Video blogger and health advocate Lindsey M. Adams is approaching 30 with a new lease on life. She has an entirely different mindset and a whole new body. A body that she will show off on this Wednesday’s episode of the new TLC show Skin Tight, which is about people having cosmetic surgery to rid themselves of loose skin after major and natural weight loss. But before she steps out and shows off the work done by a team of surgeons to pull her skin tight and tough, you should know her backstory, and the five years of work she’s put in to change her mind, body, and soul on her own. To lose her addiction to large portions of food, to lose her insecurities, her doubts, and a whopping 140 pounds.
It started back in 2011 when she was 25. The Chicagoan had been overweight for as long as she could remember. It was the norm for her.
“I grew up with obesity on my maternal and fraternal side,” Adams said. “I was overweight by the time I was seven; I was morbidly obese by the time I was 14. The first time I was accountable for my weight, which is the way I started losing the weight with my accountability partner, I was 307, but I had been much bigger before and never got on the scale. So I think my max was a little bit over 320 pounds, which I was most of my teenage years and all of my adult years.”
It was something she had learned to be somewhat comfortable with.
“I had been overweight all my life, but I had never really actively tried to lose the weight because my mom always affirmed me as far as making me have enough tenacity and personality and style that I kind of moved through life well as a morbidly obese young adult and adult.”
But then, one day, the woman who would eventually become her mentor in her weight-loss journey asked her something no one ever had. She asked Adams how she felt about being overweight. A light went off in Adams’s head. She ended up unloading a lot of the pain, the struggle, the feelings that she’d been holding inside.
“People had either taunted me or teased me, or ridiculed me, but no one actually asked me how I felt about being overweight. And that’s why I was able to take my whole life and express my feelings of living in an obese person’s body, and that helped her help me, and we started the journey together for two and a half years to lose the weight.”
But it wasn’t one of those The Biggest Loser movements to shed the weight. She wasn’t off at warp speed trying to drop up to 10 pounds a week. As Adams put it, “I focused on one pound at a time for 30 months” until she lost 140 pounds.
She started off slow. In the beginning, her mentor encouraged her to walk around the local outdoor track three days a week. Adams lost 25 pounds after consistently walking in July, August, September and October of 2011. She walked and walked and walked.
“She’d offered to sign me up for a gym, but I was like, ‘No. Until I can prove to myself that I’m serious about this, I’ll stick to this,'” Adams said. “So walking outside for free was what I did. And then in October 2011, I joined LA Fitness, and I started doing group fitness classes.”
Adams faced a whole new challenge. Putting herself out there in a way that she had avoided for so long because of her body. She didn’t feel free in her frame growing up, so she was insecure about jumping around as a larger woman. But she had to recognize that what she was trying to do was bigger than what was going on in her head. So she started standing in the front of her classes, introducing herself to her instructors. She was happily getting advice from other gym-goers.
“You need help. That’s what people need to recognize,” Adams said. “When someone can finally openly address that they have a weight problem and it’s life or death and meant to kill you and that that’s what obesity is and really will do, it’s important. I had to always ask for help. I didn’t just show up and blend in. I would go to the front of the class to the right side. Introduce myself to instructors. If I saw a girl with a really beautiful physique, I would ask her for tips and information. And I did a slew of other things from 2011 until I reached my goal weight in 2014.”
Adams also had to work on her mentality when it came to what she put in her body. She had to make herself a “healthy and fit person who cares about nutrition.” Believe it and say it, because as she put it, “Your mind is a computer.”
“What you put in is what you put out,” Adams said. “And I was reading in my scriptures about prophesizing and in the scripture, the power of the tongue. Yes, diet and exercise is so important, but you have to change your mind. Yes, you may want this and this and this, but if you know you’re a healthy and fit person, you’re not going to grab a big bag of Doritos.”
Adams did a lot of spiritual work and participated in cognitive-behavior programs to change things up.
“You may grab for some sweet potato chips if you’re having cravings, but it doesn’t even cross my mind to eat like a giant piece of cake or go to McDonald’s or eat a big ole piece of meat with a big ole piece of bread anymore. It conflicts with who I am. It doesn’t go with me. You have to do something long enough and strong enough to change your will. It takes time. I’ve been doing this for five years, and that’s a very small amount of time to cover 30 years.”
And that’s why Adams has continued hard to practice self-control, meal prep, and track her diet. She’s even become a gym rat. And all that has paid off when it comes to her body and her way of thinking. But why then did Adams struggle to share her journey with people? Her goals? And why did it become even harder for her to talk about the fact that while the weight was coming off, the skin that it was wrapped around wasn’t?
We’ll discuss that part of Adams’s story tomorrow, in Part II. That will lead up to her big reveal on TLC Skin Tight this Wednesday. In the meantime, you can follow her story on her website and social media channels, including Facebook and Instagram. Get inspired to get healthy!