Like many women, Ely Fisher began her weight-loss journey to drop pounds, but she wasn't prepared for how much she'd gain emotionally along those 11 months. If you're a mother or have struggled with loving your body, you'll find inspiration in Ely's amazing, relatable transformation.
Ely began her journey at the end of January 2017 after gaining 66 pounds during her pregnancy. She shares with POPSUGAR that even before having her baby, "when I was only 56 kg (125 lbs), I wasn't happy then with my body." Weighing 192 pounds, Ely told POPSUGAR, it took her between 10 and 11 months to lose 60 pounds. She proudly says, "I'm now 60 kg (132 lbs), with more muscle, and yes, still holding fat in places, but where I am at now, I am happier about my body than I've ever been before. I'm proud and I'm changed."
What worked for Ely isn't anything that would surprise you - changing her diet and adding in exercise was the key to losing and maintaining her weight. Small changes worked best. She first cut out flavored syrups in her coffees and also started counting calories. She was shocked to find out she was eating 3,000+ calories a day - which she says was double her recommended amount!
Knowing that helped her figure out appropriate portion sizes, and she also discovered what types of foods offered the best results. Ely is all about eating a balanced diet but focuses on high fats, high protein, and 20 percent carbs.
Here's an example of what Ely ate in a day to lose those 60 pounds:
Breakfast: "Four eggs scrambled with salt (protein), half an avocado (fats) or a teaspoon of peanut butter (fats), and, of course, coffee - a Long Black (Americano) with a dash of cream."
Morning tea: "Usually I work out between brekkie and morning tea, so I have a protein shake after my workout, with either some fruit or some crackers and dip."
Lunch: "A nourish bowl (my favorite!) made with a poached egg, strips of chicken breast cooked in garlic salt, with cucumber, tomato, avocado, onion, chia seeds, nuts, and superfood salad mix from Coles (my grocery store) with either Kewpie mayo or a dressing of my choice."
Snack: "Greek yogurt and honey, or one boiled egg and fruit."
Dinner: "Oven-baked chicken legs or pork roast, with roast sweet potato, zucchini, onions, and carrots."
Ely doesn't shy away from treats! She says, "Sometimes the thought of a treat later was what got me through my workout. I still eat chocolate and drink wine." Working out enables her to have a healthier mindset toward treating herself.
Aside from watching her calories and macros, Ely focused on bodyweight training and lots of plyometric at-home workouts like Kayla Itsines's BBG program. Ely started off with three 30-minute workouts each week, focusing on different parts of the body. She gradually added in a walk on the off days or a quick 10- to 15-minute HIIT workout from YouTube. She remained consistent with her diet and workouts, and the weight just started to drop!
One of the main ways Ely stayed motivated throughout her journey was by taking progress photos. She's also motivated to work out purely for the reason that she knows it'll make her feel happier - it's the perfect way to turn around a bad mood.
Ely is obviously so proud of losing 60 pounds, but that's not all she's happy about. "I found ME!" Ely shares. "Every triumph I had physically, I had mentally too." She adds, "Every week that passed throughout this journey, even though I was still 'big at the time,' because I was actually DOING something, I was finding myself becoming more secure, more confident, more beautiful."
"But the Ely that took that photo didn't think that AT ALL, because she was changing, she was conquering something day by day, and seeing the change. And I find that so beautiful."
Looking back at the Instagram selfies she took throughout her journey, where she's still carrying quite a bit of weight, she remembers thinking while taking the photo, "Man I'm looking good. My face is looking slim." She goes on, "But the Ely that took that photo didn't think that AT ALL, because she was changing, she was conquering something day by day, and seeing the change. And I find that so beautiful." We do too!
Losing weight seems like it's all about the physical transformation, but it goes so much deeper than that. It's amazing to hear Ely say, "My biggest triumph has been that I have legit fallen in LOVE with my body over and over again throughout this weight-loss journey. At every single stage my body has been at, I've loved it."
Ely knows it's hard not to compare yourself to others you see on social media, but she says, "As soon as I realized my body was going to look different to that perfectly airbrushed model, and recognizing my body IS different, well you see that was the moment I won my first battle." You've got to embrace you - flaws and all!
It's normal to have stretch marks and loose skin, and no amount of fitness or weight loss will get rid of them, so stop stressing about it! Ely says that losing weight helped her feel confident, and love her stretchmarks and the loose skin on her belly - she's excited to rock her bikinis this Summer!
If you're on your own journey, Ely wants to remind you to take every day slowly and steadily. "Growth is not a perfect ascending diagonal line on a graph, it's a ziggidy zagged line. You will have your up days and your down days, but if you keep moving forward, if you keep getting yourself back up again, you will keep ascending. And before you know it, you will find yourself at the top, looking down, fist pumping the air, because you got yourself there."