Lighten Up: Nearly 100 pounds thinner and now feeling like a winner

A slimmed-down Lizabel Pittman. (photo submitted)
A slimmed-down Lizabel Pittman. (photo submitted)

When you first meet Lizabel Pittman of New London, you see a slender, healthy young lady who takes care of herself. It’s not until you talk to her or see one of her old pictures that you find out that she used to be 100 pounds heavier.

“I was 245 pounds after I had my son,” explains Pittman, who is 5-foot-6. “I was just kind of playing with him and it was really, really hard to just run around and literally play with him. It started really upsetting me, so I just kind of looked at him one day and said, ‘Before you can really, fully run (he was crawling at the time), I want to run after you without being out of breath.’”

Pittman’s son, Jerome, who is now 2 years old, is what motivated Pittman to start the grueling journey of weight loss. The very next day, Pittman remembered her mother asking her if she’d like to try out some workout videos that she had.

She also did extensive research on what types of foods she should be eating and developed a meal plan for herself.

“It’s amazing how your body can change,” Pittman says with a smile. “In 90 days, your body kind of re-starts itself and it’s really pretty amazing.”

Losing that kind of weight was no easy task. For Pittman, 21, who says that she had been overweight since age 12, a majority of her life was spent being told that she was “big and fat.”

Meal prep has always been the key for her success. As a mom, her priority is always her son first, so she has had times where she would forget about herself and her own meal prep, until she gets back on track. Fruits and veggies became go-to snacks, as well as boiled eggs, fish, chicken, and water, lots and lots of water.

Of course, Pittman has her cheat days when she will enjoy a slice of pizza or eat a whole container of ice cream. She has learned to maintain her weight and is able to go back to her meal plan when she’s indulged on her favorites.

As for her fitness regime, Pittman had already walked everywhere (she didn’t have a car at the time), and realized that because she was already used to it, walking just wasn’t helping her. She began working out using T25 videos (incredibly intense workouts created by famous health trainer Shaun T) and doing jumping squats and other similar workout moves.

“That second day, I felt like my body would break!” exclaims Pittman. “I did it again, the next day, my body felt even worse. I worked out every single day. ... I worked out intensely for six days and Sundays would be a 25-minute stretch day, a yoga-type of thing.”

Pittman gradually increased her workouts to twice a day, four times a week, while taking care of Jerome and working a full-time job at night. She kept up this progression and went from a size 18 (at 245 pounds) in June 2015, down to her current size 2. Her lowest weight has been 145 (a total 100-pound loss!), but she has bulked up in muscle these past six months with body lifting, and is now at a comfortable 150.

“I wouldn’t have known where to start,” says Pittman, thanking her mom for being her major support system and introducing her to the workout videos that started her weight loss journey. “When I was 15, she was overweight and lost 200 pounds, so I thought, ‘well, my mom did it’. I just told myself that if you really want to lose the weight, you can!”

Pittman currently is a personal trainer at the Waterford Planet Fitness, where she has been since April, and has been a health and wellness coach with It Works!, a skin care and nutrition company that sells weight loss supplements, multivitamins and skin care products.

“I don’t ever over-use supplements,” she explains. “It’s only there to help your skin so it can rehydrate and tighten up naturally instead of using it as an easy way out, because there is no easy way out.”

And, with that note, I open it up to you, readers. What kinds of weight loss methods have you tried? Have you been successful? I’d love to hear your story!

Erika Y. Gradecki operates Food For Your Soul LLC. She can be reached at foodfys@gmail.com

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