When someone loses weight, they go through a huge transformation not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. The process of weight loss involves shedding many layers, and digging deep to uncover your true potential. One woman’s desire for this transformation led to her shedding over 135 pounds naturally! Now, she uses social media to inspire others with fitness and health tips.
Alyssa set a goal and stuck to it
Alyssa Cross started her journey in May 2019 weighing around 450 pounds, determined to get her health in order. She says that being able to do more things with her daughter gave her the motivation to keep going. Becoming a new mom changed her perspective and made her want better for herself. In just 18 months, she lost nearly 140 pounds, giving her newfound freedom and more opportunities for she and her daughter.
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“I wanted to be able to ride on rollercoasters or take my daughter ice skating in the winter. I just had a goal in mind and I knew I needed to change my life.”
While Alyssa knew she’d face many struggles, she decided to take the plunge anyway. She realized that by improving her health, other areas of her life would start to change as well. Plus, she wanted to challenge herself by creating goals and reaching them with determination and willpower.
“I really wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, and with time, I actually started to get better at the moves,” she said. “That kind of pushed me forward to keep going.”
“I was really able to see my results. I was so so proud,” Alyssa said. And rightfully so! “I had a goal of losing 100 pounds by 1 year of exercise. When I got to a year, I actually lost 10 pounds more than my goal, which was 100 pounds. But, I lost 110 pounds in 12 months, which was insane on its own.”
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Here is Alyssa’s advice for anyone wanting to get in shape:
“Take the step – little steps even if you have to do it – it doesn’t matter. And it doesn’t matter how long it takes,” she says. “One step a day. Literally, you crawl before you walk and you walk before you run. So, do not discourage yourself and always just take the step.”
When someone loses weight, it always feels so good to look back on how far they’ve come! Oftentimes, taking that first little step can feel so daunting, but it gives you momentum to keep up your new routine. Many people who start a weight loss journey say that they start to look forward to exercising. It just takes overcoming the mental barriers which try to keep you in the comfort zone.
According to an article in Harvard Health Publishing, losing just 5% of your body weight improves your health dramatically. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, that would amount to losing 7.5 pounds. If you lose the recommended one to two pounds per week, you could easily reach that goal in a month or two.
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When a person loses weight, they often experience the following benefits over time:
When you lose weight, it relieves pressure around your stomach, which reduces heartburn. Carrying extra pounds puts pressure on your abdomen, which often causes stomach acid to move back up the esophagus. This uncomfortable feeling is known as acid reflux, or heartburn.
Less pressure on your joints.
Being overweight puts a lot of pressure on your joints as well. According to the article, each extra pound you weigh puts around 4 pounds of stress on your knee joints. So, if a 150-pound person should actually weigh 140 pounds, they have 40 pounds of added pressure on their knees. If that person lost 5% of their weight, they would eliminate 30 pounds of pressure.
Lower blood pressure.
The risk of having high blood pressure triples for an obese or overweight person. However, by losing just one pound, you can lower your blood pressure by one point. So, if the 150 pound person in our example lost 5% of their weight, that would equate to a decreased of 8 points.
Reduced diabetes risk.
When you gain weight, it increases your risk of developing diabetes because your body can’t process insulin correctly. Fat stores calories as well as chemicals called adipokines, which cause inflammation and can affect insulin sensitivity. So, the more fat you have, the more of these chemicals your body will store. When someone loses weight, however, it reduces these chemicals, improving insulin sensitivity and lowering diabetes risk.
Many people report having disruptive or poor sleep if they carry extra weight. Losing weight optimizes your sleep, so you’ll need less to feel rejuvenated. Having excess weight means your body requires more energy to recover, so you’ll need more sleep.
As we said above, the more you weigh, the more energy your body needs to function. Losing weight frees up your energy, allowing you to accomplish more and have a clearer mindset while doing so.
Not only will you feel better physically, but your self-image will likely improve as well. When we look good, we feel good, and you may notice this positive benefit of weight loss right away.
Final thoughts: Take baby steps if you have to, but never give up on your weight loss goals
Alyssa’s story proves that no matter where you find yourself in life, you can change the narrative. You can always choose something better for yourself and use your willpower to follow through with your goals. Losing weight will transform your life, mindset, and physical health.
When someone loses weight, they start feeling empowered and strong when they once felt hopeless and weak. Your mental health improves because your body releases endorphins during each workout, increasing dopamine and serotonin. Your physical health gets better because you’re eliminating toxins, toning your muscles and burning fat. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by starting a fitness journey, so why not start today?