“I made these 3 healthy changes in my forties and lost 75 pounds”
My name is Talia Mollica (@ a.taste.of.tal), and I was born, raised, and live in Burlington, Massachusetts. I’m 21 and currently attending the University of Massachusetts Lowell majoring in Criminal Justice. Additionally, I am currently in the Network Marketing arena as a Beachbody On Demand Coach. By sticking to Beachbody and Peloton workouts, walking, and a portion-controlled diet, I was able to lose 75 pounds.
I’ve always struggled with body image. I grew up with two sisters to whom I constantly compared myself. I was a cheerleader from kindergarten until my last year of high school. It’s a sport where image is one of the most important aspects, and it was easy to compare myself to other girls and not be happy when I looked at myself in the mirror.
I would describe myself as being of average height growing up. I was really tall and every time I went to the doctor I was told that I was medically “overweight” for my age group. Entering middle school and high school, I never learned healthy eating habits. I come from an Italian and Greek family and we ate a lot of delicious food. I would come home from school and eat too much and then I felt bad about it. I had an unhealthy relationship with food for years where I ate emotionally, which led to binge eating.
I was the heaviest I ever weighed when I left for college.
Getting away from home was a tough adjustment for me, and I ate emotionally until one day I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror. I hated going out with friends because none of the clothes I liked fit me. I am an extremely outgoing person, but at that point my whole personality changed and I became very shy and reserved. I was also mean to myself. I stopped taking care of myself. At 20, I weighed 211 pounds.
Although he was never diagnosed with hypertension, my blood pressure was extremely high. My doctor watched him for years. I also developed acid reflux, and every time I ate I got terrible stomach pains. These issues were a concern in my day to day life.
My turning point was the fact that I was so miserable.
I didn’t feel good about myself. So in January 2020, at age 20, I made a New Year’s resolution (which held this time!) To finally put myself forward and change my health habits.
I didn’t cut out any food groups when I started my health and wellness journey.
I just started to change my bad eating habits into better ones. I started to eat less in restaurants and cook more at home. I started to eat vegetables with every meal. I started eating healthier, more nutritious foods and started cutting out processed foods that were high in fat and sugar. I increased my water intake and portioned my food properly while enjoying the foods I love in moderation.
I don’t believe a food is “good” or “bad”. Food is fuel. We need it to survive. But we should be able to take advantage of it at the same time. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring. I started to find healthier alternatives to the foods I liked. For me, eating whole, nutritious foods while enjoying the foods you love in moderation is sustainable. It works. I never thought of my weight loss journey as a “diet”. I saw it as a lifestyle change. Because lifestyle changes are eternal and diets are temporary.
This is what I eat in a day.
Breakfast: Avocado toast on sourdough bread with “Everything But Bagel Seasoning”, red pepper flakes and an egg, served with Beachbody Shakeology Café Latte. Or a bowl of oatmeal loaded with toppings like fresh banana slices, peanut butter, cocoa nibs and chia seeds.
Lunch: A sort of bowl of power. For the base: rice and a green, usually spinach or kale. The middle layer: lots of cooked and seasoned vegetables such as zucchini, sweet potatoes, squash, onions and tomatoes. Top layer: some proteins like chicken, salmon or ground turkey. On top, a little more dressing or seasoning. I love Trader Joe’s Green Goddess Dressing.
Snacks: My favorite snack right now is the GoMacro Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Protein Bar. I also like to snack on fresh fruits like mango, watermelon, grapes, cherries or strawberries. I also love my Beachbody Shakeology.
Having dinner: A choice of protein with a vegetable. I am obsessed with stuffed vegetables. For example, stuffed spaghetti squash, sweet potato or eggplant. Stuffed vegetables are my favorite dinners because you can change them to your liking, and the meal fills you up and makes you feel good.
Dessert: Trader Joe’s Dairy Free Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream. Or, strawberries with chocolate hummus, which tastes like chocolate frosting. I love making homemade desserts such as healthier almond flour cookies, dark chocolate peanut butter cups (I keep them in my freezer) or frozen Greek yogurt rind.
When I started my weight loss journey in January 2020, I was only focusing on cardio.
I would go to the gym a few days a week for an hour and go for a bike ride, treadmill or stepper. I did this for a while, but found myself frustrated because I didn’t find this type of cardio fun. After reaching quarantine around March 2020, my family agreed to order a Peloton bike and I fell in love with these workouts. I would do a spin class every day.
I walked a lot during the lockdown.
Walking is a great way to start if you are new to exercising. It wasn’t until the fall of 2020 that I started lifting weights. I started out light and progressed by following the strength workouts of Jess Sims (my favorite Peloton instructor). I did these strength workouts from fall 2020 until March 2021. Then I was introduced to Beachbody.
I love these programs because they get you into a routine and set a real schedule for you. For example, Monday is Leg Day, Tuesday is Back and Biceps, Wednesday is Tabata Cardio, and so on. While I love the Peloton workouts, it’s easy to wake up and say I’m not going to train today because you don’t have anyone or anything to hold you accountable. But with Beachbody, you have a well-established routine, an extremely supportive and motivating community around you, and you feel like you need to stay on the program schedule to stay on track.
So a typical week of exercise for me is five days a week with a mix of strength training and cardio workouts (much shorter). I’ve learned that you don’t have to spend an hour and a half in the gym to see results. The easiest way to get frustrated and let go is to overwork yourself. I spend 25 to 40 minutes a day on these workouts.
These three changes made the biggest difference in my weight loss results.
I started to drink a lot of water. Before starting my weight loss journey, I was probably drinking two or three bottles of water a day in addition to sugary coffees and other drinks that weren’t good for me. As I started to move my body more and fill up on healthier foods, my body needed water and I started drinking around 2 liters per day. It also curbs all the bad cravings and keeps you satisfied throughout the day.
I moved my body three to five times a week. After graduating from high school and having no sport to play, I gave up exercise completely. It is unrealistic to go “hard” when you start to lose weight. Making simple changes is the key to success. Approaching exercise this way has helped me stay consistent so I can stick with this lifestyle change.
I cut the negative self-talk. This is the most important for my success. When you decide to make a change for yourself, you need to be kind and patient with yourself. We’re our own biggest critics, but that definitely changes as you lose weight and go through drastic changes in your life. You start to love yourself more and realize that you really were the one thing stopping you from living a happier, healthier life. Be kind and be your biggest supporter.
I lost 75 pounds from January 2020 to November 2020.
Since then, I have maintained this weight loss by continuing my daily movements and eating healthy. Since starting my weight loss journey, my life has changed completely. I developed a strong passion for nutrition, health and wellness and created my own social media wellness platform to encourage and inspire others. I became a Beachbody Coach where I can now help other people. And I discovered a passion for cooking.
I never thought I would be able to accomplish the things I have on this trip. Once you make such a drastic change, you will start to realize all the things you were holding back. I’m the most confident I’ve ever been, and I finally love myself enough to put myself first.
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