A journey travelled is a journey worth sharing, but a journey that revitalizes your life for the better is one that the whole world often wants to know. In the face of clear success, we often gloss over the failures, but the failures are a necessary rite of passage to overcome on your way to achieving your goals. And then, once you have reached your desired destination, the world can literally become your oyster.
Cierra Johnson gradually gained weight until her weight peaked at over 300 lbs. Cierra tells POPSUGAR, “I would start a new weight-loss journey every Sunday, by Wednesday I would fall back into bad habits.”
Johnson continues, “This was my life for years. Diet after diet, I would lose then regain more than I lost. I lacked dedication, patience, and consistency every time.”
Just like many mothers, Cierra had to keep up with her son. However, her weight began affecting her energy and activity levels. In November 2017, at her peak weight of 311 lbs, Johnson noticed that she was really having a lot of trouble doing almost anything with him. She says, “It forced me to see that my weight was now affecting my lifestyle and quality time with my son. It was the pivotal moment where I said enough was enough.”
Cierra’s love for her son inspired her to start her journey
With her turning point moment behind her and a new fitness journey just over the horizon, Cierra identified where the real issue was for her. Cierra shares, “It wasn’t working out that would hold me back. It was my lack of control when it came to food.”
In February 2018, Cierra went for vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG). Cierra believes that this procedure was a “tool” on her road to recovery.
Then, Cierra dedicated all of 2018 to being healthy and keeping active. She completely overhauled her lifestyle by introducing workouts six times a week and a low-carb high-protein diet. She revolutionized the way that she interacted with nutrition learning both portion control from the surgery and how to eat to fuel herself instead of for fun.
Cierra says, “I found a love for jogging, spin, and jumping rope. I would dance everyday because in the beginning I was too heavy to do a lot of the things I aspired to.” As she lost the weight, Johnson then began incorporating more fitness-focused exercises into her routine.
In one year, Cierra lost 133 lbs. She says of the experience, “I shared my entire story to show the world that having weight-loss surgery is not the easy way out. It requires the same dedication and healthy lifestyle changes as any other weight-loss journey.”
It forced me to see that my weight was now affecting my lifestyle and quality time with my son. It was the pivotal moment where I said enough was enough.
One month after the one-year anniversary of beginning her journey, Cierra became pregnant with twins. She explains, “It was very hard on my body, but I think God prepared me because I was in the best physical shape of my life.”
Every journey can have its seasons of rain, and Cierra’s pregnancy brought with it some complications. Within a month of the birth of her twins, Cierra was back at her pre-pregnancy weight, and she began working out in January 2020. However, breastfeeding made exercise painful for her and so the new mom decided to wait 6 months (when she would finish breastfeeding) to begin working out again.
Between the pandemic limiting Cierra’s options for exercise and the pain she was experiencing in her breasts when she tried, Johnson gained approximately 20 lbs.
Then after returning to the gym in September 2020, Cierra injured her knee and could not walk for 3 weeks. She describes that time in her life saying, “The weight gain, the new twins, the limiting environment, and a host of other personal issues became too much. I went into a deep depression October through December, which is where I gained an additional 20 pounds.”
Cierra reminds herself of her past to keep her motivated
Since January of this year Cierra has been back on her weight loss journey with the goal of losing the 40 lbs she gained. In order to stay motivated, Cierra says that she thinks of her past. She reminds herself of the memory of how her weight had affected motherhood.
Cierra says, “The scale is a liar, lol, so I trust what I see more than what the scale tells me.” Instead, she focuses on looking at before and after photos for inspiration. In fact, she recommends that you take many pictures along the way both for your own inspiration and to share with others! She encourages monthly progress photos to show you what the scale doesn’t tell you with a number.
Remember fitness should be fun. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you won’t do it. Find what you enjoy and stick to it. I love dancing, so I danced my way through my journey until I felt strong enough to do more
The important thing is to start somewhere. Johnson recalls, “I would dance and do Zumba, kickboxing, and group fitness, until I was able to do more high-intensity workouts.”
Cierra Johnson has discovered some secrets to weight loss journey success. But one important tip that she revealed is, “Remember fitness should be fun. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you won’t do it. Find what you enjoy and stick to it. I love dancing, so I danced my way through my journey until I felt strong enough to do more.”
“This has been a long, but fun journey and it’s not over.”
She is now an entrepreneur and shares her journey with the world
A lifestyle transformation is a commitment to yourself above all else. Your health will always be paramount because it can dictate your entire life experience. In Cierra’s case, she sought to institute lifelong changes into her routine and actively overcame her addiction to food. Now, years since that life-changing moment in 2017, Cierra is an entrepreneur and motivator. She has put in the work, seen the results, and is sharing her story with the world.
Whether you are chasing mental growth or physical transformation remember that self-improvement always starts from within. An inner spark can lead to an outer glow, and the world can feel that light along with you.
Figure out what both limits and inspires you and watch the sky become the limit instead. Every journey has its starting point, and when it comes to transforming self and improving your life, the starting point will always begin in your mind and the inspiration will come from your heart.
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