Sue Aiken is an inspiration to anyone who wants to lose weight. After losing 300 pounds, she now focuses on helping others avoid the same fate using her experience as a guide.
At 5’5″, Aiken was a small child when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The disease impacted her life significantly, and she spent the majority of her childhood in and out of the hospital. It was during these times that she developed an interest in health and wellness, and learned to take care of herself in a way that would lead to her weight loss.
She started cooking her own meals when she was 12, and by 13 she was competing in bodybuilding competitions. At age 14, she became the youngest person to compete in the USA Today High School Sports National Championships, and at age 16, she became the first Australian to win the International Bodybuilding Federation’s Junior European Championships. After high school, Aiken began studying kinesiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and graduated in May 2013.
Aiken now works as a personal trainer, sports dietitian, and yoga instructor, helping people of all shapes and sizes achieve their wellness goals. As a trainer, she specializes in weight loss for women, and enjoys helping them navigate the many changes that comes with losing weight. She also works with elite athletes who want to improve their performance, and help them achieve their goals.
In this article, we’ll learn about Aiken’s amazing journey from a child with a chronic illness to a successful entrepreneur who’s inspired millions. Most importantly, we’ll learn about the healthy lifestyle she recommends, and how you can implement it into your own life to achieve better results.
A Special Kind of Strength
For most people, losing weight means letting go of a few favorite foods, shedding a few more pounds, and getting back in shape. For Aiken, it was so much more than that. Her experience with diabetes informed her life, and changed the way she viewed health and wellness. It started with a simple question: How does one get stronger?
Aiken explains, “I was always fascinated by how the human body is able to withstand such tremendous and diverse physical forces that it is subjected to on a daily basis. For people with type 1 diabetes, this question is particularly relevant because the disease affects the bodies’ ability to produce insulin, which is the hormone that allows the body to use glucose (or sugar in healthful ways) for energy. In other words, without sufficient insulin the body will experience extreme highs and lows in blood sugar, which can lead to health problems.”
She wanted to find a way to strengthen her body to be able to withstand these extreme forces, so that she could live a full and active life. After doing some research, Aiken discovered a substance called branched-chain amino acids (BCAA’s), which are compounds that the body uses to build protein. She started taking BCAA’s, and in a few months she could notice a significant difference in her strength. She experienced a 50% increase in her muscle mass, and was able to lift more weight than she ever had before.
This jump in strength inspired Aiken, and she began using it as a motivation for getting out of bed every morning. Soon after, she decided to try a different approach, and instead of focusing on what she could not do, she focused on what she could do. She began setting small goals, and started seeing results. One of the first things she did was join a gym, where she started working out three times a week.
The Importance of Diet
Diet plays a crucial role in weight loss. While there are no exact numbers available, it is estimated that 70% of people who lose weight end up maintaining the loss. However, this number drops to 50% for those who do not continue with a diet, demonstrating the importance of long-term changes in food choices. When Aiken was first learning how to care for herself with a diet, she learned quickly that what you eat affects your weight. The foods that she avoided when losing weight were the ones that she craved once she started to eat healthier. Dairy products, for example, were something that she avoided while dieting, but now she knows that they’re important for human health, and that’s why she includes them in her diet plan.
Another example is fruit juices, which are high in sugar and were a part of Aiken’s unhealthy diet before she learned how to care for herself with a diet. Now that she understands how much sugar she was putting into her body daily, it’s no wonder that she’s lost 100 pounds, and wants to continue helping others avoid the same fate.
The Importance of Exercising
Aiken understands the importance of working out, which is why she includes a full workout routine in her daily schedule. While dieting, she would often hear people say that they couldn’t exercise because of their weight. This is what motivated her to exercise, as she wanted to prove that you can be at your happiest and healthiest when you’re moving around and getting your body active. The more she moved, the less weight she would lose, and the healthier she would become. This was a common theme among those who were successful in losing weight, and still rings true for Aiken.
It is well known that exercise promotes healthy brain functions, increases the body’s natural pain tolerance, and encourages the body to produce more of the hormone serotonin, which can help promote a feeling of happiness. These are all factors that helped Aiken reach her goal of an inactive lifestyle, which she credits to her early morning workouts, yoga sessions, and weightlifting training. It’s no wonder why so many people have turned to her for advice on how to lose weight and stay fit, and why her story has been told and retold thousands of times, and continues to inspire.
If you’re looking to lose weight, there are plenty of simple ways to start. You don’t need to purchase expensive equipment, join a gym, or change your entire diet. Instead, you can start by learning more about the topic, and how to incorporate more vegetables and fruits into your diet, which are known for filling you up while not having too many calories. In addition to this, you can take up yoga or meditation, which can help you relax and focus on the task at hand, and which Aiken says has helped her “reach a new level of peace and acceptance with my body.”
There’s no question that Aiken’s story is an inspiration to those who want to lose weight. She not only lost 300 pounds, but she also shares with others how she did it, offering them advice on how to move forward with their weight loss journey. While it might not be easy, it is certainly possible to lose weight and feel great about yourself again. All it takes is the desire, and Aiken provides guidance on how to get there.