Movers & Shakers are members of the Needless Pounds community who are doing great things and who deserve to be recognized for it. Not all weight loss stories are “Before” and “After.” Whether they’re just getting going, well on their way, or in maintenance mode, Movers & Shakers provide motivation and inspiration to all of us looking at making positive weight-related changes in our lives.
NP: Tell me about yourself.
V: My name is Vallon Williams. I am a junior nursing student at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. I live in North Little Rock, AR with my two children Riley (5) and Ryder (3). I also just began a part-time research assistant position with the university. In my spare time, I SLEEP. If I were to choose one specific cause, it would be increasing literacy in underprivileged youth.
NP: What are your weight-related goals?
V: My goal is to become a healthy weight. For me, I am targeting the 150-160 pound range as
a long term goal. My short term goal is to reach my pre-pregnancy size (14/16).
NP: How long were you at your previous size/weight and what factors in your life contributed to that?
V: I’ve been at my previous weight for at least 3 years. I’ve always struggled with weight loss
and body image since I was very young. I ballooned to my highest weight because I put my
needs on the backburner to provide for my family and to exceed at school.
NP: What made you decide to change things?
V: I decided to change because my quality of life was deteriorating. I have chronic knee pain
and back pain. I have small children to run after and my weight was an obstacle in that
aspect. Also, I generally want to be the best me that I can be.
One Aha! moment for me was picking out my lab coat for the nursing program. We had to
try on different sizes and none of them fit me – even the men sizes. I felt pretty sad and low.
But it compelled me to really address my weight. Now, the lab coat getting pretty loose, so I
may need a new one for the fall!
NP: What diet/nutrition/exercise programs have you tried in the past? What are you
currently doing that’s working?
V: You name it – I’ve tried it. Currently, I’m counting calories on the Lose It! app. Recently, I’ve
taken a break from doing that the last couple of days to see if I can intuitively eat healthy
portions. I’m more comfortable with counting calories, so I’ll stick with that for now.
NP: How do you stay motivated to do what it takes each and every day to reach your
V: I stay motivated because I have a group of friends and supporters on Facebook that
encourage me. Daily, I try to remember that this is a changed way of living for me – not just
a temporary diet. I also try to make my food taste as palatable as possible. I will not eat
disgusting food, no matter how healthy it is for me.
NP: Who are your champions/supporters/cheerleaders?
V: I want to shout out my friends Kim T. , Ebony W. , April V. , and Janese N. for being my
volunteer life coaches (whether they agreed to it or not LOL). Your weight loss story
has been super motivating. Needless Pounds has given me insight and camaraderie for my
weight loss journey. Also, the following FB pages have helped me tremendously:
- NEEDLESS POUNDS
- Eli Sapharti ( FAT Boy FIT Man)
- Caroline Jhingory
- Constructing a New Rick
- refusing to FAIL ( Janette’s Weight Loss Journey )
NP: Looking at your previous attempts to change, how is this time different?
V: This time was different because I decided to be happy with myself and love myself entirely
before any weight loss began. I addressed the emotional and behavioral issues before ever
counting a calorie.
NP: What has been the hardest part for you on your journey so far?
V: Food has been a coping skill for me my entire life. It is often difficult to figure something else
to do besides eat whenever I’m dealing with life (whether it’s good or bad). So I’ve really
tried to work hard to evaluate whether or not I’m eating because I’m hungry or eating for
some other reason.
NP: Do you have any advice for others?
V: My advice is to make lifestyle changes versus doing some crazy, weird, restrictive diet (i.e.
cabbage soup). I cannot live without: Almonds, water, chicken broth, lean protein (chicken
breast/fish), and salad fixings, and Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate baking chips. Also, the
most important thing is to make sure you are nurturing yourself. Honor the fact that you are
the only you out there, so respect your own beauty before any weight loss begins.
NP: Is there a recent achievement that you’re particularly proud of?
V: I’m proud of deciding to take a walk instead of eating when I felt stressed out today. Also,
I’ve been on this weight loss journey for 11 weeks and I’ve lost a total of 29.4 pounds. YAY!