Read how Ontario based Chef Santasha McNabb Moore managed a weight loss of 40 pounds, by kicking her attachment to junk food and committing to a regular exercise routine. 

Life for a young woman who weighs 195 lbs isn’t much fun. “I’ve always felt bigger than everyone else. Despite my unhappiness with my appearance, I felt I couldn’t change it,” recalls Santasha. “I was always so uncomfortable in my own body.”

But 5 years ago, this chef found the courage to start her weight loss journey. “I stepped on the scale and was shocked to see I weighed 195 lbs. I realized that If I wanted to be the best version of myself, I was going to have to take action. No one else could.”

Home workout paved the way

At this point Santasha started working out at home, and got into the habit of  running to the 14th floor in her building, 5 times a day. The results were encouraging. “My weight dropped to 175 lbs,” she says.

But one day, the figure refused to budge. For the following 3 years, the needle on the scale wouldn’t move, and Tasha’s frustration mounted. Taking a leap seemed too hard. “During that period, I was an emotional eater and didn’t want to give up white grains.”

Changed her eating habits

This changed last year. In December 2016, Santasha decided to join a gym.  “I told myself: You are in control of your life, if you want to change it, then you have to make the first move. No one can save you, besides yourself.”

Aside from making a commitment to exercise, she also decided to alter her eating habits. “It was time to give up all the junk that I was eating,” she says. Her new, healthy eating plan included lots of vegetables. “Being a chef, I love good food, and spinach is my favourite vegetable,” she enthuses. In addition, she dropped white grains, snacks and butter from her meals.

Tasha after

Reaching for inspiration

One of Santasha’s biggest inspirations was the singer Beyonce. “I remember listening to her talk about how she lost 60 lbs after having her first child. She said it was tough, but she pushed on.”

Within her own circle, Santasha found support too. “My boyfriend Davidson, pushed and motivated me during the times I felt like I couldn’t do it,” she says. Also, her friend Tanya kept reminding her about the importance of self-love. “She always told me that it was important to love myself, regardless of my size, because weight loss doesn’t cure self hate.”

A new fitness regimen

In the gym, she started lifting weights and using the stair master. ” I spend 10-15 minutes at the beginning of every work out on the stair master (I started out on level 6 which was a struggle, and now I am at level 20 sprinting). At the end of my workout, I like to incorporate 120 (30 x 4)  squat jumps,” she says.

In August 2017, she was thrilled to see the effect of her new lifestyle. Her weight was down to 155 lbs.  Though it’s not easy to keep up her fitness journey, she is at the gym at least 4 times a week.

“I have a long way to go, but it’s great to see some results emerging from my hard work. Every time I am on the stair master and my legs are burning, and I want to give in. Then, I remind myself that I have come such a far way and in order to reach my goals I have to be okay with discomfort.”

Her new life mission

Since food is central to her life as a Chef, Santasha started a blog called The Growing Palate, to document her progress in the culinary landscape. But this quickly became a means to record her growth as a person, including her weight loss journey.  Now, she has just started a meal prep company that promotes healthy and flavourful food from around the world.

Kick the resistance and just keep going

“There will always be resistance when it comes to building a new habit, and you are going to be bad at it in the beginning and you will probably miss a couple of days but the point is to keep going,” says Santasha. In the end, it pays to be patient and enjoy the journey.” Enjoy the little wins, every time you make it to the gym mark it on your calendar.”

Check out Santasha’s personal blog The Growing Palate (@thegrowingpalate) on Instagram.