Transformation Tuesday with Britney Vest
Everyone has a transformation story. Britney walked into a Weight Watchers meeting and this was the beginning of Britney's journey which has changed her lifestyle for the better. It took discipline and persistence for her to enjoy a fit and healthy life. Today she shares how she melted away the excess baggage and now rocking a bikini with confidence. Welcome Brit YOU LOOK AMAZING!!! If you too have a story to share, please fill out our Q&A here I would love to feature you.
How old are you and please can you share your health and fitness journey to date?
I'm 28 years old. I had been overweight ever since I can remember. My weight was always an "issue" with my parents and grandparents, it was the one area of my life that I felt like a failure at but at the same time didn't care enough to make a change. I finally was proactive about making a lifestyle change August 11, 2010. I was 23 years old. I walked into a weight watchers meeting. This was the beginning of my journey and I didn't even know it. I had walked into weight watcher meetings so many times before, with the hope to change but this time was finally different. I stepped onto the scale like I had done so many times before and saw my starting weight, 250 pounds. two hundred and fifty pounds. I was measured at 5’8, given my materials and joined the other meeting go-ers in a semi-circle near the back of the room. My mom (my weight-loss partner in crime) was with me. I attended these meetings and weigh-ins weekly for about three months and had lost about 2o pounds in that amount of time and then I hit my first plateau. I decided to start adding in exercise to my routine. I joined a gym and hired a personal trainer, i trained 3 to 4 times a week and did cardio the other days. I started seeing a big change in my body with the addition of cardio and weights. After a couple more months though I got stuck again and talked my trainer about my nutrition. He suggested I try eating clean for two weeks. So he wrote me out a meal plan and I followed it. In two weeks I was down 8 pounds and off my plateau again. I felt great and I knew clean eating was the way to go. I never stayed 100% clean but I started keeping a 75% clean diet to 25% treats. I became obsessed with the scale, weighing myself multiple times a day. I talked about what I weighed and how much I ate everyday to anyone who would listen. I constantly had my mind on how I could lose more and what I needed to do to keep my body in weight loss mode. I started working out twice a day, sitting in the steam room and sauna after my workouts and barely eating. I wanted to get down to 160 pounds. The days leading up to one of my final weigh-ins i barely ate a thing, barely drank any water and I worked out twice each day, the actual day I weighed in I ate nothing, drank nothing, worked out, sat in the steam room and then showered (almost fainting) but was able to then drive to my weight watchers meeting and weighin. I had reached my goal. 160 pounds. I had officially lost 86 pounds. this was definitely my lowest point both weight wise and health wise. I was just obsessed with seeing a number on the scale and once I finally got to that number I went straight from my weigh-in to a chipolte and ate like I had never seen food before. I went on a hiatus after that from weighing in and weight watchers in general. I told myself I needed a break, a mental break from it all. I had to stop obsessing constantly and for me the only way I could do that was to stop everything I was doing, I stopped writing in my food journal, I stopped going to my meetings, I stopped weighing myself and I stopped worrying about what I was eating. During that time I still worked out though, just not as much. After about 4 months of not being strict i got back on the scale and I had gained back about 10 pounds maybe even 15. But I was starting to not be so miserable, I had my friends back and more of a life outside of weight-loss and I was happier. This has lead me to my current lifestyle. I believe strongly in balance and eating healthy and getting in my workouts, but I don't obsess with a number on the scale. I still check-in and weigh myself every other day but I also stare at myself in the mirror before and ask myself how I feel. A number shouldn't affect your day and your mood and it took me a long time to realize that. Today I'm down over 70 pounds from my original highest weight and I'm truly happy with my body! I had my extra-skin removed about two years ago as well and that has boosted my confidence even more. My body is strong and happy and it can accomplish anything it wants to!
What types of foods did you used to eat as a kid and young adult? What's changed since then?
I used to eat a lot of fast food growing up, my mom also cooked a lot but there were plenty of days we would go swing by Burger King or our favorite Mexican restaurant to grab dinner. As I got older, I started to eat slightly healthier because my mom cooked dinners more regularly but when I went off to school I mostly ate school lunches which included things like bags of Cheetos, fried food, and just a lot of processed food because back then eating healthy just wasn't as important. Once I hit college and had complete freedom over what I was eating it just became a blur. I would attempt to eat salads but then would cover them in horrible fattening dressing, which would totally defeat the purpose of the healthy part! Post college life, I drank and went out to eat a lot with coworkers and friends and then finally in 2011 I joined Weight Watchers and actually started to care about what I was feeding my body. In early 2012, I learned what eating clean meant and now I sort of live off the lifestyle of having a healthy balance. I eat about 75% clean and about 25% healthy treats! Moderation and balance help to keep me sane and to not binge or having to feel deprived.
Do you play any sports or what sports do you like watching?
I grew up swimming, playing soccer, and tennis. I enjoy watching football and I still go and play tennis in the spring and summer months! I get most of my activity though running or working out at the gym.
What are your interests, passion and what makes you smile?
I’m a graphic designer; I love art and creating it. I love to paint, take pictures, spend time with family and friends, travel to warm sunny places, and the color pink always brings a smile to my face! I also truly love writing my blog posts and updating my Instagram and other social media pages. I love helping other woman and men realize they can change their bodies to the ones that they want if they just try. I love that I get to inspire people daily with my journey, reading comments and emails from followers has brought tears of happiness to me several times. The fact that I not only realized my potential but am helping others do the same will forever make me happy!
What was the catalyst that sparked your lifestyle change?
I honestly hate to even write this out and I hate to say that this is what broke me down and made me finally finally realize i had a problem, but here it is – i’m going to say it. I was visiting my then boyfriend and we were talking about what to eat while driving back to his house, and he looked at me and said he was tired of being over-weight and he thought I had also recently put on some extra weight. I was so upset, he was the one person in my life who never had a problem with my weight. He never mentioned it and he always said I was beautiful and now he was saying what my parents and grandparents and society had been saying all along. I was furious, I was confused, and I was sad.
We ended up breaking up that weekend and my life changed forever. i went back home and was upset for a while and then one morning i literally woke up and said that enough was enough. just. like. that.
I know that people really don’t believe me sometimes when I say that but it honestly just finally clicked. My mind decided okay I’m ready to do this. I didn't think any more about what would happen or how long it would take or how painful and exhausting it would be. I didn't think about it at all, I just did it.
What are some of your dreams/goals you hope to achieve over the next 12 months?
My goals for the next year include; building up my brand and blog, continue writing posts, create some new healthy recipes, practice yoga more, and to really tighten and define my legs. I would also like to focus on overall happiness and living guilt free when it comes to food and the gym. I want to continue this lifestyle forever and therefore I need to make it one that makes me happy and healthy, both mentally and physically!
What tips would you like to share with my readers about your transformation?
1. REALIZE YOU WANT TO MAKE A CHANGE & that you are ready for that change! 2. TELL YOUR LOVED ONES they will help keep you accountable. 3. PICK YOUR PROGRAM and stick to it! 4. COMMUNITY, find a place for support for me it was local WW meetings and Instagram is a great place too! 5. WRITE IT DOWN --- journal everything you eat, it helps tremendously. 6. BREAK A SWEAT, however you want but sweat often and you will see results! 7. DON’T BE SHY, ASK FOR HELP, asking questions and being curious is a great thing, always continue learning about the process. 8. BECOME A PLANNER, plan your workouts and your meals, it will help you stay focused and on track. 9. CONSISTENCY, this might be the hardest step but it's the one that is most important. being consistent allows your body to actually realize a change is occurring! 10. TREAT YO SELF, don't forget to enjoy life still and have a treat every once in awhile, just don't let it completely derail you, enjoy and then continue on your journey for fit and healthy! 11. KEEP GOING -- no matter what just keep going, as long as you're trying that's all that matters!
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