gym! If you think the gym is the answer for you then find a gym buddy and go for it! However, don’t let not having a gym membership be a deterrent. I started my journey in my basement with very little equipment (a yoga mat, some 5 lb weights and some resistance bands) and good old YouTube! Find an activity you like! Whether it’s dancing, sports, playing at the park with your child, going to a class or just a walk around the block. Find something that you enjoy because if you hate it, you won’t continue to do it.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about this journey?
The biggest misconception is that you need all the frills: a trainer, gym membership, meal plan, 3 hours a day, etc. Starting doesn’t have to be difficult. It can be FREE and take 30 minutes a day. Don’t let the IDEA of what you have laying ahead of you scare you from beginning your journey.
Do you have any fitness inspirations? Who are they?
The people I love to follow on social media are women who have lost a lot of weight and are tall like me. I’m 6’ and most of the fitness women I come across on social media are short. IronGiantess was one of the first accounts I found that I could really relate to. Serena Williams is also someone whose body I’ve always been in awe of, she is the epitome of strength to me.