Transformation: Gillian SanFilippo Gets Rid of 50 Pounds!
While there are five years between my starting and ending weight, my weight and body composition have changed a lot during these years. I originally had lost 70 lbs after starting from 180 (leaving me at 110), but had later on put on more weight after increasing my intake
and then starting lifting soon after.
What Was Your Life Like Before Your Transformation?
I was very shy and had pretty low self-esteem. I always picked at my body, and instead of doing something about it I would just disappoint myself every time I stepped on a scale.
It had gotten to the point where I just felt like I’d be better off just not talking to many people around me in school because I felt they wouldn’t want to talk to me anyway. I was just pretty sad and really insecure.
Please Detail Your Turning Point
My turning point happened after a visit to the doctor’s office for an annual checkup. The ones that I hated because of the fact that I’d have to step on the scale.
I had gotten on the scale and looked down to see 180 lbs, and I just had no words. Between my last checkup and this one I had put on 20 lbs. and I just felt so disappointed with myself again. I would always tell myself that I would lose the weight but I never stuck to it.
Honestly part of me was fed up. I was tired of settling and hating the body I lived in so once my mother and I got in our car, I started bawling. I said that this time I was really going to lose the weight. From that point on I haven’t looked back.
What Were Your Major Struggles or Challenges?
One of the biggest challenges I faced was how I would balance everything I had going on with this new lifestyle. I was waking up at 5am to commute 3 hours a day (total) to high school. After getting home at 6pm I would have work to do, so fitting in an hour of exercise in my basement and making healthy meals was definitely hard.
Detail Your Workout and Cardio Plan During Your Transformation
A majority of my workouts while losing weight were 30 minute HIIT cardio sessions and some body weight exercises like those from pilates. After I had lost a bit of weight I started adding
weightlifting in with whatever equipment I had in my basement.
Detail Your Diet/Eating Plan During Your Transformation
When I started I didn’t know much about how I should plan my eating since it was all new to me, so I kept it simple at first. I knew what wasn’t good for me so I instantly cut out processed junk food, red meats, sugary drinks etc.
I had actually used those portioned, frozen meals at first since I never had time in the morning to make breakfast. Aside from that I made healthy substitutions for snacks and looked up meal ideas online that I could make and bring with me to school.
I didn’t track macros or anything at that point so I essentially just made better choices throughout the majority of my weight loss. I started tracking macros once I had an idea what macros were and what my maintenance calories were.
Detail Your Supplement Plan During Your Transformation
I didn’t use any supplements during my transformation. I did however, use protein powder every now and then but a lot of people seem to consider that just food and not an actual supplement.
What Was Your Major Accomplishment, or Major Milestones?
I would say that a major milestone of mine was coming to love my body and realize that the scale really does mean nothing when it comes to fitness and health. I had first gone from 180 to 110 pounds, and when I was at 130 during that time I still had fat to lose.
Now I am 130 again (after eating more and getting into lifting) and I look nothing like I did before in terms of body composition.
Detail Your 3 Biggest Mistakes
One mistake of mine was expecting results to come immediately and expecting to see them immediately. It really does take time to not only get results but to see them yourself.
Another mistake was letting calories run my life. When I had gotten down to 110 pounds I was keeping track of how many calories I was eating and started to feel like I couldn’t eat over a certain number of calories per day, when in reality I was eating way less than I should have.
The last mistake I made was often times forgetting why I started this lifestyle. It’s not to punish your body, earn meals, or to make other happy. Today I can honestly say I train because it makes me genuinely happy, not because I’m trying to look like what others think I should look like.
3 Biggest Things You Learned During Your Transformation?
- The scale doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t tell you much in terms of your overall progress. You can be 150 lbs with a lot of body fat and little muscle, and you can be 150 lbs with a lot of muscle and low body fat.
- You never really end. It’s a lifestyle and you’re always improving and changing.
- People will always have their own opinions but you just have to do what you want and make yourself happy.
Final Words of Advice for Others Looking to Make a Change?
- Don’t wait for a specific day to start. You could make so much more progress if you start now instead of a month from now.
- Believe in yourself! You can do it. You can do anything you set your mind to!
- Make it a lifestyle! And make it one you can stick to. If you enjoy the exercise you’re doing you’ll stick to it. Do something you love. If you hate running, don’t run. If you love lifting, do that!
Health and fitness have become a huge passion of mine. From just losing weight a few years ago I’ve come to find that this is something I love. It led me to weightlifting and I can’t imagine my life if I wasn’t training the way I do now. I even major in Nutrition and Dietetics now in college.