Rachel Dillard is the ultimate example of real life weight loss success story. Having lost eighty pounds in a little under a year, and having kept the majority of the weight off for an additional year and a half, she tells in her own words the steps she took to change her life for the better. By reading her story below you too can gain the knowledge and motivation to start a healthier life today!
For Rachel, the turning point in her life came when she realized she needed to make some big changes right after she graduated from nursing school. She was doing what she loved and had accomplished so much by finishing her Bachelor’s degree, and yet she was just miserable. She wasn’t proud of herself because she looked in the mirror and only saw an overweight girl at two hundred and forty pounds. She realized then that in order to be happier with her life and with her future, she needed to make some big changes.
In order to get started she made herself get outside and move. Like many of us, she wasn’t active at all, so that was a huge change all on its own. At her current weight even walking 15 minutes was a long way. But as she pushed along she gradually increased the mileage in her walks, and then began to add in some jogging as she became a little more fit. She used a Couch to 5K program that helped her train for a race and mixed in some weight training and circuit training at the gym, as well as some work out videos at home when she couldn’t make it to the gym. She eventually got into a routine of thirty to forty five minutes of running on the treadmill or the elliptical and then twenty minutes of some weight training.
It didn’t take her very long to start seeing little changes in her body and the first few pounds came off easily. After dieting and exercising all summer, she had lost around twenty five pounds and felt great about herself. She had so much more energy and people around her began to notice a difference in the way she looked, and that helped her keep going. Every now and then, she would hit a plateau on the number on the scale, but she would just mix up her work outs a little or add more fruits and vegetables and less carbohydrates and she would start to see that number move down again.
Exercise can have a huge impact on any weight loss plan, but the reality is that you can’t out train poor nutrition. Rachel’s nutrition changes were one of the biggest things that made a difference in her weight. More than anything, she learned what real portion sizes were. Through calorie counting she realized that every now and then, she could splurge a little, but just not the way she may have eaten in the past. She also cut out all fast food and diet drinks, and not a day goes by when she doesn’t make sure to drink at least one hundred ounces of water. Fruits and vegetables have become a daily staple, and she actually craves them now!
After going through her life transformation, Rachel’s biggest piece of advice is don’t ever think that it isn’t possible, because it is. She can remember literally wishing for the day she could go into a store and fit into a size 8 instead of trying to squeeze into a size sixteen, and now she can. Rachel believes that you can accomplish whatever task you set your mind to, as long as you believe you are strong enough to do it!
Another important part of Rachel’s long term success was to set goals for each weight loss milestone reached, like with a new outfit, a night out with her friends, or a massage. She continues to set goals such as completing a 5K or a half marathon to keep her motivated and on track and help maintain the weight loss.
Rachel proves that you don’t have to be born an athlete in order to be fit and healthy, and she hopes to continue inspiring people through her blog and articles. Use Rachel’s story to help get you started on an exercise program today!