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WEIGHT LOSS WARRIORS

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Happy 2016! I’m so excited to see what’s in store for all of us in this New Year. I love a fresh start and the chance to do things a little differently. I’ve made my resolutions, some new, some that I didn’t get to in 2015. The one that’s always at the top of the list though is you guessed it….Weight Loss.

Each New Year I look forward to People Magazine’s Half Their Size cover and article. It always intrigues and inspires me how these everyday people have lost so much weight. The cover usually reads No Surgery! No Gimmicks! Real People! Real Success!

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For the majority of my adult life weight has been my Achilles’ heel. It’s the one thing I really, truly struggle with. When the magazine comes in the mail I always dream that this will be the year that I conquer my weight for good. Heck, maybe make it on that cover myself!

Naturally, I am very impressed when someone I know personally commits to a diet and exercise program and achieves major weight loss success.

Amazingly 3 of my friends and former co-workers have done just that, in a relatively short period of time. I’ve seen them shrink before my very eyes at work and on social media, proudly declaring their victories. I just had to know details on HOW they did it!

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Read more about Walker, Whitney and Tamara.

WALKER

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I met Walker 12 years ago when we were both news producers at WOAI-TV here in San Antonio. He has since moved to Houston with his wife and daughter and is producing the news there. While he is busy working, and also being a husband and father, he has managed to lose over 100 pounds! Walker says he was 293 pounds at his heaviest and 188 pounds at his lowest. He currently weighs 198 pounds. How did he do it? I asked him…

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In Walker’s words:

What made you decide to go on this weight loss and fitness journey?

My wife, Casey, and daughter, Darrah, made me decide to go on my weight loss journey. Casey was in a nutrition class at school and they were tracking their food through myfitnesspal as a class project. She suggested I do it too. We’d both put on even more weight after Darrah came. So, we needed to make a change. It really kept me accountable. I really needed that. I also never realized the sheer amount of calories I was taking in. It was a real eye-opener. I want to be around to see my daughter grow up. So, I needed to stick with it.

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How did you achieve your goals?

I achieved my goals through diet and exercise. I watched my calories with the myfitnesspal app. I lost 25 pounds before I even started exercising. I used to exercise all the time, but my diet was terrible. I’d eat fast food all the time. I learned I can still have those things, but I need to be smart about it and stick with my calorie budget. Then, I started running. First it was a mile, then I worked my way up to two. I ran my first 5k in January 2014, and my first 10k in March 2014. I finished my first half marathon in January 2015. The running really helped the weight just fall off.

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What is your current exercise & diet routine?

My current diet routine is the same. I track my calories. I use myfitnesspal to keep tabs on what I eat. I also have a Fitbit. I like it, but I think when it comes to calorie counting, it’s sort of a novelty. I’m training for the Houston half again this year. So, I run between 4 and 5 times a week. So, I’m a little more lax with my eating because I’m running so much. During training, I can run up to 40 miles a week. When I’m not training, I cut the running down to 3 to 4 times a week, and the mileage back to 10 to 15 miles a week. I still eat carbs. I still eat sugar. I probably shouldn’t, but I operate on the idea of more calories out than the calories I put in.

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Advice for other’s wanting to lose a significant amount of weight:

My advice is simple, “Remember, weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint.” Changes aren’t going to happen overnight. So, if you are looking for a quick fix, it’s not going to happen like you want it. Also, you are going to experience failure, but you have to stick with it. So what if you had that massive slice of cake? You write the day off and come back at it tomorrow. As long as you stay consistent in eating well, more than you eat poorly, it’ll happen. It may also take a while for your body to adjust. Don’t get discouraged. It may take three weeks for you to see any kind of change. But, stick with it. You are worth it. It took me a year and a half to reach my goal of 90 pounds. I have put about 10 back on (Casey said I was getting too skinny). And with the training, 5 of that is likely muscle.

Also, find an exercise you can stick with. It can be running, biking, hiking… whatever. Make sure you burn calories and do it consistently. If you get bored with your exercise routine, change it up. Just get moving and get your heart pumping.

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What makes your soul flutter?

Exercise and time with my family makes my soul flutter. There’s nothing like finishing a race or workout, knowing you’ve pushed yourself. You get a great sense of accomplishment. Seeing the looks on the faces of family members when you do something that surprises them is priceless.

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WHITNEY

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Whitney and I worked together at Tiffany & Co. I remember distinctly when she was starting her weight loss journey. We had conversations about our struggles. Shortly afterwards I left that job but kept up with Whitney on social media. I couldn’t believe how motivated and persistent she was! She looks great, and even better, I know she feels so much more confident. Whitney is definitely an inspiration to me. She has gone from a size 20w to a 4p. This is how she did it.

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In Whitney’s words

What made you decide to go on this weight loss and fitness journey?

When I looked in the mirror and I didn’t like the person looking back at me. Not just physically, but emotionally. My weight started to affect my outlook on life, my happiness and my relationships. Most importantly the relationship with myself. I used food and alcohol as my coping mechanism. Sadly enough, that only made it worse. I didn’t like the negative and unhealthy person I had become.

I knew I had had enough! It was finally time to stop making excuses and do something about it! It is a feeling I’ll never forget. Deep in my heart.

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How did you achieve your goals?

I knew going into my journey that it wouldn’t be easy. Or overnight. I had tried so many quick fix, fads, and cleanses. The weight always came back. More each time.

So I set small goals. Taking the process step by step so that I wouldn’t be overcome by anxiety and the fear of failure. I celebrated the small victories! Being able to do 15 minutes of cardio without feeling like I was going to pass out from exhaustion. Seeing a few pounds drop was great, but when I was able to fit smaller clothes, I actually felt proud of my body and what I could achieve. I began to clean out my closet. Donate those clothes for someone in need.

I found strength and compassion from my personal trainer (Jesse Almaraz) who made me feel human. Not just a “New Years resolutioner” as I was once referred as. He along with a wonderful group of ladies (Turn Up Fitness- WOW) made me start to love the process, and not loathe it. I’ve run two half marathons, and I plan to do another!

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 What is your current exercise & diet routine?

I try and remain consistent each week. I’ve learned that you cannot out train a poor diet! Food is key. Eat clean, lots of water, and stay away from processed foods. Sticking to the perimeter of the grocery store is a great rule I live by when shopping.
Planning my meals and prepping in my downtime saves lots of excuses and reasons to have that extra “cheat” meal.

I do mostly hiit training and I’ve taken up running. I have found something that challenges me and switch it up every so often. That way I don’t become bored.

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Advice for other’s wanting to lose a significant amount of weight

Love yourself. It has taken me years and I’m still learning to do this, everyday. Love your body and soul enough to fight for your health. It is the one thing you can control in this crazy world.

Forgive yourself. We are all human! Don’t punish yourself or give up if you fall a bit. Just get back up. Don’t stay down too long.

Enjoy yourself. Take time to appreciate the small things. Again, with the little victories. The fact that you have started and will continue your personal journey. If it was that easy, everyone would have already done it!

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What makes your soul flutter?

Seeing people believe in me. There’s no greater feeling than being called an inspiration and someone they can look up to. I truly feel that’s all my soul, my heart has ever wanted. Self-worth and love. If my story can touch just one persons life, my heart will be full. 💗

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TAMARA

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I first started noticing Tamara’s transformation around Thanksgiving last year. We worked together at Neiman Marcus and the holiday season can get crazy. I saw on Facebook that she was extremely committed to working out and eating right even during the holidays and the busiest time at work. Throughout 2015  I kept my eye on her and admired that her commitment to a healthier lifestyle never wavered. She looks fabulous and toned and is a positive influence to so many! Here’s how this hardworking wife and mom of two did it.

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In Tamara’s words:

What made you decide to go on this weight loss and fitness journey?

I was not happy with myself, my image, my physical weakness and my inability to muster the strength to do anything outside of work and sleep.

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How did you achieve your goals?

My trainer gave me a fitness plan that was both achievable and simple, eat specific amounts of food, exercise one hour three times a week and hold myself accountable weekly for my actions leading toward my goals.

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What is your current exercise & diet routine?

I eat/drink five times a day, and I do group exercise three times a week for an hour each.

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Advice for other’s wanting to lose a significant amount of weight:

You have to find a plan that makes you accountable in some manner. If you are self-reliant…good. If not, find a program where the trainer or group leader expects as much from you, and you expect to gain from it.

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What makes your soul flutter?

Happy thoughts and smiling faces.

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Thank you to all 3 of you for inspiring me! Hopefully next year I will be “Half My Size!”

Living with soul,

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1 Comment

  • PHOTO FRIDAY~KENS 5 APPEARANCE – SOUL FLUTTER
    January 8, 2016 at 8:42 PM

    […] up and immediately on set with anchor Sarah Forgany. She recognized Walker on the screen behind us, I featured him as a weight loss warrior, and he was her former co-worker in Houston. That really broke the ice for me. She was so friendly […]

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