Inklings of Inspiration

Some good things come early, and this month’s (April) Inklings of Inspiration is coming a few days early because I’m just too excited about this story. Some people make a huge impact on your life in a short amount of time and this story is about someone who did just that. I was introduced to Rachel last Thanksgiving, she is my uncle’s new girlfriend and my new fitness buddy!

She has a very real story and an amazing transformation that can inspire anyone. I told Rachel about my healthy lifestyle journey and she immediately started helping me with websites, recipes, workouts and the oh so necessary moral support. Check out her interview below and be inspired by someone like you and me who just wanted to be healthier.

  1. How did you get started on your healthy lifestyle change?

My journey began a little less than a year ago.  I was wearing the largest size pants I have ever worn …and they were getting tight!  When I was younger I enjoyed running, so I figured I would give it a try. When I could barely run ½ mile, I knew it was time for a change.  I had tried fad diets, not eating enough,yoyo diets … and I always gained the weight back.  I knew this time I had to do it the right way, and I had to make sure the weight didn’t come back.

  1. What is your motivation?

Because I always wanted to be a runner, this Fall I signed up to run the Pittsburgh half-marathon in May. I have gone from running ½ mile, to a few 5K races … and just last weekend I ran 8 miles straight.  I am motivated to be ready for the 13.1 miles in two months!

  1. Do you follow a strict diet regime?

Even in the last year, I have still had some struggles with my diet.  I had a few months where I wasn’t eating enough … I had no energy … I wasn’t eating enough carbs.  Now I feel like I am in a good place with my diet.  Yes, I cheat sometimes and treat myself … but I can honestly say now that I know what I’m supposed to eat, and how much.  I have a clean eating grocery list saved in my phone, and I try to base as many meals around that as I can.  I can always make a healthier choice, and that’s what I try to do. Like they say … it’s a lifestyle change, not a diet!

  1. Do you follow a strict workout regime?

Because I am training for a half-marathon, I try to run at least 4-5 days per week.  I also do some p90x, free weights, and yoga.  After the marathon, I would like to do the insanity workouts all the way through.  Once I reach my weight loss goal, my hope is to never miss more than two days of working out.

  1. How long have you been on this journey?

My journey started one year ago in April.

  1. What would you say has been the hardest part?

Going through this has been an emotional roller coaster.  When you are losing weight the right way, it takes longer.  You may go months and only lose a few pounds.  Some days I wake up, look in the mirror, and see the old me.  I feel like I don’t look any different.  Those are the times when I have to look at old pictures. When you hit a plateau, it’s very hard to have the motivation to keep going.  There were days that I figured, “I may as well eat whatever I want today … because I’m not going to lose any weight anyway.”  Those days are tough, and I still have them!

  1. What are some routines that you swear by.

I use my juicer every single morning, no matter what.  I throw in an apple and a bunch of green veggies. This is the first thing I eat every day.  Over the last few weeks I also decided to stop getting on the scale. Instead, I took pictures and bought a pair of jeans that I want to fit into by April.  The scale isn’t always a true indicator.  I try not to eat after 8:00 PM … I hate that full feeling before going to sleep.  Finally, on Friday nights I plan all my meals for the week … breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks.  Then on Saturday I do all the grocery shopping.  You are less likely to cheat if you have everything you need right in front of you.

  1. Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for those out there looking to get started or to get back on track?

It’s never too late to start.  We all want to look good in clothes, bathing suits, etc., but it’s really about being healthy. I woke up one day and realized … my poor eating habits could cause me to get diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc.  Do it for YOU and for your health!

  1. How much progress have you made thus far?

My last time on the scale showed a weight loss of 65 pounds.  I haven’t been on the scale in about a month because I plateaued and was getting frustrated.  I started at a size 18 one year ago … and that size 18 was getting tight!  I now fluctuate between an 8 and 10.  My goal is a size 6.

  1. What was your goal? And how did you set it?

My original goal was to get to a certain weight, but I am realizing that it’s not really about the number on the scale.  It’s more about how I feel and how healthy I am.  I would like to be a size 6.  I was a size 8 in high school, and it would be amazing to go down a size from then!

  1. Is there any one thing or things that have helped to make the biggest impact whilst on this journey?

The biggest impact is having support.  For me, my boyfriend has been the biggest one for me.  He helped teach me what to eat, how to work out, what to do when I plateau, and always tells me that he’s proud of what I’ve accomplished.  In addition to that, it has helped to have other friends that are going through a similar journey.  For me, it is beneficial to talk to people that have struggled with weight loss … more than someone who has been thin their entire life!

  1. Is there anything else that you want to share?

You have to educate yourself … read articles, look up recipes and workouts, etc.  In the last year I have learned so much about what to eat, what not to eat, and the effects that different foods have on my body.  There are certain things I will never eat again in my life … and other things that I eat now and would have never eaten before.  Making this life change is a full time job, but a very important one!

Look at Rachel’s transformation photo below, she looks amazing right!

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