Hannah Lester is a 29-year-old woman from Puxico, Missouri and she lost over one hundred pounds after changing her lifestyle and eating habits. Standing at 5 feet 6 inches tall and at one point weighing more than 285 pounds, Hannah knew she had to make some changes. During an interview with Today, the school librarian said: ‘I picked up fast food on the way to class. It really became my go-to. I didn’t make very healthy choices. I was pretty lazy.’ Hannah went on to say that at the time she was working at a fast-food restaurant so that only enhanced her poor eating habits.
But when she graduated from school and started her first job that’s when an opportunity presented itself to her. Her co-workers started a weight-loss challenge among themselves at work and that’s what prompted her to begin her journey. Hannah said: ‘It gave me a reason to lose the weight. I kind of wanted to prove to myself that I can do this.’ On her own blog, notsoskinnyprincess.wordpress.com, she said: ‘I had tried numerous times to lose weight before I was finally successful because my first attempts were too restrictive. I would count calories and eventually go crazy and eat everything in sight. I decided to give weight loss one more try when a group of coworkers decided to start a weight loss challenge. I didn’t actively decide that I was going to need to make a lifestyle change, but I knew that my diets of the past just weren’t cutting it.’
Hannah said that one of the most important things she adhered to was sticking to a moderate goal. Rather than setting extremely lofty goals, Hannah explains that it is important to set goals that are attainable. Her first goal was to lose 35 pounds from January to May 2012. ‘Something just clicked. I lost that first 10 pounds and realized I could do it. I kept doing it because I wanted to win.’ Hannah said that she stopped eating fast food and went from drinking 6 sodas a day to just one. She also increased her water intake and upper her caloric expenditure by walking more.
Hannah was able to smash her goal in half the time and lost the first 35 pounds by March. In the interview with Today, Hannah said: ‘It came off really, really fast for me in the beginning. I needed to lose it so badly, the weight came off easily.’ Hannah quickly lost another 15 pounds and by that time she had lost a total of 50 pounds. She decided to up her cardio from one mile to four miles and at times she would even employ the use of a Stairmaster at the gym.
Hannah said: ‘I just started eating at home more. I didn’t actively make that decision to eat healthier. I really can do something if I honestly set my mind to it.’ Within another two years, Hannah was able to lose another 50 pounds and in total lost over one hundred pounds in three years. Hannah went on Facebook to showcase her weight loss journey and to provide inspiration and tips to those who wanted to listen. Her story can be found on Facebook in the Start Today Facebook Group.
Here are Hannah’s three tips from her weight loss journey. First, keep your ‘fat clothes.’ Hannah says that sometimes the scale can be lying. While there might not be any changes in terms of digits on the scale, noticing how clothes fit and how you look in the mirror is much more important. ‘I went from a size 22 to a size 12 — a 2X to a medium, that is almost more important than saying I lost all this weight. I can visually see (it by) looking at an old t-shirt.’
Secondly, as mentioned above, don’t just rely on the scale. Hannah explains ‘the scale was almost my enemy. If I didn’t like what it said, I was going on a downward spiral. These pants were a little snug but now I don’t have to unbutton them. That is what I look for.’ And finally, set manageable goals. ‘Don’t set a big huge goal that you may not reach right away. Set little goals. Make a goal just to walk for 30 minutes every day. Make a goal to cut back on something you eat a lot.’
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