How Rewarding Myself With Lululemon Instead of Food Helped Me Lose 30 Pounds

One woman's transformation story, involving a mental shift towards a positive body image, lots of vegetables, and a 30 pound weight loss.

Photographs courtesy Gabby Patterson.

Changing your body takes hard work, persistence, and dedication. Here’s one local’s story. Want to share your Transformation Story? Email

Who: Gabby Patterson (@gabbygetsfit), 28, a charter school director assistant from West Chester

Height: 5’2″

Weight lost: Around 30 or so pounds

Why I wanted to make a change: “To be honest, I never shared this story with anyone because it was really embarrassing at the time. When I graduated college in August 2011, I started working at a YMCA in child care. I was sitting at a table with a bunch of kids ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade. When I stood up, one of the children said, ‘Miss Gabby is going to have a baby!’ (I most definitely was not.) I was mortified to say the least. I carry most of my weight in my midsection, but I didn’t realize how much. That moment is when I decided I needed to make a change.”

What all changed: “A LOT has changed in every aspect of my life! I am stronger — I am lifting the heaviest I’ve ever lifted in the past seven years of my fitness journey. I’ve completed the Broad Street Run four times, ran the Philadelphia Half Marathon, and The Philly Love Half Marathon. Each race was easier to train for than the race before. I wake up at 5 a.m. to get my workout in and it gives me so much energy to get through the day. I also suffered from acid reflux, thyroid issues, and high cholesterol in college. All these issues went away once I lost the weight and started eating a healthier diet.”

Photographs courtesy Gabby Patterson.

How I changed my diet: “My diet consists of mostly veggies, protein, and fruit. I eat moderate amounts of carbs and healthy fats.  I don’t tell myself I CAN’T eat or drink anything, but all things in moderation! I also aim to drink half my body weight in ounces of water per day. The biggest change is not rewarding myself with food or using food as a comfort. I reward myself with new clothes (especially cute workout gear from Lululemon), a pedicure/ manicure, or a massage. These things provide me longer satisfaction than any food can bring.”

How I changed my exercise plan: “The biggest change that I made to my exercise plan was CONSISTENCY. I needed to find a routine that would allow me to stay consistent in my workouts (this goes for how I eat as well). Currently, I work out at home by streaming workouts on my Apple TV. I also have friends that I can check in with through text and social media that help hold me accountable to get my workout done.”

“I truly believe that when the mindset shift happens, the physical shift will come.”

The hardest part: “I used to constantly compare myself to my friends, others on social media and always asked myself, Why can’t I look like them? It was like I had to kick the mean girl out of my head that was telling me negative thoughts. I truly believe that when the mindset shift happens, the physical shift will come.”

What I’m most proud of: “The moment I realized that I could keep up with my fit friends. This past summer, I was doing a group workout early with some of my fit friends and thousands of other people, and I realized I was keeping up with them; I wasn’t modifying. In that moment, I felt so empowered and proud.”

My next goal: “Just recently, I decided that I am going to focus more on weight loss, to help tone up my midsection. When I make weight loss goals, I don’t have an ‘ideal’ weight I strive for. Rather, I make small weight loss goals (around ten pounds at a time) and then assess from there.”

What I want everyone to know: “Working on your mental transformation with your physical transformation will make the journey more enjoyable, less stressful, and allow you to stay consistent in your fitness and nutrition routine.”

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