My name is Frances Carpenter (@isfrannyfityet), and I’m a 30-year-old executive assistant in Riverside, California. At 331 pounds, I felt like my weight was holding me back in life, and I decided to commit to a healthy lifestyle. By following a low-carb diet, meal prepping, and trading emotional eating for gym time, I was able to lose 151 pounds.
Growing up, I would always turn to food to make myself feel better about any and every situation, good or bad. My childhood was full of dysfunction, which caused me to constantly overeat. Through adolescence and into high school I gained a lot of weight. I was around 200 pounds my senior year.
I moved to another state after graduation and gained even more weight over about seven years, and I found myself at my highest weight of 331 pounds. I would constantly eat fast food. I was a nonstop snacker, eating between every meal, and I always found myself eating late into the night.
I had limited physical ability when I was at my heaviest and I was very sad and depressed, so I continued to eat to soothe myself with food. It was an extremely hard cycle to break.
But my turning point came in January 2016, when I got so fed up just by the fact that waking up and getting out of bed in the morning was a struggle.
I was 26, and I was at my highest weight of 331 pounds. I was always tired because my weight was constantly interrupting my sleep.
I couldn’t walk for long periods of time, and I couldn’t comfortably fit in restaurant booths or movie theater seats. I was in a horrible place physically, but it was also hurting my mental state. I knew I wasn’t living my life to its full potential, and there were so many things I wanted to experience without my weight being the first thing I always had to consider.
I just knew 2016 was going to be the year I turned my life around for good, and 10 months later I had lost 100 pounds.
Low-carb has always been my go-to approach for weight loss. With my low-carb meal plan, I am able to eat decent-sized meals, feel energized, and lose weight all at the same time. There are so many great low-carb meal plans and recipes available to people now, and I know it will be my long-term lifestyle.
Here’s what I typically eat in a day.
- Breakfast: Two scrambled eggs, two slices of bacon, half an avocado
- Lunch: Low-carb tortilla wraps with turkey, string cheese, pickles, and mayo
- Snacks: Rice cakes with peanut butter, nuts, and strawberries
- Dinner: Baked salmon with cauliflower rice and asparagus
- Dessert: Carb-Smart ice cream bar or raspberries with dark chocolate chips
I also have a regular exercise schedule. I currently work out five days a week, alternating between different body parts. Three days a week I do 60 minutes of cardio, and the other two I do 30 minutes of cardio, which is usually the StairMaster. I also spent about three years doing CrossFit, which helped me build a workout routine and get stronger as well.
These are my three biggest tips when it comes to weight loss.
- Have your meals planned out. This helped me know when I was going to eat again and look forward to my meals.
- Find a new hobby. For me, that was CrossFit and the gym. I had to find somewhere new to focus my energy that I used to put toward food. Food could no longer be my outlet.
- Try to involve your friends and family if possible. It’s easier to achieve your goals with people you know and love supporting you. My boyfriend has been a huge help to me these last few years, and we now live a healthy lifestyle together as a team.
I’ve lost 151 pounds. My goal for 2020 is to reach 170 pounds in total weight loss, and to make sure I maintain it.
Before I started this journey, I wish I knew more about the emotional aspect of weight loss and how it would impact me. It’s fun and exciting to lose weight, but I found myself having to deal with a lot of emotions, old and new. Before I lost my weight, I was using food to comfort myself and soothe past traumas, and I can no longer do that. Now, I have more time to think about and process things that before I would have shut out with food—because I’m not spending that time and energy eating. It’s possible to get through it, but it’s a lot of work from the inside out.
My weight loss has changed me in ways that I did not know were possible. It has of course made me more confident in the looks department, but I have gained a new level of self-love. Even four years later, this lifestyle is still somewhat new considering how much of my life I spent obese. I choose myself now, and have made it my priority to never go back to my old ways. I have a new outlook on life and enjoy the little things that I so desperately wanted before.
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