Take the Challenge | Tameika Gentles
Talk about understanding! Tameika Gentles is a trainer that definitely knows the ups and downs of finding your path to a healthy lifestyle. After losing a whopping 100lbs, Tameika knew that she could lead others to do the same.
“Well, about 11 years ago I lost 100lbs. I was able to lose the weight naturally without the aid of any supplements, surgeries, or crazy diets. Ever since I lost the weight, my passion in life has been to show people that healthy and sustainable weight loss is in fact possible. I now promote weight loss, maintenance, and general health fulfillment (mind, body, and spirit) through all my channels,” Tameika explains.
Of course losing 100lbs wasn’t something that happened overnight. Tameika had to undergo a whole lifestyle change. She used workout plans, changed eating habits and transformed her mind.
I’m sure Tameika could go on about all of the little details that she abided by along her journey, but instead she inspires others to find their own path.
“The biggest thing I took from this time in my life is: to really see long term success you have to build a plan conducive to your lifestyle.
Don’t commit to eating broccoli and steamed chicken every day if you’re a food lover. Instead, put the time and effort into turning some of your favourite foods healthy.
If you don’t have the time to work out 5 days per week. Go for 3 and make them worth it.
Overall, just build a plan that will work long term. Because if you go too hard, and aren’t able to sustain it, that’s when the yo-yo happens. In anything you build for yourself, think: “Am I able to do this for the next 3, 5, 10 years?” If the answer is no, then revisit your plan,” Tameika advises.
Just the Beginning
Tameika’s story is so inspiring because it reminds us that meeting your goal weight is not the end of the journey. Each and everyday after that counts. That’s why we all it a lifestyle change.
For 11 years, Tameika has been able to maintain a healthy lifestyle and she admits it hasn’t been easy. But while it’s been challenging, it’s intensely rewarding as well.
“ Keeping extreme weight off for 11 years has been an obstacle in itself. Losing the weight was the easy part, but keeping it off has been challenging. At the end of the day, I suffer from food addiction and my relationship with food is and always will be volatile. I was obese my entire life. So the obstacle has just been managing this maintenance and figuring out ways I can overcome.
However the most rewarding part ironically is the same as my biggest obstacle. I once heard a quote that 90% of people who experience extreme weight loss re-gain it back within 3 years. So I’m very proud that I beat that statistic and happy I’ve been able to truly make it a lifestyle,” Tameika says.
What advice would you give to a young person today who wanted to ditch a sedentary lifestyle and become more fit and healthy?
You need to constantly keep this lifestyle engaging. Don’t just settle for the treadmill and the weight room- find things that you truly enjoy and supplement. Be it boxing, yoga, sports, or dancing.
Weight training should definitely be implemented into the program, but my overall advice is to change it up and keep it fun!
Where should they focus most of their energy to get the most bang for their proverbial buck?
A healthy balanced diet should be your primary focus. It’s so integral and goes beyond the physical aspects of things. We get so wrapped up in the aesthetics, we forget about our internal/external organs. Diet has the most impact for disease prevention and life longevity.
Think about the 80/20 rule: If you get 80% of your impact from 20% of what you do, what is that 20% for someone just starting?
With weight loss, I actually look at the 80/20 rule a little differently. My philosophy is as such:
My diet is 80% healthy and nutritious, while 20% of it allows for some fun. My exercise is 80% focused on weight training and extreme exercise, while 20% allows for some fun again (yoga, dancing, activities).
Basically, I take my version of the 80/20 rule and apply it to most aspects of my health journey.
Why do you think a person’s mindset is so integral to their success?
Well, it’s easy to just action, but a mindset focused on constant reflection, dedication, focus, and determination is guaranteed to not only see success, but will allow for maintenance and longevity.