My name is Faith Sloop (@trainingforamazing), and I am 23 years old. I live in Cleveland, Ohio and am a content creator. Competing on The Amazing Race my goal and my motivation came. He pushed me to start incorporate more nutritious foods into my diet and run every week. I have lost 190 pounds.
Before my current weight loss trip, I counted calories, restricted, and watched my weight for as long as I can remember. Growing up low income and busy (I wanted to be in every club), cheap fast food was most of what was accessible and convenient.
All my life I have been in the cycle of dieting – restricting and binging – over and over again. By the time I was 16, I had gained and lost the same 10 pounds, which felt like a million times. After a certain point, I stopped weighing myself.
I remember during my freshman year of college, I weighed right around 400 pounds. I was only 18 years old at the time and I was afraid of what my health would be like if I continued on that path.
I was looking for the encourage to be healthy for a while, but things changed when I took a job working in my college’s admissions office as a tour guide in the summer of 2017.
We had a lot of free time, and I decided it would be fun to pass the time by binge watching a TV show. I opened the Hulu app on my phone and got a new show recommendation, The Amazing Race. There were 27 seasons available, so I slowly started making my way through.
Everything has changed since that day. I knew immediately that I would do everything in my power to achieve my dream of competing The Amazing Race. I also knew that being over 400 pounds and in the condition I was in at the time, it would take a complete reorganization to make that dream come true. I decided that day that I had to get healthy, so that I could one day compete on the show. (My dream hasn’t come true yet, but it continues to inspire me!)
As a dieter since childhood, the best thing I could do was go slow.
I never cut anything out of my diet (carbs, sugar, etc.). Instead, I focused on adding more nutrition from healthy foods. Incorporating more of the right foods, rather than taking out the “bad foods”, is what worked for me.
This is what I eat a day now.
Breakfast: Superfood Smoothie (apple, spinach, peanut butter powder, chia seeds, almond milk)
Lunch: Thai shrimp gyoza from Trader Joe’s, edamame, low-fat string cheese, seasonal fruit
Snacks: dried apricots, rice cakes, popcorn, bell peppers
Dinner: Spaghetti squash with meatballs, turkey burgers, and cauliflower tater tots, or heavy veggie stir-fry bowls (brown rice, choice of meat, peppers, onions, pineapple)
dessert: Outshine strawberry popsicles, light ice cream, Rice Krispies treats
I also started exercising by walking on the treadmill at a slow pace while watching episodes of it The Amazing Race.
It was then that I gave myself at the gym my escape from classes, assignments, and responsibilities. Today, practice looks a little more intense. I try to jog or run four days a week, and I’m hoping to sign up for my first half marathon this summer!
Not going to lie – I went in running because I knew that if and when my dream compete on The Amazing Race if it comes true, running will be a pretty key skill. But I found love in being able to move my body in a way I never could.
My weight loss was successful with these three changes.
Take it slow. I used to always try to beat my weight loss by cutting out major food groups and restricting like crazy. It would work for a week, but then I would binge again. It wasn’t until I started changing who I was (making exercise an important part of my life, learning what vegetables and fruits I liked, and incorporating them into my diet everyday) that I ‘things really changed. I always say to people trying to lose weight, “If you’re not ready to change your lifestyle and habits, you’re not ready to change at all.”
Listen to your body. I now consider myself as “intuitive eatora” which means I don’t have to stick to a prescribed plan of three meals a day. Instead, I listen to my hunger cues. As a snacker, this has helped me curb so much of the mindless snacking I was used to. I call “He’s hungry.” Sometimes if I didn’t eat for a while, I would eat something because of it. But now I listen to my body a lot and ask what it needs.
Learn how you like to move your body. I love to tell people who want to lose weight, “If you don’t like running, you can still lose weight and never run a day in your life.” Growing up in America, so many of us learn to hate exercise because it is forced upon us. You can lose weight by dancing, swimming, kayaking, walking, and about a million other ways. Find one you like and go for it!
I have lost a little over 190 pounds, and it took about 3.5 years.
People ask me all the time, “How did you stay motivated for so long?” And the truth is I wasn’t. What am I did building habits that I would follow even on days I wasn’t feeling motivated. People think that exercise and salads are all you need to lose weight, and that’s not true.
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