Desiree Hunt, at age 27, weighed almost 280 pounds. She was tired, depressed, miserable and unmotivated and her life was starting to spiral out of control.
That all changed for her on the 15th of January 2012.
The date, that Desiree has now come to hold as an anniversary, was the day she realised she wanted to make a change and finally did! She promised to make no more excuses and to finally start on a journey to becoming a healthier and happier person.
Be Sure To Follow Desiree On Her Instagram Here: @nakedhealthjourney
She told Popsugar, that one of the main things that spurred her to want to change her ways was her behaviour over the holidays around a month earlier. While most see the holidays as a time when they want to connect with old friends and family, she avoided as many people as she possibly could.
“I avoided my old friends like the plague. I didn’t want anyone to see the weight I had gained over the last seven years since leaving my hometown. I was ashamed of who I had become. I was unhealthy, unhappy, and miserable.”
Instead of going out and having fun with her friends, she spent her days indoors feeling sorry for herself and it was this realisation that helped spark her desire to change.
“I spent most of my time at home on the couch watching tv, making crafts, eating boxed food, take out and literally had no health awareness! I know the biggest turning point was realizing I was hiding from so many people.”
As well as her time at home during the holidays, the flight back was also a devastating and “terrifying” experience, as she realised she practically needed two seats to sit comfortably in the plane.
“I took back my life and said no more! I stopped lying to myself and those around me. I wasn’t just naturally overweight. I was over eating and I really did eat that bad! You see for years these were excuses I used to defend myself and that was what I needed to change!”
The days following the 15th of January, Desiree went into a different kind of binge. She watched as many episodes of Extreme Weight Loss as she could and went online to learn about healthy eating and training habits that she could stick to.
Desiree completely overhauled her diet, removing the junk food, fried foods and refined sugars and replacing them with better alternatives.
“I cut out all processed sugary, fatty foods and swapped everything for healthier versions! Sugar for stevia, pasta for oats, Big Macs for smoothies, fries for sweet potatoes, candy for fruits, casseroles for salads… the list goes on!”
She started to drink smoothies everyday, full of protein powder, fruits, spinach, nut butters and other healthy ingredients. This helped fill her up while taking in fewer calories and provide a shot of micronutrients every day.
Desiree Hunt’s Typical Daily Diet:
“As I have mentioned before, I have never followed a certain plan or diet. I do somewhat track calories and macros but not 100%. You need to do what works for you we are all different.”
“Here is a typical day of food for me consisting of approximately 1400-1500 calories (macros in grams Protein 112-117/Fat 55-58/Carbs 110-113/Fiber 21-27) a mix of healthy carbs, fats, lean proteins, natural sugars and vegetables here’s some details:”
Morning: Smoothie half a small frozen banana, 1 scoop @idealfit cake batter protein, 2 cups frozen spinach, 1/2 cup and almond milk (tastes like banana bread)
Snack: Half an apple with 1 tbsp almond butter, pinch of chia seeds and 7 dark chocolate chips”
Lunch: Loaded leafy green salad, package of @idealfit fit chix protein snacks drizzle of balsamic dressing
Snack: Mixed vegetables and cottage cheese with a tbsp of sunflower seeds
Snack: Small homemade protein cookie I made
Supper: Half of a small roasted spaghetti squash topped with a no sugar added spaghetti sauce and 4oz homemade chicken meatballs.
Breaking down the plan into Macronutrient groups:
Protein: Fish, chicken, and whey protein powders.
Fat: Avocados, coconut oil, natural nut butters, eggs, and some cream (for her coffee).
Sugar: Fruits and Stevia for when she makes homemade treats.
Carbs: Oats, sweet potatoes, and beans “Don’t forget fruits are carbs, too!”.
She also realised a clever trick that you can use when you go shopping next.
“When shopping, you can almost completely avoid the inside aisles of a grocery store! Almost all fresh ingredients are on the outside aisles. Stick to ingredients that don’t have additives, like plain yogurt, plain nut butters, and plain herbs. There are so many hidden sugars, fats, and carbs in so many boxed foods, it’s crazy!”
Another helpful trick she started doing is to stop adding ‘empty‘ calories throughout the day. No added sugar or high calorie liquids. No condiments on meals that don’t add anything to the dish. Salads with lighter dressings, or no dressing at all. These little changes add up to a lot of weight throughout the year!
As well as her diet, Desiree started exercising after years of being inactive. She started by simply using an elliptical in her own home.
“I got off my butt and started using the elliptical, 20-30 minutes a day, 6 Days a week. I worked up to small weights and taught myself everything I needed to know, I joined a very small gym with a few ladies and busted my ass. I got out and played with my kids.”
After going the gym, and continuing on her healthy eating plan, the weight started to fly off. By April 2013, Desiree had lost over 100 pounds and has since, lost another 40 pounds and become a personal trainer and online fitness influencer!
She reminds her followers that she was once in the position they are in now and shows them the simple changes they can make to change their own lives.
Desiree also openly talks about the surgery she had to remove her excess skin and highlights the problems a lot of people face when they lose a tremendous amount of weight. She feels much happier with her body after fixing the problem of hanging skin which caused her a lot of discomfort and embarrassment.
When asked if she had any message for people looking to lose weight like her, she said:
“I can promise you that the long-term results are worth every drop of sweat and gruelling minute you put into this! Don’t expect to see results overnight. I know it’s hard, and I know it’s going to take a lot of effort, but I can promise you that the long-term results are worth every drop of sweat and gruelling minute you put into this!”
“Take a ton of photos along the way for post comparison. You won’t find it easy to remember what you looked like then, and when you see these before and afters, you will reap that reward instantly!”