A woman who was able to lose a jaw-dropping 151 pounds says she owes her transformation to low-carb meal prepping and CrossFit, which helped her break her "vicious" emotional eating cycle.
Frances Carpenter, a 30-year-old executive assistant living in Riverside, Calif., explained in an article for Women's Health that her "dysfunctional" childhood led her to constantly stress eat, which caused her to pack on pounds throughout her adolescence, landing her at a weight of 200 pounds by the time she finished high school.
The problem persisted for Carpenter, even after she moved away from the town where she grew up. Over the next seven years, she continued gaining weight and, in 2016, she eventually reached her peak of 331 pounds at the age of 16.
"I had limited physical ability when I was at my heaviest and I was very sad and depressed, so I continued to eat to soothe myself with food. It was an extremely hard cycle to break," Carpenter wrote.
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"I couldn't walk for long periods of time, and I couldn't comfortably fit in restaurant booths or movie theater seats. I was in a horrible place physically, but it was also hurting my mental state," she added. "I knew I wasn't living my life to its full potential, and there were so many things I wanted to experience without my weight being the first thing I always had to consider."
Desperate to make a change, Carpenter turned to preparing low-carb and nutritious meals for herself each week, which helped kick her weight loss into full gear. Within 10 months, she was able to lose 100 pounds.
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Carpenter also developed a regular exercise schedule along the way to further propel her fitness journey.
"I currently work out five days a week, alternating between different body parts," she said. "Three days a week I do 60 minutes of cardio, and the other two I do 30 minutes of cardio, which is usually the StairMaster. I also spent about three years doing CrossFit, which helped me build a workout routine and get stronger as well."
Since reaching her peak weight of 331 in January 2016, Carpenter says she has lost 151 pounds in total. Her goal for 2020 is to reach 170 pounds in total weight loss and also to maintain the work she has already put in.
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Although Carpenter said the journey was necessary for her, she warns that it was also a surprisingly emotional struggle and encourages those seeking to lose weight to try to involve their friends and family for support, if possible.
"My weight loss has changed me in ways that I did not know were possible. It has of course made me more confident in the looks department, but I have gained a new level of self-love," she wrote. "I choose myself now, and have made it my priority to never go back to my old ways. I have a new outlook on life and enjoy the little things that I so desperately wanted before."