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 2017 Goals + Fitness Journey

  • Starting weight? -256lbs is the heaviest that I remember documenting but I'm pretty sure my heaviest was around 280-285lbs.
  • Current Weight? -I'm currently 152lbs 

Update: I fluctuate between 160-170lbs  lol.. ya girl likes food too much :)

  • How tall are you? -I'm 5'5
  • Goal Weight? -My goal weight was to lose 100lbs which I've reached but now I don't have a goal weight, just stopping when i feel completely satisfied with where I'm at, I plan to lose another 15-20lbs before I start to maintain my weight.
  • What did you do to tighten your skin? Or how did you avoid loose skin after such a drastic weight loss? -I incorporate weightlifting & strength training into my daily workouts. I do have minimal loose skin but mainly in my arms. But yeah incorporating weights & using resistance bands has helped me with tightening the skin. It also helps that I haven't had children yet & I feel like that plays a big factor as well.
  • What led you to want to make your lifestyle transformation and where are you at now? -What led to my lifestyle change of was hitting a point where I was no longer feeling beautiful about myself no matter how happy I appeared to be to everyone day to day. I had a real moment with myself and was ready to change my ways & to love my body again. 16 months later, I've now lost a total of 105lbs! I feel so much, inside and out &  cant believe sometimes that I've lost almost half of my body weight.
  • How did your training and nutrition look when you started your journey?

    Personally for myself, google was my best friend! First I figured out my goals (long & short term) so I knew what level of exercise I needed to be doing to help me reach those goals. I came across an article online about walking & losing weight so I gave it a shot. I went for 2-3 miles daily for the first 3 months of my journey & then eventually incorporated cardio at the gym in addition to my miles. Food wise, I snacked on a lot fruits & veggies throughout the days & literally ate everything baked or grilled.  So just simply getting active with walking daily & eating healthier I lost 30lbs in those first 3 months.

  • Do you wear a latex WT? or advise to use one? -I've tried waist training, it's made solely to help you lose water weight not to lose actual fat. It never sat right on my hips & left a bruise on my back so I stopped. I don't personally recommend them if you think its going to give you a "waist", just stick to exercising it works wonders. I do recommend Gold's gym sweat belt that you can purchase at Wal-mart to help sweat out your midsection during workouts. (What I've been using for months)
  • Body measurements? Do you have a waist size goal? -I haven't measured myself in a few weeks but my last measurements were 39 Bust - 27/28 waist - 44 hips. When I started my weight loss I was 43 bust - 40 waist - 53 or 54 hips so I've came a longggg way! I would like to get my waist to 25 inches that's just kinda been goal long-term goal for almost 2 years.
  • Current workout routine like? How many days a week? How long? -Right now I'm only doing light cardio & heavy weight lifting & strength training. I'm focused on toning up my body this year. I workout at least 4 times a week for 60-90 minutes. 
  • How did you get your waist so small? -I get asked this question about everyday.. YOUR MIDSECTION WILL SHRINK WHEN YOU EAT RIGHT! I promise you. Can't expect to have a snatched waist if you're eating habits aren't disciplined. Also, genetics! More than half my family have the pear-shaped body types, so I naturally carry more weight on my lower body. I've always had a '10+ waist to hip ratio even at my heaviest. Yes, back/core exercises have helped me along the way but once I got serious about the foods I was putting into my body, I started to see the results I've been looking for. Consistency is key. Don't let a bad day of eating turn into a week or more, tomorrow is a new day to get it right. So yeah, the secret is eating clean. If you want the body bad enough, you'll work for it. It's worth it!
  • How to cope with soreness when working out? How to keep going? -Stretching is really important. I stretch before & after my workouts. Honestly working out through the soreness helps me. It's temporary pain so don't let it get to you too much but stretching helps me with my soreness.

Eating Habits + JUMP  START to Weight Loss

Good thing to keep in mind about your eating habits: "What you eat is part of what you are and what you will become. What you choose for a meal has an impact on our body either positively or negatively. The quality of food you take affects the length and quality of your life. Many life threatening diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancers, are often, at least in part, linked to poor nutrition. Much of these diseases could be prevented with sufficient health nutrition intake."

  • What was the hardest part about making your transformation and how did you overcome it? -The hardest part for me was staying disciplined with my eating habits. Before I started my weight loss journey, I would eat anything & everything I wanted in sight. I didn't care about calories, protein, none of that I was simply eating because I just loved to eat. I won't lie, it wasn't easy for me to change my eating habits completely but I was so ready for change in my life so I really got serious about the foods that I was putting into my body day to day. I would say it took me about 3 months to really grasp my eating habits to where I am now with discipline with my eating.
  • Foods to avoid or think twice about eating? -My rule when it comes to what I eat; IF IT'S FAKE, CHEAP, FAST OR EASY. Don't eat it. I stay away from sugary & fried foods. I don't deprive myself from foods that I like but my first 3 months of my weight loss, I was very strict on my eating habits until I was disciplined to eat what I want (I always found healthier alternatives to foods I like).
  • Meal prep help yes or no?? What would you recommend? -Of course, I still meal prep until this day. I tend to prep Sunday/Wednesday to get me through the week. You can find affordable containers at Wal-mart or even the dollar store. I recommend writing out first the foods that you do like that are healthy & go from there (that's what I did). Common sense, we all know the healthy food groups (google the FOOD CHART photo) & start putting together meals that sounds good to you. Learn what you can cook quickly. Most meals I cook take 30 minutes or less. Those that take longer don't have a lot of actual work, they just need to bake longer. Your plate should be about 1/2 veggies and fruit, 1/4 protein, 1/4 carb. Try mentally dividing your plate this way, it can make it easier. Frozen is often cheaper than fresh, but equally healthy.
  • Current eating habits? Latest to eat dinner?  -I've been doing low carb way of eating since for the past 6 months. I found this way of eating works for my lifestyle & I don't feel deprived eating this way. I don't eat dinner at a set time every night but I try to eat any time before 9pm.
  • How did you change your eating habits? -I started with eliminating fast food & started eating from home. I told myself no excuses as to why I can't be healthier. I honestly was so ready to change my outlook on getting healthier, it wasn't too hard for me to want to change my eating habits.
  • How many calories do you consume daily? -I don't count calories lol. I've used Myfitnesspal on & off but I do recommend using that app if you want to figure out how many calories to consume daily.
  • Something that you think is needed in every meal? -Include 2 basic things in every meal: protein & vegetables.
  • How many times should I eat per day?!? -That's personally up to you. As long as you eat the right foods and the right amounts, you can get in great shape. Your metabolism is affected more by what you eat rather than how frequently you eat. If you like eating big meals and don't like eating smaller portions, feel free to eat the traditional 3 meals a day. If you like eating more frequently than that, have your 3 meals & add in 1-3 snacks a day. It all really depends on your weight loss goals.Be mindful & careful about portion sizes. If it's bigger than what fits in the palm of your hand, it's guaranteed to make your belly bigger just saying.
  • HELP. Is it affordable to eat healthy on a budget? -You can eat healthy on & be on a budget at the same time if you shop smart & start cooking from home. Healthy eating is simple – you already know what’s good & bad for you, it’s just that junk food/fast food/takeouts are often more "convenient" when it comes to a quick budget. Remember to always shop smart & be on the lookout for special deals.
  • How have they changed since you started? -I would say that haven't changed much since I've started eating healthier. I tried different ways of eating just to see what works for me & found that low carb worked best for me! I normally eat 60-80g a day. This type of eating has allowed me to enjoy the foods I still love & not feel like I'm on a diet but a lifestyle.
  • How did you get started? -Got active 5 days a week & got serious about my health.
  • If you could only offer one piece of advice, technique or strategy for women looking to transform themselves, what would it be? -I would say to start with changing your mindset. Your body will go where your mind takes it! I wouldn't have been as successful with my weight loss if I didn't change my mindset to living a healthier lifestyle. There's been times I wanted to quit & just give up, binge eat, not workout for days then I remember why I'm doing this & that I'm stronger than my excuses. my mindset is so different now & I look at my healthy lifestyle as a means of making myself a priority & not an option.  So changing your mindset to do better is important & keeps you on track of your goals!
  • Does it matter when you eat? -I don't know if I can answer this in a factual statement but I eat at random times, never anything set because I'm always on the go. Whether you eat at 6 am or 9pm, the same fundamentals still apply. Focus on WHAT you eat and the amount & you'll be fine. If you know you're susceptible to late-night binges, maybe it's in your best interest to take a seat on the late-night eating. Just eat your protein, veggies, & mix in carbs—from grains, rice, fruit, or veggie before/after your workouts. As long as your meals are in check, you don't have to worry about eating at the wrong time.
  • How did you get a flat stomach? -First, I don't have a flat stomach but thank you lol. I got serious about my eating habits. Eliminated sugary & friend foods, allowing myself a cheat meal a week, & was active 5 days a week in the gym. If you're consistent, you'll get to your goals. I'm still striving to get abs & won't stop until I have them!
  • I hate CARDIO! What if I hate running? -That's fine, still no excuse. Cardio comes in many forms. Whether it's cycling, walking, swimming, using weights, or running stairs. Don't let excuses stop you from reaching your goals!
  • Do you have any favorite fitness resources, information sources or supplements? -I tend to follow a lot of different fitness sources for different reasons but IG transformation pages I follow majority of those pages, it's great content & to see others on a weight loss journey like myself keeps me motivated to keep pushing for my own goals. I like to follow uplifting & body positive sites, showing real results & embracing your body type at every stage during your weight loss.
  • How do you stay motivated/consistent? Even without seeing changes? -Progress photos keep me going! I take my measurements (all over my body) every month to see if I've made changes. It's so easy to get discouraged when losing weight but not letting the scale get o your head heped me sty motivated, I would only weight myself at the end of each month. So it was something to look forward to for me. So each month I would work hard just so I can meet my monthly goals. Whether that's to lose 5lbs for the month or 5 inches. I never stressed the scale. Getting healthy is a lifestyle for me, so I don;t pay the scale any attention anymore. It's all about how I feel.
  • Do I need to exercise to lose weight? -Lol. Technically no, if you eat well you can naturally be healthy & lose weight but exercising is needed to shape & tone your body. I would recommend just getting active :)
  • Cardio or Weightlifting? or both? -BOTH! I wish I had a mentor or someone that could have knowledge me on the importance of doing both when losing weight. I was strictly cardio my first 6-8 months of my journey before I started incorporating strength training & weightlifting. Cardio is great for burning the fat & weightlifting for toning the body.
  • How much exercise should I be doing? -Depends on how much weight you want to lose. I say anything more than 20lbs, at least being active 4-5 times a week for 60 minutes. Personally when I started, I was in the gym 5-6 times a week for 60-90 minutes. Once again, it depends on how much weight you want to lose.
  • How many calories should I be consuming a day? -An average woman needs to eat about 2000 calories per day to maintain, and 1500 calories to lose one pound of weight per week. An average man needs 2500 calories to maintain, and 2000 to lose one pound of weight per week. My fitnesspal has a cool way f counting your calories a day & how much you should be consuming. Also includes macros if you want to know that as well.
  • Supplements? Do you take anything at all? Should I start out with taking something? -I can say that I have not taken any supplements thus far but I am considering looking into pre-workout shakes for my workouts since I feel like I'm hitting a plateau with my weight. When you first start a new program or just going to the gym, it's best to handle your supplement protocol like everything else, KEEP IT SIMPLE. It's easy to get excited about all the potential possibilities & wonder what a little extra help might do for your body. Here's what you need to know about supplements: They exist to fill gaps in your fitness plan. A good diet & workouts will always provide the most effective results. Supplements make sure you don't have any weaknesses in your fitness approach point blank. As you become more familiar with your body & needs, then you should consider alternative options, such as pre-workout products & proven performance-enhancers.
  • Advice for college students trying to lose weight? -DON'T LET SCHOOL STRESS YOU OUT! of course, we are naturally stress all the way through college but I used exercising as a way of relieving my stress from studying, clubs, etc. I utilize my free access to the campus gym (miss it so much) joining spin class, zumba, body-pump, etc. & really learn to budget my money for food. I stopped eating on campus. I took the stairs instead of the elevators. Just a lot of small things to get more active.
  •  Any final thoughts / things you want to mention? -Always remain true to yourself & to push yourself to be the best person that you can be. Be stronger than your excuses & embrace yourself throughout your weight loss, hold yourself accountable & don't give up on your goals no matter how far away they seem, CONSISTENCY IS KEY.

Future Projects + SLIM THICK FITNESS
  • How did you pick your fitness brand name? -Credit to my sister Octavia lol. I feel like SlimThick fits me. I'm not trying to promote being "skinny" but showing other women that it's okay to be healthy, fit & still thick. Showing that healthy has no real size.
  • Future collaborations? Projects? -Yes! So many new ventures coming this year for my brand. From workout apparel to workout meet-ups. I'm working on a lot of new stuff & becoming a certified personal trainer! :)
  • Workout Programs? What do you recommend for beginners who've never exercised at all? -Personally I LOVE all my workout plans. I always feel so good after completing them. I have a 7 day Beginner program I made specifically for those who are new to the fitness lifestyle! You know I once was in your shoes so I extended the 7 day program into an eBook about my weight loss journey. The Do's & Dont's when starting, so it's a great read if you're just starting or looking to continue on your own journey.
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