Asia’s healing and fitness journey

Transformation of the Day: Asia began her journey because she wanted to break generational curses and unhealthy cycles. She has transformed by focusing on health, fitness, self-love, and internal work. Also, she stopped tracking her weight with a scale.

What was your motivation? What inspired you to keep going, even when you wanted to give up?
Unfortunately, I had my “aha” moment after a family intervention where I was preaching to other adults, whom I love, about the importance of accountability to break toxic, generational cycles. Although my speech was not fitness-related, I knew I had to look in the mirror and practice what I preached after going home. 

I had to determine what I could be more accountable for in my own life. Upon looking in the dreadful accountability mirror, I knew I had made too many excuses for my physical health. So that’s what initiated my healing, self-love, and fitness journey. I wanted to break generational curses overall.

On the most challenging days, what inspired me to keep going was knowing that I could break generational and unhealthy cycles with a little mental reprogramming. I knew that a lot of my extra weight was the physical manifestation of my life’s trauma and my inner unhappiness. So I needed to do some internal work to heal within and then work to shed the physical layer externally. I did not want to be nor wear my unhappiness any longer. I knew I could take control of my narrative and make a change for a better story. I knew I owed myself true healing.

How did you change your eating habits?
I did not intentionally diet during my journey. However, my eating habits changed as a natural response to working out first thing in the morning. After coming in from my outdoor HIIT runs, I noticed I lost my cravings for heavy or junk foods. 

With consistent AM workouts throughout the week, I did find that I was unintentionally intermittent fasting. After working out and showering, I would have my usual black coffee in the morning and not crave heavy foods or sweets. I also would not have much of an appetite until lunch. 

I did not consciously deprive myself of certain foods to maintain a healthy, sustainable relationship with food. Yet, I found my appetite naturally became more controlled, having fewer cravings and desiring smaller portions. 

I would like to mention that although I did not make many changes, I am not a person who drinks soda or juice. I drink water and black coffee (in the am) mostly. If you are the type to drink your calories, I suggest changing this first and foremost to aid in abdominal weight loss.

What did your workout routine consist of? How often did you work out?
My workout routine consisted of going outside and “running.” I suffer from seasonal depression so getting natural sun aids in my overall “healing journey.”

I say “running,” as this was just a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout that consisted of more of a walk and jog rather than running. After a few months, I was able to work up to a run, but it was not always easy for me in the beginning.

At the beginning of my journey, I would go outside on my local bike trail. I made a goal to go 1.5 miles in one direction and return home, totaling 3 miles. I always begin with a 5-minute warm-up walk and then a jogging sprint. I sprint for as long as I can before getting to an uncomfortable breathing point, and then I begin to walk again. I do not time or pace myself. I simply focus on my breathing. When I can catch my breath while walking, I run again. I repeat this routine to my destination and back.

At the beginning of my journey, I worked out 4-5 x a week. I did this routine for about four months. Around month five, I reduced it to 3 times a week for maintenance. Although these were my goals each week, each week wasn’t perfect. Even if I did not meet my goal, I would give myself grace and a fresh, mental slate to hit my goal the following week.

One important tool that helped me was creating an “accountability tracker.” This is a calendar graphic that I made on Canva that included 2-3 goals and a calendar of the month. Each week, I would mark an “X” on the days I worked out. Seeing this visual acted as motivation to see the 4-5 X’s (for each day I worked out) for the week. I loved this friendly competition with myself to “kill my goals” each week and have an overall healthy month.

What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
It was vital for me to see this journey as an overall “healing” journey rather than focus on weight loss. One way I did this was by ensuring I kept a healthy mindset and relationship with my body. Therefore, I did not step on a scale and still have no idea how much weight I have lost. From memory, my highest weight was 219 pounds. I am not currently curious about my weight because my worth and hard work will not be reduced to a number. However, I kept personal pictures and videos along the way for comparison.

I can tell you that I went from a size 14 to currently a size 8 in jeans.

What is your height?
I am 5’4″.

When did you start your journey? How long did your transformation take?
I began some effort at the start of the pandemic (2020). However, my intentional healing and fitness journey that began in May 2021 led to most of my transformation. My “after” submission photo was in November 2021, and I am in a state of healthy maintenance of this physique currently.

Is weight loss surgery part of your journey?
Surgery was not a part of my journey. 

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
That everything begins with changing your mentality. I was not a morning person, but I became one to meet a personal goal and free up the rest of my day from guilt. I also hated cardio, but what I hated most was feeling out of breath by pushing too hard. So instead of focusing on how hard I pushed myself, I gave myself grace. I allowed myself to breathe (walk) for as long as I liked and just made sure that I showed up weekly for those 3 miles no matter how long it took. I knew that with time and consistency, I would progress and see results regardless.

Additionally, “accountability trackers” keep me the most motivated. Focusing on small goals weekly rather than getting anxious about a month’s work of goals makes it easier to achieve a healthy mindset for me personally.

What advice do you have for women who want to lose weight?
My overall goal was to “heal,” not just to lose weight. I wanted to stick to a ritual of exercising for mental health, and I knew the weight loss would come if I focused on my mental health holistically. This meant just challenging myself to begin a routine, get outside, get some sun, and show up for myself. I knew it was achievable. I just had to get my butt up and go. I had to pour into myself.

If you do not like the gym, don’t go (I never did). Instead, find something you enjoy enough to show up at least three times a week. Remember that your mind is stronger than we give it credit, and bet on the power of yourself sometimes. 

Go on a self-love journey that allows you to find the ability to know that you are capable of change with a little discipline. Discipline is hard, but so is a life of unhappiness. Choose your hard. One of the “hards” might introduce you to the woman you’ve always yearned to be or, better yet, one you didn’t know could exist.

Instagram and TikTok: @asia_noel_


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