Raquel Jackson works out with Charlotte, N.C. based health and fitness correction therapist Vinson Smith. Like Vinson, she has made tremendous strides in her physical transformation. Raquel shared her fitness journey with me.
1) Were you active as a kid and if so, what was your favourite type of activity?
I was somewhat active, but inconsistent. I did the usual playing with kids in the neighbourhood at younger ages, as well as dance classes. I participated in a few sports and marching band here and there when I was a bit older. I would have to say my favorite physical activity growing up was dancing. Unfortunately, my favorite overall activity was watching TV.
2) How much weight did you drop and over what period of time?
I dropped a little over 50lbs in about six months.
3) What does a typical day look like in terms of diet, before and after your weight loss?
Before weight loss I was skipping meals and eating random junk carb snacks and one to two large junk meals a day. During and after weight loss, I eat more regularly. I tend to eat either healthier smaller meals or healthier snacks throughout the day (honestly they all run together). I explore different foods and recipes more (simple ones – I’m still no chef). I still eat carbs, but I eat items that are much higher in fiber. I drink much more water. Water was pretty non-existent for me before. I was basically in a constant state of dehydration.
4) What was your biggest motivating factor?
Initially, I was motivated to try to get it together by a vacation picture. I had lost track of my weight until I saw the reality of this picture. Once I got started, I was motivated by my fitness community. I enjoyed the sense of accomplishment and actual fun (believe it or not – Vinson will tell you I’m a clown during my workouts) from meeting new people and hitting new milestones on the scale and in the gym, and the mutual sharing that happens during training sessions. I think that’s one of the reasons Vinson is so personally motivating. He understands, shares, and is evidence of what’s possible!
5) What tips do you have for people who know they should go to the gym but cannot find the motivation to do so?
Start small. Don’t set a goal to conquer the world day one, week one, or even month one. Remember you may have to start again, and again, and again. Each time set your own personal targets to start – five minutes, 15 minutes, etc., and don’t make them related to the scale. Pause and take time to be proud of ANY progress you make!
Lorne’s Take – Tons of great takeaways here. I really like how Raquel has become part of the fitness community. Having a support system and others that share your vision is crucial. Drinking more water and eating carbs higher in fibre also are great strategies. She is working with a great coach – Thanks for the introduction Vinson!