Anybody who is overweight will tell you about some of the challenges that come with it, and health is one of the major concerns. Today, we’re sharing Damola Ladejobi‘s weightloss story, which was precipitated by a series of health issues. From 105 kilograms, Damola had to work tirelessly for the body she has now. Her story is inspiring and very relatable and we hope that anyone who is facing these challenges will take those first steps towards living a healthier lifestyle today.
I Am Damola
My name is Damola Ladejobi, I am happily married for 7 years and counting with two awesome kids, a 6-year old girl and a 4-year old baby boy. I went to Childhood school for my primary education, Atlantic hall for secondary, got my A-levels from Oxbridge Tutorial College. I went to university of Exeter (UK )where I got a degree in LLB Law, a BL from Nigerian Law School and also a Diploma in nutrition from Shaw Academy.
Health Issues & the Urgent Need to Lose Weight
I suffered from a bad acute G E R D (Gastroesophogeal reflux disease). GERD is a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach. In other words, the gastroesophageal reflux is the return of the stomach’s content back up into the esophagus. The symptoms of GERD are: heartburn which is the primary symptom, regurgitation, acid taste in the mouth, ear aches, bad breath, sudden increase of saliva, chronic cough and so many others.
I had to lose weight to reduce the symptoms of the GERD. I had 3 endoscopies done, the first two was in 2009 in Nigeria and the last one was done in 2012 in North Carolina. The doctors couldn’t figure out what was causing it so they recommend I lose weight.
First Things First.. It was not Easy
I started reading and doing research, I dedicated years to reading and that’s how I discovered healthy eating, because I had done many fad diets in the past. I was a foodie; I like food so much so I really struggled, trying to put myself in straight diet. I had to look for an alternative for every favourite food of mine and learn to portion control. And also to eat to live.
Battling the lure of unhealthy food was not easy. I had to constantly remind myself of the bigger picture and why I wanted to lose weight, that alone helped me stay away from unhealthy foods and I became more focused.
I weighed 106 kg and my target was to get to 70kg. I achieved this in approximately 10 months, with no starvation, no fad diet. I didn’t have to have to drink any shakes. I had to reach my BMI (Body Mass Index); it is an approximate measure of your total body fat. Being underweight or overweight can cause health problems, especially if you are also inactive. Knowing my BMI range helped me decide my target weight – bearing in mind that black people weigh heavier than Caucasians.
Signs of Change
Four weeks after I had started eating healthy, I saw a major drop of my weight on the scale and in inches. There I knew, that all I have to do to lose weight was to continue eating better and healthy.
Excited Optimism… and my Love for Fashion
When I had begun to see changes in my weight, I was more encouraged to continue. Although in the second and third weeks, I didn’t see much difference and I almost gave up out of frustration. Then in the fourth week I saw changes on the scale and inches. The fact that each time I travel and I go shopping and I could fit into the clothes better that gave me joy. So I became determined to go further.
The Changes I Made
The lifestyle changes I made then are: what I eat, how I eat them, what time I eat them, portion control, what to eat at a certain time, how I combine my food at a certain time, staying away from unhealthy foods, I had to stay away from processed foods as possible etc.
Support Systems Are Awesome
I started a group on BBM called ‘the biggest loser’ which comprises of close friends and family, I got encouragements and support from them. I was happy to have a good support system, especially when you’re embarking on something as serious as weight loss.
Weight loss buddies keep you accountable, they help you celebrate wins, pick you up when you fall and they really understand.
Awkward Questions & Stares
People ask me things like ‘did I do any surgery?’ and all sorts. I always find myself explaining to people each time I go out to functions, occasions, parties etc. Sometimes it’s not bad; they just ask questions about how simple lifestyle changes you make like eating healthy and little workout can help you lose weight.
Keeping the Weight Off
So how have I managed to remain trim? I do this by eating healthy. I love my high intensity indoor workout and I also love to dance. I have lost about 35 kg
Practical Tips For You as You Embark This Journey
Get optimal sleep, try getting up at the same time every morning, drink lots of water, cheat a little, eat the right amount of food, make exercise an excuse, express all your emotions in healthy ways, get organized, hook up with some support etc. The advantages of getting on the healthy lifestyle train are plenty. I became more productive, I became more happier, I am less stressed, I control my weight, I eat less, meals taste better, I age better, I am healthier, living longer, saving money etc.