The following is an interview with an amazing Belle student named Amanda. Amanda has lost 40 lbs in 5 months doing two Core Fusion classes per week and making powerful changes with her nutrition. She is stronger, leaner and more confident than ever.
We are so thrilled with her progress and hope this interview may inspire others to truly evolve their life and reach for the stars, whatever their goal may be!
Amanda’s Before: 190 lbs (Size 14-16)
Amanda’s After: 150 lbs (Size 6-8)
Tell us Amanda, what was the catalyst for making this big change?
For sure! I was definitely ready for change and was tired of being unhappy with my weight. We did a Biggest Loser competition at work and that really started it. I had gotten a new job with a new routine so it was an opportunity to start fresh. I realize now that I’m very socially motivated so doing this with other people was key for me.
Why do you think diets failed in the past?
I never really committed to making a lifestyle change before. I would cut out certain foods but never stuck to a plan. It wasn’t a lifestyle change all the way. I would find excuses about being too busy, too tired etc. One of my blocks was not being organized – I was not prepared in the past. I was also an emotional eater. I needed to change how I thought about food.
How has your relationship to food changed over this process?
Education! I’ve finally learned what my body needs to function. I’m more in tune with my body’s signals and understand what I should be eating. Food was more of an activity in the past – if I was bored or wanted comfort. Now food is still very enjoyable but it’s more about whole ingredients – fuel and nutrition. What’s going to give me energy and make me feel my best? I now understand how to meal plan to avoid hunger. It comes back to being prepared.
I feel like if you really commit you can find alternatives for your “cheat foods.” For instance I’ll have Greek yogurt with fruit versus ice cream. But I still see that cupcake and think “that’s delicious,” and I give myself opportunities to cheat for special occasions. Giving myself permission to eat that food in the future actually makes the craving go away. Usually 9 times of 10 the craving has passed by the time “cheat time” has arrived. I think your taste buds start to need less sugar!
How much do you credit exercise to your success?
A lot! Core Fusion Pilates is fun, and I see results! Feeling stronger after class is a big motivator to keep going. Finding the right exercise was key. It has to be something I enjoy. I tried to be a runner – hated it. I felt uncoordinated in other group fitness classes and it was very un-motivating. If I lost weight in the past it was losing fat but never gaining muscle so my metabolism never sped up. Feeling stronger makes me want to be more active in general – moving around more biking and walking.
How are you going to maintain this, what makes this time different?
It’s been a real lifestyle change! I have learned so much about nutrition and have changed the way I think about food. I’ve found a fitness program I love – something I want to do and actually enjoy! Never had that before.
What advice would you give to other women looking to lose weight and transform their life?
1) Plan ahead. Try to make your own meals as much as possible. Get into a routine. Think of food as fuel.
2) Find an exercise program you love and can get excited about.
3) Figure out what motivates you. I am socially motivated so the competition at work was key. I needed to be accountable to others.
4) Harness other changes in your life. I had a new job and used it as an opportunity to start a new routine.
Here’s a look at Amanda’s typical diet before and after her transformation
Half the time you don’t need much dressing if you put enough awesome stuff in your salad (fruit, avocado, hummus – anything goes). I love my “kitchen sink” salad.
|Breakfast||Skipped breakfast||Green smoothies, fresh fruit|
|Lunch||Subway, other fast food near work||Salad with lean protein (often dinner left overs on top of greens)|
|Snack||Chips, Chocolate, cereal||Raw nuts, fruit, veggies/hummus|
|Dinner||Frozen pizza, perogies, canned stuff, quesadillas||Veggies and protein, curries, stir fries, homemade soups|