Regan Patterson began her weight-loss journey in December 2015, but it wasn't a moment of epiphany like many others experience. "There was no defining or embarrassing moment that made me immediately want to lose weight," she told POPSUGAR. "It was a gradual feeling for me. I got fed up with feeling so insecure about my body and missing out on life events because of it."
At the start of her journey, Regan, 25, weighed 222 pounds. Adopting a sustainable approach, she lost 77 pounds over the course of two years. "I am proud of the time it has taken because realistically, these types of transformations don't happen overnight. It takes a lot of time, consistency, and dedication." Regan should know — she's now a personal trainer.
"I always tell my clients that small, baby lifestyle changes are the best way to start. It's hard to change your lifestyle 100-percent overnight," she said. That's exactly what Regan did, making small changes like adding more vegetables to her day and going to the gym a few days each week. She noted that these are all very realistic changes that anybody can make.
These little changes eventually kept adding up to bigger changes. "I have been doing Kayla Itsines's BBG workout program for 65 weeks now. I fell in love with how challenging it was and how I saw the changes not only physically in my body, but my performance in my workouts. I also love weightlifting so I add that into my regimen."
As far as Regan's diet goes, she counts calories and macros and has "a very flexible approach to 'dieting.' I hate the term 'diet' because my life isn't a diet, it's just my life! But I don't like to put any foods off limits because we as humans don't usually succeed with food limitations." She basically follows the 80/20 rule — 80 percent nutrient-dense foods and 20 percent treats. Regan said she's all about "everything in moderation! Losing weight doesn't have to be boring!"
Aside from dropping 77 pounds with BBG and following the 80/20 rule, Regan said, "My resting heart rate before I started my fitness journey was 88 beats per minute. It is now approximately 48-50 bpm. That means my heart has to work almost HALF as hard as it did before!" Talk about a life-changing nonscale victory!
Over the course of these past two years, Regan admitted, she wasn't always motivated. She said, "Motivation is a feeling. It comes and goes. I don't rely on motivation to keep me going. I am dedicated even when I'm not motivated!"
For anyone on their own weight-loss journey, Regan has one word of advice: patience. "That's one of the toughest parts of this whole thing. This is a journey that takes time, and everyone's journey is unique. Your journey will not be like anyone else's. Embrace it, and enjoy the ride. All your hard work will pay off!"
She wants to remind everyone that "this isn't just a physical weight-loss journey. You will also experience a mental transformation that is just as rewarding as the physical one. Don't give up on yourself. It's OK to fall, but it's not OK to stay there. Always get back up and try again!"