Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Busy College Students Take on Weight Loss

Shae is a junior at Stephen F. Austin State University, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Biology aspiring to become an M.D. in Gynecology. She loves dancing, reading, and hair. Below is my interview with Shae about her journey.

BWWO: Shae, Congrats on your weight loss. What an accomplishment to lose 75 lbs! Not only did you avoid the "freshman 15" but lost more on top of that! At what point did you get serious about your overall health?

Shae: I became serious about my overall health last September when I realized I got up to 230lbs. I've always been a "big girl" but being at the weight made me morbidly obese for my 5'3 frame. I was in total denial because I've always been active (I'm actually a dancer) but my eating habits just weren't up to par. It was definitely time to make changes!

BWWO: As a college student, do take advantage of gym at your university? Do you find it more motivating to workout with your friends or group classes or just by yourself?

Shae: Of course, I do. The gym on my campus is absolutely amazing, they have EVERYTHING! But if there's one thing I've learned about motivation in weight loss and exercising, is I have to motivate myself because the friends will bail out, lol.

BWWO: What are some of things you do in the form of exercise? What types of cardio and strength training activities do you enjoy most?

Shae: I love to do kickboxing, dancing, and HIIT training for my cardio. For strength training, I use a lot of elements that I learned from this class offered at my university's gym called Body Sculpt, which includes training involving free weights, resistance bands, and the bosu ball.

BWWO: What has given you the most success? Counting calories, carbs, grams of fat or just portion control?

Shae: I would have to say portion control is the key. However, I do pay attention to the labels to get an idea of the calories, carbs, sodium and fat I'm taking in.

BWWO: Hair, yes I gotta ask you about your hair! What styles are currently wearing and how do you maintain it with your workout schedule?

Shae: Well I just took down my kinky I am wearing a twist out for now. I am a natural so I do love the freedom of sweating (I sweat a lot in my head) without having to worry about my edges. I like to alternate between weaves, wigs, and twists.

: What are your next fitness goals?

Shae: My next fitness goal will consist of mostly maintaining and toning. I love my size now but I still have some problem areas that I want to get into check (lower tummy and triceps)

BWWO: Cheating. Yes, we ALL do it. How do you handled your cravings for unhealthy foods and still get back on track? I remember when I was in college, somebody was always ordering pizza at 2am in the morning. lol...

Shae: I hear that, my roommates LOVE to bake and order take out all the time and that's when I have to lock myself in the room! In order to keep myself in check, I do have a cheat day. This day is essential in helping me stay on track and I don't feel so deprived. However, but once you get in the habit of eating healthier you really don't crave the junk as much.

BWWO: Motivation. What motivates you to live a healthier lifestyle? Or to even get through a workout. You know sometimes, its a struggle to even get to the gym. We gotta get focus for today's battle and think about the war tomorrow. lol...

Shae: What motivates me to live a healthier lifestyle is thinking about how much better off I'm going to be in the future. I look at some of the older members in my family who are suffering from diabetes, hypertension, etc, all the medication they're taking, and how they constantly express how they don't feel well. I don't want to be like that when I'm that age. It also helps that I can go into a store and fit the clothes LOL. But it is a struggle sometimes, but I always focus on the future benefits I'm going to get as a result of my hard work

BWWO: I always strive to keep my blog as real as possible. Setbacks and weight loss stalls are apart of EVERYONE'S journey. We are real women, with real lives. We have issues, take vacations and eat sinfully delicious food, and sometimes just get in a rut. Looking back, what did you learn during those times that may help us?

Shae: Well I'm still learning how to deal with stalls, stress, and life in general. What I've learned so far is if you mess up, its ok, everyone gets discouraged. I just dust myself off and try again...LOL. The true test is whether we decide to keep pushing forward. I've also learned that confidence is important. It starts from within. I just started looking in the mirror every morning before I get ready for my day and tell myself that I AM beautiful inside and out and that I am worthy. By reciting this every morning I began to believe and internalize it. Building my self -esteem and confidence also played a huge role in helping me keep going on with this journey.

: What some tips or things you would like to share with other ladies who are at the same point in their lives and wanting to make a change?

Shae: 1)Change starts from within. Getting fit and healthier is 40% physical and 60% mental. 2) Sitting around talking about how you want to get fit and fine with no action is a waste of time. I cannot stress this enough 3) Diets are temporary and you have to realize true weight loss is a journey, it takes time, and it will be a bumpy ride. 4) Begin slowly, for example try drinking water with every meal instead of juices or sodas for one week and build from that. You don't want to jump in head first because you will feel deprived and ultimately relapse.

Check out Shae’s transformation!