After her divorce, Samantha Hillis was suddenly thrown into the role of single mother. After taking control of her lifestyle, she lost an amazing 80 pounds. Samantha is proud to lead by example and she’s now enjoying activities with her young son that she never thought would be possible.
More from Samantha in her own words –
Tell me when your weight struggles began. I have always been overweight. Growing up I was the only overweight person in my family. I had tried to lose weight many times with pills and meal replacements, but I didn’t change my diet so nothing seemed to work.
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? When I got pregnant I gained 80 pounds! I went from staying between 200 and 210 to 280. After having my son I lost about 50 pounds, but my diet still wasn’t on point. I ate fast food every day, and when I did cook at home we would eat fried foods or a ton of pasta. I would rather sit on the couch and watch the Food Network than go for a walk.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? Nothing ever fit right, and I was never able to share clothes with friends or my sisters. I hated going shopping because I didn’t want to believe that I was in a size 18/20. When I got divorced last year I went to the doctor. I almost cried when I saw the number 248 flashing on the scale in front of me. I had gained 15 pounds in ONE month. That’s when I knew I needed to get healthy for my son.
How did you lose the weight? I started by downloading the My Fitness Pal app. I limited my calorie intake and gave up all junk food. I started to eat a TON of vegetables and fruits, and cut out fatty red meats. I eventually cut out red meat all together (but that’s because it works for me). For the first seven months of my journey I ate very healthy and rarely ate away from home. For the first year, I consulted with my doctor once a month to make sure I wasn’t depriving myself.
I did a few small work outs at home with 5 pound weights and finished a 30 day squat challenge even though I couldn’t walk well after day two. I was determined. In January of 2021 of I started CrossFit, and I stuck with that for six months. After losing 80 pounds I am focusing more on my health rather than the number on the scale.
Did you have any “ah ha” moments along the way? I realized that no one but ME could change my lifestyle. I’m a work in progress and I tell myself everyday that “little progress is better than no progress at all.”
Biggest struggle in your journey? Temptation! The first few months were easy to say no to all of the bad stuff, but then the holidays came. I didn’t gain weight during the holidays, but I didn’t lose any either. I had to learn the hard way that the only way to stay on track is to be strong enough to say no.
My biggest triumph was running my first 5k race. I always HATED running. When I started Crossfit I told my trainer that I couldn’t run. Within a month I was able to run a mile, and within 3 months I ran my first 5k in under 35 minutes. HUGE accomplishment!
Current/future goals? My current goal is to maintain my healthy lifestyle through the holidays and to lose another 10 pounds by Christmas. My future goal is to hit my overall goal weight of 150, and to make sure my son understands the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.