#bern200 – Moving The Weight: Raina Has Lost 61.5 Pounds So Far On Her Journey

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It took me a long time to get the strength and courage to make the changes essential to live a healthier life. I consider myself very fortunate to personally know a handful of people that decided to take control of their health. ‘Moving The Weight’ is a series that will feature success stories from friends that have motivated me on my weight loss journey.

Name: Raina Wolford
Age: 29
Height: 5’8″
Before Weight: on August 15,2013 I weighed 292 lbs
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How I gained it: I’ve been overweight my entire life, from early childhood up until now. I’ve essentially never known myself outside of being overweight.
Breaking Point: I started noticing health complications this year, and my moods were very erratic so I went to the Doctor on August 15, was told my blood sugar was 226 and that I was diabetic. Although I should not have felt shocked because diabetes runs in my family and I was significantly overweight, I was. I vowed that day after picking up my newly prescribed diabetes medication that I would not let MYSELF be my downfall anymore, I would step out of my comfort zone (which in a weird way, was my weight and food) and create a quality life for myself.
How I lost it: When I used to think about if I ever decided to really do something about my weight I always told myself I wanted to do it naturally, no gimmicks or energy pills or diet pills. I knew that by doing it naturally and through my own hard work and determination I would be able to take FULL credit for my transformation. That’s exactly what I did and continue to do. For the first 2 months I was extremely strict on what I consumed. Staying away from rice, white bread, pork, and red meats. I also stopped drinking alcohol, wine, and soda. I only drink water and coffee. I made my meals smaller portions but more frequently and I did 1 1/2 to 2 hours of cardio a day. Within 6 weeks I dropped 30 pounds and felt amazing. I began to ease up on myself after 2 months and incorporated wild and brown rice as an occasional add on in my meals, still refraining from white bread, white rice, and alcohols or sodas. For some strange reason I began craving peanut butter lol so I would request myself once a week or every other week by spreading some on a gluten free waffle and topping it with bananas and sugar free syrup. YUM! 🙂 My usual go to for breakfast is egg whites with plenty of veggies, like mushrooms, onions spinach etc, and turkey sausage. I also eat steel cut stove top oatmeal several times a week, with sliced bananas for added flavor and texture. My most important meal in my opinion is what I put into my body at the very beginning of the day. It sets the tone for the rest of my day. Now when it comes to working out, after the first 2 months I decreased the lengths of my cardio, but not frequency. I still go twice a day 4-5 times a week, but for a total of 1-1 1/2 hrs. I also started weights. I’m a firm believer that I have no goal. This is a lifestyle change for me, I have no desire to kill myself in the gym and over work my body so that I can go back to eating bad and not working out once I get to a goal. I feel like that’s setting yourself up for failure in the end. I leave the gym feeling happy, strong, and refreshed! Of course there are days when I don’t want to go but I always talk myself into it because I KNOW once I hit those machines I’m all in and motivated once again. I have back problems, diagnosed with mild scoliosis when I was in my early 20s, also knee problems but I have noticed my knees are getting stronger and my back hurts much less now. I am hoping to begin jogging and running in the near future! Progress is everything!
Current weight: As of 11/27/2013 I weigh 230.5 lbs
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GOAL: as I said before I really don’t have a specific goal. My goal is to not have to take diabetes medication for the rest of my life and to FEEL great in my body, which I get closer to daily!
The hardest part about losing weight is: the physical part of losing weight (exercising and eating healthy) isn’t really the struggle for me… The hardest part is fear of being a new me. Let me explain. Although there were definitely times throughout my life that I certainly was not happy with my looks or my weight, those pounds comforted me. That food gave me instant gratification, comfort and temporary satisfaction. Losing weight has changed me physically but MOSTLY, mentally. I feel as if detoxing my body has detoxified my mind. These are ALL positive changes but when someone feels uncomfortable or stressed, it’s a natural human reaction to want to retreat back into their comfort zone and for me that is fat and food! In the past I dealt with stress, unhappiness, and fear of change by going for what was comfortable and familiar. Now I have been conditioning myself to change those comforts and make a new safe haven for myself. Going to the gym is much more to me than cardio time. I am now comforted by my heart beating fast, my arms and legs rushing back and forth and my rhythmic breathing. If I’m struggling mentally with something entering the gym, you can bet that upon exiting the gym my mind is much clearer. I’m saying all this to say, the hardest part for me losing weight is continuing to make this new me, my comfort zone. Every day I feel more confident and stronger, so I am well on my way.
My advice to those trying to lose weight: DO NOT BURN YOURSELF OUT! Work hard, but make it fun, don’t make it feel like “work”. Take plenty of progress pictures, it will keep you motivated! Don’t obsess over your scale weight! As you work out and tone up you will gain muscles, which weighs more than fat, also your weight will distribute more proportionally so scale weight is only a PART of your result! Give yourself plenty of variety when it comes to eating so that you continue to make healthier choices. If I know I’m going to spend several hours away from home I pack food to go! Most importantly, look at it as a lifestyle change, not a quick fix! Good luck and let’s do work!

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