Over the last several months I have watched (and been inspired by!) this lady's weight loss journey. Week after week, on MyFitnessPal, I see her steadily and consistently lose the pounds. On Facebook and Instagram, I see the photos-- she's literally shrinking!-- and I'm honored to bring her story to the blog! Please welcome Amy, author of the popular food blog, the Nifty Foodie-- she's lost a whopping 70lbs!
My Q&A with Amy:
Has your weight always been an issue for you? Since what age?
I've been a bigger girl as long as I can remember. Definitely since elementary school.
What factors contributed to your being overweight growing up?
I'm not really sure. Perhaps portion sizes? As a background, I was very active as a kid (preferred to be outside rather than inside), and never had a problem eating fruits/veggies. I would think my only downfall is how much I ate when it came to family meals.
What kind of household did you grow up in? Were you taught healthy eating principles?
My mom made sure we had a home cooked meal most nights, and I'm very thankful for that. She also made sure we ate healthy... we never really got snacks in our house (very rare that a kid wanted to trade lunch items with me in the cafeteria haha!)
When did you decide to make a change? Were you engaged at the time?
I actually lost some weight while wedding planning, but packed it right back on after (and 60 more lbs.). I decided to make a change, because the scale was at 298.5. I was a meal away from seeing 300 lbs. on the scale! I had to do something.
Has your decision to get healthy been on-again off-again, or did something just click?
I've always attempted diets...every Monday seemed like a new week. I think the big clicker was ignoring the scale for a long time, and finally seeing that number. I got out of control.
What was your starting weight? 298.5
*To show off Amy's amazing progress, I put together this timeline:
Did you use a particular program to help you lose weight? What program?
Calorie counting, via MyFitnessPal.
Has anyone been doing this with you?
My husband. He's lost 115 lbs.!! It's great to have that support at home.
When did you start to see the number on the scale go down?
Within the first month, I lost 10 lbs. The results were awesome!
What's been the best part about getting healthier/losing weight?
Fitting in regular sized clothes again. It's still SO crazy after shopping in plus sized stores for over 10 years.
What's been the hardest part?
Resisting the binges. It took me a while to face the fact that I had/have a binge eating problem. It's a daily struggle.
Have you reached your goal yet?
No. I'm about 50-60 lbs. away from my goal.
When you started, did you lose weight immediately or has it been a gradual loss?
The weight loss was fast in the beginning (I was SO spoiled by it, too haha!), but after 17 months of doing this, my weight loss is a steady 0.5-2 lbs./week.
What are some of your staple foods and favorite recipes?
Greek yogurt, fresh/frozen fruit and hummus with veggies are my favorite snacks to have on hand. I love making fruit "ice cream" (food processing frozen banana with a few berries until it's like soft serve...like the Yonana machine). I also enjoy tortilla pizza, which is basically adding marinara, mozzarella cheese, and turkey pepperoni on top of a whole wheat tortilla and baking for 10-12 minutes at 350. I also love a simple banana protein smoothie (1 scoop of vanilla protein powder, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup ice, 1 RIPE frozen banana and blend until smooth)...it tastes like a milkshake!!
Do you workout a lot? How often?
I try to aim for 4-5x/week with workouts. 2-3 times/week with cardio, 2 times/week with weights
Do you workout at home or do you belong to a gym?
We belong to a gym, but for running, I prefer to run in our neighborhood. I mainly go to the gym for weight lifting, and if the weather is terrible, I'll go there for cardio.
What are your favorite exercises? Do you lift weights?
I'm a big fan of running and strength training.
*Read about Amy's experience doing the Color Run 5k on her blog here.
*Also pictured is Amy's sister who has recently lost 40 lbs!*
Do you have a favorite body part you like to work? (Such as quads or delts?)
My shoulders. I was using 10 lbs. on the machine when I started out in January, and now I'm up to 40 lbs. I finally saw a little crease in my shoulders a couple of weeks ago. It's very cool to see my body changing!
Where do you find your motivation? Other blogs? Magazines? Which ones?
Are your family and friends aware of these changes in your life? Are they supportive?
Absolutely! My family/friends are very supportive, and are always throwing compliments when they notice my weight loss. :-)
What does your husband think of these changes?
He's very supportive. He's on a weight loss journey himself. :-)
Finally, do you have any advice for other women who are trying to be healthier and/or lose weight?
Take baby steps, and recognize that you're only human. Weight loss (for me) wasn't a flip of the switch. As in, it wasn't like I was one day eating terribly...living a sedentary lifestyle...the next, I was eating 1200 calories/day and running 5Ks. NOPE! That's not how it happened! I started at 1800ish calories/day, and then gradually went down. I slowly added activity into my day...started doing Couch to 5K, and really just started doing weights in January.
I also don't beat myself up if I go overboard for a meal. I know I won't gain back these 70 lbs. by eating an extra slice of pizza. I just adjust for the next meal. There are days where I go over in my calories, but I treat this journey like this will be my life forever (if that makes any sense?). There's no way I'm going to be perfect everyday...I'm only human.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions and sharing all these inspiring photos, Amy! Even though you didn't mention it, I have to share your rewards list, which I think is really cool! Check it out:
And (you may already know this but) Amy's a beast in the kitchen! I love that she's started incorporating healthy recipes in with all those delicious baked goods on the Nifty Foodie! Check out this Banana Biscoff Protein Shake Recipe:
If you want to continue reading about Amy's journey, which I highly recommend, visit her life blog, Nifty Foodie Life!
Thank you again, Amy!!