Johnelle Burnett played basketball in college and was, in her words, in "awesome shape." Frequent practices kept her in regular exercise. She was 145 pounds but after graduation, getting married and having a baby, she was 165. Burnett says she ate well and continued to workout. When she didn't lose the weight post baby, she wasn't worried. She was focused on being a good mom and slowly getting herself back.
But, life got in the way. Around the 165 mark, she became pregnant with her second child. She says, "while I was still pregnant, we moved across the country for my husband's job, and I started using fast food as a crutch when I didn't feel like cooking. Worrying about my diet kind of went out the window."
After the birth of her second baby, Burnett says, "I started going to Gold's Gym and taking Zumba classes, which I really loved. The weight started coming off slowly, but by my second daughter's first birthday, I weighed 186 pounds. I realized that the weight I'd gained from my pregnancy was no longer baby weight; it was all mine."
Tired of the struggling to lose weight hamster wheel, Burnett decided to make a real change. "When I saw posters for a 12-week body transformation challenge at my gym, I thought, 'I want to do this, and I want to win it by losing the most weight,'" she said. She signed up that day.
At the beginning she couldn't even do 20 sit ups, now, that is far from the case. "I started working out six days a week for 90 minutes to two hours a day by taking classes like high intensity interval training, weight lifting, cycling, and Pilates. I also worked out with my trainer," she reports, "On top of that, I completely overhauled my diet. On the first day, we got a handout of what we could and couldn't eat. We had to be done eating for the day by 6 p.m. and had to cut way back on sugar and foods that were high in carbohydrates. We focused on eating non-processed foods, whole grains, and lean protein. Let me tell you—it wasn't easy!"
Now, Burnett lives without fear. She isn't afraid to gain weight again because she knows she has the tools in place to take it off. She's simplified her eating and continues to set new goals for herself, like training for a half marathon with the hopes of an eventual half Iron Man.
She's now 142 and keeps working!
Here are some tips Burnett has to offer you:
I wanted to prove to myself that I wasn't overweight just because I had kids, and my gym's challenge made me work to accomplish that. Whether it's a race, a goal weight, or a family reunion, it's important to find something that motivates you to push yourself. Then, stick with your weight loss plan.
Invest in a trainer.
They probably have more resources than you do. My trainer knew so much more about my capabilities than I did. She really gave me all the tools I needed to transform my body, and I still use her advice now that the challenge is over.
Track your food.
This really helped me stay on point with what I was eating and kept me accountable.
Beautiful story, hard work certainly pays off!
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Source: Women's Health