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Meet Desirae Suggs of Sweating With Grace

Today we’d like to introduce you to Desirae Suggs.

Desirae, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Would you believe me if I told you that I struggled with weight? Furthermore, I was heavy for most of my life. In fact, I remember having high blood pressure in middle school due to my weight. I was typically picked last for group sports in my younger years. As I got older, I excelled in academics and found a love for volunteering.

Though not the one usually asked out on dates I had a great circle of friends and opportunities around me. My life changed during my senior year when I took Weight Training as a class elective. In nine months, I lost 40 pounds; going from a size 16/18 to a 14. My school uniforms were falling off of me and many people noticed. I continued my weight loss into college, losing another 20 pounds. However, graduation came. Suddenly, I started gaining weight-almost 20 pounds. Here I was facing a huge challenge again, but I was determined to win again.

I started my health journey the summer of 2014 with Shaun T’s Insanity, and then progressed into running, and subsequently weightlifting. Since then, I have maintained a 90-pound weight loss going from a size 14/16 to 6/8 through intentionally incorporating fitness and nutrition into my life. In the past few years, I have run a half and full marathon participated in numerous 5ks and competed in a bodybuilding show.

In 2017, I became an American Council on Exercise Certified Personal Trainer and launched my blog: Sweating With Grace, which focuses on nutrition and fitness. I have worked primarily with women and senior citizens to lose weight and provide nutritional guidance.

Currently, I am working toward realizing my dream of becoming a Registered Dietitian. This career will allow me to encourage others seeking to live a healthy, happy life and offer sound nutritional advice to reach their health and wellness goals. My ultimate goal is to own my own gym and host seminars and cooking demos with other local fitness communities.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Losing and maintaining a weight loss is never easy. I have a choice every single day to become complacent. However, discipline keeps me focused. Every time I wanted to give up I would always remind myself of why I started and that was to be comfortable with myself and live a healthy life.

I stopped eating meat and dairy and have been enjoying a plant based diet since 2017. Following this plan has helped me to slow down and be more mindful about my dietary choices. There is no secret that I love sweets but I do my best to reserve desserts for designated days during the week or special occasions. I am mindful when I go to social events at restaurants and pot lucks to wait 10 to 15 minutes between plates. All of my strategies to stay focused are based on having a healthy relationship with food. I have to remind myself that I do not have to eat everything at once. It is ok to not feel pressured to clean my plate and save some some for tomorrow.

Please tell us about Sweating With Grace.
Sweating With Grace is my business and blog name that was born of my desire to help others start and sustain their healthy journey. I was personal training women and leading a variety of fitness classes with senior citizens focusing on movements to assists them with daily activities.

Moving forward, I will focus on plant-based bodybuilding and recipes. Sweating With Grace’s value proposition will be personal attention on solid nutritional advice to support muscle-building goals.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
As a child, my mother would work overtime so we could do “Fun Saturday.” She would take us to Chuck E. Cheese’s, lunch, and take us for milkshakes and a ride down Riverstreet to complete the night.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Signature Snaps
Andre Johnson Photography

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