Transformation of the Day: Carol lost 50 pounds. After a messy separation and divorce, she found the mental release she needed through working out and focusing on her health. Check out her inspiring transformation story.

Carol before and after

In 2014, I found myself in another failing marriage. I wanted to save our marriage by giving him a child. I was his first wife and this would be his first child. I joined a local gym to drop some weight before having surgery to reverse a tubal ligation I received after my last child. My baby girl was the result of rape.

However, I “woke up” and realized that reversing the surgery would be a huge mistake. So, I decided to let my new found love for working out be all about creating a better version of me both physically and mentally. The discovery of complete mental release through working out changed my life!

In 2015, my gym closed its doors and left me with either going to another location or giving up. It took me eight months for me to return to working out, but I had to continue my new journey. My progress became my drive. It took me three years to start going to the gym for more than three days a week.

A messy separation and divorce really took its toll on me. Being an emotional eater didn’t help with my physical progress. However, I would not give up on myself.

In 2017, I met a man who truly understood and appreciated my passion for working out and eating healthy. We cook together and look for healthier options when grocery shopping. He does not work out. He is blessed with excellent genes and avoids eating foods that are not good for him. I’ve completed several 60 Day transformation challenges at my gym, which encouraged me to discover better ways to eat and more effective ways to workout.

I was an orphan at age 4, so I don’t have any information regarding my family medical history. This drives me to pay close attention to my health. This transformation has become a life long journey and may help me avoid future health problems that could have been the result of the way I used to treat my temple.

What was your motivation? What inspired you to keep going, even when you wanted to give up?
My motivation was the mirror. I began to hate the way I looked and how my clothes were fitting. I refused to believe that getting older meant wearing a size 14/16 was acceptable for me. Also, my health concerns began to increase in years leading up to me reaching a little over 210 pounds. I’ve had six children, and I was tired of looking like I have six children. (whatever that looks like, LOL!)

How did you change your eating habits?
I started drinking more water, and I cut out sodas. Over time, I stopped eating fast food and developed a new relationship with food. Veggies and fruits became my energy source. Meal plans didn’t work for me. Through conversations with trainers and my own research, I learned what foods worked best for my body. I started living by a new creed, “Eat to live, not live to eat.”

What did your workout routine consist of?
I work out 5 to 6 days a week. I began by just doing cardio, but now I have shifted to weight lifting, moderate cardio, and various exercise classes. My favorite class is “HOT SPIN.”

What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
My starting weight was 210 pounds, but maybe closer to 215 pounds. My current weight is 160 pounds, but I dropped down to 155lbs after a weight loss challenge in April.

What is your height?
I’m 5’3″.

Carol before and after

When did you start your journey? How long did your transformation take?
I started my journey in 2014. I dropped most of my weight by 2018. So far, I’ve lost an additional 15 pounds this year. (My before photos are from 2010 to 2014. My after photos are from 2017 to 2019.)

Is weight loss surgery part of your journey?
No. Surgery may happen later down the road to help tighten up my tummy area. It’s pretty loose after having six children, but I have lots of muscle underneath that is ready to shine. LOL!

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
My eating habits are where my success lies when it comes to transforming into the best version of myself. Also, I never strive to look like someone else. There is only one me, and I want to be the best me I can be!

What advice do you have for women who want to lose weight?
My advice to others is to start by creating a different relationship with food. All success begins in the mind. You can’t out-train a bad diet. Additionally, I would remind them to start slow and remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint.

Currently, I’m connecting with African Americans who have decided to become better versions of themselves through working out and developing a better relationship with food. It is my passion to encourage everyone, especially within the African American community to strive for healthier versions of themselves. At age 48, I’ve noticed so many of my classmates from various schools experiencing health problems or passing away at young ages due to poor health.

Instagram: @caroljohnstoneojtv
Facebook: JustmeTheCarolJohnston

Here is the video of my feature for my gym, Burbank Fitness Club.

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