Transformation of the Day: Leah lost 102 pounds. She had with high blood pressure, diabetes and sleep apnea that required a CPAP machine. Being a healthy, happy mom for her young child is her motivation so she used healthy food and exercise to change her life.
Facebook: Leah Iesha
What was your motivation? What inspired you to keep going, even when you wanted to give up?
I had many reasons to be motivated, but the one that stands out the most was that I just wanted to FEEL better! In November 2021, I went to the doctor for my annual physical, and he gave it to me straight, no chaser! I was 305 lbs with high blood pressure, diabetes, and on a CPAP machine for a terrible case of sleep apnea.
My doctor told me that if I didn’t change my ways quickly, I wouldn’t make it to 50. I felt like I wouldn’t make it to 40, and I had a ten-month-old baby who deserved a great Mommy. I just wanted to FEEL better and stop hurting. I was 36 years old and in chronic pain.
There have been many times I’ve felt like giving up! But, what kept me going were thoughts of what my daughter’s life would be like without me around and what kind of mom my daughter would describe me as if I chose to stay at 305 pounds. Would I be able to chase her, flip with her, and play horsey? She deserves those experiences and memories and that made my effort to lose weight worth it.
How did you change your eating habits?
My eating changed A TON! I went from literally eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted to a high (lean protein), low carb, water-filled lifestyle. I was committed to this lifestyle with very few “cheat days.” In 10 months, I “cheated” about three times (with Twizzlers, jolly ranchers, and sherbert).
What is your workout routine?
When I first started exercising, all I did was walk on the treadmill. Then, I worked on the elliptical for a while. Nothing beyond that until month 7 of my journey when I began strength training.
How often did you work out?
When I started, my workout routine consisted of walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Then, about seven months ago, I incorporated strength training, which was a GAME CHANGER! I strength train four days a week and do cardio two days a week.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
My starting weight was 305 pounds. My current weight is 203 pounds.
What is your height?
I am 5’11”.
When did you start your journey? How long did your transformation take?
I committed to living healthier on January 1, 2022, and I’ve been working all year, so I’m ten months into my journey. I’ve averaged 10 lbs a month in weight loss.
Is weight loss surgery part of your journey?
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is that discipline works, but only if you work it! I had to get rid of the excuses and the promises to “start tomorrow.” I had to START NOW and deny my flesh because giving it all it wanted landed me at 305 lbs with a ton of health issues!
I learned that I CAN DO hard things and am powerful enough to take charge of my life and health. When I weighed 305 lbs, I took metformin for diabetes, blood pressure medication, wore a CPAP machine to sleep each night, and stayed with a yeast infection! Now, I don’t take ANY medication except for my daily vitamin and no longer need the CPAP. Eat that, Satan! Ha!
What advice do you have for women who want to lose weight?
My advice for women who want to lose weight is: Acknowledge where you are, identify what habits got you there, forgive yourself, and JUST START!
You don’t have to change everything at once. Start by cutting out fast food and cooking at home. Add 30 minutes of walking to your day and drink 64 oz of water. Whatever changes you make, just be consistent! I averaged 2.5 lbs of weight loss per week and 10 lbs per month. It was not a fast process, but it was a steady one.