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I Lost 125 Pounds By Making This Simple Change To My Diet

Frances Carpenter hit rock bottom, and changed her life with diet and exercise, and lost over 100 pounds in the process.

            
By Frances Carpenter, Prevention

Before: 331 lbs
After: 205 lbs

I've always turned to food as a source of comfort, ever since I can remember. My childhood was very hard at times and the only thing that ever made me feel any sense of happiness was food.

[post_ads]Throughout adolescence and into high school, I gained a lot of weight; by my senior year I was around 260 pounds. After graduation, I moved to another state and gained about 60 pounds. Seven years later, I found myself at my highest weight of 331 pounds. I was constantly in the drive-thru line or sitting on the couch watching TV. Physical activity was really nonexistent for me at this point.

I tried to diet here and there and went on exercise kicks, but nothing stuck. At this point, I was the only one standing in my way, which left me angry and frustrated. I would constantly tell myself there was no use in trying to lose the weight and degrade myself with negative self-talk. Then I would eat as a refuge, which perpetuated a never-ending cycle.




The change                        

           
When I found out I was on the fast track to diabetes and a number of other health issues, I decided I didn't want that life for myself. I know people whose health has been impacted by obesity, and I didn't want to end up that way.

When I began taking back my health by trying to lose weight, I started slowly. I knew that if I rushed into a huge lifestyle change I would fall off track like I had all the other times. I first began by changing my diet and then slowly incorporated an exercise routine into my plan.         




The food

   
When I first started out trying to lose weight, I decided to cut down on carbs. A low-carb, high-fat diet allowed me to continue eating some foods that I enjoyed, like cheeseburgers and tacos—just without the bread. Instead of rice, I made cauliflower rice and I switched from pasta to zucchini noodles. Once I saw the scale start to move, I kept doing what I was doing because it was clearly working. Then I swapped soda and juices for water or other flavored, zero-calorie drinks.
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As time went on, I started to allow myself complex carbs, such as fruit or oatmeal, on days when my workouts were more intense. I find that at this point in my weight-loss journey, allowing my body to have a carb-up day really helps me stay on track. I'm not as tempted to cheat or binge on high-calorie, processed food.

A typical day of eating for me starts with eggs and bacon with avocado or cottage cheese and nuts and raspberries. I follow that up with lunch, which I pre-prepare three days at a time. Usually, I make chicken or ground turkey with veggies, avocado, and a handful of nuts.

I like to keep dinner simple with chicken on a bed of greens with ranch or a taco salad with cheese, salsa, and avocado.




The workouts

    
At the beginning of my journey, I was strictly doing cardio workouts. This was mainly due to the fact that it was the only thing I knew how to do. My cardio sessions consisted of one hour on the treadmill, twice a day (once before work and once after), six days a week.

[post_ads]About six months into my weight loss, I was down 55 pounds and joined a CrossFit gym called CrossFit Inversion. This gym has completely changed my life. It incorporates every type of workout including cardio, weightlifting, gymnastics, and strength training all at different intensity levels. 

I always leave feeling extremely strong and accomplished after every single session. This is where I truly fell in love with weight training. Now, I always look forward to lifting days and the new opportunities to challenge myself. Today, I do CrossFit six days a week, usually with one day of rest.




Sticking with it

   
I started sharing my weight-loss journey on Instagram after being so motivated by seeing other women take back their lives and sharing it in a similar fashion. Posting before and after photos and non-scale victories helped me gain a following, which led to other women reaching out and asking for my advice. 

When I feel like giving up, I remember that there are people watching me for inspiration. It's a constant reminder that I should do the right thing every day for myself—but also for them. I want to show my followers that natural weight loss is possible. I interact with people from all over the world and it's become an amazing support group. There's no way I would have gotten this far without them.




The reward

    
My life has completely changed for the better. Most importantly, I've become so much more active. I can do things like travel comfortably and walk all day without becoming tired. I have huge amounts of energy compared to before, which really makes life a lot easier. Also, my confidence has sky-rocketed! I feel good in my skin and am very proud of how far I have come. I am dating more, going out more, and enjoying aspects of life I really didn't before.
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My number-one tip

   
People ask me for my advice frequently and I am a firm believer in waiting for the right time to lose weight. I tried to lose weight so many times before and always failed because I wasn't ready. I wasn't prepared to put in the work or fix my bad eating habits. 

Timing truly is everything. For some people it might take hitting rock-bottom, but I just woke up one day and the light switch went on. I knew it was time for me to get healthy the right way, and by setting small, realistic goals for myself, I was able to make real changes.

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Health Magazine: I Lost 125 Pounds By Making This Simple Change To My Diet
I Lost 125 Pounds By Making This Simple Change To My Diet
Frances Carpenter hit rock bottom, and changed her life with diet and exercise, and lost over 100 pounds in the process.
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