Geneva Alexander started with one goal: 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 accomplished this impressive goal.
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.
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 a 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.