The Biggest Loser is back on a new network, airing on USA this year, with two new trainers: Steve Cook and Erica Lugo.
Lugo relates to the contestants because she experienced her own weight loss journey. The now 33-year-old mother from Dayton, Ohio, tells Men’s Health she always struggled with her weight.
“Being overweight was just something that I knew,” she says.
It wasn’t until she became a mother that Lugo decided to make a lifestyle change. In 2013, she weighed 322 pounds and lacked energy to play with her then three-year-old son when he asked.
“My heart sunk that I told him no,” she says. “I’d rather have sat on the couch and eat snacks.”
Within days, Lugo signed up for a Planet Fitness membership. Every morning, she drove to the gym at 4:30 a.m. and walked on the treadmill for an hour.
Instead of changing her diet, Lugo initially decreased portions because she didn’t understand nutrition.
View this post on Instagram
IMPOSTER SYNDROME It’s a real thing, y’all. Get a promotion and you think “oh- there must not have been a lot of candidates so THAT’S why I got it!” Get your dream role and think “well, maybe they picked the wrong person and didn’t realize till it was too late!” Or you sit in a meeting of amazing & influential humans and wait for the moment for someone to tap your shoulder and say “You’re really not that qualified for the role/job” You feel like an imposter. Feeling like you aren’t good enough, strong enough or worthy of the accomplishments you’ve made. It’s something I’ve struggled with lately. No- it’s not me being “hard on myself “ or when people say “just let it go” It’s a true anxiety that comes with any form of success, achievements or being notarized. Big or small. Somehow I struggle with “Why did I get picked over all these amazingly beautiful, fit, and way more educated trainers!” Or “it must’ve just been luck” A lot of people feel this way but very few TALK about it. Recognize when people discuss this they aren’t having a pity party, they aren’t asking for validation, it’s a way to process and connect with others who may feel the same. “Shame” keeps a lot of people from talking about something that’s so common. How to deal with imposter syndrome: • Separate feelings from fact • Flip the internal script. Meaning, check yourself before you wreck yourself. Stop the inner critic from taking over. •Break the silence- chat about it y’all! • the only way to stop feeling like you don’t belong is to stop THINKING you don’t belong.
“I grew up in a generation where diet pills were a huge thing,” she explains. I never knew what a healthy diet was.”
On pizza night, Lugo began eating one slice instead of a large pizza. If pasta was served, the mom would eat one serving rather than three. Eventually, Lugo began cooking and incorporating more vegetables into her diet.
“I just started with the basics,” she says.
Within a month, Lugo lost 45 pounds, according to Women’s Health.
Eventually Lugo learned to lift weights by asking more experienced gym goers for advice.
“I would learn better habits by watching people’s form or understanding why they do what they do,” she says. “I’m not scared to ask questions.”
Within a year, Lugo lost 122 pounds, she explained to Shape.
Several years later, Lugo was constantly fatigued and struggled to maintain her healthy lifestyle. She was diagnosed with chronic Epstein Barr Virus and Addison’s Disease in 2017, both of which required further tweaking of her diet and exercise plan.
“I got so sick that what I was doing with my workouts and nutrition was no longer working for me,” she says. “I fell on my face 50 million times,” she says. “You have to keep going and tweak things and figure it out.”
In 2018, Lugo developed thyroid cancer and underwent surgery and radiation, which further changed her mindset about fitness.
“It [working out] was no longer about how awesome can I look? It was about, ‘Let me show you that cancer doesn’t define you and doesn’t have to stop you,'” she told Women’s Health.
Now, Lugo hopes to inspire The Biggest Loser fans and change people’s views on fitness.
“Fitness is not just [having] a six pack and being a size zero or two,” she says. “Fitness is not just a look. I want people to throw that all or nothing mentality out the window.”
Source: Read Full Article