Pancho’s Mexican Buffet in Longview, Texas, isn’t serving up many burritos or fajitas nowadays. It was a chain of restaurants that was quite popular at one time. You’d walk through the buffet line and load up your plate with whatever you liked; and then when you wanted more you’d raise up a little Mexico flag on your table and the waitress would come see what you wanted and bring additional servings to you.
The food tasted great; but I have to also say that a while back, Pancho’s down near Houston gave me the worst case of food poisoning I’ve ever had.
It did leave me feeling a little vindicated, seeing the place succumbing to the assault of the weeds and taggers.
It’s Transformation Tuesday, August 8, 2017 and here’s my story.
Eight years ago, I was eating out every day and going through a 12-pack of sodas every few days. I’ve added countless miles on my car going through drive-throughs. And I’m pretty sure more than half of my income went to restaurants.
I remember the moment I felt guilt for the state my body was in.
I got on a scale and in big red numbers, it read 198. This was the highest I’ve seen my weight at. I wasn’t just fat. I was unhealthy.
I’ve always been stocky/hefty/chubby/extra padded/etc. since about 5th grade. But here I was, standing on my mom’s bathroom scale at the age of 22, 5’ 5” tall, staring at the numbers 1-9-8. My BMI was 32.9, according to the NIH online BMI calculator. (A BMI greater than 30 is considered obese).
I couldn’t just stand there and mope around. So I told myself something I always tell myself, “if you don’t like what you’re doing or going through, change it.”
So what did I do? I set a goal to lose weight in a healthy, safe way.
I took small steps. I…
started parking in the back of the parking lot. I looked for excuses to burn calories. I started taking stairs instead of the elevator and I would go on walks at work when I got bored.
stopped drinking sodas and all sweet drinks altogether. I stopped adding cream and sweetener to my coffee. Water became my favorite thing to drink.
started cooking more meals at home and added more fresh foods into my diet.
started paying more attention to my daily calorie intake and the different types of calories I consumed.
made a list of healthier food choices to order at my favorite fast food restaurants. And I made a ‘boycott list’ of restaurants. Taco Bell is #1 on that list.
started running. I started slow. I would walk for the most part and would build up to running a mile non-stop… then 2… then 3… Now I run a minimum of 3 miles every time I run.
What started happening with my body was amazing. I loved that runner’s high I got as I ran through Arbor Hills.
My taste buds changed. I cannot drink sweet stuff anymore. I prefer to eat my sweets. I’ve never been one to restrict myself 100% from what I want. If I want a Snickers, I’m going to go get me a Snickers.
Slimming down started to come naturally.
By the age of 23, I was down to 160. By the age of 24, I was down to 140. Now, 29 and 5’6” tall I stay between 145-150. I am now considered healthy according to the same BMI calculator on the NIH website.
But honestly, I could not have done this alone. I had an amazing support system between my friends. We all wanted healthier lives for each other and held each other accountable. My friends and I kept each other on track by sharing recipes, cooking meals together, going on walks and runs together, and we even shared the same cheat day(s).
One of my personal values and favorite Gandhi quote is, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” So I’m writing today to promote a healthier world.
It’s Transformation Tuesday and I hope my story inspires you to live healthily.
I’m not asking you go run 3 miles right now or to throw everything in your freezer away.
My philosophy for a healthier life is to eat fresh. Pay attention to what you’re consuming. Minimize the food in your freezer. Find out where your favorite restaurants source their foods from. Also, lay off sweet drinks, especially if it has fake sugar.
Even though I’m not a nutritionist or personal trainer, I want to help you live healthily.
If you have any questions about my transformation or need guidance to living healthier, ask me. I might not have the answer for your specific needs, but we can figure it out together!