If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you’ll know that it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a journey that takes time and dedication to change and cultivating a healthy lifestyle. It’s not always easy to find motivation when you feel as if you’re not seeing a difference in your physical body. It can be extremely helpful to look to those who have succeeded in reaching their weight loss goals. Today we’re taking a look at Melody Harnish’s weight loss transformation!
Her story is nothing short of inspiring so let’s get into it.
Can you tell us a little about how your weight loss journey began?
I made a commitment to health and fitness after being with the Broadway national tour of School of Rock for a year. At the end of a very hectic schedule in October 2018, I was 200 pounds. Now, almost three years later, I am a proud 130 pounds with significantly more muscle and peace of mind!
What made you decide to make a change in your life?
I had my first panic attack when I was 14. I’ve tried many different treatments since that day, including psychiatrist prescribed and self-medication. Despite my attempts, my panic attacks increased in frequency and intensity.
Once I was officially diagnosed with panic disorder and BPD, I knew I wanted to take my mental and physical health back into my own hands. Since I had no idea how to get control of my mind at the time, I turned to what I could control, which was taking care of my body.
Turns out, the two go hand in hand (I know, shocking right?). I haven’t had a panic attack in over a year and my anxiety level, in general, is at an all-time low.
What helped you stay motivated throughout your journey?
I LOVE to share my progress on social media and I have received such overwhelming support from old and new friends. Besides the obvious “I feel so much better” reasons to keep going, I stay motivated by the tribe of people I’ve acquired throughout my health and fitness journey.
Do you have a specific workout routine you follow?
Oh, DO I! I have an amazing trainer and friend, Ackeem Emmons (@ackdntstp) who leads (drags) me through 3-hour long Zoom strength classes each week. In addition, I use the Aaptiv audio fitness app, where I can choose from a wide range of workouts ranging from strength training to yoga, boxing and everything in between.
I’m also a foster dog mom, so I get a lot of cardio in between all of that!
Did you make any mistakes in the beginning? If so, what were they?
Everyone is different but I learned the hard way that counting calories does NOT work for me. I also set my calorie count way too low based on how much I was working out at the time. I was always exhausted and it took me a long time to realize that I wasn’t giving my body the nutrients it needed to maintain such a strenuous routine.
How has your diet changed? What foods are you eating more of and what foods have you cut from your diet?
Vegetarianism has become a big part of my life. I love the lean green vibe and I will never say no to an avocado, chickpea or kale leaf. I also cut soda out of my life but I will live and die for a morning cup of coffee or a seltzer!
What do you think about cheat meals?
I don’t think of them ascheat meals. The stigma of “I earned this pizza” or having to burn a certain number of calories in order to have a bowl of ice cream never sat well with me. Love yourself, love your body, and take stock of what makes you feel the most energized and ready to tackle your day. Then, if you want to eat french fries and binge watch Bridgerton for a little mental health day, GO FOR IT. Everything in moderation!
What are three staple meals you have on a regular basis?
I have oatmeal with chia seeds and fruit every morning (pro tip - if you add frozen blueberries, it tastes like dessert!). I also LOVE eggs of any kind and will usually have some sort of egg brunch after my morning workout and dog walk. Lunch and dinner are all about veggies, whether that’s a stir fry, salad, wrap or a sexy saute!
Who’s your inspiration when it comes to fitness and living a healthy lifestyle?
It’s the people I’ve met along the way – my friends who have seen me at my lowest and have inspired me and loved me throughout my journey to a healthier life. Specifically, my friend Mallory (@mallorygallory), and her wonderful fiance Jimmy (@jimmy_dntstp), who are both trainers in LA but were two of my dear friends long before that.
Did you use specific products to help you achieve the results you did?
I fully believe that input directly correlates with output. I have a few staples in my diet, in addition to great hydration and healthy eating, that helps with my energy.Vitamin Bounty has certainly played a large part in that.
I take an apple cider vinegar capsule every morning, and my gut health would certainly not be nearly as consistent without the women’s pro daily vitamins. My new great love is their natural sleep vitamins. I have always struggled with a good night’s sleep and since I’ve started taking them, I have noticed a drastic change in the quality AND length of sleep.
My greatest challenge for the future will be to return to work after quarantine and maintain the lifestyle that I have created. Tour can be challenging as far as consistency and healthy eating and therefore a goal of mine is to try and meld my love for my job with my new passion for fitness. I’d also love to reach out to more people and help them achieve their health goals.
What advice would you give someone who’s hoping to lose weight and become the healthiest version of themselves?
My greatest tool and the best advice I can give is to reach out and connect with people to help keep you moving. Find a gym accountability partner, a walking/running group or a yoga buddy. Make it known that you’re trying to make a change so that you can get all the support you need and also eliminate some of your past temptations.
Where can people connect with you?
Connect, connect, connect!
Want the same weight loss transformation?
If you found Melody’s weight loss transformation inspiring, it’s the perfect time to get started with your own health and fitness journey! It’s never too late to get started and don’t let fear get in the way of your success. All you need is a little determination and willingness to create a healthy lifestyle!
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