Saturday, June 29, 2013

Heather Fearneyhough Feature # 1

Success Story Saturday Feature # 1

Name: Heather Fearneyhough
Age: 25
Location: Augusta Georgia
Before Weight: 254
After Weight: 118
Current Weight: 129-133

Did you have weight loss surgery? No

Do you have any children? Yes, Two boys.

Any Social Media Sites that you would like attached to your feature: Please post links here :

Heather's Story:

Were you overweight as a child? I leaned toward the chunky side, but I was never obese.

What caused your weight gain? Example: Pregnancy, binge eating, slowly gained over the years.

During my first pregnancy I let myself go. I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I quickly became addicted to food, and would eat because it made me feel good. I would use being pregnant as an excuse. I gained 80 lbs in less than 9 months, weighing in at 209 lbs.

After my first son was born, I got sick with severe post partum depression. I stayed hidden in our apartment. My food addiction got even worse. I began to eat in secret and started to binge eat. I never purged afterwards. I just enjoyed eating large quantities of food because I enjoyed feeling full. Food made me feel happy.

had our local IHOP on speed dial, and almost every night after my husband would go to bed I would order my regular chocolate chip pancakes, with a fiesta omelet, and an order of cheese sticks.

Needless to say.. I quickly put on another 20 lbs.

After several months of being treated for my Post Partum Depression I started to feel like myself again. The depression medication helped me with my food cravings, I did not feel the need to “binge” anymore. My grandmother signed me up for weight watchers, and just as I started to lose weight..
Guess what happened? I got pregnant AGAIN!

During my second pregnancy I went from 214 lbs up to my heaviest 254 lbs.

What were some of the biggest struggles that you faced while overweight?

Before I decided to lose the weight.. Everyday was a struggle for me.  I was sick all of the time, and on several different medications for my insomnia and anxiety problems.  I could barely keep up with my boys. I was always tired, out of breath, and I felt absolutely miserable. I was ashamed, embarrassed, and dodged as many family events as I could.

It was also hard on me because I had a hard time finding clothes. I just felt yucky in everything. Its kind of hard feeling cute when you can barely zip up a pair of size 20 jeans right?

Was your self esteem and relationships with others affected due to being over weight?

Yes, tremendously. I hit an ultimate low during that period of my life. There are no words to describe how miserable and worthless I felt. I shut down. I avoided everyone. I was even too afraid to go grocery shopping because I feared former classmates would see me.

Did you avoid going out or being in pictures with others?

Yes. I avoided every photo that I could. The only reason that I have pictures of me during that time period was because of my mom. She would make me take photos, and told me that I better smile pretty or else everyone is gonna see my stinker face. Every photo that you see of me smiling... I was crying on the inside. I hated myself. I felt like the most worthless person on earth. I didn't understand why I had to be such a failure as a mother, and wife. I was afraid that my husband was going to leave me for a better woman.

What was your breaking point. The moment where you said ENOUGH! And you decided to regain control of your life? 

My turning moment was when my son Caleb took off running from me at the mall. I was so big that I could not catch up to him. I will never forget the panic mixed with that God Awful burning sensation in my throat

That was the wake up call that I needed to bring me to that point where I said ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH! I had a family to take care of.. and I was not going to live one more day living in this world as an empty shell.  

I got my butt up off the couch and I fought for my life! And I 

fought to be the mother that I was suppose to be.

I refused to live one more day feeling sorry for myself & missing 

out on so many important memories. 

Once I had my mind set. 

NOTHING stopped me from reaching my goals.

My two little boys are the reason I decided to change my life. 

Whenever I felt like quitting or caving into eating junk food I 

thought about them and I was able to stick with it.

How did you begin? For example: Did you hire a personal trainer, maybe join a weight loss center, buy self help books, use the internet for information?

My Nana gave me a book called Eat Clean Diet. I read the book cover to cover over the weekend. I loved that the book teaches that you don't have to “diet” in order to lose weight. Totally opposite of what I expected coming from a book with the word “DIET” on the cover.
The book promised lasting fat loss without fad dieting, counting calories, or doing anything drastic.
So I began by making small gradual changes because I wanted to keep my weight loss off for good..I knew that I needed to make a lifestyle change, and that is exactly what I did.

What tools did you use to help you during your journey? For example: Did you use any fitness trackers, phone apps, food log, diary, vision boards?

I kept a food journal and logged everything that I ate. I also used a planner book and would write out a months worth of exercise routines rotating my workout dvds. This really helped me stay on track.I also used a timer on my phone so that I was reminded to eat every 3 hours.

Some of my favorite fitness apps are : Nike Training Club, My fitness pal, and Tabata timer.

Lets talk about your Diet Plan. Did you count calories, follow a specific diet, hire a nutritionist?

I never counted calories. I followed the Eat Clean Diet guidelines as best as I could. I would eat every 3 hours on a schedule. Every meal was a lean protein + a complex carb from whole grains, veggies, fruits. I also drank nothing but water.

Did you take any diet pills, supplements, energy drinks, protein shakes, meal replacement shakes? 

Women's daily multivitamin, BCAA, CLA, and whey protein shakes made with MRM all natural whey protein.

Yes I did use energy drinks. I have used 5 hour, Sugar Free rockstar, and Sugar Free redbull before.

Were there any supplements listed above that you feel were a waste of money? Anything you highly recommend people try?

I highly recommend everyone try taking CLA & BCAA supplements. The CLA helps with fat loss and building muscle definition. And the BCAA helps with muscle soreness & growth.

I'd say that the energy drinks are a waste of money. Nothing that a cup of coffee or green tea, plus daily vitamins can't do.

Please tell us about your exercise part of your journey.
What was your plan of action? Did you join a gym, hire a personal trainer, or workout at home?

The exercise part: In the very beginning of my fitness journey I weighed 254 lbs. I was very out of shape and could barely walk for 10 min intervals without getting completely winded. My throat burned and my body ached unbelievably during the first few weeks. I paced myself and slowly added 5-10 min to my total walking time.. Until I was able to briskly walk 45 min without being out of breath.

 I then progressed to using workout dvds in my living room that incorporated weight training, and continued using dvds for several months. 
Once I lost the majority of my weight I wanted more definition, and found that my workout dvds were not providing me the results I was after. I began researching bodybuilding and fitness on the internet. I started to create my own workout routines following a split training method and could not believe the changes I started to see with my body. 

What kind of workouts did you do? Did you get ideas online, use fitness dvds?

At started out by using home fitness dvds. The firm, p90x, turbofire, chalean extreme.

Once I lost the majority of my weight I wanted more definition, and found that my workout dvds were not providing me the results I was after. I began researching bodybuilding and fitness on the internet. I started to create my own workout routines following a split training method and could not believe the changes I started to see with my body. 

Please list the struggles that you faced when you first started exercising. What helped you push through & refuse to give up?

The first few weeks were hell. I was miserably sore. My throat burned from being out of shape. I honestly thought that there was no way I was gonna be able to keep going.
My boys were my reason to push through. Without them motivating me every single day to be a better mommy for them.. I honestly don't think that I could have done it.

How long did it take you to start seeing visual changes? 

People around me started complimenting me around month 2. But it wasn't until I got back into my pre pregnancy size 8 pants that I finally looked in the mirror and said WOW.

I am now a size 2-4 depending on the brand.

How long did it take you to reach your goal weight? 

It took me 8 months to lose about 120 lbs. And another year to lose 16 more. plus tighten and tone my body head to toe.

How long have you maintained your weight loss and how do you do it?

I have maintained my weight loss for over 3 years. The reason why I am able to maintain my weight loss is because I made a lifestyle change from day 1.

How has your life changed now that you've lost the weight? Has your confidence improved?

I feel alive again. I feel happy knowing that all of my hard work was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I gave my boys a precious gift. I was able to give them the mommy that they deserve.

My confidence improved the day that I was able to hold my son in one arm, and a bag of groceries in the other. That is when it finally clicked in my head that if I had not lost the weight this would have never been possible. I now believe in myself and my abilities to achieve anything that I set my mind too. I am a super mom!

Do you have any loose skin from the weight loss? If you do, how does this make you feel? Do you have any tips or words of advice for anyone who might be afraid of this issue?

I do have loose skin. I use to let it get me down, and I hated to go to the beach. My loose skin is really bad on my inner thighs, stomach, under arms, and legs. Okay that's pretty much everywhere isn't it? Lol

You cannot tell from photos that I have it, but when I sit/lay down or bend over that is when you can see it.
I wear Leggs sheer pantyhose, even when I go swimming. I don't care if people think I look weird wearing pantyhose to the pool. It makes me look and feel better about myself so I just do it :)

I have also learned that if I focus my training primarily on lifting weights, and limit myself on cardio my body looks tighter all over. If I slack off from lifting weights you can really see my loose skin looking worse, especially under the arms. I have to do tricep exercises religiously or else I have bat wings.

My advice to anyone that may be afraid of the loose skin issue. Don't be. Its only a cosmetic issue. You can have the loose skin removed one day.

Keep your focus on all of the positive things that will come from the weight loss.

Do you have any weight loss tips that you would like to share with everyone?

Weight loss tip #1: Be patient. You did not put on the weight overnight and you will not lose it overnight either.

Weight loss tip #2: Set goals. Start by making small goals at a time so that you do not easily feel overwhelmed.

Weight loss tip #3: Keep your body guessing by switching up your workout routines to help avoid plateaus.

Weight loss tip #4: Do not overtrain! You can only push yourself hard for so long and overtraining will only wear you out and possibly cause injuries.

Weight loss tip #5: Whatever you eat, always ask yourself whether or not it will help you reach your goals. If not, it is not worth eating.
Weight loss tip # 6 Set a timer on your phone to eat every 2-3 hours. This will help your body get into a routine for eating on a consistent basis. You have to eat small meals throughout the day so that your body can turn into a fat burning machine. Do not be afraid to eat. Our bodies need clean, nutritious foods. The key is to eat a lean protein and a complex carb at every meal! Protein keeps us feeling full and helps to avoid overeating.

Weight loss tip # 7: If you want lasting results you have to stop fad dieting and taking diet pills. Learn how to properly fuel your body now! So that when you finally reach your goal you will be able to successfully maintain your weight loss. Can you honestly count calories, cut out carbs, or do those silly diet restriction plans forever? No, you cannot. There is a fool proof way to lose weight and keep it off forever and the secret is eating clean! Avoid processed foods, fast food, fried foods and anything that has over 5 ingredients listed on the box. Eat 5-6 meals a day and every meal should have a lean protein and complex carb. Drink lots of water everyday (your body weight divided by 2, equals the total ounces of water per day). Water is very important because it keeps your hunger at bay, improves your skin, naturally detoxes and cleanses out your body.

Weight loss Tip # 8 What you do today can improve all your tomorrows! Your day doesn't have to be perfect, just do your best and never give up! Always remember that every fitness guru had to start from the very beginning too!
Please list an example of what your typical meal plan looks like for the day. Don't forget to include the serving size & your beverages.

8 am Meal # 1- Whey Protein Shake with 1 scoop vanilla MRM all natural whey, ½ cup frozen berries, ¾ cup no sugar added almond milk. 2 Tbl spoons of PB2., ice. Blend. Side of ¼ cup Country Style Muesli

10 am Meal # 2- 1 slice Ezekiel Bread toasted with 1 TBL spoon almond butter spread on it, and ½ banana sliced & put on top. Side of ½ cup greek yogurt sweetened with stevia or truvia.

12 pm Meal#3- 2.5 0z of baked/grilled chicken or 2.5 oz of fish. Either salmon or tiliapia. 1 small baked sweet potato or I will slice the sweet potato into wedges and make baked fries. And a big salad. I make my own dressing.

2:30 pm Meal #4 2.5 oz Sauteed Chicken, veggies, onions, mushrooms. Then I put into an ezekiel wrap.

5:30 pm Meal # 5 1 Homemade Turkey Burger Patty, Grilled Veggies, baked baby red potato slices

7:30 pm Meal # 6 Left over Turkey Burger Patty chopped and sauteed with veggies and then mixed in a bowl with ¼ cup quinoa.

9:30 pm Meal # 7= 1 scoop whey protein with 1 cup water.

Please list your workout routine for the week.
This is what my personal training in the past has looked like. I am currently doing the Jeremy Reid Fitness 12 week program. I cannot share what my weeks look like as of now because the program has not been released yet.

Workout Routine - Week #1:
  • Monday - Chest, triceps and cardio
  • Tuesday - Legs and core
  • Wednesday - Back, biceps and cardio
  • Thursday - Shoulders and core
  • Friday - Legs
  • Saturday - Rest
  • Sunday - Chest, triceps, cardio and core
Workout Routine - Week #2:
  • Monday - Legs
  • Tuesday - Back, biceps and cardio
  • Wednesday - Shoulders and core
  • Thursday - Rest
  • Friday - Chest, triceps, horizontal training, cardio
  • Saturday - Legs
  • Sunday - Back, biceps and cardio
Workout Routine - Week #3:
  • Monday - Shoulders and sprints
  • Tuesday - Rest
  • Wednesday - Chest, triceps, horizontal training, cardio
  • Thursday - Legs
  • Friday - Back, biceps and core
  • Saturday - Shoulders and cardio
  • Sunday - Legs and core
My cardio is very short but INTENSE! I run sprints or I do 20 minutes on the elliptical. A good sprint session looks like this:
High Intensity Sprint Cardio Workout:
  • Walk for 2 minutes
  • Run for 30 seconds
  • Walk for 2 minutes
  • Repeat for 8 rounds
  • when you run, go as hard and fast as you possibly can!

Thank you for reading my story!
- Heather Fearneyhough