RHONDA’S WEIGHT LOSS SUCCESS STORY: Lose 95lbs in total, and also compete in a fitness competition
Tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Rhonda, I’ve been married to the same man of my dreams for over 18 years. I’m a military spouse, mother to 4 beautiful girls and we currently live in Las Vegas, NV. We hope to finally put down roots and retire here next fall. I’m mainly a stay-at-home mom/taxi driver/homework help etc etc… but I do work part-time as a Personal Care Assistant with Elderly, providing help in their homes as they need it.
How much weight have you lost in what period of time?
I’ve lost, at the most, 95lbs. The first 75 came off rather quickly, within 6 months. The remainder have been harder because I have also added weight training to my routine. I’d recommend weights to EVERY woman!!! You won’t bulk up, but feeling strong leads to more self-confidence. I was 260 at my highest, but 165 at my lowest this summer while training for a fitness competition.
I am in non-competition mode at the moment, although I do want to start training again for a show in the spring.
If I had to put a number on a goal, it would be within the 140-150 range, but I have changed my attitude about the scale and now I focus on what I see in the mirror every day. That change in mindset has been liberating. I’m currently at 183 and working towards lowering my body fat percentage. This journey has taken me 2 years of hard work, but I don’t regret a moment of it!
What was the “turning point” at which you decided that you had to change your lifestyle for better?
That moment came in March of 2012. After the birth of our 4th daughter, I knew I could no longer use having children as an excuse. In March of 2012, I was in the severe car accident that left my SUV totaled and me pretty beat up from the airbag. Luckily the two youngest and the dog escaped unharmed, but I had multiple fractures in my right hand. The breaks require surgery and a 6 week cast. During this time I hit rock bottom. I wouldn’t even workout because of the pins in my fingers and the cast. I was to do basic things without help.
At this point, my husband had started a new meal plan schedule in preparation for summer. I figured if I wouldn’t do all the exercises (I still did what I could) I could at least do the meal planning portion and see what happens. Within the first week of changing our diet, we were hooked!!! Who knew changing from processed foods and too much red meat would have such a shocking effect! There are definitely times when we eat out or have pizza, but we stay on point as much as possible
What lifestyle changes have you adopted to help you with the weight loss?
I stopped looking at myself as a failure. For all of my adult life I was overweight. I started looking at food differently. Food is fuel, yes sometimes it’s tastes like heaven LOL, but it fuels the machine. A machine I was to hone and tweak every day. WE don’t talk about dieting in our house. I have 4 impressionable girls at home who watch me do cardio work outs, see me throw on my gloves to go lift in the gym or in the garage.
These young minds are being shaped by the examples I am showing them daily. I have changed my lifestyle to revolve around health and being there for my family for as long as I possibly can. With more energy, I am able to have more fun with them and my husband. Happy Family, Happy Wife, Happy Husband and Happy me!
Which habit do you think had the biggest impact on your weight loss?
My mindset!!! WE are our own worst enemies. You can have just 1 cookie, you worked so hard. You can skip cardio today because you’re sore. No one will notice if you skimp out on effort. Things like this pop up and I push them away! I will notice if I ate too much of a treat or skipped the gym or didn’t give a workout my 100% effort. When I was able to change my thinking about how I was changing my body, everything else fell into place.
I still have days (sometimes weeks) where I feel down and unmotivated.These times suck, but I eventually drag myself out of my own self loathing and get back on track! The key is to keep pushing forward. Some days you can only manage a step, other days it’s a mile. Every step forward is a step towards a better you! Even the greatest stumble and fall sometimes. The difference is, they get back up and get back at it!!!
Did you experience any weight loss plateaus and lack of motivation to continue? How did you overcome them?
I touched on this in the above section. I am pulling myself out of a cycle right this moment. I put positive energy out there and KNOW I can get back on track. Plateaus are a common theme when trying to lose weight or even gain muscle mass. The key is to always vary your routine. When I stop seeing the Body Fat % decrease, I mix up a little more cardio or cut back on the dairy. Little changes will add to big things!
Have faith and rely on your partners in this journey! So many of us are going through the same exact things. Ask for help, don’t be shy! If someone can’t offer you honest advice, move on to the next person. We are all different, so the same thing doesn’t work for us all. They say that variety is the spice of life…. spice it up!
What were your top 3 dieting rules that helped you through the journey?
1. I don’t believe in “diets”. I meal plan. Diets signify an end to a program. My goals are ever changing. My meal plans are ever evolving.
2. Drink lots of water and eat less pre packaged food. Cook more. We’re all pressed for time, but the action of cooking a meal is soothing. It brings the family together, gives you the opportunity to try new things and usually it’s healthier than McDonald’s LOL!
3. Eat often. Small meals, usually lunch or breakfast being the biggest meals. Snack in between on proteins like almonds or tuna. I think a little protein with every meal is a GREAT thing!
What types of food did you end up removing from your diet and which ones did you introduce?
I’m such a picky eater! I took out dairy and red meats for a very long time. I’m now allowing those foods back into my diet on rare occasions. I started trying all sorts of new veggies, nuts, rediscovered the sweetness in fruits when I cut out processed sugars for a while. I stepped outside of my comfort zone with foods.
What would be one message of encouragement and motivation to others who want to start a healthier lifestyle?
You CAN do it. You ARE WORTH it.
People will start to become jealous when you succeed… do not let them get you down. Sometimes it’s your own family (true story). Keep the faith in your abilities and so not stop! Keep going because your life does depends on it and every drop of sweat, every step taken will lead you to a healthy you. When you look back months from now, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t started earlier!!!
TIPS for SUCCESS!!! *Only weigh in once a week… the scale can lie and our bodies fluctuate daily. Weight once a week at the same time * Take measurements. You may not like the first set of numbers, but as they go down, you’ll be jumping for joy! Plus, measurements show what the scale can not! Measure Chest (under boob for gals), smallest part of waist, belly button line, hips, each thigh spate, each calf, knees and biceps! TRUST ME!!! Keep the numbers in a notebook for you! Once a month re-measure.
Set small goals and once you reach one, immediately set another!
If you would like to contact Rhonda directly and/or follow her amazing journey, you can do so via her Facebook page
I look forward to writing and sharing many more weight loss success stories. If you know of someone whose story should be heard, please do get in touch with me.
About the Author: Anna Lishman
I’m a Certified Nutrition & Wellness Consultant. I love blogging about healthy (dairy & egg free) recipes, nutrition, weight loss, success stories and a healthy lifestyle. My goal is to motivate you to take care of yourself and get you on a path to a much healthier YOU.