Ciera Lost 133 Pounds and Shares These Progress Pics to Inspire Others Because "the Scale Is a Liar"
If you need a little inspiration to take better care of yourself, to eat healthier, and move more, check out this Instagram post from Cierra Johnson, sharing her weight-loss journey. She told POPSUGAR that she began back in 2018, then got pregnant with twins in 2019. She lost the baby weight in 2020, but then regained 40 pounds at the end of 2020 (#relatable), and now she's trying to get back on track. Read the details of her journey to help motivate you on yours.
Cierra's Weight-Loss Journey Inspiration
The weight gain was gradual and over time. "I would start a new weight-loss journey every Sunday, by Wednesday I would fall back into bad habits," she said. One time, she lost 30 pounds but fell off track after 16 weeks and gained 52 back. "This was my life for years. Diet after diet, I would lose then regain more than I lost. I lacked dedication, patience, and consistency every time," she said.
Cierra's weight-loss journey was inspired by her son. In November 2017, when she was at her highest recorded weight of 311, she was having trouble doing any activity with him. "It forced me to see that my weight was now affecting my lifestyle and quality time with my son. It was the pivotal moment where I said enough was enough."
Cierra Had Weight-Loss Surgery to Help Her Food Addiction
In February 2018, Cierra opted for vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG). "It wasn't working out that would hold me back. It was my lack of control when it came to food," Cierra said, and she thinks of VSG as the "tool" that aided in her recovery.
She changed her relationship with food and dedicated the entire year of 2018 to living an active and healthy lifestyle. She worked out six days a week and focused on a low-carb, high-protein diet. The surgery allowed Cierra to learn portion control (since her stomach was physically smaller), and how to eat to fuel her body versus for fun.
"I found a love for jogging, spin, and jumping rope. I would dance everyday because in the beginning I was too heavy to do a lot of the things I aspired to," she said. As the weight came off, she would incorporate more fitness-related exercises.
Cierra lost 100 pounds in nine months and then another 33 pounds by the one-year mark. "I shared my entire story to show the world that having weight-loss surgery is not the easy way out. It requires the same dedication and healthy lifestyle changes as any other weight-loss journey," she said. The surgery she opted for was simply a tool to help with portion control. "The rest is up to you," she said.
Cierra's Pregnancy With Twins and 2020 Weight Gain
Cierra became pregnant with her twins 13 months into her journey. "It was very hard on my body, but I think God prepared me because I was in the best physical shape of my life," she said. She didn't gain weight until the third trimester, and delivered them in November 2019.
By December, she was back down to her pre-pregnancy weight, and she slowly started working out again in January 2020. But because she was breastfeeding, it was painful, so she decided to stop working out and focus on her babies until they were six months old, when she planned to stop breastfeeding.
But in June 2020, when she stopped nursing and planned to get back to working out, her breasts were still too painful, and it took until August for her milk supply to dry up. This and the effects of the pandemic limited her exercise and caused almost 20 pounds of weight gain.
In September 2020, she was ready to start exercising regularly, and took the risk of returning to the gym. Eight days into her new regimen, she injured her knee and couldn't walk for three weeks. "The weight gain, the new twins, the limiting environment, and a host of other personal issues became too much. I went into a deep depression October through December, which is where I gained an additional 20 pounds," Cierra shared.
How Cierra Stays Motivated
In January, Cierra continued her weight-loss journey, and is now working to lose the 40 pounds she gained. Life happens and so does weight gain! If she feels like giving up, she thinks of her past. She reminds herself of the restrictions her weight placed on her in 2017, and how it affected motherhood.
Being a positive role model to her kids is also important to Cierra, and that helps motivate her to live a healthy, fit lifestyle. Seeing before and after photos also helps Cierra stay inspired. "The scale is a liar, lol, so I trust what I see more than what the scale tells me," Cierra said.
In sharing this video compilation, Cierra's main message is to support new moms and to encourage others to simply move more. She told POPSUGAR, weighing 311 pounds at the beginning of her weight-loss journey, she had always loved dancing, and said, "I would dance and do Zumba, kickboxing, and group fitness, until I was able to do more high-intensity workouts." She said a lot of people don't start moving because they think they have to do hardcore work, but movement is movement, and that's all she wants to relay. Jogging and jumping rope was too painful at her starting weight, but now she loves it, and ironically she doesn't even dance as much anymore.
"Remember fitness should be fun. If you don't enjoy what you're doing, you won't do it. Find what you enjoy and stick to it. I love dancing, so I danced my way through my journey until I felt strong enough to do more," Cierra shared.
Cierra's Weight-Loss Advice
Aside from making fitness fun, Cierra shared these tips to help others on their own journey:
- Determine where you struggle. If it's with food, see a registered dietitian, and if it's with exercise, find a trainer or set up a workout routine at home to stick to.
- Do your research and make all lifestyle change decisions your own. Certain diets or workouts may work for someone else, but you need to find what works for you.
- Cut out the noise. It's important for you to focus on yourself during this journey. It requires dedication and commitment because you won't always be motivated.
- Take photos! Monthly progress photos will help you see what the scale doesn't tell you.
- Share your story and your progress. There is a world full of people waiting to cheer you on! You are not alone!
- Give yourself grace because living a healthy lifestyle isn't about being perfect. It's about being consistent, which will allow for progress naturally.
- Live life to the fullest, you only have one to live!
Cierra's Weight-Loss Progress Video
Cierra said, "This has been a long, but fun journey and it's not over."