Leandie Williams was on a flight for work when she realized something alarming: She was not able to buckle herself into her plane seat. At 275 pounds, the belt was not closing above her lap.
"I was too embarrassed to tell anyone that the seat belt didn't fit and I was scared that alarm bells or something would go off," Leandie said. "The flight attendant walked past and I kind of covered it up, so she couldn't see it wasn't fastened."
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Now, Leandie had noticed other signs that her weight was an issue: She was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, she had trouble fitting into her pants, and she could barely walk a few steps without getting tired. But the plane incident was the biggest sign of all that she had to change.
"Just knowing that it was my fault, that I'd compromised my safety, was a big thing for me," she said. "It probably made the biggest impact on me to change my life. I'd been overweight for about eight years, but I didn't know it had become so bad that I couldn't fit in chairs anymore."
So as soon as she got off the fateful flight, she got a trainer to help her navigate the gym. And she ditched her beloved fast food for home-cooked and healthy meals that were high in protein and low in carbs. But it wasn't easy.
"It's very difficult to work out being so overweight, because you have no strength," Williams said. "I started training with my own body weight and recovery was very tough for me. But it just got better."
But before long, she had shed 60 pounds. After hitting a plateau, she realized she had to switch up her routine, so she took up lifting and discovered some new workouts that way.
Now, she has lost 100 pounds overall. She can hike, easily find clothes that fit, and definitely buckle her seatbelt when she goes on a plane. She says her weight loss journey isn't over yet, but she's undoubtedly come a long way since the beginning.
#fatlossfriday . Keeping with my #reasonstoloseweight trend on @instagram, this is Summer then vs Summer now, and oh did i hate Summer! . I couldn't fit in that chair, hence sitting to the side & every second i thought the chair legs would cave, the skirt I bought from the biggest section I could find in Miladys and the waist was elastic. I ate loads of cake and chips at that birthday party, and the heat killed me! . Yesterday I went to work in that little skirt that I bought in some cheap market mall in Cape Town and didn't have to strategically sit in anyway to hide all the fat. I could just be. No sucking anything in, stressing about what's hanging out. Feeling more comfortable than ever before. Eating grilled fish, calamari & broccoli and enjoying it. And now I love Summer!! I wasted 8 years of my adult life living like the before pic and I so wish I had woken up sooner. If you're overweight, i hope you make the decision to live a better life for you especially, but also if you have children. The rewards far outweigh the feeling of waking up every morning and hating how you feel and who you see in that mirror's reflection. . #aspiretoinspire
“The only competition is yourself," she said. "When people fall off the wagon, they think they should give up. But it happens to all of us. It doesn’t help to dwell in the moment. Life happens. You just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move forward.”
Amen to that!