There’s a famous quote from Margaret Thatcher that says, “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”
That could mean a number of things depending on an individual’s background and experiences, but for 46-year-old Tamiko Grant from Wisconsin, it feels especially appropriate to describe her weight-loss journey.
It all started in 2005, when she simply wanted to be healthier and lose some weight along the way. At 277 pounds, she was seeking a new way of life — one that would allow her to be less fatigued, give her the energy to run behind her children and ultimately feel better.
After a year and a half, Grant lost an impressive 112 pounds from diet and exercise alone, despite being a candidate for weight-loss surgery. But unfortunately, she became complacent, and the weight slowly began to return.
“In 2010, I became too comfortable and started to slack off with my workouts, etc.,” she says. “I found myself back at 230 pounds, starting my second weight-loss journey.”
This time around, Grant took a different approach with a new priority: forming lifelong habits. She started by revamping her food choices and portion sizes, and she’d be the first to tell you her diet was “awful” in the beginning. With fast food making up a majority of her daily meals, Grant ate very few fruits and vegetables. She began gradually incorporating more fresh produce into her diet, and eventually decided to go completely vegetarian a few years later.
“I love vegetable scrambles, vegetarian tacos and, when I’m splurging a little, I enjoy cheese pizza and eggplant Parmesan,” she says. “I’m a baker, so I splurge on baked goods occasionally. Moderation is always key!”
To help her keep track of her healthy eating habits, Grant has been an avid user of MyFitnessPal for more than seven years, not missing a single day of logging into the app for 2,805 days. In the app, she tracks calories and macronutrients to make sure she’s getting the right balance of carbs, fats and proteins as a vegetarian.
“I love the connection, I love the encouragement,” she says. “I love inspiring others to be their best selves.”
CLICK TO TWEET THIS ARTICLE > Losing more than 100 pounds is a huge accomplishment. Tamiko did it twice. Read her story on the @myfitnesspal blog. #myfitnesspal
She’s also much more active compared to when she was at her heaviest, first starting with short walks, then doing everything from riding a bike to cardio workouts and weightlifting in the gym. She works out 5–7 days a week, and it’s become part of her everyday life.
“My day isn’t complete if I haven’t worked out,” she says.
One thing Grant has learned through both weight-loss journeys is there will be good and bad days, even though she’s met her goal weight. This helps give her the perspective to continue on the right path.
“There are days and weeks that didn’t go well, but despite any mishaps I knew that I would continue,” she says. “Failure wasn’t an option for me. Bad days are OK, but failure or quitting is not! I always remember how awful I felt when I was overweight — this helps me stay focused.”
And focused she is. Grant’s been maintaining her current weight of 130 pounds for the past three years (a full 100 pounds lighter than her starting weight the second time around) and makes it a priority to plan her meals, snacks and workouts ahead of time. She doesn’t focus on the time it takes to achieve the goal, but rather on building healthy habits and believing in herself.
“When I share that I was once 277 pounds, most people don’t believe me,” she says. “When I show my before and after pictures, they are astonished — that’s such an awesome feeling!”
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