By Katryna Starks
YourBestSelf gives you the real deal when it comes to attaining your goals. Recently, we talked with Audra Wasson, who lost 70 pounds over a year and a half. She spoke about the changes she made, how she dealt with a plateau, and one exercise method that women shy away from, but shouldn’t. YBS: For background, what was your starting weight/size and what is it now?
AW: My start weight was about 210 lbs. My clothes size was size 16/18. I am 5 feet 2 inches in height. My weight now is 140 lbs! My clothes size today is size 6, small, & some X smalls for tops or shirts depending on how there are made.
YBS: How long (total) did it take to get from the start to now?
AW: It took me roughly about 14 months to lose the weight WITHOUT SURGERY! I must add WITHOUT SURGERY because people who’ve known me from years past almost automatically assume that I’ve had some sort of surgical procedure such as the lap-band or gastrointestinal bypass. I have kept it off for a little over 4 years!
AW: I began to notice results in 3 months. They were most noticeable in my face, neck, arms & shoulders.
YBS: Were there any significant plateaus between the start and the finish?
AW: Yes, I hit a Plateau in my 9th month.
YBS: If there were plateaus, how did you get back on track? How did you deal with them emotionally?
AW: Actually, I did not fall off track during my Plateau (thank God). I just continued to persevere with diet & exercise and the Plateau ended so suddenly. By the time I realized it, I had gone down another clothes size! The best way to handle a Plateau is to just keep exercising. You can also modify your workout routine & diet in an effort to “trick” your body to burn more calories & break the Plateau.
YBS: What did you change first? Eating habits or exercise?
AW: Eating habits first, exercise second.
YBS: How did your eating habits change during the transformation?
AW: The first thing I did was purchase a George Foreman Grill. Second, I became more a label reader of the nutrition facts while grocery shopping and when eating out. I even check restaurant websites for their nutrition facts in advance whenever possible.
YBS: How did you deal with cravings? Do you have any “do not eat” foods?
AW: I eliminated all fried foods, breads, candy, cookies, French fries, pizza, butter & margarine, Also, I have not eaten Red Meat for over 7 years. I also modified my diet by monitoring my fat, carb, sugar, & sodium intake. I use Splenda as a sweetener instead of pure sugar. As far as cravings, I would modify sweet cravings by replacing candy bars with reduced sugar granola bars, trail mix (pull the M&M’s out), sugar-free jello-o and or popcorn cakes. Not all at one time, of course. I BELIEVE THAT SMALL GRADUAL CHANGES ARE THE KEY TO SUCCESS! YBS: How did your exercise habits change?
AW: I will admit that I was never a big fan of exercise outside of “walking”. My son & I moved into an apartment complex that has a fitness center. One day, I decided to just go and dedicate 30 minutes to a walk on the treadmill. Well, I fell and skinned my left knee within the first 15 minutes. I stopped and retreated back to my apartment after the fall. Lol! However, I didn’t give up! I returned to the gym the next day and one day led to another day and 15 minutes turned into 1 to 1 ½ hours per day!
YBS: When I start an exercise program, I gain MORE weight initially but physically get smaller. Was this your experience? Is the scale your best weight loss indicator or is it clothing fit / measurements?
AW: No. My experience was the opposite that first of all, I began my program with cardio only. I lost weight and a lot of inches first. I incorporated the weight training into my regimen after 2 months. Now, my daily workout regimen includes cardio & weights. The best weight loss indicator for me is my clothes size & measurements. Personally I use the scale only a few times a year. The reason for this is that in the past, I was easily discouraged by using the scale if I didn’t feel like the weight was coming off fast enough.
YBS: Describe the importance of weight training in your program.
AW: Weight training is very important! The weights help define the muscle tone and help burn fat. Ladies, it’s okay to lift the heavier weights so by all means, don’t be afraid to lift heavy weights. WORK YOUR WAY UP TO THE HEAVIER WEIGHTS GRADUALLY THOUGH.
YBS: You’re an Ardyss distributor. Did you start that before or during your weight loss phase? How did the garments impact your own body image and self-esteem?
AW: I became an Ardyss Distributor after my weight loss. However, the garments and nutritional supplements allowed me to lose that last stubborn 10 lbs. successfully. I went down 4 additional inches in my Thorax and waist 6-months after wearing the garments & taking the nutritional supplements! The Ardyss Reshaping Garments have improved my health, posture, body image & self-esteem by giving me the HOURGLASS figure without surgery or pills!
YBS: Countless women start diet/fitness programs and then falter along the way. What kept you on track?
AW: I believe that my belief & faith in God played a huge role. I’m sort of a self-starter so, I wrote down a list of things that motivated me. My son, family, fiancé and friends are a huge part of my motivation. I also took a long look at my family health history. Diabetes and Hypertension are huge players in my family. I want live a long life with the BEST QUALITY OF LIFE POSSIBLE and I know that health & wellness is a huge part of that.
YBS: What is the one thing about diet/fitness that you know now that you wish you had known your entire life?
AW: Wow! I wish I knew how important it is for you to eat several small meals (especially breakfast) each day instead of eating once a day or just starving yourself.
YBS: Diet and fitness changes often take time (time to cook, time to exercise, etc.). How did you fit those changes into your schedule?
AW: Diet: Well, the George Foreman Grill became my best friend. I was surprised at how quick it cooks food. Also, planning your meals in advance helps a great deal. Sometimes I prepare meals that last from 2 to 3 days. I also keep healthy fast foods (fruit, salads, trail mix, boiled eggs, crackers,) with me when I travel to eliminate me purchasing junk foods out in the street. Fitness: I wake up at 4:45 a.m. daily and exercise, meditate, & pray. I also exercise when I travel whenever possible. It’s a great way to start the day! Its boosts your metabolism, attitude, and is an AWESOME stress reliever. My lifestyle change was a change for the better. I have more energy to and feel better than I’ve ever felt in my life. I have the stamina to run around with my family and friends and not get “winded” so easily. It has made me better in every role I function in on a daily basis! I have been able to motivate & encourage others to get health. I love helping people live healthier lives! At the end of the day, total and complete Health & Wellness involves being healthy in the mind, body, soul & spirit. This is a constant work in progress!
Audra Wasson is an Ardyss International Distributor and can be reached at: 865-771-0364 or firstname.lastname@example.org Audra’s Ardyss Website: www.ardysslife.com/audra.wasson