How Denise lost 71 pounds

Denise is a Healthy Habit Solutions client going through the Behavioral Nutrition Coaching Program 1-1 with Maya. Here’s her story along with golden nuggets of wisdom for you to take alongside your journey.

How Denise lost 71 pounds (1)

How did your weight-loss journey start?

A day in my old life consisted of eating candy, Italian pastry’s, breads, appetizers before a dinner date, uncontrolled eating, mindless eating, numbing eating. I felt very hopeless and lost in my own world of `feeding the hungry heart’. I used to hide in my house because I didn’t want anyone to see how large I had become and that I needed a cane to walk. My journey started when I realized I felt like I was dying inside. I felt hopeless and totally out of control.  I was an embarrassment to myself for having let myself gain so much weight.

After my breakthrough decision to change, I decided to go through the behavioral nutrition coaching program. The first thing I did was change my mindset.

A shift in my thoughts had to take place, or my health would continue to spiral out of control. I knew the major issue was all the sugar and white-flour foods that I was eating. I believed that the only choice I had, was to change every way that I was eating; this meant I then had to stop all of the junk food and processed sugars. For the first year, I logged everything I ate in the  Fitness Pal app—to keep myself accountable. I also used smaller plates to eat on and ate plenty of vegetable dishes and smaller portions of protein.


Tracking my food for a whole year? Lots of people hate tracking and ‘fall off the wagon’ with it. It sounds like you made that point-of-no-return decision and simply saw no other way. I want to put this into perspective for my readers, can you share with us how much weight you’ve lost and how much more you have to go?

My eating was so out of control, before I started working with Maya, that I had to track my food intake for a whole year without fail, as a commitment to myself. I was morbidly obese and I couldn’t stay as heavy as I was. There was no room for me to start and stop a diet, I had to figure out what was going to work for me—without any kind of deprivation. I refused to cross the boundaries that I made for myself so I could keep my weight loss moving towards my first 100-pound goal.

As of today, I have lost seventy pounds and my first goal is to lose another twenty nine pounds to hit my first goal of one hundred pound weight loss. I want to see what I feel like after I lose another twenty nine pounds making it a total of one hundred pound weight loss. It isn’t always about how I look (physically), but it’s all about how I feel (mentally and emotionally).


It’s no surprise, weight loss isn’t just about the food. What are the non-food based lessons that you learned along your journey?

I learned to take baby steps. I came to believe that as long as I was constantly moving closer to my goal, I was always on target.

I also learned that I needed to move my body, as I have led a very sedentary lifestyle with no exercise. In order for me to continue this weight-loss journey with nurturing self-care, exercise was essential! Walking into the gym the first time was very difficult for me, but the less I thought about it, the more action I took in changing my life story. Moving was not only good for my body but it was also good for my mind!  I learned all about  self-discipline that I never had before.


Were you ever afraid of what people may think of you inside the gym?

I was petrified to walk into the gym, I haven’t been to a fitness gym in at least ten years and I am certainly not what you call a ‘fitness guru’. I hated to work out, I hated to feel any kind of pressure that comes with having to do something I hated to do. With my knees failing me, I knew that I had to incorporate a physical-fitness program to build muscles in my body. Contrary to my fears, the people in the gym were very inviting and down to earth. Of course there are always the fitness princesses and princes but all in all, I never let them stop me from continuing on my own personal journey of self-care. I blocked whatever insecurities that I had and keep on keeping on, giving myself time to adjust to movement and perseverance. My feelings went from insecure to secure in the power to take care of my body, the temple in my life that gets me from place to place; the body that I must honor and respect.


What other fears have you overcome along your journey?

I learned once that once I got a handle on my food choices, I needed to face every fear with dignity and grace and walk through the door of opportunity, I had previously been stopping myself from entering. I have faced so many of my fears by walking through them, knowing there are things that will continue to move me forward in a productive and nurturing way of self-care.


How do you do this? How do you remember to live from dignity and grace? How do you practice this in your life? Specifically, how do you look fear in the face and get over your own excuses? 

There have been so many failures in my life’s journey, I found that my weight and my dedication were the only things that I had control over. I learned to hold my head up high and kick it up a notch by moving closer to my weight loss goals. I learned that fear is nothing more than False Evidence Appearing Real. I realized that the only fear that I really had was the made-up stories in my head. I had to get over myself. I forced myself to walk through many fearful things during my transformation. Ultimately I stopped thinking so much and just did what I needed to do to take care of myself.


How do you feel now, 71-pounds later?

I feel as if there is nothing that I can’t do, nothing that I can’t accomplish, no mountain that I cannot climb. I feel like an inspiration to not only myself but to other people that feel hopeless and lost. My life consists of knowing that I have control over what I feed my body now. I can play with my grandchildren; go into a swimming pool without being humiliated. I can go to the shopping centers and not be afraid of being seen by acquaintance and friends. I have stopped fearing my past failures and started creating new memories that are healthy and nurturing. I now cook more for the family and help clean the house with my husband instead of just lying there helpless, because of the pain from all the weight that I had been carrying. I feel a great sense of freedom knowing I choose what nurtures my body.

You can follow Denise and her progress on the journey at her blog here.


It’s time to get started with your journey. Denise started with this very same first step: The Kickstart Guide, and it’s only $29. 

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