My name is Faith Sloop (@trainingforamazing), and I am 23 years old. I live in Cleveland, Ohio and am a content creator. Compete further Amazing race became my goal and motivation. That pushed me to start add more nutritious foods to your diet and run every week. I lost 190 pounds.
Against my current weight loss I have been counting calories, restricting and watching my weight on the trip for as long as I can remember. Growing up low-income and busy (I wanted to be at every club), cheap fast food was most of what was available and convenient.
All my life I have been in a constant diet cycle of restricting and eating. By 16, I had gained and lost the same 10 pounds what seemed like a million times. After a certain point, I stopped weighing myself.
I remember when I was a freshman in college, I weighed about 400 pounds. I was only 18 at the time and I was scared of what my health would be like if I continued down that path.
I was looking for motivation to recover for a while, but everything changed when in 2017 I got a summer job as a tour guide in my college’s admissions department.
We had a lot of free time and I decided it would be fun to binge watch a TV show. I opened the Hulu app on my phone and got a new show suggestion, Amazing race. There are 27 seasons available, so I slowly started to progress.
Everything has changed since that day. I knew right away that I would do everything in my power to make my dream of competing come true Amazing race. I also knew that at over 400 pounds and in the position I was in at the time, it would take a complete reinvention to make this dream a reality. I decided that day that I needed to get better so that I could be on the show one day. (My dream hasn’t come true yet, but it continues to motivate me!)
As someone who has been on a diet since childhood, the best thing I could do was go slow.
I never cut anything out of my diet (carbs, sugar, etc.). Instead, I focused on supplementing with healthy foods. Including more correctly food rather than eliminating “bad food” is what helped me.
Here’s what I eat a day now.
Breakfast: Superfood shake (apple, spinach, peanut butter powder, chia seeds, almond milk)
Lunch: Thai Shrimp Gyoza from Trader Joe’s, edamame, low-fat cheese, seasonal fruit
Snacks: Dried apricots, rice cakes, popcorn, peppers
Dinner: Spaghetti squash with meatballs, turkey burgers and cauliflower chunks, or heavy veggie bowls (brown rice, choice of meat, peppers, onions, pineapple)
Dessert: Beats Strawberry Popsicles, Enlightened Ice Cream, Rice Krispies Treats
I also started working out by walking on the treadmill at a slow pace while watching the series Amazing race.
That hour I set aside for myself at the gym was my escape from classes, assignments, and responsibilities. Exercise seems a bit more intense these days. I try to run or jog four days a week and hope to sign up for my first half marathon this summer!
I love the feeling of my body moving every day, whether it’s a YouTube dance workout (EMKFit is my absolute favorite) or on foot! I like to exercise at my own pace, so I do everything on my own, it’s always my choice.
I won’t lie – I joined running because I knew that if and when I dreamed of competing Amazing race will come true, running will be a pretty important skill. But I found love because I could move my body in ways I never could.
These three changes made my weight loss successful.
Slower. In the past, I always tried to speed up my weight loss by cutting out major food groups and restricting like crazy. It would work for a week, but then I would binge again. It wasn’t until I started changing my personality (I made exercise an important part of my life, learned what vegetables and fruits I like and included them in my daily diet) that everything changed. I always say to people who want to lose weight, “If you’re not ready to change your lifestyle and habits, you’re not ready to change.”
Listen to your body. Now I consider myself “intuitive eater“, which means I don’t necessarily stick to a set three-meal-a-day plan. Rather, I listen to my hunger cues. The way I snack, it’s helped curb so much of the crazy snacking I used to do. I call it “mouth boredom.” Sometimes if I haven’t been for a while after eating i would eat something just for the sake of it.but now i really listen to my body and ask what it needs.
Learn to love moving your body. I like to tell people who want to lose weight, “If you don’t like running, you can still lose weight and never run in your life.” Growing up in America, many of us learn to hate exercise because it is forced upon us. You can lose weight by dancing, swimming, kayaking, walking, and about a million other ways. Find something you love and do it!
I lost a little over 190 pounds and it took about 3.5 years.
People ask me all the time, “How do you stay motivated for so long?” And the truth is, I didn’t. What I made was to create habits that I continued even on days when I didn’t feel motivated. People think that losing weight has to be non-stop exercise and salads, and that’s simply not true.
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