One morning in 2011, Angel Taylor, 34, woke up and decided to change her life for the better. “I weighed 355 pounds and felt helpless before that morning, but something in me said, ‘It’s time for a change.’ So I got a gym membership and started walking on the treadmill,” says Angel, who lives in Atlanta, GA.
Her progress was slow at the beginning, but soon Angel started to see results and she knew she was ready for more. “Eventually I lost 20 pounds, and then I decided to challenge myself, so I signed up for a 5K walk,” she says. “In addition to walking, I started logging everything I ate in a notebook. Before too long, I joined a running group in my city, Black Girls RUN, and was bit by the running bug.”
All that walking and running was doing wonders for her self-esteem and her social life. But Angel stopped paying attention to what was going into her mouth. “I started slacking on my food journal and I wasn’t eating right,” she says. “That’s when I came across MyFitnessPal, which allowed me to log on the go. Now, I’m consistently mindful of what I eat.”
Angel’s fitness and eating routines have paid off since then. “I’ve completed 40 races—seven of which were half-marathons, and I’ve lost 77 pounds!” she says. And she doesn’t show signs of slowing down. “My running group, Black Girls RUN, has been a huge part of what keeps me motivated. I’ve developed some wonderful friendships through running and working out—friendships that keep me consistent and accountable, especially since many of the girls are also on MyFitnessPal.”
Angel’s running club has opened her eyes to a whole new area of healthy living, too—the fun side! “Black Girls RUN has allowed me to become more outgoing and happier, and have an active social life that I’ve incorporated fitness into. Previously, my social life consisted of going out to dinner or a movie with friends. Now, we go for a walk or run, or take an aerobics class before going to dinner.”
Still, all those dinners out add up, and Angel knows she needs to pay attention to what she eats in restaurants, at home, and on the go. “Making sure I consistently enter my food every day and that I continue to make good food choices can be a challenge—some days you just want a donut, but then you have to be mindful that that donut gets logged and your friends will be able to see that you ate it,” says Angel.” What keeps her on track: “The fact that I can actually see when I did or didn’t make progress helps keep me on course. And I love is that you can set reminders to log your meals. I’m on the go a lot, so sometimes I forget to enter what I ate for lunch, but with the reminder feature I no longer forget to log it.”
Wow! Congratulations on making fitness-minded friends and sticking with your health goals, Angel!
How do your friends help you stay motivated? Share in the comments!