Melissa Herb, 28, Full-Time College Student from Brandon, Florida
Tell us what the “old you” used to be like. When I was bigger, I had a negative outlook on life. I always pitied myself after I got injured because of my physical limitations. I didn’t know what to do, so I kept eating. I was depressed. I would eat fast-food and not watch my portions. The issue for me was, I did not know how to eat and I didn’t know what worked for my body. I broke down one day and spoke to my friend who lost over 60 pounds. She gave me hope again and when I joined, I took it day by day and I started to see the weight come off slowly. I kept losing in two to five pound increments. Sometimes I would not lose anything and sometimes I would gain, but lose inches. Right now I am stuck and have not lost anything, but I feel like I am getting stronger and able to do more with my body than I used to.
What prompted your weight loss? Through a friend of mine Katie who lost weight through Weight Watchers. I saw it worked for her, spoke to her about the program and decided to join. In addition, I suffer from neck and back injuries so my extra weight put a lot of pressure on those areas.
How did you lose the weight? Weight Watchers, DDP Yoga, yoga and walking
How long did it take? It took me two years to lose most of my weight, but I still have 40 more pounds I would like to lose.
What was the hardest part? Keeping the motivation going, food temptations and exploring what kind of workouts work for me.
Most fun part of your weight loss? Seeing the inches coming off and my clothes getting smaller, having a positive support system, making collages and comparing myself side-by-side, being able to fit into new clothes and buy them, and wearing a regular size again. My next goal will be to get to a single digit.
Who/what inspires you when you feel like quitting? My collages inspire me and my friends who are my support system.
How has this weight loss changed your life? There is less pressure on my joints, I am able to keep up with more activities, my attitude went from a negative to a positive and I am more flexible, outgoing and more of a leader than a follower now.
Have any advice for others who’d like to lose weight? Nutrition is the most important thing, along with having a healthy lifestyle and taking baby steps. Losing weight is not an overnight process. You don’t put on weight overnight and you don’t lose weight overnight. It is best to track what you are eating and the portions in an app such as MyFitnessPal or in a journal. Before I started Weight Watchers, I had no idea how much I was consuming and how huge my portions were. When I started to cut things out slowly and get into walking, my weight started to drop. It is best to have a positive support system around you and be your own best friend.
Your must-have fitness equipment. Yoga mat and blocks
Favorite training song: Anything that is fast and upbeat. I love dance and electronica. My favorite song to work out to is LMFAO, “Sexy and I Know It.”
Favorite healthy food: Rice cakes with almond butter spread
Favorite not-so-healthy food: Ice cream
Funniest /weirdest/most awkward experience during your weight loss journey: When I looked in the mirror one day naked and I said to myself, “Wow, you are beautiful on the inside and on the outside.”
Future goals: I want to inspire people to live a healthy lifestyle through proper nutrition and exercise. I want to become a Registered Dietician/ Nutritionist and open a wellness studio in the future. I also want to get my Yoga Alliance Certification to become a yoga instructor; travel; and learn more about different types of healthy food. I am also majoring in Holistic Health and Wellness Coaching so I want to take my Holistic experience and help guide people to eat healthy, proper foods to nourish their body and live a healthy lifestyle.
Congratulations Melissa! You’ve done an amazing job adopting a healthy new lifestyle and you look fantastic. You’d make an incredible addition to the fitness industry, so please pursue that! Fitz and the entire team at Fitzness.com