'The Secrets To My 85-Pound Weight Loss? Orangetheory Fitness and Meal Prepping'

I’ve had an unhealthy relationship with food most of my life. I grew up in a large family that struggled to afford the basic necessities, and we didn’t always know where our next meal was coming from. So at a young age, I started binging whenever I was around food. By the time was in third grade, I was getting bullied about my weight. Food became a security blanket for me.

When I was a teenager I started worrying about my appearance. In college, I developed an eating disorder, constantly measuring my self-worth based on what the scale said. I was also diagnosed with anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (due to abuse I experienced)—so college was a period of struggle for me, big time. But with a ton of determination on my part and support and concern from people who cared about me, I was eventually able to stop weighing myself and tracking every calorie and bite.


Same girl. Same pants. Different body. Different mindset. The major difference between these two pictures? The girl on the left wasn’t living. She was just doing what she could to survive. Now I am truly living, loving (myself and others), and thriving on this journey. And more than anything else, I just want to inspire others to do the same. 🧡#mondaymotivation _________________________________________________ #fitness #fitnessjourney #fitnessmotivation #instafit #weightlossjourney #orangetheoryfitness #monday #fitnessgirl #fitnessgoals #justdoit #fitspo #fitnessaddict #fitspiration #fitnesslifestyle #selflove #nopainnogain #fitfluential #beforeandafter #instafitness #morelife #otfnwomaha #otfnation #noexcuses #nevermissamonday #newweeknewgoals #motivation #inspire #motivationmonday #transformationtuesday

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While my relationship with food got somewhat healthier, my actual eating habits still needed some work. I graduated from college in 2013 and applied to an accelerated nursing program that was so intense.

I was either studying or in a clinical rotation before the sun came up and after the sun set, so I would opt for Chinese takeout because it was filling and always meant I had leftovers to munch on during breaks in my tricky schedule. Fitness didn’t exist in this period of my life.

But the hard work paid off: In 2015, I graduated summa cum laude with my bachelor of science in nursing and passed my boards. I was ecstatic. I was hired on as a night nurse at the hospital of my choice. The downside of being a night nurse? I could barely even prioritize sleep, let alone exercise or healthy eating.

Strangely enough, a bout of chronic bronchitis sparked my weight-loss journey.

I came down with the illness after starting my new job and couldn’t shake it for five months. As nurses, we educate about the importance of eating healthy, not smoking, and making sure to get enough daily activity. But I wasn’t even doing all of those things myself—and it seemed to me that my body and immune system were feeling the effects of my lifestyle habits.

My cough became so bad that my patients would ask me if I smoked. I didn’t! I couldn’t help but think that maybe my lungs and respiratory were just out of shape, so to speak.


I almost didn’t post this, but vulnerability and honesty are something I value! I honestly wasn’t too proud of my 10lb loss during our 8 week challenge. ➕ it’s hard for me to see much of a difference, even in the before and after picture (swipe 👉🏼). But guys, I FEEL IT. Then I remembered, this wasn’t just an 8 week challenge (for me). This has been (and will be) a lifestyle change!! So naturally I had to take a look back. The picture on the left is from the 2018 challenge. I lost 12lbs during that 8 week OTF challenge and kept it off + lost even more. ⚖️ I continued to be consistent with my OTF workouts since then and the picture on the right is where I’m at now. I have so far to go, but I HAVE to remember that consistency and healthy habits WILL bring results. ✨ Just like you gain weight overtime, it takes TIME to lose it. And keep it off! Faster is not always better. And I am not in a race against anyone but myself. 🏃🏼‍♀️ If there’s any advice I have, it’s do not stop. Don’t stop going to OTF workouts and don’t stop your healthier eating habits. We got this! 💪🏽 #orangetheory #otftransformationchallenge #orangetheoryfitness #transformationtuesday

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Toward the end of the five months of coughing, wheezing, and just feeling crappy overall, I remember standing on the scale at my doctor’s office during a checkup. I peered at the number on the scale and nearly fell off in disbelief: I was 260 pounds. At that moment I remember thinking to myself, if you’re going to teach healthy lifestyle habits to patients, you need to practice what you preach.

A good friend told me about Orangetheory Fitness (OTF). She swore that it was the best workout she had ever done and felt great after every class. I had to give it a try. After canceling my free class *three* times—I was so afraid of failing at it—I finally showed up in July of 2017.


2 years at @otfnwomaha ⁣ 85lbs ⤵️⁣ 7,429 splat points earned ⁣ 262,972 calories burned ⁣ #morelife discovered ⁣ ⁣ Thank you @orangetheory 🧡

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When I started attending the classes, I had to modify all of the workouts. I couldn’t keep up with everyone around me, but it didn’t matter and I was never judged. And in the first six weeks, I watched my body transform. Seeing my progress was so motivating that it got me excited to work on other healthy habits.

I dropped 20 pounds in the beginning of my journey via consistent exercise, but also by eating smaller portion sizes and healthier meals.

Prior to joining OTF, I didn’t eat to fuel; I ate to soothe my emotions. Since joining, I’ve created a lifestyle of meal prepping. Meal prepping is not only a timesaver for me, it also helps me create proper portions, make better choices, and it helps me always stay prepared with a snack on hand so I don’t have to rely on fast food late at night. To be honest, I’ve tried intermittent fasting and other fad diets, but what works for me is just eating a reasonable calorie count and *not* obsessing over food.

Here’s what I eat in a day now:

  • Pre-gym snack: Before I work out, I drink a juice made with an apple, orange, a stalk of celery, one romaine heart, and half a ginger root.
  • Breakfast: I love having two Kodiak Cakes Power Waffles and a grapefruit.
  • Lunch: Cauliflower rice and shrimp with sriracha sauce and asparagus is a go-to.
  • Snack: A Fit Crunch Protein Bar or Built Bar satisfies me.
  • Dinner: I’m really into Caesar salad with chicken sausage and broccoli.
  • Dessert: Strawberries with chocolate hummus—yum!


OmaHalf Half Marathon ✅⁣ ⁣ I arrived this morning with zero expectations other than to cross that finish line. But I finished with a PR and ran the entire race without any walking breaks. This is huge for me and just goes to show you can do anything you set your mind to. Our bodies are so, so awesome and once we overcome the mental hurdles of “I can’t do that” or “what was I thinking”, we become limitless. 🏆⁣ ⁣ I already know what it’s like to give up. I want to see what happens if I don’t. 🏃🏼‍♀️⁣ ⁣ Thank you all so much for your words of encouragement and motivation to keep going. I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know! 🖤

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I’ve lost 85 pounds. But my success is about so much more than weight.

I went from a size 18 to a size 7/8. I went from walking an 18-minute mile to running an 8-minute mile. I can lift heavier than ever before. I don’t have a nagging cough.

I’ve realized that when you find a workout and community you truly love, a weight-loss journey becomes something entirely different, more meaningful. To say OTF has changed my life for the better is an understatement. It has not only given me strength and better physical health, but it has been a source of refuge in times of struggle and has led me to some amazing friends in my life. You can’t put a price tag on that.


Consistency doesn’t mean never messing up— it means never giving up! 🤯 1 month before OTF ➡️ 22 months of OTFI’m not sure if it’s the vibrant atmosphere, the variation in challenging workouts, the enthusiasm from the coaches, or the friendships I’ve made with other members and studio staff… but @otfnwomaha is the only gym I’ve joined that I consistently go to and I absolutely look forward to every workout! 😄 Who else feels this way? I have @orangetheory to thank for giving me my life back in so many ways. It’s not just about the weight I’ve lost, but about all that I’ve gained. 🧡 I’ll be forever grateful.

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Even when life gets hectic, I make time for fitness and no longer let my health fall to the wayside.

Case in point: I now work in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)—my dream career!—taking care of the vulnerable neonate population. It’s the best, most fulfilling job ever. I work 12-hour shifts, but I have made a habit of getting up at 4 a.m. to get a workout in before work, showering at the gym, and heading straight to the hospital.

Some people call me crazy, but I’ve come to realize I have more energy and a sharper mind to get me through my shift when I work up a sweat in the morning versus if I sleep in the extra hour.


“The distance between your dreams and reality is called action.”⁣ ⁣ This #transformationtuesday is a reminder of where I started and where I’m at now. Of course I’m not where I want to be quite yet, but part of the journey is appreciating what you’re capable of TODAY, because it’s still more than yesterday. 💪🏽⁣ ⁣ I’ve worked so hard to get to this point I’m at right now. And life should be about enjoying EVERY step of the journey! 🖤Although I’m sure we’d all love a “quick fix”, the reward comes from putting in the hard work, day in and day out! Everyone has a bad day, and it’s important to never fall off the wagon (Easter, anyone?) and get right back on track the next day. ⁣ ⁣ I also want to mention #looseskin 😐 I’ve been asked if I have some and I definitely do in places including my lower stomach area. So even if I flex, it has almost no collagen in some areas. That’s to be expected and even though it makes me a little uncomfortable showing you this, I want to because it’s reality! It shows where I’ve come from and a visual testament to the hard work I’ve put in 🙌🏼

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The biggest lesson I have learned from my journey is that there’s no timeline for weight loss. Weight loss is not about a 30-day diet—it’s a lifestyle shift. My current goal is to achieve a 100-pound loss, but I don’t care about setting some arbitrary deadline for it, and I’m *not* a prisoner to the scale.

My journey is not about looking good in my clothes, but about feeling great in my own skin. Health looks different on everyone. It isn’t a number on the scale. It’s how you feel, how you sleep at night, the energy you exude, the happiness you feel in your heart, and the overall confidence you notice. Trust the process, be kind to yourself, and know that transformations aren’t just physical.

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