Suejen's story - 60lb and counting
Name: Suejen Haynes
Age: Late 20s
Height: 5' 6"
Occupation: Self-employed baker
Currently lost: More than 60lbs
Journey: 1 year and 8 months
After suffering from the effects of being obese, co-owner of Forever Sweet, Suejen Haynes, decided enough was enough and embarked on a weight-loss journey. "The scary realisation that I blatantly avoided seeing my family - they demanded change - and wearing 2XL when you used to wear medium - this was beyond horrible. My breathing was being affected as well. I was tired once I was awake. I no longer wanted to live my life wondering if I would kill myself with the bullets of diabetes or heart disease or any other ammunition that being overweight supplied," shared Haynes.
Having gone though tremendous changes, Flair sat with Haynes for an intense one on one.
What has your journey
been like emotionally?
Weight loss is beyond physical change. There are moments when I do not feel like being active or caring about calories. There are times I am too busy to work out or eat as well as I would like and setbacks can be discouraging. I would lose 10lb and there was barely any difference in appearance, or sadly waiting for results for work you have not done can be bothersome. These days are few and outnumbered by the joy of weight loss and enjoying the changes, no matter how small they are. I am at a happier place, and I am enjoying a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
Did you have a set regimen?
I would not say I have a set regimen, because I love to find new and creative ways of doing things. There are aspects of my daily activities that are repeated, however. For instance, I love to drink a blend of fruit and vegetables before a workout, but I change the blend almost every week. Lots of water consumption, daily cup of green tea, vegetables and fruits are my everything. I find ways of adding them to every meal. For instance, if I have eggs for breakfast, I add loads of spinach and tomatoes. A glass of water with Apple cider vinegar and lemon juice is a must every day. I sincerely enjoy working out three or four times, I want some gorgeous muscles in the future too, Ha ha ha!
Was it as easy as it looks?
Easy? Ha ha ha! It is a challenge. Transformation collages seem to appear magical, but there is a mountain of victories and defeats behind each change. The first obstacle I overcame was to learn to forgive myself for my bad choices and decisions. At the beginning of my journey, I decided not to weigh myself but instead set goals with old jeans that do not fit anymore. I did not want to focus on my current state. Instead, I looked forward to getting back to the old me. I started off with small changes as it relates to my eating habits. The changes with the food choices was the greatest challenge for me. My strength was working out, but seriously struggled with cutting back on pasta and Chinese food. It was not until I understood the power of food and how it affects my progress that it got easier. I needed more than to lose weight, I needed to change my entire lifestyle. As time went by, I became stronger and it became less of a challenge. Supporters that are the closest to me made a world of positive difference. It is also important to celebrate small victories, they go a long way. I have a pair of jeans that I have not worn in years. I tried it on every month and modelled it for my husband, even though it could not pass my knee. Every time I tried the jeans on, it fit a little better. A few months passed, which I did not try to fit it. Then one day I decided to try it on again, and to my surprise, it was too big to be worn. God is good!
How much did your life change during and since?
Change is not the word. Instead it has been a mental revolution for me. Oh, it has been amazing. I am physically and mentally stronger. I no longer have to purchase clothing simply because it fits or select from the plus size clothing racks. Oh and my confidence meter went up a few notches ha ha ha. My overall outlook has changed completely. I live by health and fitness. At this point I cannot live any other way and I will not live any other way.
What is your ultimate weight goal?
My ultimate weight goal is between 145-150lbs
What advice would you give to someone overweight?
The first step is to start. It is best to start by making small changes. Start off walking then gradually increase your pace. Do not get comfortable when you have ascertained a particular goal. The moment you achieve a goal, move on to achieve the next goal. Always be positive. Associate with people that are supportive. I am blessed with an amazing husband and best friend, that are beyond amazing supporters,but please understand that you are your biggest cheerleader and motivator. Be realistic with your goals. Short terms goals can be most rewarding, as you get to enjoy small gains periodically. Yes it is great to create high standards but be sure to acknowledge that you will only gain what you give. Take lots of pictures, just to help in monitoring your progress.
Any other information you would like to share?
As complicated as it might seem the formula for weight loss is to consume less calories than you burn daily. Research online low calorie meals, smoothie ideas, low calorie, low fat substitutes. Cook your own meals, as much as you can. This way you know exactly what is your consuming. If you are very busy, practice meal prepping, search for places that offers salads and wraps or other healthier meal choices. Every time you are tempted to enjoy your favorite high calorie meal, ask yourself whether or not you can "afford" the high calorie count or not. It is not the end of the world if you ate a delicious slice of cheesecake, simply move and get back on track. Eliminating the concept of dieting and instead embracing the concept of changing your lifestyle will be more rewarding. it is important to establish the fact that no two persons are the same, what might work for someone might not work for you. Experiment with different ways being active and eating healthy. No matter how slow your results are, do any and everything except give up. It will become easier with time. Every chocolate bar or fries you refuse are more steps closer to your ideal weight, a healthier and if I am allowed to say, the most attractive version of you. Enjoy the journey because it will last for a lifetime.