Transformation of the Day: Ciara lost 90 pounds. She was tired of having unhealthy eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle. Finding out that she was prediabetic and had stage 2 hypertension was a game-changer. She decided to take steps to get her health back on track, like working with a nutritionist, exercising, and having VSG surgery.
What was your motivation? What inspired you to keep going, even when you wanted to give up?
I had always struggled with being overweight, and the struggle worsened during my college years. A poor diet along with a sedentary lifestyle led to creeping obesity. It was hard for me to stop.
I got motivated when my primary care doctor told me I was prediabetic and my blood pressure was very high. (I had stage 2 hypertension.) She opened my awareness to the dietary and lifestyle changes I needed to make. My plan was to see how much weight I could lose in 6 months and, if so, consider a surgery-assisted lifestyle change to get my health back on track. She told me I would be a great candidate for VSG (sleeve gastrectomy weight loss surgery).
How did you change your eating habits?
I met a nutritionist who introduced me to high-protein, low-carb dieting. I started small by adjusting my portion sizes and eating on saucers or small child-size bowls. I knew I was overeating before, and I am also an emotional eater. So I started practicing meditation, journaling, and seeking a therapist to help me find healthier coping techniques for stress-induced eating. I would stick with lean chicken, protein shakes, and greek yogurt and chose nuts over potato chips when it came to snacking.
I would also use a food app called LoseIt that let me know how many calories I was consuming. I eventually transitioned to OMAD, which is one meal a day, with two protein shakes in between. My goal was to get in 60 to 80 grams of protein daily, and making a shake in the morning was a huge help in accomplishing that goal and maintaining weight loss.
What is your workout routine?
I love doing dance fitness, so I tried Zumba and would watch And8 Fitness and The Fitness Marshall videos on YouTube. Eventually, I started doing military-style workouts about nine months post-op. I would get up at 5 am and do pushups, sit-ups, burpees, high knees, planks, etc. Then, I would jump rope for about 20 minutes to a bomb playlist for cardio! I committed to 3 days a week to start and eventually increased to 5 days a week.
How often did you work out?
I work out 3 to 5 times a week for 30 minutes to an hour each session at my home gym.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
My starting weight was 260 pounds. My current weight is 170 pounds.
What is your height?
I am 5’4″.
When did you start your journey? How long did your transformation take?
I started this journey in March 2017. On September 11, 2018, I had gastric sleeve surgery after losing 30 lbs from dietary and lifestyle changes. I committed to myself, my doctor, and my nutritionist to prove I could sustain the pre-surgery diet required for sleeve patients.
I am four years out and have only regained 10 lbs of muscle. I got a tummy tuck to remove loose skin in September 2021. After losing 103 pounds total, that skin had to be surgically cut off. I regret nothing!
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
I learned to stop paying so much attention to the scale vs. how I feel in my flesh. As a result, my temple feels stronger than it ever did in my 20s. I know for a fact that I am in a much better place mentally, physically, and spiritually.
I wanted to prepare myself for what I pray for, which is a healthy and happy life, and hopefully, meet a partner who could help me stay on that path. I knew that if I was unhappy at 260 lbs, I could not expect a partner to accept it fully. Confidence and consistency go a long way, and this helped me feel more secure in my day-to-day life. I graduated from college two months after I had surgery.
What advice do you have for women who want to lose weight?
Get to your why. Identify the reason you need to commit to a healthier lifestyle. Whether it is to shop for better clothes, more serious matters like weight-related illnesses, or being healthier for your partner, children, and yourself, you can use your why as fuel to get back on track on the hard days. Thank you for listening to my story.
My social media is @glamgoddess1212 on Instagram and glamgoddess12 on TikTok.