Instead of Obsessing About the Numbers on the Scale, She Just Kept Going! Read the Inspiring Story of Dedication with Yinka Rufai’s Weight Loss Story

Posted on Thursday, October 17th, 2013 at 11:00 AM

By BellaNaija.com

“My goal is to make a difference–whether others just need someone to share their experiences in order to avoid making the same mistakes as I have, or whether others just have no motivation and need to see my natural drive in order to get empowered.” – These are the words of a young lady who decided to work hard at changing what she looked like. Weighing 260 pounds, Yinka Rufai knew she was overweight. However, she had tried all sorts of diets and weight loss programs because of what people said and how everyone thought it was a  good idea for her to lose weight. When Yinka decided to do it FOR HERSELF, she began to see the difference. She worked hard and tirelessly to get to the weight she desired. She has gone on to pay it forward, encouraging others and sharing her story to all who feel like giving up on their quest. We were really inspired by Yinka’s story of how she walked the road to her goal and we hope you are too.

Who I Am
My name is Yinka Rufai. I am a 25-year-old young adult from Chicago, IL. I currently work as an actuarial consultant for one of the big four accounting and consulting firms in the nation. I am aspiring to become a credentialed actuary. I am a nerd at heart and I love numbers. I have two older brothers, one younger sister and two of the most amazing parents. I love my parents so much for being so supportive throughout my life. They pushed me to focus on education and to always accomplish my goals. I was 260 pounds. I was clearly overweight. I ate a lot and as a result I constantly gained weight from that. My family and friends used to pick at me all the time about my size. I tried so many unhealthy extreme fad diets in my past as a result of that. And of course they never worked.

Why I Decided to Lose Weight
I always tried to lose weight in high school. I tried all types of unnecessarily extreme and short-term things. I tried weight watchers during one summer and lost 10 pounds. I gained all of the weight back quickly. I tried plenty of kooky fad diets. All of the diets I attempted in high school were done because of what people used to say about my size. I did not do any for myself at the time. I was never able to lose weight consistently until I began college. It started at end of my sophomore year when I was in summer school. I thought to myself “Hey, I have nothing else to do. There is a gym right across the street that I am paying for with my tuition money. Why not take advantage of this opportunity?” This was the first time that I considered losing weight for myself as opposed to pleasing others. Since I had plenty of time on my hands, I decided to use that summer to create a schedule where I could go to class, work, and work out. So I did that.

Challenges
My biggest challenge was myself. I am my own worst critic. I put myself on an extreme bar at everything I do. Sometimes I let myself down. When this happens I just hurt for a little while and then I get back up and keep going. Other times I exceed my expectations and get excited about the fact that I set a goal and overcame it. During my weight loss journey over all, I would experienced both of those feelings. I used to get angry when I didn’t see progress on the scale. So I stopped weighing myself obsessively. I thought about it differently–instead of obsessing about numbers on the scale I just continued to follow my workout regimen and took it a day at a time. Before and after photos are what helped me overcome this challenge. Rather than focus on the fact that my weight fluctuated I focused on progress pictures. That is what kept reigniting my desire to lose weight.

Encouragement from Every Frontier
Absolutely. I think everyone needs some type of external strength to determine to help with continuing on the weight loss journey, since it is an such an overwhelming and long-term process. For me, that strength was Christ. Everything works into place for a reason. As I mentioned before, I am my own worst critic–and when I let myself down I really feel it. Having the strength, endurance and mental capacity to keep going despite gaining weight in the process is not me. I know I am not functioning on my own strength. On my own I am not that resilient of a person. It is entirely God.

Significant Change
The first time I saw a significant change in my weight was after two weeks of working out consistently. When I compared the picture I took on day 14 to the picture I took on day 1,. I actually noticed the reduction in my thighs and stomach. I would not have noticed had I not compared them side by side.

The Temptation to Give Up
I was tempted to give up several times. Prior to analyzing my pictures over time I was ready to give up. I figured I might as well stop because I did not see for myself that anything significant was happening. I was trying to give myself a reason to stop. When I started comparing my pictures I got more excited to keep going on.

Weightloss Buddies
I did not have any weightloss buddy. I think having a weight loss buddy depends on the person. I like to handle things internally. I rely on the drive that God gave me to push myself through everything. Workout buddies didn’t work for me. My schedule was (and is) all over the place, so it was just easier for me to go to the gym on my own. I do encourage weight loss buddies, however, because they hold you accountable. A lot of people function on accountability. Having an accountability partner in weight loss heightens your chances of losing weight.

Target Weight
I was 260 pounds. My targets were split up into pieces. When I was 260 pounds I couldn’t even fathom being in the 100s, So I chose 220. When I was at 220 pounds my goal was 200. And then it was 180. Once I got to 180 I started to notice that I was getting lean. At that point I did not focus on numbers on the scale. My goals were then to build muscles in certain categories. In the beginning my final destination was to be within a normal BMI range for my height (5’8.5”), but as I started to get to know my body I adjusted accordingly. Technically the high weight range for my height 169 pounds. I reached that weight one summer and I personally did not like the way I looked. So I did less cardio and got back into the 170s. Now I just focus on building and maintaining muscle.

Lifestyle changes
In the beginning the changes I made were more so about what I needed to do differently in order to start a healthy lifestyle. The changes were along the lines of not eating fast food, eating more fruits and veggies, drinking more water and working out longer every day. Within the past two years I got a trainer. Since I now focus on being fit, there were a number of things I had to do to my nutrition in order to build muscle and lose fat. My trainer helped me think of it as a lifestyle. Once I started to focus on the nutritional aspect of being healthy and not just the fitness aspect I started to open up my eyes to the way I did things. I removed processed food from my diet, eat a lot of fruits and veggies, detox when necessary, and drink a gallon of water a day.

The biggest lifestyle I made was when I began to cook my own meals and measure my salt intake. It was very difficult because I used to love eating processed foods. I did not realize how much salt I consumed until I began measuring. After I got into the hang of it I lost interest in eating processed foods. This change helped me understand the importance of natural foods and making your own foods from scratch. It was a lifestyle change worth doing because I never saw my body change so much for the better since I began cooking my own food.


The Lure of Unhealthy Food
I’m going to start by saying that I absolutely love bread and cheese! During lent this past summer I challenged myself to stop eating bread,cheese and other dairy-based things. Honestly, if it wasn’t for lent and God then I probably would not have given those things up. My trainer told me that all of the starch I was eating was going to my major problematic areas–particularly my thighs. When I gave up bread, cheese and other starchy and dairy foods I realized she was right. I noticed over time that these foods impacted my fat storage.

My Current Weight
I weigh 175 pounds. I get a lot of comments saying that I don’t look like I weigh 175 pounds and that I look smaller. People fail to acknowledge my height. I am 5’8.5”. Also, I do have a lot of muscle mass which contributes to my weight. I advise to not focus on solely BMI. Although 169 pounds is technically the high range for height I feel fine and fit at my current weight. Obviously I’m still a work in progress and I am continually challenging myself to exceed certain fitness goals. It doesn’t matter about your number–it is about how healthy you feel. The most important thing is to get to know your body in order to realize where you feel most comfortable.

Awkward Stares
When I used to walk down the street in my old neighborhood, people that I knew for years walked past me as if I were a stranger–that’s when I knew it was real! I used to have to wave frantically and say “Hey! It’s Yinka. Remember me?” in order to get their attention. And then people would say things like “Oh my gosh! You look so different!” That was the biggest and funniest thing for me.

Practical Tips for Weightloss
The main tips I have are to keep a food journal, read every food label and monitor the calories of each of your meals and snacks, eat smaller meals and snacks more frequently, drink a gallon of water a day, consume little or no salt, and most importantly, get to know your body. You have to be committed to this! If you don’t have the right mindset–-that is, if you lack patience or aren’t diligent with the initial stages of being healthy–-then you will keep getting discouraged. There is no fast process to this! Once you accept that and force that into your subconscious you can begin with a clean mental state and be able to be content with taking things one day at a time.

The Benefit of the Journey
My self-esteem and self-awareness has grown tremendously. I have gotten to see how people treated before and after my weight loss journey. I personally have always considered myself to be attractive regardless of my size, but through other peoples’ opinions about my physical changes I’ve realized how physical and superficial the world is. I have relied on God more for strength. I recognize why God wanted me to go through the journey I went through in order to see results. I noticed how beneficial it is to have a weight loss journey.

At first I started off thinking my change would solely be a physical transformation. I was very wrong. I changed for the better not only physically, but mentally, socially and spiritually as well. I lost a couple of friends in the process that I thought were close. It did put a damper on me at first, but it also helped me realize what it means to have genuine friends. I am fortunate enough to currently have great friends that are supportive of me. Ultimately I will say that my change was for the greater. I am blessed and grateful for this journey. I look forward to having other transformations and journeys in my life and sharing them with the world on my website, YinkaRufai.com.

My desire is to help others reach their maximum potential. I want to encourage others to strive to maintain a healthy lifestyle–whether it be physical, mental, or spiritual. I truly find joy in teaching others to embrace change and to accept that there are temporary discomforts for lifelong satisfactions. There is no getting around it. But once you accept it and embrace it, you become a force to be reckoned with.

I created the YinkaRufai.com website because I wanted to use myself and my experiences as a form of inspiration to others that are embarking on a similar journey. The content on my site varies from before & after photos to nutrition tips and detailed meal plans. I made sure to construct my website to define me in a way that is transparent as possible for my viewers. I want others to view my entire lifestyle, what I embody, and my character as I continue forward with my life.

Throughout my entire journey I trusted in God for my strength and for navigating my life path on earth; and I continue to do so today. So far I have gone through a series of transitions and life-changing markers in life that I feel I can share with others in order to inspire hope.

Watch the video of Yinka’s weight loss journey here

For more information on Yinka Rufai visit her Facebook page here | www.YinkaRufai.com| Follow her on Twitter | Her YouTube channel.

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  • 70 Comments on “Instead of Obsessing About the Numbers on the Scale, She Just Kept Going! Read the Inspiring Story of Dedication with Yinka Rufai’s Weight Loss Story”

    Comments
    • Janet October 17, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      Wonderful! BN these kind of posts I love! Please keep all these weightloss and beauty posts coming. They’re so beneficial.

    • Bella October 17, 2013 at 11:30 AM

      now this is worth while post! Kudos BN!

    • Heeba October 17, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      Ok ohh ..motivated however we continue the race!!!! We go reach one day

    • Thatgidigirl October 17, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      Wow!!!!

    • Hurpeyeahmie October 17, 2013 at 11:34 AM

      boy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this is not beans in fact two hands up for you

    • QUEST October 17, 2013 at 11:35 AM

      good! i have been trying to gain weight *coversface @least a little around my hip area.

      • Non professional opinion October 17, 2013 at 11:58 AM

        I feel you. Have a baby and everything will
        change.

        • MImi October 17, 2013 at 1:06 PM

          Lol.

        • beeess October 18, 2013 at 1:17 AM

          LOOOOL!

    • tilewa October 17, 2013 at 11:54 AM

      Well done Yinka!!! Wow!! Even the tummy and arms shed the extra weight too

    • her October 17, 2013 at 11:55 AM

      amazing…. well done chick!!

    • billionaire in grace October 17, 2013 at 12:02 PM

      Nice one

    • Grace E October 17, 2013 at 12:08 PM

      WOW! congratulations girl!!you loook sooooo good and I
      don’t know you but I’m so proud of u!!now, that’s what you call
      motivation, determination and persistence… I hope you keep up the
      routine to maintain it…

      • Agbeke October 19, 2013 at 9:44 PM

        Lovely and inspirational I need to lose about 10 -15 kg myself and I’m so so so lazy about it. Can’t stop eating junk. But I am challenged! Kudos Yinka

    • Grace E October 17, 2013 at 12:10 PM

      you’re a beautiful woman!! so proud of you!!!

    • Gusty's Blog October 17, 2013 at 12:22 PM

      SHE HONESTLY LOOKS SO AMAZING.

    • Jeniee October 17, 2013 at 12:32 PM

      End result of determination is always “wow”. Nice work yinka.

    • Ifeoma Nwawe October 17, 2013 at 12:32 PM

      wow!!!! All my coursemates must see this..

    • Esther October 17, 2013 at 12:42 PM

      Really great post BN. Inspiring and informative. I also her emphasis on not just the Physical but Mental and Spiritual Transformation.

    • Finally! October 17, 2013 at 1:40 PM

      God is able. I am able through God and through gym. Belly be gone!!!!! :|

    • Aderonke October 17, 2013 at 2:38 PM

      Well done gurl, u look great and really nice

    • nene October 17, 2013 at 2:45 PM

      wow. wow. wow. WOW!

    • Bee October 17, 2013 at 3:42 PM

      Just what I need..Started my own journey today, food diary, workout and portion control…God help me help myself

    • Omo Ghana October 17, 2013 at 3:50 PM

      high five!!

    • CarliforniaBawlar October 17, 2013 at 4:04 PM

      Nice!!

    • Chinny October 17, 2013 at 4:04 PM

      Gorgeous girl!!! Good for her- she looks great. I love her tips, what a motivation unlike other people who aim to make money off people ‘eg- Nelly’s : it will end in praise blog’.

      • katch October 18, 2013 at 12:10 AM

        hahahahaaha… lwkmd!

    • laura October 17, 2013 at 5:02 PM

      this is great ! same journey here and winning all the way too self esteem bank! weight loss does make people look at you different. you think u were always hot and then u find out people only see you 100 pounds later….

    • frances October 17, 2013 at 5:05 PM

      Wow! She looks great!! Keep on motivating and inspiring others that need it,God bless you.
      Btw,she said she lost some friends in d process,I have been on weightloss journey for a while and pple u thought were real friends r those dat try 2put u down.it baffles me.d important tin is to surround ourselvs wt genuine support system dat honestly think u can do it and encourage u towards meeting ur goal.
      Thanks again yinka.

      imperfectlyperfect92.wordpress.com

      • Mz Socially Awkward... October 17, 2013 at 10:14 PM

        I saw that and was honestly perplexed. She lost weight and some friends just stopped being friends?? Can never figure folk out.

        Go girl!! And more grace to everyone who’s on the fitness/health journey. I just returned to the gym after a long summer absence and e no easy…

      • Grace E October 18, 2013 at 11:36 AM

        as a matter of fact sometimes genuine well meaning friends discourage and put you down but they don’t know that that’s what they are doing. another thing I have noticed is that not everybody that “encourages” you means well. I told my good friend once to stop broadcasting that she wants to lose weight and do it silently. Not everyone who smiles and pats you on the back wants to see you achieve it; that’s if they even care…
        Find one friend you have that is genuine and share it with her. that should be fine…I personally am not a fan of discussing my goals with many people even friends

    • omo October 17, 2013 at 5:37 PM

      Wowww… she is so beautiful. Congratulations girl, good job. You ‘re such an inspiration to so many.

    • Chigbo October 17, 2013 at 6:54 PM

      Kudos! Great job….na to find husband remain

      • Grace E October 18, 2013 at 11:37 AM

        LMAAOOOO typical african human being you are!LOL

    • beryl October 17, 2013 at 11:17 PM

      Great.am also overweight wit some dislocation and̲̣̣̣̥
      fracture,ow do igo,cos irly nid to shed some weight.n icnt even
      afford a gym now.God help ♍ε̲̣̣̣̥

      • Grace E October 18, 2013 at 11:39 AM

        it will surprise you that those who can afford gyms are not doing anything…
        my dear 80% of what you eat and 20% execise. you can lose a ton of weight without a gym…just eat well and then walk a lot and stay active rather than lead a sedentary lifestyle. I hope you achieve it someday with much effort and determination

        • Pd October 18, 2013 at 6:15 PM

          Yes ! U are right. I lost weight in my room ,jumping to insanity by shaunt n drinking water!!

    • Okechukwu Ofili October 17, 2013 at 11:52 PM

      gorgeous.

    • VALERIE. October 18, 2013 at 1:10 AM

      @ Beryl, try not to let limitations stop you. You may not
      be able to do much because of your dislocation/fracture but you can
      start small, you can work on your diet for now and if there are
      some exercises you can do now, do them. As for gym membership, its
      not very necessary. For about three weeks now I’ve been jogging in
      the morning and doing other workouts. Also I just discovered that
      skipping is crazy effective, when I don’t feel strong enough to jog
      then I do some brisk walking. And guess what! I’ve lost weight. My
      clothes are getting looser and my belly is flatter. I do this on my
      own. Also, I just discovered YouTube exercise videos! Sweetheart
      you don’t need the gym. Just search for the kind of exercise you
      want and you will see tons of videos. Infant, just this night I
      searched for oth belly and arm exercises and right here in my room,
      I worked my ass off and my clothes were soaked. I know if I keep at
      it people would tell my story too just like this beautiful girl in
      this post. Determination is key. Sorry for the epistle.

    • VALERIE. October 18, 2013 at 1:11 AM

      *in fact*. Forgive my errors. Sleep beckons.

    • Sho. October 18, 2013 at 2:17 AM

      Amazing, inspiring story. You are beautiful.

    • sefi-ann October 18, 2013 at 4:27 AM

      actuarial science?? babe must be a genius wow.

    • paloma October 18, 2013 at 12:09 PM

      WOW wow!!!

    • babious October 18, 2013 at 1:50 PM

      very long article. she looks great though!

    • CC October 18, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      I used to tell people that if you are fat in naija na
      because you are rich cos you can afford those fast food while the ‘
      ajepakos’ are the ones that are fit,but now it’s not the case
      anymore,everyone is going to tantalizers and mr Biggs.Am sorry to
      say ,people that are overweight in naija have no excuse concerning
      their diet cos you are blessed with the real vegetables and fruits
      that you can decide to live on on be healthy.If u can’t afford the
      gym,take a walk everyday.And shut ur mind off from those big women
      that keep calling u ‘lepashandi’.Being fat is not equall to being
      healthy!

    • BCY October 18, 2013 at 2:23 PM

      @nonprofessional opinion, when she has a baby she will bounce back this is because her body is used to workout and the life style change. she has built her stamina to that level so she will continue to work out after her baby. Remember its a lifestyle change. Perhaps you should try it!!!!

      • ..just saying October 19, 2013 at 7:52 AM

        Errrr…Did you read the comment properly at all?

      • Strawberrycandy October 20, 2013 at 12:14 AM

        Why u dey misyan? @nonprofessional opinion was replying @QUEST not commenting on Yinka. YOU should try to assimilate what you read before commenting, don’t be eager to analyze.

    • nolla October 18, 2013 at 2:36 PM

      What a touching story. I am so inspired. She is stunning too

    • JJ October 18, 2013 at 7:08 PM

      I bet she is getting more phone calls from men….haha.

    • Silvia October 19, 2013 at 4:06 AM

      Wow this is so inspiring….thank you yinka and BN for sharing.

    • testimoniessite.com October 19, 2013 at 10:10 AM

      Awsesome this is great

    • ibukungeorge October 19, 2013 at 10:45 AM

      Told my room mate to take my pictures from the back and to
      say i was not sad that would be a lie.I could see my droppy arms
      A.K.A Christian mother arms.The thing is I love my boobs now than
      the way it was when I was much slimmer.What do I need to do so I
      don’t lose my boobs while working on my weight.Really need to shed
      at least 30 pounds

    • http://africansweetheart.blogspot.co.uk/ October 19, 2013 at 12:14 PM

      Well done Yinka. You are indeed an inspiration and
      motivation to many. You look healthy and beautiful. All the very
      best. http://africansweetheart.blogspot.co.uk/

    • Duvy October 19, 2013 at 5:04 PM

      Good job Yinka. If you can think it, you can do it. Loving
      the fact that you lost weight but you still look healthy not weird.
      Will definitely visit the site soon. More of this Bella.

    • Chelizruby October 19, 2013 at 5:53 PM

      Wow! Good job Yinka, I know that feeling. I lost 29kgs myself this year. Come read my story and other weight loss tips http://www.chelizrubycube.blogspot.com

    • Rexie October 19, 2013 at 7:16 PM

      Awwwwwwww great job!!!!!!!! You looksbeautiful :)

    • Strawberrycandy October 20, 2013 at 12:18 AM

      Thumbs up Yinka! I love watching/ reading about success stories.

    • Feranmi October 20, 2013 at 4:17 PM

      I love your shape. it is very sexy.

    • Nikki October 20, 2013 at 5:34 PM

      Great job Yinka! I totally relate with you, as I have and
      still going through that transformation…keep it up!

    • Angry immigrant October 20, 2013 at 6:57 PM

      I recently got a juicer and I’m starting the juicing diet.
      I got motivated after watching the documentary “fat,sick and nearly
      dead” @yinka Very well done.

    • Tenkobo October 21, 2013 at 8:05 AM

      woooow. good job Yinka. @angry immigrant ”fat, sick and
      nearly dead is a must watch for everyone. it pumped me up
      too.

    • praisy October 21, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      BUT I WANT TO ADD WEIGHT OOOOOO! ANY MEANINGFUL ADVICE PLEASEEEE. THANK YOU.

    • yemi October 21, 2013 at 6:47 PM

      It’s a great story but I’d like to add that the goal for losing weight may need to change for some folks who are satisfied with their weight not minding How they look.
      you need to lose weight because.being overweight or obese puts you at risk of a lot of diseases diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnoea, arthritis, heart attacks etc. So even if not for looks ‘ sake, for the sake of long, happy, drug free adulthood, lose that weight.
      in addition, the battle for weight loss should start from childhood, in a study conducted in one part of d US, 77% of children that were obese became obese adult compared to about 25% in children that weren’t So when that child starts blowing up, start to do something fast

    • Binmiu October 21, 2013 at 7:26 PM

      I actually read the full post – which I hardly do on BN. Love love love it! Congrats, please keep it up. I am currently going through this journey so it is great to hear from people like you that are doing it. I just hit 50lbs loss, still have 40lbs to get to my ideal weight. I agree that the scale can be a big disappointment at times. Imagine counting calories all week and working hard at the gym only to step on the scale and it does not even move or it goes up! Ugh! You are right, I look at how clothes fit to encourage myself now. I used to hate going shopping but now I love it. I look forward to trying on new sizes each time I go.
      Thanks for sharing your journey.
      Love,
      Binmiu

    • true_talk October 22, 2013 at 6:34 PM

      What an inspiration!! There’s hope for me. Well done Yinka! Kudos to you and you look AMAZING girl.

    • My First Article Feature! - Yinka Rufai November 8, 2013 at 2:05 AM

      […] My first article feature is on Bella Naija! God is so awesome! Check it out: it’s under the features tab on BellaNaija.com. Click here to go to the article directly. […]

    • yetunde November 8, 2013 at 11:36 AM

      proud of you. I also lost 47kg in nine months, that’s a lot. so happy when I see inspired stories make me feel so happy once again about my weight loss since most peeps around me are like I look like a skeleton

    • Chidinma Obichendu November 23, 2013 at 6:08 PM

      Thanks dear am on my own weight now u are my ideal size see ya soon In Chicago. Please encourage me more