My name is Karmen Chenelle Orr (@k_chenelle_fitness), and I am a 30-year-old certified fitness trainer and sports nutritionist in Atlanta, Georgia.
In 2015, my family went through a devastating, life-changing experience when my husband was paralyzed in a hit-and-run car accident. I’d given birth to my daughter two years prior and hadn’t dropped all my baby weight.
During this traumatic time in our lives, I became depressed and started eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I wasn’t into sweets, but I ate big meals without any kind of portion control. I was also drinking alcohol daily. These unhealthy habits caused my weight to spike substantially.
When I first decided to start my weight-loss journey three years ago, I was at my highest weight of 270 pounds. My cousin took a picture of me and posted it on social media, and I did not recognize myself. I knew I had to make a change.
I started my healthy-eating plan by not even acknowledging it was a “diet” because the word has such a negative connotation.
I decided to abstain from the things that I turned to the most and that hindered me from getting back to me. I made lifestyle changes, as opposed to "diet" changes, that included not consuming alcohol or sodas, and not eating rice, breads, and pork. I used healthier recipes as substitutions for less-nutritious food cravings.
I also got really into making healthy fruit and vegetable smoothies, and they became a big part of my new healthy lifestyle.
Here’s what I typically eat in a day.
Breakfast: A fruit and veggie smoothie (berry, pineapple and spinach), two slices of turkey bacon, and one boiled egg
Lunch: Turkey wrap with veggies
Snack: Fruit and veggie smoothie, fruit, or a small handful almonds
Dinner: Chicken breast, steamed asparagus, and sweet potato
Dessert: Fruit smoothie with maca powder or chia seeds
I purchased a gym membership and started working out right away.
I started out doing at-home workouts because I wasn’t super comfortable at the gym. Once I grew more comfortable, I went to the gym three days a week for 30 minutes a day.
These three changes made the biggest difference in my weight-loss results.
I stopped drinking alcohol. This limited my time partying, and I spent more time finding ways to make myself better. I started focusing on my fitness business, which has given me a positive and impactful platform to motivate and inspire women of all shapes, colors, and sizes.
I got my family exercising with me. I started making exercise a very important part of me and my family’s lifestyle. I make sure that we remain active every day of the week. I make sure to keep active with my workouts at least five days a week to continue to reach my goals and strive for a healthy lifestyle of longevity.
I drink tons of water. Now, my family drinks water more than any other juices or milks. Water has become a big part of our lives, and we know proper hydration is a key element of a healthy body.
Overall, I lost 100 pounds naturally over the course of three years.
Embrace the journey and understand that it takes time. Weight loss is not a race. There is a lot mentally that you have to process through, but trust the process. Most of us have a goal to lose a certain amount of weight, but don’t focus on the scale. Focus on how you feel. The changes will come, but show up every day and put in the work.
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