Transformation of the Day: Sasha lost 72 pounds. This Mental Health Advocate used fitness to deal with grief and anxiety of losing several close family members in the span of 2 1/2 years. A low carb lifestyle works best for her, coupled with lots of exercise. Check out her story.

Sasha before and after

I’m a former Mental Health Specialist, turned Fitness Enthusiast, and Mental Health Advocate. At my heaviest, I tipped the scales at 242 pounds, and I’m only 5’2″. Over the course of the past 2 1/2 years, I lost my cousin to suicide, my aunt to heart failure (my cousin’s mother/my mom’s twin sister, ) and my grandmother, who was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer at 82 years old. I wanted to cave in. I wanted to give up, but God wouldn’t allow it.

Today, I stand tall (well, figuratively because I’m only 5’2″!) having utilized fitness as a way to cope with the grief and anxiety that resulted from such tragic circumstances. I’ve lost 65 pounds total, and I’ve done it NATURALLY over the course of 4 years.

My journey started in 2015, but I fluctuated and went back and forth in terms of consistency until more recently. God, fitness, meditation, and a strong support system are the only things that have kept me going. I thank God for my AMAZING husband and son! If I can do it, SO CAN YOU!

How did you change your eating habits?
Initially, I was on a very STRICT Keto diet. I also practiced Intermittent Fasting (16:8). I used the MyFitnessPal app and tracked EVERYTHING I ate, even if it happened to be a piece of sugar-free gum!

Currently, I am low carb, staying below 35 grams of carbs per day. I’m still intermittent fasting on a 16:8 schedule as well. However, sometimes, I’ll fast as long as 20 hours.

Tell us about your workout routine.
My workouts have been pretty consistent throughout my journey. I do cardio 4-5 days per week for at least 30 minutes and strength training three days per week. I have a stationary bike, but I also love using the elliptical at the gym.

What is your current weight?
My current weight is around 170 pounds, but it fluctuates 5lbs or so from week to week. I don’t weigh too often as I find it can be discouraging based on things like my monthly cycle, water intake, fruit and vegetable consumption, etc.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
If you aren’t genuinely happy with yourself, your heart, your spirit…no matter how much weight you lose, you still won’t be happy until the internal “you” has changed. Love yourself at your highest and lowest. Everything else is just a bonus!

What advice would you like to share?
Lose weight for yourself, for health, and for peace! Not for a man, revenge, or any other superficial reasons. Focus on your quality of life! Once your perspective changes, you’ll be amazed at not only your level of determination and consistency but your results will be that much sweeter!

Instagram: @mental_w8

Sasha before and after

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