The Family Tragedy That Led One Woman to a 116-pound Weight Loss

  One woman's weight loss journey of 116 pounds. April Alexander was overweight. At 5'3'', she weighed in at 260 pounds. The 33-year-old from Sterling, Virginia found herself in much more of a predicament than she had imagined over it, however. April watched many people in her family die from diabetes, and in 2013, her mother also lost her battle. This devastating loss led April to make a change in her own lifestyle. “I started to gain weight when I was just 11 years old,” April said. “Fast food played a major part in my weight gain, and I never wanted anything healthy.” She even noted that because of her weight, she was bullied by students and teachers alike. “When I was in gym class, I always complained because I didn’t want to exercise,” she said. “So when my 10th-grade gym teacher told us this would be the last day we would have to run a mile, she could tell I was happy. She told me in front of everyone that I had no passion or motivation and that I would probably never run again after leaving her class. And I believed her. I thought I would always be overweight and that I had no passion, motivation or drive to change my life.” One woman's weight loss journey of 116 pounds. April joined a gym and took up cardio, but wasn't seeing the results she hoped for, so she began to research fitness and weight loss tips, which led her to begin lifting weights. She also educated herself on healthy eating, giving up on her fast food habits filled with fatty meals and sugary drinks. Social media also played an important role for April. “On Instagram, I followed Massy Arias, who was inspiring to me and made herself available to answer questions, and Nicole Mejia, a personal trainer who helped me learn that it’s OK to be the shape you are,” she said. “My body frame is not a size zero, and she helped me cope with that.” [bctt tweet="In times of struggle, she remembered the person who inspired her most. "] April admitted that her weight loss journey wasn't an easy feat, but when things got tough, she found herself turning to her mother for motivation. “When I felt like giving up, I remembered a conversation with my mother and I had prior to her death about my weight,” she said. “She told me I could achieve anything in my life if I put my mind to it, and her words kept me going.” After two full years of putting in the time and effort, April lost a total of 116 pounds, and has now become a personal trainer. “I’d really love to work as a trainer and be the inspiration for someone like me who has been told they can’t do it,” she said. April also finds motivation through the haters in her past. “Recently, I ran a 5K, and as I was running, I could hear my gym teacher’s voice telling me I would never run again,” she said. “Instead of being angry or hurt, I simply smiled and finished the race in a time of 27:45.” For exercise, April prefers to do HIIT cardio training three times per week for a total of 30 to 45 minutes. And, on Mondays, she works on her legs, Tuesdays back and biceps, Wednesdays chest, triceps and shoulders, Thursdays she rests, Fridays she works on her legs and the weekends are for core. Check out this exclusive interview with April on her weight loss journey:

What were your goals when you first started your weight loss journey?

When I initially started all I thought about was that I wanted to be skinny and lose some weight. I didn’t put a number on it, because I wasn’t sure where I wanted to be.

Did you join a gym?

Yes. At first I was worried that everyone was looking at me, and what they were going to think of me, but over time those feelings faded. Not to mention there were some really helpful people that showed me about having good form.

What changes did you make to your diet and nutrition program?

I cut out all processed foods, soda, butter, sugar, bread, and I cut down on the salt. I started cooking my meals and eating 4 to 6 times a day.

What do you do now when you come face-to-face with some of your old food vices?

I do not deprive myself; I do have one cheat meal a week, but for the most part I’ve learned to simply just say no thank you. The way I look and feel is much better than eating foods that are unhealthy for me.

What is your favorite body part to train and your favorite move for that part?

I love leg day. I like doing squats, lunges and deadlifts.

What advice would you give someone who has a lot of weight to lose?

Be consistent, don’t be afraid to try new things, be patient with yourself and always stay positive. Because losing weight isn’t going to happen overnight, just like gaining weight doesn’t happen overnight. Never give up!

What supplements (if any) do you take?

Cellucore protein, Cellucore C4 Extreme Preworkout, and BCAAs.

Did you ever compete or are you considering competing now?

I have never competed, but I am seriously thinking about it. Several of my gym friends that do compete think I should. Does April's success story inspire you?

Source: Oxygen

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