By: Peter Nguyen
One of the most inspiring things people look forward to when trying to lose weight are real results, real stories and from real people. This story was probably my first and best heart felt story I can ever share to our Healthy Chew readers and fitness community.
LaQuita and I have been bestfriends since we were kids. Growing up from the same home town, attending and graduating from the same college, and still today remain close, we were and still are inseparable. After she gave birth to my beautiful first god daughter in 2015, like most women, LaQuita struggled with her postpartum image. She gained over 70lbs after the pregnancy and was weighing a total of 240lbs at 5'3". During that time, managing a full time profession, building up her private practice, and being a new mother and wife took a toll on her.
The LaQuita I know is a strong intelligent woman who has worked hard her entire life. From high school honor student, valedictorian and graduating both with her bachelors and masters degree within four years, recognized nationally as one of the "top young black successful graduates," and earning her LCSW (highest license in social work/therapy) one year after her graduation, LaQuita is a force to be reckoned with. With so much determination and making a decision to take care of herself, she finally had the courage to reach out to me as I was just building Healthy Chew and actually sharing my own success story and struggle with losing weight.
In 2016, we agreed to a "life change" plan- a plan I still implement for many individuals till this day. During this time, I placed her on my successful lean fix program. The lean fix program is a guideline food portion meal plan that was made only to help people lose weight. The food portions and macros that were tested to other individuals before this had many success as each individual had the correct and precise amount of protein, carbs and fat. She was not to have any sweets, bread, high fat and alcohol. I did however agreed for her to have one cheat moment (NOT CHEAT DAY) as a reward for her hard work. Following my coach April Johnson's footsteps, she was also assigned a workout program called "Insanity Max: 20," an intense and focus program by Beachbody, guaranteed to give you results with 20 minute workouts a day. She complained sometimes about not having energy and motivation before the workouts. I then assigned her to another Beachbody product called E and E pre workout drink (BB discontinued it) that gave her all the energy she needed to successfully pull through each round of the program. I had also assigned her the modification part of the program as she had one bad leg- that did not stop her.
Over 2-3 months later, she lost 45lbs. Another 3 months later, she lost another 25lbs making it a total of 70lbs lost! However, like most people, she began to take for granted her results as she was breaking back into her bad eating habits like sweets and bread. Like the caring person I am, I did bring this up to her as this was the "Vacation Phase" where people get too relaxed and decide to take a vacation and jump immediately back to bad eating habits. Over 2 months later, she gained over 22lbs. Realizing this and remembering why she started this journey, she decided to return back on her meal and workout program full force. At that moment, she made commitment to herself to not go back and to keep off the weight. Within months she lost the 22lbs she gained and more.
The next step was getting pass the "Plateau Phase." This is probably the biggest problem most women I have worked with have. The plateau phase can be discouraging as individuals start noticing no results. The education behind this phase is that everyone's body is different. This phase can last between 4-6 weeks. At one point LaQuita wanted to give up as she was working so hard on eating healthier and working out. Then a miracle happened. 4 weeks in her plateau phase and as soon as she was going to quit, the weight started falling off dramatically. She was losing 2-3lbs a week.
Starting in January 2016 and ending in January 2017, she reported that she lost over 100lbs. From 240lbs to 140lbs, she made it pass one of the hardest phases of her life. Till this day, she continues to practice her healthy eating and fitness lifestyle. She has gained more energy and more motivation. Most importantly, she gained her confidence back. She also gained a following and continues to be a positive role model for many women dealing with self-image and weight loss problems. She hopes to open her own fitness studio one day.
We all go through many different phases in life with many different scenarios. Some difficult than other, and some just out of our hands. If you are tired of feeling sorry for yourself, being depressed, experiencing lost of confidence and self-image, not loving your body, pains of being over weight, then I encourage just like LaQuita to make the change now. I hope one day, and one day soon that you build up the courage and make the decision to take care of yourself today! It is not going to be easy but "Rome was not built in one day." Take each small step necessary to becoming a better you.