My name is Kristen. I’m 22, and I would describe myself as a moderate health nut. For the majority of my life, I was the exact opposite. I grew up on big, fat bagels from the grocery store bakery, boxes and bags of junk food, boxed and homemade macaroni and cheese, Ramen Noodles, spaghetti with loads of butter, chicken nuggets and french fries. My unhealthy habits continued into my teens where I would have nothing but a Little Debbie Nutty Bar or massive cookie from the cafeteria for lunch. I became a vegetarian when I was 14, but I didn’t fully grasp the concept that I had to consume protein rich foods and was on, what I now call, the pasta and cheese diet. Needless to say, I was always overweight and unhealthy. I steadily gained weight little by little throughout high school and into my first few semesters of college, and eventually packed on enough pounds to be considered obese with a BMI of 30.2.
For as long as I can remember, my New Years Resolution was just like every other person’s: to lose weight. Did I ever make this happen? No. I wanted it, every year I would tell myself that this year would be different, but I never did anything to change my unhealthy habits. I was in denial of how unhealthy I was, and I was never ready to commit to any sort of diet plan or exercise regime. I had no idea where to even start. Plus, even at a young age, I had accepted the fact that I would always be overweight. Early 2010, my (overweight) grandfather told me I was “too heavy,” and that slap-in-the-face comment was the push I needed to finally commit to eating healthy and exercising. I did not make drastic changes to my diet overnight. I made small changes here and there. I walked on the treadmill a few days a week. I became an active member on SparkPeople.com, and I eventually counted calories. I became a firm believer of eating what I wanted in moderation. Never once did I try any quick fixes, weight loss supplements or any crazy diets or detoxes. I knew that this wasn’t some diet that would end once I reached my goal. It had to be a permanent lifestyle change. Once the first 10 pounds came off, that was enough motivation to keep going. I reached my final weight loss goal of 50 pounds on May 4, 2012. Yes, it took over 2 years, but guess what? Through trial and error, I learned what works and what doesn’t work. I learned how to lose weight permanently and effectively. Those 50 pounds are never coming back. (Side note: I’d be SOL. I gave all of my “fat girl clothes” to a local consignment shop besides one pair of jeans that I use for motivation.) Most people who lose weight will gain it back. I am not going to be one of those people. I have maintained my weight and actually have lost inches since reaching my goal. I’ve never been this healthy, happy and confident.
I love to share my story and motivate and inspire others. This fall, I will be taking classes to become a certified personal trainer. My ultimate goal is to open up my own private gym and be a weight loss consultant.
Please note that I am NOT a medical expert or a certified personal trainer (although I will be within the next 18 months). I give advice based on my own personal experience, thoughts and research. I do not endorse the use of any supplements, and I am NOT affiliated with any company who distributes any sort of supplements. I’m just someone who is passionate about weight loss, nutrition and fitness.