By Liana Jacob
MEET the incredible woman who lost more than ten-and-a-half-stone in just NINE MONTHS after realising her obesity was killing her.
Programme manager, Erika Armstrong (33), from Maryland, USA, had been obese her whole life and never fully watched what she ate. She would consume up to a whopping 3,000-calories a day which saw her reach 21st 10Ibs and a UK size 28-30.
One day, Erika realised her weight was holding her back and she lived in constant fear of falling seriously ill at an early age so she decided to overhaul her lifestyle and eating habits.
Erika started to hit the gym four to five times a week and began eating meals packed with protein, vegetables, and healthy carbohydrates. This saw her shrink to 11st 5Ibs and a UK size 10-12. She now consumes as little as 1,000 to 1,200-calories a day.
“My weight has been my constant and biggest struggle. It’s easy to smile on the outside but feel confused and lonely on the inside,” Erika said.
“The hardest part of my transformation was admitting to myself that I had a serious problem; obesity and it’s a disease that was slowly killing me.
“To achieve my results, I completely revamped my way of life. I monitor my portions and try to weigh all my meals.
“I monitor my carbohydrate intake and only consume healthy carbs. The craziest part is that I’ve always loved to walk and now my workouts are very rigorous.
“I work out with a personal trainer and I am learning proper forms and techniques for exercising. I also work out at a gym a few times a week; I push myself to at least give it a full sixty to ninety minutes.
“I started my weight loss process in May 2016 and I have consistently watched what I ate and exercised.
“My overall health has changed drastically; I have normal blood pressure readings. I am very confident about myself overall, not just one aspect of my life.
“My relationships have grown stronger. My husband is my biggest support system and my family including sorority sisters have encouraged me throughout my journey.
“My husband has helped me, he truly is my rock. My trainer has also become a sister to me and really pushes me with fitness goals.
“During this process, I started a t-shirt company ‘Exquisite Designs Apparel’. I made a t-shirt which says, “Joining the Loser’s Bench”. My t-shirt has been my motivation, I have joined the ranks of those who have conquered the bench.
“I absolutely love the person I am today. This journey has taught me a lot about strength, determination, and hard work.
“I had to evaluate my diet and really cut out junk, sugar, and foods without any real nutritional value. I truly have learned how to eat healthy and be satisfied.”
However, the journey wasn’t completely smooth for Erika, as she has had to overcome many hurdles along the way.
“Changing my eating habits was the hardest part, because food was a source of comfort for me. I stopped looking at food as an emotional tie and started seeing it as my nutrition,” she said.
“Also, I worked with a nutritionist closely to advise on what my meals should consist of.
“A lot of people do not recognise me, which I completely understand because I barely recognize myself.
“The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.”
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