With just a little bit of motivation and a drive to do it, anybody can lose weight, and almost anybody can lose a ton of it! Of course, weight loss doesn’t come easy; as I’m sure a lot of you know, it takes dedication and time before any major changes can occur. But when they do, not only will they improve your appearance, but also improve your confidence!
If you’re lacking a little bit of confidence or, perhaps motivation, who do you have to look up to? Enter Andrea Barlow.
32-year-old Andrea Barlow has performed the incredible feat of losing around 217 lbs. She used to weigh 375 lbs, but after an extensive weight loss program and radical changes to her diet, she’s now at a much healthier 158 pounds. This is her full story, and what she did to completely turn her life around.
“Before starting this journey, I battled weight issues my entire life. I tried to establish healthier habits through programs like Weight Watchers but had no luck. Things worsened when I became pregnant in 2014 and started experiencing thyroid issues. Over the course of that pregnancy, I gained 125 pounds. When I had my daughter that September, I was my heaviest at 375 pounds.” Andrea said.
I struggled through some of the simplest parts of life. I couldn’t fit behind the steering wheel of our car, so we had to buy a new one. I had to take breaks going up just two flights of steps. Getting dressed was a chore, especially when it came to footwear. I couldn’t tie my own shoes, so I ended up wearing Crocs all the time because they were easy to slip on. During this time, I was severely depressed,” the young mother added.
It all began with the smaller changes
“I felt miserable and trapped. Over time, it started to seem as though ending my life would be easier than changing it. The day before I decided to make a change, I had a nervous breakdown after getting on the scale in my bathroom. It was paralyzing. But then I heard my daughter cry and that was a sign that told me to stay and fight to change my life. After that day, I chose to do something for myself. Every choice I made from that point on has moved me away from that day in the bathroom,” she revealed.
After that, it was time to change her food intake, and subsequently, her diet.
“The first decision I made in this process was ordering Beachbody’s 21 Day Fix program. The meal plan portion of the program taught me how to eat food the correct way. The color-coded containers each represent a different food group (like greens, fruit, carbs) and are sized in correlation to those foods’ proper portion. The container set size is based on your weight and goals. This plan taught me to remove unhealthy foods from my diet and replace them with healthier options. For example, Friday night is pizza night at my house. Instead of ordering from the pizzeria, I make a wheat or cauliflower-based crust, which makes a big difference. Before this program, I didn’t realize that some foods are more nutritionally dense than others.
I like to keep my meals simple, and I’ve stuck to the 21 Day Fix’s rules for the most part. Breakfast is always an omelet with sautéed veggies and toasted Ezekiel grain bread. For a morning snack, my favorite go-to is Greek yogurt with pineapple, chia seeds, and cinnamon. Lunch is a big salad with shredded chicken or roasted turkey, vegetables, and balsamic dressing. An afternoon snack is usually carrots and hummus with some almonds. Dinner is where I incorporate more variation. It could be whole-grain spaghetti or grilled turkey burgers, or chicken.
The biggest changes I’ve made to my diet is that I no longer eat red meat, pork, or dairy. When I tried to begin incorporating these back into my diet after the 21 Day Fix, I started to experience a lot of inflammation and rashes, so now I know that they’re a trigger for me.”
I don’t know about you, but I would consider this a successful weight loss story. Tempted to try and lose the extra pounds now? Have a story similar to this to share? We would love to hear it so why not post it in the comments?