FFFC: Please introduce yourself to our readers (i.e. your name, occupation, hobbies, etc.).
LR: My name is Latrice. I am a marketing specialist, graphic designer and writer. I like unconventional health knowledge, wholesome living, natural living and real foods. The informaiton just makes so much sense. I love to cook and lift weights, I like to create, I do DIY projects, and I read regularly or get into a good audible book often. Right now, I’m listening The Dorito Effect by Mark Schatzker. Good so far.
FFFC: What sparked your weight-loss transformation journey?
LR: My weight-loss transformation journey started way back when I was just 13-years-old. I was a 245 pound 8th grader heading for freshman year. My transformation was initially sparked by a desire to fit in. I still had friends, but did feel the social stigma of being morbidly obese including being ignorned by the boys, being terrible at physical activity and having to shop at Lane Bryant before there were acceptable junior, plus size choices.
My mother, also morbidly obese at the time, helped me lose weight along the way but I still yo-yoed and so did she. By my senior year in high school, I lost down to 160 pounds. But then college started and I gained the freshman 15. Well in my case it was more so the freshman/sophomore 75. I also had a couple of fat boyfriends so that didn’t make it any easier. Before I knew it, I was almost right back where I started, only 10 pounds shy, weighing in at 235 pounds.
This last “restart” of my weight-loss journey was sparked by a desire to truly transform while I was living in Ghana. I wanted to use the time away from American food to get my head right and get some good elimination in. I worked out faithfully and ate locally. I also met a bodybuilder that helped me workout.
I also wanted to not be sick anymore and to not head down the same road as my parents. I was diagnosed with PCOS before I moved to Ghana and found out that was the reason why my periods were virtually nonexistant. I was hormonally imbalanced and proned to metabolic syndromes. Eating healthy was my ticket to improving much more than my weight.
FFFC: What was your beginning and current weight or measurements?
LR: My beginning weight was 215 pounds back in 2012 and my current weight is 173 pounds.
FFFC: How long did it take for your weight-loss transformation from beginning to end?
LR: My weight-loss transformation took a while considering that it also involved a lot of self-discovery, diet testing, and lesson learning. It was not straight diet, workout, then weight loss. I’d lose weight, gain weight, resolve to change, do some research then try something different. I road that rollercoaster for over 10 years.
I don’t feel I’m at the end as of yet, but I have come a far way. I’m finally at a space where I get it and can truly embrace the transformation.
FFFC: What physical activities did you participate in during your journey?
LR: I started out with cardio and some weights. Fourty-five minutes of cardio followed by machine weights. I also did some running outside and walking. But what I found worked the best is weight training. I have found lifting to be great for my hormonal health. I used to only have my period once or twice a year, but I think lifting weights, along with a healthy diet of course, has helped a lot.
FFFC: How did your eating habits change?
LR: I tried everything “natural”. I’ve tried being a vegetarian for mucus removal, then a vegan for a clean digestive system, and then I went with just raw foods and juice fasts in order to cleanse and remove fat with toxins. I. Was. Miserable. My periods barely came around, I was always feeling hungry, my moods were out of whack, I had a sad outlook on life, and my weight still hovered around 220 pounds.
Then I came across ancestral eating and the paleo lifestyle that emphasizes removing all franken-foods (heavily processed foods devoid of nutirents) from the diet and concentrating on foods of the earth and from the earth. I removed soy products and milk substitutes from my diet.
But what finally really clicked for me and got my insulin resistance in check was eating a low-carb, high fat diet. I’ve eliminated fruit, raw dairy and tubers from my diet and concentrate on getting enough healthy sources of fat and protein. My carb intake comes in the form of dark, leafy greens and cruciferous veggies.
Before making my changes, I ate proccessed foods including fast foods. My favorite was getting Jack in the Box breakfast after a late night out or having pancakes from McDonalds early in the morning. I also did a lot of In-and-Out and weigh your own yogurt with all the toppings I could stand. Oh my, and then it was the Cinnabuns from the mall and burritos from my favorite spot in San Jose. I would go all in although I always had a desire to lose weight. Often times I justified my excessive eating with getting my craving “out of my system” before I went on another diet. Funny.
FFFC: What do you typically eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
LR: On the days I lift, I eat half an avocado and a boiled egg post workout to break my 12 to 13 hour fast. Then my midday meal usually consist of 4 ounces of 15% fat beef, 4 eggs cooked in 3 tbsp of butter, 1 cup of kale sauteed in butter or coconut oil, and ½ cup of cauliflower rice. On the days I don’t lift, I leave out the avocado and extra egg. Throughout my day, I also include 3 tbsp of coconut oil taking one in the morning, post workout, another midday and then my last when I get home from work.
I try to fast in the evenings to give my body time to heal at night instead of digest food so I usually don’t eat between 5pm and 5am the following morning.
FFFC: What is your favorite fitness activity?
LR: Booty days! My butt almost disappeared with the weight loss so I started doing consistant booty building work with heavy sqauts, weighted step-ups, mule kicks with the sqaut machine, and straight-legged kick backs with my ankle strap and the pully machine at the gym. My butt is now round and sexy and my thighs and calfs are awesome. Weights have been my go to for sure. I do make sure I also work chest, biceps, shoulders, triceps, abs and back. I do these parts three times a week. And booty work three times a week.
FFFC: What do you do now to maintain your physique?
LR: I made it about more than weight loss. It became about not wanting to consume toxic foods and wanting to change my family history.
The elders die of preventable diseases I’m learning we’ve accepted as just a part of old age. On my mother’s side, my great great grandmother died of uterine cancer at only 56, my great grandmother died of Alzhiemer’s, and my grandmother is currently suffering through the advance stages of Alzhiemers at 76. My grandmother on my father’s side also died of Alzhiemers. I have uncles that have passed away from liver damage, diabetes complications and heart disease. I also lost an auntie to a heart condition brought on by the complications of morbid obesity. I learned the true source of these diseases is essentially a poor diet and an unhealthy lifestyle.
Throughout this journey, I’ve learned that nutrition determines genetic expression. So if I was to continue eating an unhealthy diet, I would also get the high blood pressure and diabetes my parents have and probably die of Alzhiemers like the women before me. I don’t want that so I’m doing what I have to do now.
I want to be a part of the generation that finally changes the narrative. That’s what keeps me motivated and helps me maintain my weight loss this time around.
FFFC: How did you develop and sustain the willpower to avoid the bad stuff (i.e. junk food, bad drinks, lack of activity, etc.)?
LR: Oh, and I had terrible will power. I would pray to God for strength although I would justify my “just one” and “but there isn’t enough time” cheats.
Then I found the high-fat, low-carb ketogenic lifestyle. This way of eating healed the core source of my will power which is improving insulin sensitivity. Being raised on frozen dinners, sugar, candy, chips, cookies, soda, juice, skim milk, cereal, bread and fast food ruined my insulin receptors and I was insulin resistant for sure. But through complete elimination of the bad stuff and eating the correct macros for my activity level and weight, I was able to naturally exercise more will power. I was shocked. What I would usually justify or feel I NEED, I don’t anymore and can easily walk away. Which is a blessing given where I came from and what I used to justify.
FFFC: What advice do you have for someone starting out on their weight-loss journey but unsure of how to begin?
LR: The best thing to do is start with healthy, wholesome real foods. Foods from the earth or food that eats of the earth. That means vegetables, roots, some fruits, and animals that eat their natural diets and are raised humanely. No boxed stuff. Basically don’t shop the center of the grocery store. And run away from the foods that claim low fat and fat free. These foods might remove the fat, but it replaces the fat with carbs. And even the sugar free stuff should go because they typically use sugar substitutes like aspartame. Aspartame alone has been linked to digestive issues, Alzheimer disease, diabetes and attention deficit disorders just to name a few.
Secondly, get real about what you’re really trying to do here. I fought myself for years getting honest with myself and discovering what it was that made me “fall off” so often. I wasn’t honest enough to completely eliminate the foods that were essentially making me cheat so the cycle continued. I would spend a few months at 100% and then it would all fall apart with one cheat that would lead into a whole week, or even a month, of eating like I have no sense. Now that I’ve been on it for some time, eating a burrito no longer sends me into binge mode. This is how I can tell I’ve healed a great deal. But it took healing through removal FIRST.
Third, be nice, gentle, and loving to yourself and realize that you are human. Addressing weight loss because you absolutely hate your choices and your body isn’t enough motivation to stick to it. It wasn’t enough for me because deep down inside, I don’t hate myself nor do I hate the body I’m in. But when I became nice, gentle and loving, I started to address myself and my humanness more than the weight. I focused on nurturing my body, mind and spirit because I love myself so much that I want to do right by me. I want to listen to my true desires and learn what my body really wants because I am worth it. That leads to work out of love instead of stressing out of hate.
Also, the body does want to be healthy and at a healthy weight. IT WILL help you get there if you give your body the stuff it needs to function optimally and remove the things that cause it problems.
Lastly, get a grip and drink water! Personally, it urkes me when someone says, “but I hate water” when they are faced with the “challenge” of drinking enough water to sustain health. Sorry. Water is essential to health, especially weight loss. No you will not get by getting water through drinking juice. It’s just not the same and your body will thank you in many ways including through clearer skin, better sleep, better digestion, and feel good vibes. Trust me, I know.
FFFC: What do you think is the biggest misconception about this journey?
LR: I feel the biggest misconception is the need to starve and practice crazy calorie deficits. If you’re 200 plus pounds, starting a new workout routine, and cut your calories down to 1200, you’ll lose initially, but often times the body starts to protect itself against the “starvation” and new stress you’re putting it under. It will crave and get really hungry. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll make it to your goal weight. But if you’re like the rest of us, the weight might come off for a bit until you stall or eat the wrong thing and, bam, you’re body is making you eat like a hungry, hungry hippo. Before you know it, you’re back at that starting weight or even higher.
Weight gain and fat storage happens when you eat the wrong foods that leads to eating too much of those wrong foods. Eatting too much isn’t what really makes you fat. You being fat is what makes you eat too much. Gary Toubes taught me that. If you are eating the right foods in the right portions, your body, and its natural appetite control, will not allow you to eat too much.
But cutting calories to a healthy manageable deficit does lead to weight loss. I think cutting at about 20% is great. I cut at 25% now that I’ve got my hunger in check.
FFFC: Do you have any fitness inspirations? Who are they?
LR: Stephanie “The Business” Person. That woman is incredible! She’s two years shy of 50 yet has a body that is in tip top shape and her energy level is always through the roof. She also helped her mom beat brain cancer through the ketogenic diet. Stephanie talks straight truth about getting into a healthy state of ketosis.
FFFC: How can readers learn more about your transformation and journey online (i.e. Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.)?