03/06/2014 08:46 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Lilian Bryant Lost 70 Pounds And Fell In Love With Weight Training

Lilian Bryant

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Name: Lilian Bryant
Age: 41
Height: 5'1"
Before Weight: 211 pounds

How I Gained It: I have been overweight my entire life. I started my first diet at age 14, and I have yo-yo dieted since then. I have always been a binge eater, so I would eat healthy for a while and then punish myself with food. Every Monday morning I would start a diet, and by Wednesday I would eat something bad and feel like I ruined the whole thing. I would promise to start again on Monday. I've spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to find a solution to my weight problems when the solution was right in front of me all the time: That solution was me!

Breaking Point: My sister came to visit me for my 40th birthday in May 2012. She's passionate about fitness and healthy living. She saw that I was eating myself into extreme unhappiness and spoke to me gently. After she left, I looked over pictures of her visit, and there was one of me. I didn't allow myself to be in pictures usually, as I hated looking at myself. A few months passed, and my husband and I went to Spain. I was so uncomfortable on the beach and left my towel by the side of the pool so I could quickly cover myself up after I swam. I was so unhappy with myself. I remember walking to my office when we got back thinking I had to either be happy with how I was or sort it out. I chose the latter.

How I Lost It: Over a six-month period I cleaned up my diet, starting slowly. I removed bread, pasta, white potatoes and sugars. I ate six small meals per day and increased my water intake. I allowed myself one cheat meal a week, which I still have. It has really empowered me to understand that one meal won't ruin anything. Then I started weighing my food, because I was concerned about portion sizes.

In the beginning, I worked out three times a week, doing 20 minutes on the treadmill and some weight training. As my fitness level increased, I started going to the gym five days a week and then six. I wouldn't say that I'm super-fit now, but I'm certainly fitter than I was. I adore weight training, and I lift as heavy as I can! I can squat 100 kilos (220 pounds), deadlift 80 kilos (176 pounds) and bench press 70 kilos (154 pounds). I'm so happy with that and want to get stronger.

It's taken me about 14 months to lose 70 pounds. I did it all by myself with the support of my husband. But I'm not done yet! I don't just want to lose weight, I want to be fit and healthy -- and of course look good in a bikini.

One of the most important things that I have learned from this journey is the importance of good nutrition. Food can help you or hinder you, but it’s always your choice. I started documenting my journey on my Facebook page. This journey has been one of the best decisions of my life!

After Weight: 141 pounds. My end target is to be at 121 pounds.
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