Intimidated by the gym, this simple treadmill workout helped one woman lose 105 pounds

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Megan Tzele, 29, shared details of her 105-pound weight loss journey in a viral TikTok video that garnered 1.8 million views.

Walking played a major role in his weight loss. She credits sleeping eight hours a night, waking up at the same time every day, and eating on a regular schedule for getting her health on the right track.

And she saw some things along the way that she didn’t expect, like skinny privilege and physical deformity. He shared his story with TODAY.com.

Focusing on his career played a role in his weight gain

Tzele was into sports when she was young, and activities like gymnastics, cheerleading, track and cross country kept her active for hours every day.

But when she was in college and nursing school, she had to reduce her exercise. “I was completely focused on school and I didn’t have any sports to stay active in,” she tells TODAY.com. I feel like I’ve started to neglect myself because I’m putting everything I have into studying. The stressful eating started then.

Her first job out of nursing school required her to work 12-hour overnight shifts: this definitely made things worse. I was eating at strange times and had no regular schedule. I was putting everything into my nursing career, but not putting anything back into myself.

That changed in October 2022, when she got a new nursing job with regular Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 hours. This completely changed things for me. This was the first time I had created a program like this in my adult working life.

Tzele says working 12-hour overnight shifts as a nurse and not having a consistent schedule led to weight gain. (Courtesy Megan Tzele)

he motivated himself to go to the gym

While Tzele is a fan of the “Hot Girl Walk”, living near Chicago means it can be tough to walk outside in the winter. So, he started going to the gym every day. At first it was really difficult for me. When I wasn’t very confident in myself it took a lot of time to go to the gym and do something.

She walked on a treadmill for 30 minutes at a speed of 3 mph with a 3-4% incline and gradually increased her distance and inclination. And, over time, those trips to the gym helped her reconnect with her love of fitness and the mental health benefits of exercise.

It started slowly with walking, she says, but as I lost weight and remained consistent, fitness became my outlet, rather than turning to food and emotional eating to deal with my stress. I turned my attention to the gym, which boosted my confidence and helped me believe in myself. There were times when I wanted to give up and not go to the gym. Just pushing myself every day boosted my confidence. I honestly believe that I can now do anything I set my mind to.

He expanded his workouts from the treadmill to other forms of cardio like Stairmaster, running, biking, and weightlifting. “I’ve noticed a huge change in my fitness levels,” she says, as she trains for her first half marathon.

She also comes to see the value of rest days. Earlier she used to go to the gym seven days a week. Whenever I missed a day I felt guilty. But now I realize that I need to give myself a few days of rest every week to recover and give my body the rest it needs. Now, she hits the gym an average of five days a week.

Tjelle lost 55 pounds in the first six months by running outside and on a treadmill.  (Courtesy Megan Tzele)

Tjelle lost 55 pounds in the first six months by running outside and on a treadmill. (Courtesy Megan Tzele)

She cleaned up her diet and aimed for a calorie deficit

I was ordering a lot of takeout because I felt like I was always in a rush. But I made it a priority to plan everything and keep track of what I was eating, she says.

To save time and make healthy choices the easier choice, she started using a local meal service called Seattle Sutton, which offers meal plans with targeted calorie counts. If needed, she would add some protein or snacks to those meals, but she remained in a calorie deficit.

I continued to eat the same food and stopped eating junk food. I didn’t cut out sugar completely, but I did stop having sugary Starbucks drinks. “I really cleaned everything up,” she says.

Now that she has achieved her weight loss goal, she is not as strict about what she eats and she no longer needs to be in a calorie deficit. His goal is to eat moderately and live by the 80/20 rule.

Now, instead of turning to food for comfort, Tjele deals with anxiety by moving her body.  (Courtesy Megan Tzele)

Now, instead of turning to food for comfort, Tjele deals with anxiety by moving her body. (Courtesy Megan Tzele)

When her condition worsened she turned to weight loss medication

Tjele lost 55 pounds in the first six months and then her weight loss slowed. “I had lost this much weight many times before, but I always went back and gained the weight because I really couldn’t keep up with the calorie deficit and the cravings were bad,” she says.

So, in April, she talked to her primary care doctor, who referred her to a specialist, and she started taking the weight-loss drug Vegovy (semaglutide).

I continued all the lifestyle changes I had made six months earlier, like dieting and exercising, she says. She has used Wegovi to maintain and continue her weight loss.

She shared her weight loss journey on TikTok

Initially, Teejayle was inspired by the many transformation videos she saw on TikTok. So, he decided to share his journey too. Honestly, it was hard for me to start posting videos because it was a very vulnerable thing to post. But I wanted to let other people know that it is possible. If I can do it, they can definitely do it too.

Due to positive response on TikTok, she keeps posting continuously. She gets a lot of comments from people in the same situation as she was: It’s really inspiring to see all the comments that are supportive and to see that people say I’ve made a difference to them or to get them started. has prompted. In fact, this is what makes me the happiest.

She also shared some other aspects of her weight loss journey, both negative and positive:

  • People comment on his weight. She found that her weight became the central topic of conversation. As I lost more weight and it became more noticeable, it became the center of almost every conversation with family, friends, and coworkers, she says. I feel like after losing weight I am more self-conscious than before. It’s like they’ve been watching me forever, and now I’m aware of it.

  • She feels confident enough to wear clothes that she did not wear before. It feels amazing. This is probably one of the best things about weight loss for me. She says, it is not that I could not wear those clothes earlier, now I have gained the confidence to wear the things I want to wear.

  • She is struggling with body dysmorphia. Since I lost weight and even now, I almost don’t recognize myself. Sometimes, it takes me a minute to realize that it’s really me. Sometimes I still consider myself extra large and gravitate towards those clothes. I have to take a minute and remember that I’m actually smaller in size now. It’s taking a while for my brain to register that I’ve lost so much weight. This is a big thing to understand. Maintaining my fitness and working on making my muscles more toned and toned is helping my confidence and my body image a lot. This is something I’m still working on, but it’s improving.

  • She is beginning to experience skinny privilege. The way people treat you in public is different. You get more attention and are treated better when you are thin than when you are overweight. I feel like when you’re overweight, people look down on you. It’s just as sad that people treat you nicer when you’re thin.

From back pain to PCOS: How losing weight has improved their health

As she maintained her weight at 137 pounds for a few months, she noticed these improvements in her health:

  • She has polycystic ovary syndrome, and her weight loss has made the symptoms go away and her periods have returned to normal: I don’t think it will ever go away, but losing weight has improved every aspect of it. This is not an issue in my life.

  • She no longer has back pain, knee pain or plantar fasciitis.

  • She is getting her insulin resistance, blood pressure and high cholesterol under control. “It was important for me to take care of him and lose weight because high cholesterol and premature heart disease run in my family,” she says.

  • She has reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression, and no longer overeats or eats emotionally when she feels anxious or sad.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com


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