“I lost 190 pounds. In 3.5 years by swapping out these healthy foods and start running.

My name is Faith Sloop (@trainingforamazing) and I’m 23 years old. I live in Cleveland, Ohio and am a content creator. line up The amazing race became my goal and my motivation. It got me started incorporating more nutritious foods into my diet and running every week. I’ve lost 190 pounds.

Prior to my current weight loss journey, I’ve been counting calories, restricting, and tracking my weight for as long as I can remember. Growing up on a low income and busy (I wanted to be in every club), cheap fast food was the most accessible and convenient.

All my life I had been on and off the diet cycle – restriction and binge eating. By the time I was 16, I’d gained and lost the same 10 pounds in what felt like a million times. At a certain point I stopped weighing myself.

I remember weighing about 400 pounds during my freshman year. I was only 18 at the time and I was very scared of what my health would be like if I continued on this path.

I’d been looking for motivation to get well for a while, but things changed when I accepted a job as a tour guide in my college’s admissions office in the summer of 2017.

We had plenty of free time and I decided it would be fun to while away the time watching a TV show. I opened the Hulu app on my phone and got a new show suggestion. The amazing race. There were 27 seasons available so I slowly worked my way through.

Everything changed from that day on. I knew immediately that I would do everything in my power to achieve my dream of continuing to race The amazing race. I also knew that at over 400 pounds and in the position I was in then, it would take a total reinvention to make that dream a reality. I decided that day that I had to get healthy so I could one day take part in the show. (My dream hasn’t come true yet, but it keeps motivating me!)

As someone who has been on a diet since childhood, the best thing I could do was take it slow.

I have never removed anything from my diet (carbs, sugar, etc.). Rather, I focused on adding more nutrients from healthy foods. inclusion of more To the right Food instead of taking out the “bad food” has worked for me.

Here’s what I eat in a day now.

  • Breakfast: Superfood Smoothie (Apple, Spinach, Peanut Butter Powder, Chia Seeds, Almond Milk)

  • Having lunch: Gyoza with Thai prawns from Trader Joe’s, edamame, low-fat spread cheese, seasonal fruit

  • Snacks: Dried Apricots, Rice Cakes, Popcorn, Peppers

  • Dinner: Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs, Turkey Burger and Cauliflower Tater Tots or Vegetarian Stir-Fry (Brown Rice, Choice of Meat, Peppers, Onions, Pineapple)

  • Dessert: Outshine strawberry popsicles, enlightened ice cream, Rice Krispies treats

I also started exercising by walking slowly on the treadmill while watching an episode of The amazing race.

That hour I devoted to the gym was my escape from class, assignment, and responsibility. Movement looks a little more intense these days. I try to jog or run four days a week and am hoping to sign up for my first half marathon this summer!

I like the feeling of getting my body moving every day, be it a YouTube dance workout (EMFFit is my absolute favorite) or a walk! I like to train at my own pace, so in the end it’s always my choice to do things on my own.

I won’t lie – I got into running because I knew if and when my dream of competing would continue The amazing race comes true, running is going to be a pretty important skill. But I’ve found love for being able to move my body in ways I never could before.

These three changes have made my weight loss a success.

  1. Slow down. I used to always try to speed up my weight loss by cutting out large food groups and restricting them like crazy. It would work for a week, but then I would binge again. It wasn’t until I started making changes (making exercise an important part of my life, learning what veggies and fruits I like and incorporating them into my daily diet) that things actually changed. I always tell people who want to lose weight, “If you’re not ready to change your lifestyle and habits, you’re not ready to change at all.”

  2. Listen to your body. I now consider myself an “intuitive eater,” meaning I don’t necessarily stick to a prescribed three-meal-a-day schedule. Rather, I listen to my hunger signals. As a snacker, this has helped me curb so much of the mindless snacking I was used to. I call it “boredom in the mouth”. Sometimes, when I hadn’t eaten for a while, I would eat something just like that. But now I really listen to my body and ask what it needs.

  3. Learn to love moving your body. I love saying to people who want to lose weight, “If you don’t like running, you can still lose weight and not run a day of your life.” Growing up in America, so many of us learn to hate sports because he is forced upon us. You can lose weight by dancing, swimming, kayaking, walking, and about a million other ways. Find one you like and do it!

I lost just over 190 pounds and it took about 3.5 years.

People ask me all the time, “How did you keep the motivation up for so long?” And the truth is, I didn’t. What I did was to build habits that I would maintain even on days when I wasn’t feeling motivated. People think that losing weight has to be non-stop exercise and salads, and that’s just not true.

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