Photo courtesty of Erica Lugo
By Everyday Health Staff
Name: Erica Lugo
Before: 322 lbs.
After: 165 lbs.
What was the turning point that prompted you to lose weight?
My son, who was around 2 at the time, asked me to play on the floor with him. I was sitting on the couch and the mere thought of getting up, laying down on the floor, and having to pick up the toys was so exhausting that I told him no. That was terrifying. I went to weigh myself and saw 322 pounds on the scale. My heart sank.
When did you start trying to lose weight?
I have been heavy since middle school. I had always tried to lose weight. However, once I got off the scale that day, I felt a switch turn. The next day I was full-blown ready to lose the weight! I actually lost my first 122 pounds in the first 13 months. I’ve learned to be patient about the rest of the weight loss. I’ve toned and built muscle the remainder of my journey. I’m still going!
How did you get started?
I just did it. Since I had always been trying to lose weight, I remembered how exhausting and overwhelming it was trying to find the perfect diet plan or weight loss trick. This time, I stuck with the basics. Less calories in, more calories out. I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app on my phone and started there.
What was your biggest challenge?
I am a binge eater – I still am. I have moments that are triggers for me; they make me want to eat everything in the kitchen, including the cabinets. I have eaten a box of pop tarts, cereal, and a whole package of cookies in one binge before.
Were there times you wanted to quit or give up? How did you stay motivated?
I think if you don’t have those moments your journey isn’t honest. I have those moments monthly. I tracked and shared all of my weight loss on Instagram, which helped keep me motivated. But once, I found a website where people talk about famous bloggers – the things they said about me and my family, how I talk, and how I dress were so hurtful. I wanted to stop sharing my story. I felt like if these people were that hurtful, it wasn’t worth it. But I snapped out of it. One phrase will always stick with me: “If they don’t know you personally, don’t take it personally.”
If you reached a weight loss plateau, how did you break out of the rut?
You always have to switch up your workout routines. You don’t want your body ever getting used to something.
What’s your current exercise routine?
I like to make my workouts fun by keeping them simple. I don’t have a routine, and I think that’s why I’ve been successful. My workouts can be anything from 15 sets of HIIT to 60 minutes of cardio to 90 minutes of a leg workout and some ab exercises. I do make sure I sweat and spend at least 60 minutes in the gym. I’m addicted to sweat. Once I see those driblets rolling, I almost challenge myself to be a pool by the time I’m done.
Related: 9 Hard Truths About Weight Loss
What’s your daily diet look like?
I am a creature of habit. Breakfast is always five egg whites and a wheat English muffin. Two hours later, it’s a non-fat yogurt. Lunch is typically 4 ounces of a lean meat, 1/2 cup of a carb, and lots of veggies. My mid-afternoon snack is a lean meat and some veggies, sugar-free Jello, or 100-calorie popcorn. I don’t deprive myself; I just practice moderation. Dinner is typically the same as lunch, and I have a protein shake after my workouts.
How has losing weight changed your life?
Simple: It’s now officially my life. Before, I let the weight define me and my boundaries. Now, I don’t. I make the rules. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to help people. Some even say I inspire them, which still blows my mind to this day. The fact that I can go to sleep happy with who I am and know that someone saw my transformation pictures and was inspired – that’s enough for me!
Do you have any advice for those trying to lose weight?
Yes! Stop making losing weight or being healthy such a chore! We are moms, wives, daughters – we have enough chores in these roles. We don’t need to make what we do for ourselves a chore. Make this fun. It’s your time! Learn to make the gym your happy place: Buy a new workout tank; download some new jams; make friends there and think of them as family.
Follow Erica’s weight loss journey on her website, and on Instagram and Facebook.
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This article originally appeared on EverydayHealth.com: 157 Pounds Lost: Erica Drops Half Her Body Weight in a Year