Who: Sandra Jean Mosaad
Occupation: Girlz Gone Fit owner
City: North York
By The Numbers: 205 pounds at my heaviest, 110 currently pounds, for a total weight loss of 95 pounds.
The Weight Gain: I was a skinny kid, a'bone-rack' actually, until the age of seven. I went from super skinny, to what doctors called borderline obese, all in less than a year.
There was a lot of arguing between my parents growing up at home. I also grew up in a very rural city where everyone, with the exception of my family, was white. I dealt with racism and hid from kids and verbal abuse on a daily basis. I ate my lunch in the bathroom stalls in order to avoid bullying. Eating kept me happy.
One day, after Halloween, I decided to eat the whole bag of treats. I couldn't stop throwing up. After it ceased, I thought, "I can really do this..." So, the compulsive eating began. I ate to fill emptiness, so I never became full.
Final Straw: My father was a diabetic, so when the doctor told him he'd better start exercising, he took it very seriously. I saw the benefits it had on his life, so I knew I could do it.
When I left a physically and verbally abusive relationship, I needed to put the energy and the emotion into something before I found myself in a downward spiral. I remember speaking to my ex within the first couple of months, and told him I wanted to teach fitness. He laughed at me with some unkind words. I used them as ammo!
The Plan of Attack: I became a pro at losing weight. Throughout my pre-teen to teen years, I lost and gained 50 to 60 pounds so many times I lost count.
In my last attempt, over 10 years ago, it took me 15 months to lose 65 lbs. I didn't have any upper-body strength. This was just diet and excessive cardio. I was the queen of cardio at my local gym, going for intense hours daily.
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The Exercise Factor: I never hired a trainer. The self-motivation I had was innate, it's a gift from God. I went to copious amounts of fitness classes after losing 25 lbs so I could feel somewhat comfortable in a group fitness setting. I watched trainers with their clients over the course of endless hours on those cardio machines — I was like a sponge!
I still work out practically every day. Working seven days a week and running Girlz Gone Fit Boot Camps in North York and Richmond Hill, plus Sandra Jean Fitness Studio, I'm not able to dedicate as much time as I used to on my own fitness.
The Food Element: When the weight actually started to melt away, I was eating off smaller plates and very clean. I had the typical diet: no pasta, rice, bread, salad dressing, oil, sugar and almost no salt. No cheat days or meals until I reached closer to my goal weight. I would never let two consecutive days pass without exercise. I was on a serious mission.
The hardest adjustment was my break-up with chocolate. It was my comfort, my addiction. Also, hustling my university studies and fitness was not an easy task. I committed myself to work out everyday, after my 'Frosh 15' turned into a 'Frosh 65'. My workouts would sometimes take place at midnight.
The Current Day-to-Day: Weight loss is more than just food and exercise. It is 100 per cent mind-training-body.
I maintain my weight by exercise and watching my diet. If I ever fall into an over eating-spell, exercise quickly helps me to snap back. My body will always want to go back to 200 lbs, and it could happen so quickly. I'm most proud of my failures, because in them I found success.
No matter your age, your health/ailments, your level of happiness, or the weight on the scale, as long as you have breath, you can change anything in your life. Practice self-control. Be diligent, consistent, committed, resilient, patient... And no matter what, don't give up!
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