Aujile Riley has always struggled with her weight, but after she had her son four years ago, things really got out of control.
When she looked down at the scale and saw she was 289 pounds, more than she weighed during her pregnancy, she knew it was time to make some serious changes to her lifestyle.
At the time, Aujile was so focused on being a good wife and mother that she put her health on the back burner. It took her almost a year after her little one was born to buckle down and concentrate on getting herself back on track.
“After I had my son, that’s when things really changed for me physically,” she said. “I had gone up to my highest weight and then lost about 30 pounds almost immediately after giving birth, and then it started becoming harder and harder to lose the weight.”
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Deciding she refused to reach 300 pounds, Aujile tried her hand at clean eating. She’d attempted to follow restrictive diets in the past, however, so right out of the gate, she knew not to restrict her eating too much. Instead, she began practicing “clean-ish” eating, which involves an 80-20 mixture of clean and less healthy foods.
Her self-made system worked! She started choosing foods based on how they made her body feel, noting that protein gave her energy while sugar made her lethargic. Once she realized “food is fuel,” she said something clicked.
“I had to learn to eat balanced, and not just to eat balanced, but understand the foods that I was eating,” she explained. “Protein gives you energy, so I’d say to myself, ‘Let me eat more protein so I have energy.'”
The second part of her process was to “show up” for herself, which meant hitting the gym even on bad days. To hold herself accountable, she began sharing photos of her progress on Instagram. The pictures provided motivation for herself and others, and she now has more than 32,000 followers.
Just three years after she buckled down and changed her lifestyle, Aujile has lost more than 100 pounds! The journey has changed her life in multiple ways, helping her become a better wife and mother while also launching her new career in health and fitness coaching.
“Now I work full-time, I’m an entrepreneur, I’m a wife and a mother, and at the same time I still show up for myself every day,” she said. “I never could have done that before.”
As for how others can follow in her “natural eating” footsteps, Aujile shared these tips:
- Make no excuses, but “allow yourself grace.”
- “Be mindful” about what you eat. Find a balance you can live with and sustain.
- Get creative with your meal prepping. Think ahead and use the same ingredients multiple ways to cut down on prep time.
- Focus on keeping your mind strong. After all, “The majority of this journey is mental.”
We love the idea of making small changes that add up to a huge difference in lifestyle. Aujile is proof that no matter how busy we are, we can always find time to “show up” for ourselves!
Don’t forget to share her wisdom with others.
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