Opal Stacie, a mom of three, decided to start her weight loss journey to improve her and her kids’ quality of life. She said her wake-up call came when she couldn’t walk from the bathroom to the kitchen without losing her breath. She knew she’d have to start making changes to have better health and improve her fitness levels. For her, losing weight wasn’t just about becoming stronger physically – it was about empowering herself mentally as well.

Opal’s weight loss journey

“I started the journey because I wasn’t well mentally, and physically, my health started failing,” she said. “I started having headaches and I started to have really bad asthma symptoms.” Since she began to worry about her health, she made an appointment with a neurologist, but he couldn’t find anything wrong. She felt that gaining around 100 pounds in a short time led to her having unpleasant symptoms, so she made losing weight a priority.

Opal and her neurologist came up with a plan for her to lose at least 20% of her body weight so she would have better health. She said that eliminating unhealthy foods from her diet was one of the first changes she made. Cutting back severely on foods high in sodium and carbohydrates helped her feel better and eliminate unwanted bloating. The next step was to add some sort of exercise to her daily routine.

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“Then, I made a goal of just moving, just movement, even if that meant just to walk around my neighborhood,” she said. “I did that for about 30 minutes, at least 5 times a day, 5 times a week.” She said she didn’t follow a specific diet, simply deciding to eat intuitively and listen to her body. Moving more and eliminating or reducing intake of unhealthy foods helped her reconnect to her body and give it the right fuel.

She quickly figured out what foods caused inflammation and what foods she should avoid. While she didn’t commit to one type of diet, she did count calories. This is a great idea for people just beginning their weight loss journey, so they can get an idea of how many calories are in certain foods. After a while, you can eat intuitively once you learn proper serving sizes and calorie amounts of the foods you eat.

A weight loss plan underway

This new plan for losing weight greatly helped Opal, but it didn’t always come easily. “Weight loss for me has been a struggle that I’ve dealt with my entire life. I don’t think there was ever a time that I was able to lose weight on my own.”

She said that her kids gave her the most motivation, because she wanted to have better health and fitness for them. She knew that if she felt healthier, she could provide more for her children mentally and emotionally. We all need a reason for the improvements we make in our lives, and sometimes that comes from the people closest to us. Plus, she can include her children in walks around the neighborhood, which teaches them the importance of exercise as well.

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“I would say that physical fitness has given me my worthiness back. It has given me my confidence back, it has allowed me to live, honestly,” she said.

Her biggest advice to anyone wanting to improve their fitness and begin a weight loss journey is just to believe in yourself. Even if you have no idea where to start, just having faith in yourself can give you the momentum you need to take the first step. Opal says that it is possible and you can do it, as long as you keep that positive energy going. It may just turn out to be the best decision you’ve ever made.

On one of her Instagram posts, Opal said of her weight loss journey:

“Before I could lose a lb I learned to accept myself. I lied and told myself “you can do it” because at the time, failing so many times before left me with zero confidence in my abilities so I had to tell myself lies every day. The more I lied and pushed myself to workout, the easier it became to believe the lie.

I pretended like I had already lost 50 and it was only a matter of time before my body would catch up. It turns out, dedication, will power, resilience, courage, endurance those things were already embedded in me, wasn’t a lie. The lie was the loud voice telling me that I was too big to ever see real progress. The lie was that I wasn’t strong enough to complete a workout, the lie was that I didn’t have enough will power to resist my favorite foods.

If you lie to yourself long enough, you start to buy into it. You think that the things you’ve been telling yourself in your head is true. You are capable, you just have to believe you are capable and then make that 1 small step.”

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This proves that everything begins in the mind. So you look at your body and feel like you have so far to go. But you can achieve whatever your mind tells you. Simply affirm every day what your goals are and tell yourself you’ve already achieved them! As long as you get your mind focused, you can totally transform your life and outlook. Self-love and care must come first, no matter what goals you have. Remember, as long as you remain centered and aligned with your inner self, everything will fall into place eventually.