This 24-year-old woman lost 166 pounds with martial arts and Crossfit

Devin Muffley lost 166 pounds. (Art: Quinn Lemmers for Yahoo Beauty. Photos: Courtesy of Devin Muffley)

Weight-Loss Win is an original Yahoo series that shares the inspiring stories of people who have shed pounds healthfully.

Devin Muffley is 24, 5 feet 5 inches tall, and currently weighs 170 pounds. In 2015, after realizing her weight was exacerbating her lupus, thus causing her incredible pain, she decided to lose weight and get her health under control. This is the story of her weight-loss journey.

The turning point

I always struggled with my weight, even as a kid. My mother was very fit and health-conscious, so she tried to help me the best she could. I really internalized that as not being good enough. I developed bad habits like closet eating and binge eating. As I got older, I struggled deeply with depression and I would try to self-medicate with food. My whole life became about food. It became an addiction.

Devin Muffley was tired of the negative impacts her weight had on her health. (Photos: Courtesy of Devin Muffley)

My turning point was a buildup of little things that culminated in a big medical issue. My weight began to have a negative impact on my health and my quality of life in obvious ways. I reached a point where I couldn’t cut my own toenails or tie my shoes. I was diagnosed with high cholesterol at 20 years old. At 21, they said I was pre-diabetic. At 22, they said I had elevated blood pressure. Essentially, I had developed metabolic syndrome. A few months after that, I was diagnosed with lupus. My weight highly agitated my lupus. I had incredibly debilitating flare-ups. That was the big moment for me. I was stuck in my bed. Every joint in my body felt like it was on fire. I asked myself, “Is this how I want to spend the rest of my life?”

Devin Muffley lost weight to take control of her health. (Photos: Courtesy of Devin Muffley)

The changes

My mom taught me a lot about good diet and exercise as a kid, and I’m very thankful for that. I didn’t have to research too much to get started. I began a low-carb, moderate-fat, high-protein diet. Then I started walking. I started walking three miles a day and within a few months I was walking a total of nine miles a day.

The first month was incredibly difficult for me. I was miserable. I dropped my carb intake to under 40 grams a day and went practically sugar-free. My body was in shock. But as time went on, I started to make better progress. The next month, I noticed my skin clearing up. When walking up to my second-floor apartment I didn’t feel exhausted at the top. I started squatting in my living room and planking. I even tried squatting my cats at one point, but they got a little freaked out. Then I joined a gym, Youfit, and started taking the classes and personal training once or twice a week.

Devin Muffley discovered a love of fitness. (Photo: Courtesy of Devin Muffley)

I really fell in love with the process. I eventually sought out my certification in nutrition so that I could be as informed as possible. I developed positive relationships with the trainers and management. They helped to hold me accountable. If I missed a day, they would say something to me. I’m forever grateful for them for that.

When I lost my first 100 pounds, I celebrated with a tattoo. It’s Sleater-Kinney lyrics: “Hunger makes me a modern girl.“ That really represented what this journey was for me. Hungry for change. Hungry for knowledge.

Eventually I felt burned out on just hitting the gym equipment every day. I was looking for something to excite me. Something to be passionate about. A friend referred me to a gym called Tapout, which had a lot of MMA classes. I started with boxing and I enjoyed it, but I kept catching myself watching the class next to us. It was a jiujitsu class. I was so intrigued. The next day, I showed up to jiujitsu and I found it incredibly difficult. Nothing about it came naturally to me, but I was hooked. It changed my life. About eight months later, I started training Crossfit and, again, I was awful but I fell in love with the challenge. And recently, I started training Muay Thai, which I’ve really grown to enjoy.

Devin Muffley switches up her workouts to stay engaged. (Photos: Courtesy of Devin Muffley)

The after

My health and quality of life have improved immensely. I’m no longer pre-diabetic, my cholesterol and blood pressure are under control, my lupus flare-ups are few and far between, and shopping isn’t such a burden anymore. I became very creative with my cooking, I became more confident, and I was excited to wake up! My friends began asking me for advice and guidance on weight loss and fitness. I made myself proud.

I had no idea that I would fall in love with health and wellness like I have. I now provide online and local diet coaching for folks like me, looking to make a change. This is exactly how I want to spend the rest of my life.

Devin Muffley uses her knowledge to help others in similar positions to hers. (Photo: Courtesy of Devin Muffley)

The maintenance

Portion control and consistency are the keys to proper maintenance. I use MyFitnessPal to keep track of my meals and macros. A typical day for me consists of five small meals. I usually start with a meal replacement shake with half a banana and later have a post-workout shake, a Clif Bar, a well-portioned meal with 4-6 ounces of protein, a green vegetable, and a healthy carb like brown rice or a sweet potato. My dinner always varies, but I try to stick to protein and vegetables.

I train Crossfit three times a week, I train jiujitsu three times a week, and Muay Thai is basically whenever I can fit it in.

I inspire myself to keep going, and I’m my own biggest fan. My friends and family have been incredible support systems as well. I’m very thankful and I feel incredibly blessed.

Devin Muffley gained a sense of confidence through her health journey. (Photos: Courtesy of Devin Muffley)

The struggles

It’s always a mental game. It’s not always a perfect day. I make mistakes. I eat something bad or I have a lazy day at the gym. It can be challenging, but it is always worth it because I am worth it.

Advice

You’ve got to be ready, you have to be strong, and you have to be consistent. Sometimes you fall down, but you have to always get back up. This isn’t temporary; it’s a lifestyle. You have to be willing to do what it takes to succeed. I’m not finished; this is a lifelong process. Don’t get discouraged. You’ll love yourself more in the end for it.

Follow Devin’s journey on Instagram @devinmuffleyfitness.

Need more inspiration? Read about our other weight-loss winners!

Weight-Loss Win is authored by Andie Mitchell, who underwent a transformative, 135-pound weight loss of her own.

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