“I lost 190 lbs. in 3.5 years just by making these healthy food swaps and working out.”

My name is Faith Sloop (@trainingforamazing) and I’m 23 years old. I live in Cleveland, Ohio and I am a content creator. In the race The Amazing Race became my goal and motivation. That’s what got me started incorporating more nutritious foods into the diet and running weekly. I lost 190 kilograms.

Before my current weight loss journey, I had been counting calories, restricting myself, and watching my weight for as long as I could remember. Growing up low-income and busy (I wanted to be in every club), cheap fast food was the most accessible and convenient.

All my life I’ve been in a cycle of dieting—restriction and bingeing—over and over again. By the time I was 16, I had lost 10 pounds in what felt like a million times. After a certain amount of time, I stopped weighing myself.

I remember my freshman year of college weighing about 400 pounds. I was only 18 years old at the time and I was afraid of what would happen to my health if I continued on this path.

I’ve been looking for motivation to improve my health for quite some time, but everything fell into place in the summer of 2017 when I got a job as a tour guide at my college’s admissions office.

We had a lot of free time and I decided it would be fun to spend time watching TV. I opened the Hulu app on my phone and got a new show recommendation, The Amazing Race. There were 27 seasons, so I started slowly.

Everything changed from that day. I knew right away that I would do whatever it took 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, I would have to completely reinvent myself to make this dream come true. I decided that day that I needed to be healthy so I could be on the show one day. (My dream has yet to come true, but it continues to motivate me!)

As a dieter since I was a kid, the best thing I did was go slow.

I never cut anything out of my diet (carbs, sugar, etc.). Instead, I focused on adding more healthy foods. more inclusive is correct Food, rather, removing “bad foods” worked for me.

Here’s what I eat in a day now.

  • Morning: Superfood Smoothie (apples, spinach, peanut butter powder, chia seeds, almond milk)

  • lunch: Thai shrimp gyoza from Trader Joe’s, edamame, low-fat cheese, seasonal fruit

  • Food: Dried apricots, rice cakes, popcorn, bell peppers

  • The dinner: Meatballs, turkey burgers and cauliflower spaghetti, or veggie-heavy stir-fries (brown rice, choice of meat, peppers, onions, pineapple)

  • dessert: Bright Strawberry Popsicles, Light Ice Cream, Rice Krispies Snacks

I started exercising by walking on the treadmill at a slow pace while watching another episode The Amazing Race.

That hour I gave myself at the gym was my escape from classes, assignments, and responsibilities. At the moment, the exercise seems a little more intense. I try to jog or run four days a week and hope to sign up for my first half marathon this summer!

I like to move my body every day, whether it’s a YouTube dance workout (EMKFit my absolute favorite) or walking! I like to work at my own pace, so self-employment is always my choice.

I’m not going to lie – I got into running because I knew when and how I dreamed of competing The Amazing Race If it does, running becomes a very basic skill. But I found love because I could never move my body.

These three changes made my weight loss successful.

  1. Take it easy. I’ve always tried to rush to lose weight by cutting out major food groups and restricting like crazy. It would work for a week, but I would go back to drinking. It wasn’t until I started changing who I was (exercise became an important part of my life, I learned which vegetables and fruits I liked and incorporated them into my daily diet) that things really 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,” which means I don’t necessarily stick to a three-meal-a-day meal plan. Instead, I hear signs of hunger. As a snack, it helped curb the silly snacks I was used to. I call it “oral boredom.” Sometimes I would eat something if I hadn’t eaten in a long time. But now I’m really listening to my body and asking what it needs.

  3. Learn to move your body. I love people who want to lose weight: “If you don’t like running, lose weight and never run a day in your life.” Growing up in America, 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 do it!

It took me about 3.5 years to lose a little over 190 pounds.

I’m always asked, “How did you stay motivated for so long?” they ask. And the truth is, I’m not. What am I? did I’ve created habits that I can continue with even on days when I’m not motivated. People think that losing weight requires constant exercise and salads, which is not true.

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