Transformation of the Day: Tamara lost 175 pounds by focusing on nutrition and exercise. After a visit to the ER due to leg swelling, she decided to do something about her high blood pressure and reduce her risk for stroke. She was also determined not to take insulin for diabetes. In the interview, she shared with us how she changed her daily habits and transformed her life.
I lost 175 pounds. I started this weight loss journey nine years ago at my highest weight of 387 pounds. I had many ups and downs along the way, but I never gave up. I currently weigh 212 pounds.
What was your motivation? What inspired you to keep going, even when you wanted to give up?
I watched my Mom struggle with weight before God took her to glory. I got real when I went to the ER for leg swelling, and the nurse said, “You’re too pretty to die, but you’re a stroke waiting to happen with the swelling and your high blood pressure.”
I did not want to take high blood pressure pills or be on insulin for diabetes. I told the doctor to give me four months to make a change, and if I fail, I will get on the medication. Making that decision on August 28, 2012, has helped save/change my life forever. Today I do not have high blood pressure or diabetes.
How did you change your eating habits?
I made several changes to my eating habits. I stopped eating a lot of processed, sugary, and high-carb foods. I also don’t drink sugary drinks (sodas and juice) or eat fried or fast foods. I stay within 1,200-1,400 calories a day.
I added more veggies to my diet, like broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, greens, etc. I use portion control by eating one portion of meat for protein, one starch, and one veggie for my meals. The meat is usually 6 ounces, and my starch and veggies are 1 cup each. I eat a lot of salads as well.
What did your workout routine consist of? How often did you work out?
I work out hard five days a week for 2-2.5 hours, Monday thru Friday. My workout routine consists of hiking, walking, HIIT cardio, weight lifting, strengthening, conditioning, and core training.
What is your height?
I am 5’5″.
When did you start your journey? How long did your transformation take?
I started nine years ago at my highest weight ever (387 lbs.) I lost the most weight during the last three years. I was stuck in the 280s for a long time (about two years). Then I had to change my routine up because my body started getting used to my workouts.
Is weight loss surgery part of your journey?
I have never had weight loss surgery. All of my weight loss is the result of diet and exercise.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
The biggest thing I have learned on this journey is that losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are lifetime commitments. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication. You will have ups and downs but just keep on moving.
I learned we all have different body types, so my workout may not be suitable for the next person. I also learned I had to work on my inside (self-esteem, self-perception, and self-love) so the outside would reflect it.
What advice would you like to share with women who want to lose weight?
Just take it one step at a time. Ask yourself why you want to lose weight. Are you doing it for health reasons or because of low self-esteem or body image? How do you think the world sees you?