Meet Cass! One of my challengers that I have had the pleasure of working with over the past 2 months! Read below to hear more about her weight loss journey (:
1.) What inspired you to initially want to lose weight?
When I started grad school, I stopped working out and got into some really poor eating habits. I knew I was not treating my body right, and I just wanted to get healthier in addition to losing weight. I would always say that I was going to start eating healthier and exercising when I wasn’t so busy, but I never seemed to get less busy. I finally realized that there was never going to be a perfect time to start and that I just needed to make it a priority regardless of my schedule if I really wanted it.
2.) What is your favorite healthy snack & meal & Dessert?
Snack: carrots with hummus
Meal: any kind of grilled chicken recipe with either quinoa or butternut squash
Dessert: frozen chocolate graham cracker with peppermint cool whip – it’s just like an ice cream sandwich and it tastes like an Andes mint 🙂
3.) Whenever you felt defeated, what did you do to stop yourself from giving up on your goals?
I would think about what I felt and looked like before I started, and focus on the progress that I had made (even if it was small). It also helped to remember that this is a process and that I can’t expect change to happen overnight. So, I focused on the future and what I wanted to achieve and reminded myself that it would be worth it if I persevered and continued toward my goals.
It also helped to have someone to support and encourage me to do better the next day and to focus on my goals.
4.) Now pleaaaase spill the beans, how much weight did you lose?!?!
After 9 weeks, I have lost 18 pounds!!! I still have more to go, but I’m committed to continue until I reach my end goal weight and to maintain a healthy lifestyle once I get there.
5.) Are you surprised to have lost this weight in such a short amount of time?
Yes! I couldn’t believe how fast it started coming off once I got my nutrition on point and then coupled it with regular exercise. I exercised a lot in college, but was never able to lose weight because I didn’t pair it with proper nutrition and didn’t monitor my calorie intake. It’s amazing how important the combination is and how fast you can get results when you do both! And I feel so much better since I’ve started! I have more energy, I sleep better, I have better focus at work – it’s insane how much eating and exercise can affect your life!
6.) What is your best advice to someone struggling to take that first step to change an unhealthy lifestyle?
It can be really daunting when you are trying to change your lifestyle, so I would recommend taking it one step at a time. Focus on changing one aspect (ie. eating habits) and slowly work toward changing others (ie. regular exercise) until you have incorporated everything. Even though it will take some work, it is 100% worth it!
7.) Explain your occupation. How did you manage to lose weight with such a hectic schedule?!
I am in a doctoral program for chemistry, so I work really long hours in a laboratory during the week (and on the weekend). When I get home I often just want to grab something quick to eat and relax a bit before going to bed. So, I started planning my meals and making them in bulk on the weekends when I had a bit more time so I would have some meals in the freezer for the week. That way, when I get home after work, I can quickly grab a healthy, pre-made meal and workout (if I haven’t done it in the morning), and I still have time to relax.
It was definitely an adjustment to start counting calories, planning and cooking healthier meals, evaluating healthier options when I go out to eat, setting aside time to workout, etc. But, once I got the hang of it, it became the new normal and is just a part of my routine now. And it can all be done on a grad student budget! 🙂
8.) What is the biggest lesson you have learned from doing this challenge? What will stick with you as continue to lose weight after this challenge is over?
I think I have learned to look at food and nutrition in a much different light. I have really learned to make better choices in my eating by choosing healthier options that will keep me fuller for longer, and I understand now that these eating habits need to be sustained even after reach my goal weight to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
And I know this wasn’t one of your questions, but I really couldn’t have done this without your help advising me on food choices and meal planning, pushing me to workout, and keeping me accountable for what I was eating. So I definitely recommend doing the challenge with you or if they can’t do that, then have an accountability buddy to help them out along the way!