Transformation of the Day: Carina lost 125+ pounds. Her relationship with food and pattern of yo-yo dieting felt like a toxic relationship she couldn’t break free from. To get a fresh start and overcome the depression that was consuming her, she decided to take a serious leap of faith. She moved to Atlanta to work with a trainer who helped her change her life.
My name is Carina, also known as “Ms.Virtual“! With the help of God, I have lost over 100 pounds virtually, and here’s how it all happened!
Back in 2016, I shared my story on Black Women Losing Weight. I explained how I went from 290 to 225 pounds in 7 months and how empowered and confident I felt. I had struggled with my weight my entire life, so this newfound confidence and strength was something I wasn’t used to. However, I liked the way it felt. That was until unforeseen circumstances kept occurring, and I quickly ran back to the coping mechanism I knew: Food!
From 2017 to 2019, I tried every yo-yo diet and detox known to man. I would start strong and be committed. Then, a few months into it, I would give up! I felt like I was in a toxic relationship that I didn’t know how to break free from. I lost all hope and made myself believe that maybe I was just meant to be this way, so I accepted that.
In January 2020, I got on the scale and realized that I weighed 295 pounds! I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT! I had mixed feelings. I was angry, disappointed, depressed, regretful, and hopeless.
The number on that scale affected me more than I thought it would. Depression took everything I had, which caused me to neglect my work duties and eventually led to an unexpected termination. At that moment, I realized that I had two options; keep emotionally eating or take the first flight to Atlanta to train with a man I had been following on Instagram for a little over a year and fight for my health! His name is Kory Philips (@IAmTheKingOfFitness) at Lovely Bodies! I chose my health!
This was a leap of faith. I knew no one in Atlanta. I had $1,000 in my savings to last me until I found a new job. My flight to Atlanta was $161, his training sessions were $320, the Airbnb was $300, and Ubers would vary between $40 to $60 a/day.
I had 16 days to spare, so, upon my arrival to Atlanta, I messaged Kory on Instagram and said, “Hey, I’m flying from Dallas to Atlanta for 16 days. I booked 32 sessions, and I plan to work out three times a day. This is my last resort! I’m ready to change my life, and this is step 1, so please, help me!”
On February 4th, 2020, at 5:50 am, I walked into his gym and began to give it my all! I worked out three times a day, followed his meal plan, drank his Fat Burner Smoothies, Metabolism Teas and, Meal Replacement Shakes from his in-house “Shake Sum Cafe!” Within my first 11 days, I was already 18 pounds down, which motivated me to keep attending class even when my body was too tired, my muscles were too sore, and my mind was determined to give up!
I used up every penny I had just to get the results I wanted until I was in the whole. I had four days left in Atlanta and not enough money to pay for an extension at the Airbnb and Uber. So, I had to make a tough decision. Have money for a ride to the gym and nowhere to sleep or somewhere to sleep but no ride to the gym.
I packed up my bags and made my way to Planet Fitness, where I slept in the showers, kept my belongings in multiple lockers, Ubered to the gym, worked out, then made my way back to Planet Fitness to shower and rest. I sometimes cried in those showers, but I was prepared to do whatever it took to FIGHT for a better “ME”!
On my last day of training, which was February 22nd, I stood in the mirror and could not recognize myself. I got on the scale, and I was 28 pounds down in 16 days! This was the beginning of HOPE! I attended my last session before catching my flight back to Dallas. I told Kory, “You’ve changed my life. This is the beginning of a new Carina!” His response was, “Continue to follow my meal plan, order teas and, keep training with me virtually! You could easily lose 100 pounds in 3 to 4 months at the rate you’re going!” At that moment, I knew my life had the potential never to be the same!
Upon my arrival in Dallas, I signed up for virtual sessions. I wasn’t sure if it would be the same but, I knew I wasn’t ready to give up on myself. So, I logged on to his LIVE sessions twice a day. I could see him, and he could see me. There were hundreds of other people logged like I was, but somehow he made me feel like I was the only person in the session! I fought through the pain, the sweat, the mess-ups, and the tears. I logged on when I had the energy and when I didn’t! I refused to let my emotions jeopardize my vision for my health and happiness.
After eight months of virtual training, nine months into my journey, lots of frustration with the scale, fighting my old eating habits, regrets when I overate… 9 months later, I was 100 pounds down!
Here I am today, almost two years into the fight to become the best version of ME. I’m 125+ pounds down, and I’ve gone from a size 3XL to a size S. I’m still logging onto his sessions, still fighting, and still picking myself up when I fall. I’m also still motivating others to fight for their happiness and health and take a leap of faith for themselves!
The world has significantly changed over the past year and a half. Unfortunately, feeling on edge about being in public places has become our “new normal.” However, that shouldn’t stop you from reaching your fitness goals. You have options! I would have never imagined losing over 100 pounds, especially on a virtual platform! But if I can do it, so can YOU! My journey isn’t over. It’s actually just getting started!
How did you change your eating habits? For the past almost two years, I have been a Pescatarian. Initially, this choice had nothing to do with weight loss. Instead, it was just a decision I had made to challenge myself, which ended up playing a huge role in my journey.
I have always had a sweet tooth, so limiting my sweets has been challenging for me. For the first six months of my journey, I had to build discipline, so I ate the exact same things every single day. Within six months of my journey, I was already 80 pounds down. At that moment, my trainer gave me a new realistic meal plan that included many of the foods I like as long as I stayed within the calorie count and I was burning more calories than I was eating. I have cut out soda and fried foods, and I limit my bread intake.
How many days a week did you work out after leaving Atlanta? – I worked out six days a week, twice a day.
- 1st- cardio session on my own
- 2nd/virtual training with my trainer or vice versa.
What is your current weight?
I got down to 160 pounds, and I currently weigh 170 pounds.
Is weight loss surgery part of your journey?
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
I learned that I can TRULY do all things through Christ who strengthens me! I learned that I DESERVE to be happy, and nothing will be handed to me! I have to work HARD for the things I want and if I can do THIS…..I can do ANYTHING!
What advice would you like to share with women who want to lose weight?
There’s no elevator for this journey. You have to take the stairs! Be realistic about your goals and no matter how many times you fail, never give up! GET UP AND KEEP GOING! Pray for strength, and God WILL give it to you! Extend yourself some grace and be your OWN body goals!
Fight for your “WHY”! That will keep you dedicated when motivation lacks because there will be days where you have NO motivation. Your “WHY” will keep you going!