Hi guys! I’m really excited to introduce you to LaToya, 33, an opera singer from Brooklyn, NY I met through Taj. She is so sassy and determined to meet her goals--I left our interview seriously motivated to reach my goal weight! Hopefully her positive attitude will rub off on you, too.
What's your goal?
To weigh 175 lbs. (37 lbs from where I’m at right now)
In how long?
I’d like to do it by February 1st.
How bad do you want it?
More than anything. I’ve been on this plateau forever and I’m ready to get off of it.
So how much weight have you lost thus far?
I’ve used to be 272, and I’ve always been heavy. I remember being in high school and being like "Whoo! I’m 254." Everybody in my family is heavy. The guys would play sports, but in terms of the women in my family, nobody exercises.
Where are you from, originally?
New Orleans, [where] the motto is, “Others may eat to live, but in New Orleans, you live to eat.”And we do. Everything is surrounded by food. Every get-together. There’s no, “let’s meet at the park and go for a walk.” No. We’re gonna eat at grandma’s house…
So how has your eating changed?
In the Bible , Paul says, everything is permissible to me, but not everything is beneficial.” So just because I can have that pie, it doesn’t benefit me. So I try to remind myself…I remember Oprah saying one time, “This won’t be your last opportunity to have a biscuit. You don’t have to have that biscuit right now.” SoI just keep reminding myself: “Toya, because you can eat it, you don’t have to. It’s OK. The world’s not going to end." So now, I’m doing dotFIT , I stay within my calories, and I love how the show the fat, protein and carbs – that 30-40-30 thing .
Tell me a little bit more about Dot Fit, for our readers who don’t know about it.
It’s an interactive website where you interact with a trainer or coach via the internet or via email. They can observe what you’re eating, help you with fitness. You can also get meal plans from there and strength training exercises as well, on your own...It’s like a coach online.
SO, you used to be 272 – what were the gradual changes? Because I know that in the beginning, there’s a shift in your thinking.
I think when I got to college. I always knew I was heavy in high school, being teased and stuff like that, but it wasn’t enough to make me want to do something different. And I didn’t get any encouragement from family members saying, you need to do something about this, because we were all big.
I think when I got to college being around my much smaller friends – it just seemed like they had so much more fun – dating guys and, shopping…I used to hate going to the mall with my friends because I could only go to Lane Bryant, and they had ALL these other stores to choose from. And so it was at that point where I knew, “I don’t want to look like this anymore. I don’t want to be this big, this heavy. And I tried any diet that was out there. And I don’t know, it was just kinda up and down, off and on—I would lose 20lbs and I’d gain 30, and I’d lose 15 and gain 20. It was just inconsistent. And finally, I did Weight Watchers, and I was able to lose a big chunk of weight. Of course I gained it back (laughs) and finally I got to this point, and I’ve been. I guess I was at [around] 226 for two years. And finally, I’m at this point where I’m tired of this yo yo. I need to get off this mountain for too long, and I need to get off of it and get to my goal weight, where I’ve wanted to be, it seems my whole life.
And I love that since I’ve been at Crunch and I met Taj and being in Marco’s class (another Crunch fitness instructor) – I feel like I’ve met people that are interested in me. It’s very personal--they care. And I’ve had trainers before, but I’ve never felt that before. Like with Taj –[she’ll ask me] “What did you eat? What are you doing?” And I’m not even her client! She’s just my friend.
How long has it been since you joined Crunch?
I joined in November of last year, so one year.
Have you made any changes so far to accomplish your goal?
I’ve always been a person that works out, and when I say “always,” I mean recently, but it was my eating habits that didn’t complement the exercise…so when I joined Crunch, every day I’d do African dance and I’d do this class and that class…but then I’d go and eat a hamburger…so finally, I’m getting both of them to work together, and that’s what’s making the difference.
So what’s your next step to reach your goal? How is the weight going to drop?
I started doing 2 workouts a day. In the morning, I usual do your Couch to 5K program (awesome!)3 to 4 days a week; and then the stairs.
Oh. That machine is brutal!
Yeah, but for some strange reason, I love it. And that’s in addition boxing, Taj’s cardio sculpt class, and spinning. I do spinning once or twice a week. I also do African dance, pole dancing, hot yoga…I’m always doing something.
How long do you stay on the Stairmaster?
30 minutes. Except the other day, I was watching the Yankees game and it ended up being 40 minutes.
What helps keep you motivated at this point?
The support that I get from Taj, Marco, the Crunch staff. And seeing my family when I go home. Everytime I go home, I’m a little smaller.
How do they react?
They’re excited. Well my mom makes comments like, “ I think you’re obsessed with working out. Every time I talk to you, you’re talking about the gym.” Or, "Don’t get too small.” She’s funny…but yeah, my family is very encouraging. And my friends: On my facebook page when I put up a new picture, they go crazy. Those kinds of things…and my other motivation is to be able to shop. I’m finally not in Lane Bryant sizes for the first time in my life. My other motivation: to be able to go in Macy’s on the regular rack and not have to go to the sixth floor to the plus size. I just want more of a selection…I don’t want to have to get the one dress, because that’s all they have.
Do you have any final words? Anything to encourage our readers?
My family is heavily diabetic and most of them have high blood pressure, because of obesity-related issues. And I want to live. I don’t want to have to take medication. I’ve watched my grandma and my aunt give themselves injections because they have diabetes, and I’m not doing it. So, at this point, I’m taking charge of my life now. And when I say live, I don’t mean exist. I mean LIVE, like I want to do a triathlon. I want to do a full marathon when I’m 35. That’s my goal.
You go girl!
I heard Joel Olsteen say, “You don’t just want to survive, you want to thrive.”
So there you have it, guys. I hope you were inspired by Toya’s drive. We’ll check back in with her in a couple of months to see how she’s doing. And remember—don’t lose sight of your goals—you can do it!