This Woman Only Weighs Two Pounds More In Her ‘Before’ Photo

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This Woman Only Weighs Two Pounds More In Her ‘Before’ Photo

It’s all about the muscle.

I’ve been worried about my weight since I hit puberty.

I can remember being 16 years old and watching a commercial for a weight-loss pill that was supposed to help people eat less food. They kept showing food left on the plate after a meal. Already feeling fat and hating the way I looked, but having no money for this magic solution, I thought, “I’ll just start leaving some food on my plate.” In addition to this unhealthy strategy, I took up running to help shed my baby fat.

When I moved to Los Angeles for college, I started drinking heavily and quickly packed on the pounds, going from 140 to 195 pounds in less than a year. After college, I stayed in the city for my first job, but got laid off during the financial crisis of 2009. At that point, I was 24, still drinking excessively, and found myself feeling deeply depressed.

After a year of endless job searching, I decided to end my relationship with alcohol, and I set out to take back my mental and physical health. A friend gave me the P90X DVD, and I started running again. But I spent the next three years packing on, then shedding the same 20 pounds through various workout programs from Jillian Michaels to inconsistent cardio.

Four years later, I was 28, and tired of feeling depressed about my body. I had just gotten into Instagram and I was searching for inspiring ladies to follow. I came across Kayla Itsines and her Bikini Body Guides (BBG).

The gym has always intimidated me, so I loved that these were at-home workouts. I also loved that they were 30 minutes or less. After seeing so many photos of amazing results on Instagram, I was determined to finish the 12-week BBG program.

This program was a great fit for me. I loved that it incorporated running, which I’ve always enjoyed. But what really made it stick was the online community. I would wake up in the morning and scroll through the BBG hashtags to be inspired and get my booty into gear for that day’s work out. Week after week, I stuck with my routine of three plyo workouts and two days of running.

I wouldn’t see the progress day to day, but I took tons of progress photos. After about 10 weeks, I dared to show my first transformation photo on my account, which wasn’t even my body—it was just the changes my face had showed. The community was insanely positive and uplifting. Then I started to get a little more confident, and shared my full-body progress photos. I felt amazing, both mentally and physically.

After 24 weeks, I’d lost 20 pounds and felt great. I had never stuck with a program for such a long time. What’s more, I loved every second of it, wasn’t getting bored, and felt motivated to set new goals.

But even though I lost the weight, I quickly learned that what I really wanted was to have definition—and constant cardio wasn’t going to build muscle. So I joined my local gym, even though I didn’t really know what I was doing with the weights.

I started using online guides to help me, and soon I was seeing increases in my strength. The scale started climbing back up with more muscle mass.

After two years of doing BBG regularly, my favorite IG crush, Kelsey Wells, came out with her PWR weight lifting program. I was sold. This is exactly what I was looking for in a program. And I’ve been doing it ever since.

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