Name: Mara Schiavocampo, “Good Morning America” correspondent and author of THINspired
Before Weight: 230 pounds
How I Gained It: Years of stress eating, paired with diet fatigue, plus 40 pounds of baby weight.
Breaking Point: When I gave birth to my daughter, I was the heaviest I’d ever been, and I refused to stay that way. I simply did not want to return to work with any baby weight. I wanted to be back in my old clothes. I wasn’t upset or depressed, just determined. I didn’t give myself any outs or excuses. None, period. I made it my number one priority.
How I Lost It: By far, the biggest factor was changing my diet. I eliminated virtually all processed foods, as well as my trigger foods, including flour, dairy and wine. It was excruciating, but I made it through, and I detail exactly what steps I took in the book THINspired. I also started prioritizing sleep. One of the things my book focuses on is how important sleep is for weight loss. While I learned to truly love exercise, I also learned that it’s not nearly as big of a factor in weight loss as I previously thought. It actually plays a pretty small role in shedding pounds. I learned to appreciate exercise apart from using it as a weight loss tool, and that helped me tone up and gain muscle.
My life is totally, completely different now. I went from exclusively eating packaged, processed foods or takeout, to fresh, clean, healthy food. I don’t eat anything processed. I also never eat my trigger foods. I avoid them like the plague. I simply cannot eat those things in moderation. I’ve mourned that, accepted it and moved on. The more refined my diet gets, the better I want it to be. It’s a positive cycle of feedback. Eating nutritious foods makes me feel so good that I just want to give my body better and better choices.
Aside from the food, I’ve also learned real stress management, as opposed to stuffing all of my feelings down with food. I pray a lot and have started yoga and meditation. More than anything, though, I’ve found that exercise is the best stress reliever and such an amazing mood booster. I work out eight to 10 times a week. I do a ton of different activities, including SoulCycle, Barry’s Bootcamp, yoga and barre classes. I used to hate exercise. Now I love it.
From Black Health Zone