I'm so excited to introduce you to my Weight Watchers friend Alexis, whom I had the pleasure of "meeting" online late last year. We were both part of a small group given the chance to test out the Beyond the Scale Program a few weeks before it was officially launched.
Her positive energy is contagious! Read on and I think you'll agree...
Tell Us A Little Bit About Your Weight Struggle
I have struggled with my weight for most of my teen and adult life, often using food to self-soothe, entertain myself, distract myself and tons of other reasons other than "to nourish myself."
Things really got bad from 2011-2014, when I was working 70+ hours a week and rarely exercising. I was eating tons of fast food, drinking too much coffee to stay awake and then too much alcohol to go to sleep, and then starting the cycle all over again the next day.
Emotionally, it was a challenging time, and the lack of exercise, lack of fresh foods and lack of sleep took a significant toll on my physical and emotional wellness.
What Was Your Wake-Up Call Or “A-Ha Moment” That Caused You To Sign Up With Weight Watchers?
One morning in November 2014 I woke up in Florida on vacation, and didn't want to put on a bathing suit and go lay by the pool.
I was uncomfortably obese, my skin was stretched to the max, I was slow and I wasn't able to be active and adventurous like I wanted to be.
I was unhappy with myself. It was then I knew I needed to make a change.
How Have Your Eating Habits Changed Since Weight Watchers? What Did You Eat Before And What Are You Eating Now?
A complete 180 degree difference, honestly.
I gave up the drive-thrus (except for coffee, that's still necessary), soda and most processed foods. I threw out the processed snacks, 100-calorie packs, frozen meals and artificially-flavored foods in favor of fresh fruits, veggies and lean proteins.
I found an apple gave me more energy and made me feel less sluggish than packaged cheese crackers, and that I didn't need giant portions of pasta to enjoy them - a cup is more than enough.
Now I make my cosmos, my desserts and my treats into true treats - not every day occurrences!
Also, I learned to cope with stress through exercise and talking, rather than eating, and I now eat to nourish and fuel my body, rather than for entertainment or therapy!
What Is The Difference In Your Fitness Before Weight Watchers And Now?
I went from a complete couch potato, unable to go up stairs without being winded to a leaner (but no meaner!) athlete.
So I started out biking on the elliptical for 20 minutes. Just do 20 minutes and then walk a mile. Hood up, convinced everyone was making fun of the fat chick. And after a few days, I added a little resistance. Then a few days later a little more time, the more resistance.
You see, I used to be in pretty good shape fifteen years ago, so I knew where I should be and what I should be capable of. But I also knew that if I went all crazy and pushed myself too hard, too fast that I would get hurt and need a week to recover, and then I would just give up. This was about building my confidence, my familiarity with PF and slowly building my endurance.
After a month I decided to try the elliptical, and I fell in love all over again. It's a bouncy run without the impact on my legs and knees, and again, slowly over time I have added resistance, time and speed.
Over time, I've tested or tried A TON of classes and activities, whatever keeps me interested and changes up my routine.
I love Bikram yoga, which I only get to do once a month or so, biking on the rail trail in the spring and fall and I really loved Aqua Tabata class.
I also tried Zumba, Pilates, water aerobics, regular yoga, dance classes, any thing I could find. I even ran a couple 5k runs, though this is probably my least favorite thing.
I recently hired a personal trainer to help me lose the last -15 lbs and get toned and tightened up, and it's amazing how much STRONGER I feel already!
And now we walk, everywhere. I leave extra time so we can walk the mile to dinner, even in January. I take the stairs whenever possible and Mr. Big can attest: I'll start a dance party whenever and wherever I fee the mood strike.
Bonus booty shaking if it embarrasses him in public a little!
What Has Been The Biggest Change/Payoff For You So Far?
My emotional wellness has been the greatest change and greatest gift through my journey.
Feeling better about myself, making myself a priority and taking good care of myself so I can better care for others have enabled me to focus more on the people in my life who truly matter, to let go of those things, people and even my old job that were not longer fulfilling me, and truly embrace the world and life around me.
How Much Weight Have You Lost? How Long Did It Take You To Lose It?
I've lost 112.2lbs over 16 months.
Advice and/or Words of Wisdom to Others Who Are Struggling?
It's not selfish to say, "I need to take care of me if I'm going to take care of you." Give yourself the gift of your own time, patience and effort. You so freely give them to those you love, and you are so worthy of these things yourself.
My Favorite Recipe Right Now Is:
Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, Arugula and Garlic Yogurt
- 1-½ pounds chicken thighs and drumsticks
- 1-¼ pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes, halved and cut into ½-inch slices
- 2-½ teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
- 2 tablespoons harissa (or use another thick hot sauce, such as sriracha)
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 4-½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
- 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest (from ½ lemon)
- ⅓ cup plain yogurt (do not use Greek yogurt)
- 1 small garlic clove
- 2 ounces baby arugula
- Chopped fresh dill, as needed
- Lemon juice, as needed
See complete recipe for Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, Arugula and Garlic Yogurt
Follow Alexis on her website: www.cardioforcosmos.com
Follow Alexis on Facebook: www.facebook.com/tradingcardioforcosmos
Follow Alexis on Instagram: www.instagram.com/tradingcardioforcosmos
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