‘I Used Mindful Eating, Portion Control, And Interval Workouts To Lose 75 Pounds’

My name is Wadeana Williams (@way2the), and I am 44 years old. I live in North Carolina, and I am a pediatric speech language pathologist. Despite my busy life, I finally prioritized my health by implementing mindful eating and portion control and started doing interval workouts.

My weight struggles began with the infamous Freshman 15. I gained those pounds and more. Being young then, I wasn’t too concerned with my health or weight. But while navigating the stressors from both undergraduate and graduate school, getting married young, and then having children immediately, my weight gradually spiraled out of control.

Learning how to maintain a marriage and motherhood, and as a new professional and business owner, consequently fueled my neglect of my own health. At 30, my weight hit an all-time high of 233 pounds.

My weight started to impact my health.

I have genetic precursors to diabetes and heart disease. Two years after having my youngest child, my doctor informed me that I was borderline diabetic. To hear that scared me, and I knew immediately I had to gain control of my health.


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Additionally, I have two children with health impairments who I knew I needed to be strong and healthy for. My lifestyle at that time was not reflective of my desire to live a healthy and long life. I was aware in 2009, at age 32, that I needed to make many changes to how I was living. I also suffered from low self-esteem over the years and after having children.

The turning point for me was at a Super Bowl party in February 2009. After having the most difficult time finding something to wear, I was very uncomfortable and felt completely out of place. I knew it was time to make a change.


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Initially I used Weight Watchers to lose weight, and I lost 30 pounds with WW.

It taught me how much I could eat and still lose. Portion control was something I was never aware of. I would simply eat until my plate of food was gone. I wasn’t aware of nutritional properties nor how to eat for what my body needed.

After my weight loss stalled, I discontinued Weight Watchers and tried other popular diets to see how my body would respond. It all worked, but I’d become bored or go off plan and always seem to gain the weight back. I tried paleo, low carb, “eat more to lose”, and “if it fits your macros.” While these eating routines worked, they just weren’t realistic for me. Being healthy felt more like a chore or job, rather than a lifestyle.

So, I researched mindful eating, and that has worked for me in recent years. It involves really focusing on your meals and being present and mindful as you consume food. It’s how I’ve maintained my weight loss. I’m happy, and not overwhelmed or stressed. I am able to live a balanced lifestyle.

Here’s what I eat in a day now.

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal with chopped walnuts, cinnamon, agave, and half a sliced banana; or whole eggs, two turkey sausage links or two slices bacon, a slice of provolone cheese, and a light English muffin.
  • Lunch: Tuna salad sandwich with Sara Lee Delightful bread or green leaf lettuce, cucumber tomato salad, almonds, and watermelon.
  • Snacks: Protein water and Skinny Pop popcorn, Greek yogurt with walnuts and string cheese, or raw broccoli, celery, and carrots with ranch and fruit.
  • Dinner: Big salad with lots of veggies, as well as salmon or shrimp.
  • Dessert: Sugar-free JELLO, fruit, Nestle peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, or homemade protein balls.


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I began exercising right away. I could only walk, and would challenge myself to walk farther or more frequently each week.

It became easier with time and I yearned for more of a challenge. I joined a gym and tried most of the group classes offered to find my niche. The gym was LIFE! I fell in love with fitness and even became a certified group fitness instructor.


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These days, I love intense workouts consisting of strength training, running, and interval training. I watched my dad as an avid runner growing up, and now that he’s slowing down with age, I run in his honor. The challenge is gratifying.

A gym pal introduced me to strength training roughly seven years ago, and it was so empowering. I was hooked! Currently, I run at least three miles three times a week to warm up for my strength exercises. On days I don’t complete a long run, I warm up with a mile run or will jump rope for 10 to 20 minutes for cardio. I work out five tot six days a week for 60 to 90 minutes.

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These three changes made the biggest impact on my weight loss.


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I have lost approximately 75 pounds.

This journey has been so rewarding! I’ve achieved and maintained a lifestyle I never considered would be such an integral part of my being.

Although I’m proud of the weight I’ve lost, I’m mostly proud of what I’ve gained. This includes confidence, immeasurable love for myself, zest for life, and my strength and endurance. I’ve blossomed and am living my purpose. I’m a better mother living by example and a more active wife.


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