Geneva Alexander started with goal: to lose 50 pounds in time for her best friend's wedding. A year and a half later, the 27-year-old night-shift nurse has lost over double her original goal. Read on to find out how Geneva balances life and odd work hours and still managed to lose the weight and keep it off.
POPSUGAR Fitness: What made you decide to start?
Geneva: My weight-loss journey began when my best friend asked me to be her maid of honor. I didn't want to stand up in front of a room full of people and make a speech as the fat friend. Her wedding provided a tangible deadline to lose a significant amount of weight. My goal was to drop 50 pounds before her wedding.
PS: What is your favorite way to work out?
GA: I love HIIT workouts for cardio. I like how the change of pace keeps cardio interesting and not just a boring jog on the treadmill. I also love weight lifting. I work with a personal trainer twice a week and work on powerlifting moves like deadlifts, back squats, and bench press. I just hit a personal record on my deadlift of 300 pounds. I love feeling feminine and strong.
PS: What's your weekly exercise schedule?
GA: I typically work out six times per week. I am lucky enough to belong to a small family-owned gym that runs metabolic classes that are in a HIIT style. I take those group exercise classes typically four times per week. My other two workout days, I work with my personal trainer doing strength and weight lifting exercises. We typically do a lower-body day early in the week, and our second workout will be upper body.
PS: How do you keep workouts exciting?
GA: I like to keep things changing monthly. I also will pick a new fitness goal every few months, whether it is to increase the amount of weight I lift, or decreasing my mile time. I also promised myself to complete one big fitness challenge every year. This year, I trained for and ran my first half marathon.
See Geneva's transformation below.
PS: How much weight have you lost?
GA: I have lost 103 pounds.
PS: What was the first big difference other than the number on the scale, that made you feel proud and excited?
GA: The fact that I found a routine that I stuck with. I tried so many times to lose weight but to actually follow through and maintain a routine makes me so proud. I also love that I've inspired others to pick a healthier path. Because of the changes that I've made, my mom has begun to exercise and eat healthier. I've also inspired many of my co-workers to make healthier choices.
PS: How do you track your weight loss?
GA: I weigh myself weekly — staring at the scale daily was driving me crazy. Each week, I weigh myself and try to decrease that number, week by week. I also go off how I feel and how my clothes fit.
PS: What's a typical day of meals and snacks?
GA: I try to maintain a 1,500 to 1,700 calorie/day diet. My diet is focused a lot around lean proteins and fresh vegetables. In the morning, I like to eat two boiled eggs with one cup of Greek yogurt with fresh pineapple, with a crumpet. I like to snack on sliced bell peppers and cucumbers with hummus. Lunch will usually be a last night's leftovers that I bring from home. Dinner is different all the time, but my absolute favorite thing to eat is salmon with sautéed spinach and brown rice. I vary what I eat and try to inject as much flavor as possible. I like to look for healthy recipes on Pinterest and POPSUGAR Fitness, of course!
PS: What are the healthy staples in your fridge?
GA: I always have fresh vegetables washed and cut in my fridge. My favorite snack is popcorn. It's a healthy low-calorie option and fills that crunchy salty fix I need sometimes.
PS: How do you strategize for nights out?
GA: I like to look ahead online for a restaurant's menu. I choose what I'm going to order ahead of time — that way I'm not tempted to make a crazy choice. I also eat lighter for my other meals that day to make "room" for the extra calories eating out brings.