Alyssa, a 23-year-old who lost 150 pounds after ending an abusive relationship, inspires thousands of women on the Internet. She shows people that taking that first step will get them there no matter how far they have to climb. Being in a toxic relationship can hold you back from your goals. Once you remove them from your life, you can start to heal and reclaim your power.

“I started my weight loss journey in January 2019 after leaving an abusive relationship. I finally decided to take my weight loss seriously.”

Alyssa said, “I started with a ‘calories in, calories out’ kind of diet. I focused on eating foods that were lower in calories. Later on in my journey, I kind of learned how to eat those foods in moderation and still lose weight.”

When you’re just starting on a weight loss journey, tracking calories is essential. It helps you learn proper portions and keep tabs on how much you eat. However, as you start memorizing the calories in your meals and snacks, you can give yourself more slack.

Alyssa lost all the weight naturally, going from 375 lbs to her current weight of 201 lbs. Actually, she lost 174 pounds total so far! She’s made huge strides toward better health, but getting there wasn’t a piece of cake.

“It was really hard, in the beginning, to fight those cravings because I was so used to eating sweets and eating out. But after the first 30 days, I saw about 30 pounds lost, and I was really motivated to continue going.”

In addition to eating healthier, Alyssa began working out as well. She says she does whatever exercise she’s in the mood for that day. Her favorites are the elliptical, strength training, and swimming. However, she switches it up often to keep things interesting.

emotionally abusive relationship

How exercise can help rebuild your life after an abusive relationship

When you leave an abusive relationship, you often don’t remember who you are. You’ve lost your identity because of months or even years of trauma. As a result, you may not even know the first step to take when you’re single again.

However, exercise is a great outlet to release pent-up stress or tension. It also can help you rebuild your confidence and perhaps make new connections at your local gym. Not to mention, working out doesn’t just increase your physical strength. It also makes you more mentally and emotionally resilient.

Exercise releases tons of endorphins, which will help boost your brain health and promote happiness. Working out won’t erase the abusive relationship from your memory, but it can certainly help you move on. Many women find that having an outlet such as exercise helps them stay productive. It’s a positive way to release anger and will give you something to look forward to each day.


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One woman found that after leaving an emotionally abusive relationship, group classes helped her heal. She went to a spin class with a friend at her local gym, and she became hooked in just one session. She loved the choreography, the beats from the music, and the instructor’s uplifting personality.

The group setting helped as well because she made friends with a few cyclists after a while. She even opened up to some of them about her abusive relationship, and they, in turn, shared their struggles. She found it very therapeutic, and it also provided her a way to stay fit. Plus, it cost $32 a class, so she wanted to get her money’s worth.

Her friends helped her stay accountable as well since they would know if she missed a class. If you’re getting out of an abusive relationship, consider group classes at your gym or yoga studio! It’s a great way to meet people and stay healthy at the same time.

How losing weight helped Alyssa become a new person

Alyssa struggled just like anyone trying to lose weight, but she stayed persistent. Following others on the same journey on social media helped her stick to it. Plus, she kept her eye on the prize, dreaming about how much better she’d feel at a lower weight.

“Throughout this journey, what kept me motivated is watching other Instagrammers who’ve lost a lot of weight. After losing weight, there are so many things that changed. Being able to fit in a rollercoaster, ride on a plane and not buy two seats, being able to hike, to be way more active than I ever was before.”

We’ll leave you with some motivating words and advice from Alyssa herself.

“I didn’t think that life was this enjoyable at all before I lost weight, and I’m still not done yet. You don’t have to wait for a new year, Monday, a new month. If you mess up, if you have one bad meal or a bad snack, it’s not the end of the world, and you can hop back on there,” Alyssa said.

“There’s been countless times where I have messed up and eaten out, but I still stay consistent, and that’s what helped me the most. I feel like when I first started, I had no idea what I was capable of. I’m just so proud of the person that I was, that I stepped forward and made that change, and you can be that proud too.”


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Final thoughts about a woman who lost 150 pounds after leaving an abusive relationship

Abusive relationships take their toll, especially if you’ve been in one for years. They can leave you with lasting emotional, mental and physical trauma, and it can take a long time to heal. However, once you finally say enough’s enough and put an end to the abuse, you can get your life back.

Many women find that therapy helps give them the support and understanding they need. Some people, like Alyssa, have discovered that exercise is a positive outlet for them. No matter what, never stay in a relationship where you’re not valued or loved. If you need support but want to stay anonymous, call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 800-799-SAFE.