“The little things make you see the value of good nutrition”
Welcome to the first edition of our Reader Stories! In this post, you’ll get a story of an on-again/off-again relationship with fitness from Kristina H. of Washington, a former restaurant manager who got healthy while raising two daughters.
The wake-up call
When I turned 41, I decided to step on the scale. That’s when it hit me: I weighed close to 215 pounds. I felt devastated. It seemed as though it had just creeped up on me. I couldn’t have guessed that I weighed close to that much.
How I got there
I had spent all of my thirties yo-yo dieting. I tried literally everything: diet pills, fad diets, and every As Seen on TV exercise machine that came out. My thirties was a never-ending and fruitless search for an easy way to lose weight. I mean, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I wanted to be able to eat what I wanted and still lose weight. That’s what ALL the ads guarantee, right?
As I began this leg of my journey, I knew that everything I had tried before did not work. For every pound I lost, I gained 5 more back. I was determined to lose weight. And I was going to do it the right way this time.
This time, I looked at my nutrition. I decided I was going to change the way I ate and exercised.
In my first month, I lost 15 pounds. I was so excited! That quick win motivated me to keep going.
I was also focused on working out consistently so that working out would become easier. Let’s face it: 200 pounds is a lot of weight to carry around while you’re trying to walk up a hill or doing jumping jacks. Looking back, it’s crazy how hard that was. I kept thinking to myself, how did I get so out of shape that I can’t even do a push up? Ugh!
I found more motivation by watching The Biggest Loser and, of course, Jillian Michaels! She is a tough trainer, but watching the show teaches you that fitness is more than just working out. I kept eating vegetables, fruits, and proteins. My diet was plain, but balanced. I bought a few of Jillian’s workout videos and committed to doing them.
By the end of four months, I was already down to 170 pounds. I felt amazing! Crazy, because I was still overweight, but taking off 45 pounds helped me in so many ways. At the time, I was a manager of a busy restaurant. I noticed how much easier it was for me to run around. My knees and my back stopped hurting. I didn’t get winded just trying to run a tray of food to a table.
The 49 pounds made a big impact on how I felt while I was doing exercising, too. I embraced that feeling and kept going. Ten months later, I was down to 145 pounds and wearing my daughter’s jeans! I felt amazing!
By this time, exercise was just a part of my daily routine and it didn’t feel like a sacrifice. I had so much energy that I felt like I could do anything!
Falling off the wagon
I lost some of my progress shortly after because, well, life happens and let’s face it: bad food tastes so freaking good! I was still working out, but I went back to eating all of the bad foods I had given up during my journey. Over the next year, I gained back 40 pounds, and eventually just stopped exercising. I had lost the motivation to keep going and I didn’t feel good. The cycle perpetuated itself.
At that time, my daughter started her own journey with Herbalife. Eventually, I started doing the shakes with her as family bonding, and because I wanted to get back into a healthy lifestyle. The best part? I won a weight loss challenge! I lost 24 pounds and 14 inches in 8 weeks.
The importance of nutrition
During this weight loss challenge, I had injured my knee, so I was very limited in what I could do as far as exercising. That’s what made me realize how important nutrition is during weight loss and maintenance. Those “good tasting” foods are chemicals that make you addicted so you will crave more.
You have to feed your body the proper nutrients to not only maintain a healthy weight, but also to feel good. The little things make you see the value of good nutrition, like being able to walk on the beach with my dog and not feel my knees or back hurt. Nutrition, to me, is more important than exercise. I have found joy in practicing yoga – I love that it keeps you flexible! – but I have learned to pay close attention to what I’m putting into my body, rather than trying to sweat off the bad foods.
Maybe the most important thing I can say, though, is to keep up the great work. If you push, you can and WILL amaze yourself! And that’s a real guarantee!
Editorial note: Kristina elected not to share any photos with her story, which may happen from time to time. If so, that’s okay.
We want to thank Kristina for sharing her story with us and opening up about her victories and areas she struggled with. We’d also like to reiterate something she touched on: you will see the value of a healthy lifestyle in many ways. It will prove its worth to you over and over again, beginning with a boost in your energy and mood, all the way down to small doses of appreciation of yourself and of your body throughout every day. Learning to appreciate those little reminders is what will help you stay motivated and stay on track as you move forward and your goals and priorities change.
If you have a weight loss story you’d like to submit to be published here on Get Two Fit, make sure you get in touch with us and let us know!