Weight-Loss Win is an original Yahoo series that shares the inspiring stories of people who have shed pounds healthfully.
Sia Cooper is 27 and currently weighs 110 pounds. In 2010, after gaining a significant amount of weight in nursing school, she became motivated to get fit and healthy. This is the story of her weight-loss journey.
The Turning Point
My weight fluctuated throughout my teens and into adulthood, but I gained the bulk of my weight while in nursing school. I was living off of junk food and caffeine and was barely getting any sleep. I went to school all day, and immediately afterward I would head to work at night. I did not have time to make my meals. I was simply too tired. It wasn’t until I started feeling completely sluggish that I decided something had to change. I was way too young to feel so terrible! My clothes did not fit the same, and I had to start going up sizes. I was so unhappy with the way that I looked.
The moment that I decided to start losing weight was when I tagged along with a photographer friend who was shooting a model on the beach. I remember admiring her body and wishing I were healthy and fit. I talked to her about her clean diet, and she told me to watch a documentary called Food, Inc. on Netflix. When I watched this, I was horrified with the food industry and immediately went to my pantry and threw out all of my junk food and started my new adventure.
To start my new, healthy life, I threw out every bit of junk food that I had in my kitchen and made a grocery list. I put that list into action and went grocery shopping for the first time ever with the goal of eating clean. I learned what quinoa was and forced myself to love vegetables by experimenting with ways to cook them and add them to my meals. I also created a blog, Diary of a Fit Mommy, to help track and motivate myself on my journey. I had no idea that six years later, blogging would be not only my hobby but my primary source of income. To lose the weight, I decided on 1,400 calories per day. I ate tons of veggies, fruit, lean meats, and soups. I also aimed to drink at least half of my body weight in ounces of water—something I had never really done before. Working full-time as a pediatric nurse, I got my workout in from standing and moving around for eight hours a day. When I did start going to the gym, I learned firsthand just how helpful it was to combine a clean diet with the proper amount of activity per day. You cannot have one without the other!
When I was in the process of turning my life around, I felt so rejuvenated! I suddenly had all this natural energy that I had been missing for years. Not only did I feel better on the inside, I looked better on the outside. The progress I was making helped to keep me motivated, along with the audience I was gaining with my blog. I had a lot of people following my journey, and I did not want to give up on them. I was inspiring so many, so I had to keep going!
After I lost the weight, I honestly felt like a brand-new girl. I was more confident and bubbly, and I had this new charisma about me. I was able to wear things that were once unflattering to my body type. The options were endless!
I was surprised that I actually did it, to be honest. I had wanted to lose weight for years, and my weight kept going up. I could not believe I actually got healthy and gave up the soda and fast foods that I once loved.
These days, I aim to eat five to six meals a day and around 2,300 calories or more. I am breastfeeding two kids, so I try to eat as much as I can to keep my milk supply up. I am working out in my home gym five days per week for 45 minutes. I do a combo of incline training and weightlifting. After I had my children, I realized I did not have much of a chance to make it to a gym, so I bought some second-hand gym equipment little by little and put it all together. Now I will sneak in a workout while my kiddos nap or play.
I try never to miss a workout. It is part of my daily routine, and I try to fit it in first thing in the morning so it won’t be on the back burner later on in the day. I try to meditate a little every morning as well to clear my mind and prepare for the day. Mental health is just as important as physical health, if not more. As a mother who suffers from postpartum depression, I have to meditate for a little bit of sanity.
My kids and my husband inspire me today and help to keep me motivated. My little ones literally watch every step I take, and I want to make sure it’s a healthy one. While I’m doing barbell squats, my 2-year-old son will come over and do squats with me. Also, I have motivated my husband to drop almost 20 pounds since we met, which is so encouraging to me. I keep myself on track to keep inspiring him. Lastly, fitness is my job. I am a personal trainer, so I have people following my lead, and that is the ultimate motivation for me. I want others to know it can be done.
I struggle with insecurity, but it is nothing new. I was taunted for my weight growing up and sometimes I still feel as if my looks or weight just isn’t good enough. I will sit down, meditate, and repeat positive affirmations to regain my confidence and security because I know those thoughts are not true. We all tend to talk negatively to ourselves, and it has to stop. It all begins and ends with you and your mind.
The best advice I could offer to anyone wanting to lose weight is to start making the time. Regardless of what we think, we do have time. Sometimes it means having to get a little creative. For example, while folding my daughter’s cloth diapers, I will do some squats. Every little bit counts!
Follow Sia Cooper on Instagram @diaryofafitmommyofficial
All photos courtesy of Sia Cooper.
Need more inspiration? Read about our other weight-loss winners!
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