Naomi Dyer, a 30-year old mother of two and an emergency room nurse from Tampa, Florida, set out on her transformation journey in 2015. At her heaviest, she weighed 260 pounds and would be out of breath putting on her shoes. She swore to herself that she would rather die than be obese. And so she began a long road full of determination, hard work, sweat, pain and tears.
Near the beginning of her 115-pound weight-loss journey, Naomi stopped into her local NUTRISHOP store, and it was there that she learned the value of healthy nutrition and counting her macros. Her go-to person today is Cody Durakovic, the store owner of NUTRISHOP South Tampa. She says he’s been a huge support/mentor to her. He says she’s been a true inspiration.
“She believed in us and we believed in her, like we do all our customers,” Cody said. “She’s in a much better headspace now and she loves her life more than ever. We take a lot of pride in that.”
We caught up with Naomi recently to learn more about her transformation journey. Here’s what she had to say:
You’ve had quite an impressive transformation so far. Where are you at in your journey now?
ND: I am six months out from undergoing a mommy makeover surgery, which was necessary to remove the hanging skin off my body due to extreme weight loss. In March 2020, I hit 115 lbs. of weight loss, and in June 2020, I had the surgery to close the chapter on my obesity so I could continue life with my new permanent lifestyle change. I am currently putting on some muscle mass to get ready for my first fitness/bodybuilding contest.
What were your stats at the beginning of your transformation and what they are today?
ND: I was a size 2XL and am now down to size medium in pants (or size 18 to size 8). I was 260 lbs. at my highest and 145 lbs. at my lowest. I have gained some healthy weight back recently, but I have been in a calorie surplus since June to facilitate healing of my wounds from surgery as well as hopefully putting on some lean muscle mass. It is a very slow process, but worth it. I will begin my competition diet at the end of February, which means I will most likely lose 20-30 lbs. by the summer for the sake of competing in the show.
What all helped you during your transformation journey?
ND: I learned how to track macros at NUTRISHOP and I downloaded MyFitnessPal to help keep track. I have entries in the app since October 2015 in my phone, including some wild progress pictures. At NUTRISHOP, I learned about proteins, carbs, and fats, and as I started seeing results, I became more motivated and then had more questions. Cody wrote me a custom meal plan and gave me some healthier carb and fat options, so my body started changing more and more. After hiring a personal trainer, my progress took off to the point I became so passionate about fitness, I wanted to become competitive. Not to win, but to inspire other moms who are struggling and think it’s impossible to make it to the other side like I have.
How did your personal experience with your nutrition coach at NUTRISHOP go?
ND: Incredible. I have worked with several people over the years. Everyone has a different approach and there are a million and one ways to get to your goals. I learned that you have to find someone who offers something you can realistically do, pick it, and stick with it, as in, do not give up and give it time to work. If you do exactly what they say, IT WILL WORK. Hard work always pays off.
What advice would you give others who want to experience their own transformation journey?
ND: Pay attention to condiments. They can potentially add hundreds of extra calories to your diet, putting you out of a calorie deficit if you are trying to lose weight. For example, things like barbecue sauce and pancake syrup are loaded with calories, and people tend to dump that all over their food. Also, I do not believe in drinking my calories. I’d rather eat a cookie than drink a soda. Soda is liquid sugar that hits the bloodstream quickly, causing chaos to your system. Also, set limits and stick to them. If you cheat your diet every day, you’ll go nowhere. Diet composition closely relates to body composition. In other words, not all carbs are equal; 30 grams of carbs of Skittles (candy) versus 30 grams of carbs of a sweet potato or rice are two different things.
ND: The body is an amazing and beautiful machine but it is only as functional as its driver. You are the driver. You’ve got to do your maintenance, change the oil (healthy fats), put gas in it (carbs), drink water, and breathe air. Quality of life depends on these things. Your health is your wealth; it is your greatest investment. You only get one life to live so don’t go cheap on your body. Take good care of it and it will reward you and take you far. I have never been happier in my life taking care of my body the way I have in the last five years. It only gets better from here.