Weight Loss Success Story: Cherie Steffen

Today’s success story comes from another blogger, Cherie.  She blogs over at Cherie Runs This.

She has successfully lost 85 pounds and has adopted a whole new lifestyle with healthy eating and exercise.

This is who she USED to be:

Weight Loss Success Story Cherie in November of 2009 Before Losing 86 pounds.

Weight Loss Success Story Cherie in November of 2009 Before Losing 86 pounds.

Check her out now:

Cherie in February of 2013 after losing 86 pounds!

Cherie in February of 2013 after losing 86 pounds!

Isn’t she a knockout?!?  Wow!  You are going to love her story!

Tell us a little about yourself, your family, your job, etc…

I am 35 years old, married and live in Mebane, NC. I’m originally from just outside of Pittsburgh, PA. To pay the bills I work as a Leasing Consultant for an apartment community in Chapel Hill, NC, but my heart’s desire is to be working as a personal trainer/fitness motivator. I’m currently certified as a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and studying to be a Fitness Nutrition Specialist as well. My goal is to have my own virtual/online personal training/fitness nutrition/fitness motivation business. I do that already through my blog and many other forms of social media, but the end goal is to pay my bills by doing so!

How long did it take you to get to your ideal weight? Are you there now?

I began my fitness journey in January 2010. Right now, I’m at a good size where I look good in my clothes. The goal was to look good naked, so haha, almost! I began putting a greater emphasis on weight lifting this past December and slowly my body is getting to that “look good naked” status.

What was your motivation to lose weight?

While my mother was on her deathbed in June 2009, she told me to lose weight. Then, six months later in January 2010, my teacher humiliated me in front of many fellow students by calling me “Precious” out loud. Those two together did it.

Cherie Before Losing 86 pounds.

Cherie Before Losing 86 pounds.

What made you decide to start your weight loss journey?

An embarrassingly hurtful comment from a teacher was the catalyst. He called me “Precious” {as in the fat black girl in the movie titled, Precious} in front of a bunch of fellow students. I had gone back to school to obtain a second degree and was already nervous about being an older student. Then a few days after school started, he did that. I also promised my mother while she was on her deathbed in June 2009 due to her telling me to lose weight. But the teacher’s comment sparked me into action. Instead of internalizing the comment and eating my sad feelings away, I sprang into action and vowed to never be so embarrassed again.

What kept you on track losing weight?

My pride. I couldn’t ever be compared to such an obese person again and feel the way I felt that day. I had let myself go and was determined, hell or high water, to lose the weight this time. The right way; the healthy way–not matter how long it took.

Tell us about a typical day in terms of eating and exercise.

I go to the gym after work Monday through Thursday to focus on weight lifting first and then cardio afterwards. Friday is my rest day. Saturdays and Sundays I work out at home usually doing cardio, but I end up lifting weights a little too. Sometimes I do two-a-days, and do cardio in the morning before work as well. But not always, haha…I do love my sleep and like to work out in the evenings preferably.

In terms of eating, I eat about six times a day. I have a whey protein shake in the morning and protein waffles, eggs or oatmeal with it for breakfast. Around 10 am, I have a piece of fruit and some almonds. For lunch I have a chicken breast {or white fish, ground turkey or lean steak}, a green vegetable such as broccoli, green beans or asparagus, and a carb such as brown rice, quinoa or a piece of Ezekiel bread. Around 3pm I have plain Greek yogurt and add my own wild blueberries, or have another whey protein shake. Right after the gym after work, I have a whey protein shake. When I get home from the gym, my dinner is very much similar to my lunch. Right before bed I drink a casein protein shake to keep my metabolism going through the night. All all day I drink lots and lots of water. At least a gallon a day.

What is the biggest difference you have noticed because of your weight loss?

My self esteem. I walk with my head held higher. I look people in the eyes. I’m not afraid to ask for what I want.

Cherie Before Losing 86 pounds.

Cherie Before Losing 86 pounds.

Major self confidence that I never had before! That, and I can walk into my favorite stores now and happily shop. I used to not be able to do that either!

What advice can you give to others struggling to lose weight?

YOU have to make the decision that getting healthy, losing the weight and making this a life change is MORE IMPORTANT to you than being unhealthy, continuing to be overweight and staying the same.

I wish I could do it for you, but I can’t. No one could do it for me either. Until there was something that sparked within me that said, “Okay, I’m ready now–let’s do this. I’m all in,” nothing was going to change. You’ll know when you’re ready because nothing will get in your way. Not chocolate cake, a buffet, laziness, sleepiness, a holiday, chores–nothing.

If it helps you to make a vision board of quotes, mantras, pictures of clothes you want to wear, the body you want to have, go for it. Do it. I personally had to keep staring at the “before” picture of myself and look at it often–it helped! But along with this vision board, set clear, specific goals on there and work toward them. Don’t just say, I want to wear a size 10 again someday. Make it attainable, but set a time/date to work toward.

How do you keep the weight off in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

I work out six days a week through weight lifting and focusing on different muscle groups and cardio. Fridays are my off days for relaxing! I also eat very clean. I do have one “cheat” meal a week, and that’s on Fridays. We all need treats sometimes–depriving yourself leads to binging!

Give us a quote or a motto that you have used to keep you focused.

Suck it up so you don’t have to suck it in.

I love to inspire people! If I can help anyone feel as good as I do now, I’ll do it. It CAN be done. I’m just a regular Jane and I put in some work. That’s it–no pills, no strange diet, no wraps, no diet shakes, nothing but clean eating and working out–and it WILL happen. It’s a mental thing–once you get it in your head to do it, you’re on your way. Besides following along on my blog, Facebook and Twitter, you can also find me on Pinterest and Instagram {CherieRunsThis}.

Awesome Job, Cherie!  You look so fabulous and I love that you decided to turn a horrible situation into fuel to propel you forward and make you successful!  You look amazing and I know you are reaching so many people with your blog!

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About Jennifer Swafford

Jennifer is an elementary school teacher who is trying to lose 100+ pounds. She has certainly learned how much It Sux To Be Fat and is here to motivate you to live a healthy lifestyle.