I apologize for not being as consistent as I should be, but my life has been pretty hectic lately to say the least. To make up for that, here is an August Special!
A friend of mine from college, whom I believe has always looked fabulous, has recently embarked on an incredible weight loss journey that I was ecstatic to share. Her interview is honest, inspiring and eye opening, and I hope you guys take as much from it as I did. Her name is Krista Theodore, she is a recent Penn State grad and has an amazing story to share. She also has started her own website which I encourage you to check out after you read the interview below! (Check it out: kmikaele.com)
- How did you get started on your healthy lifestyle change?
It was a combination of things that finally pushed me to make this change. First, my health was in a really bad state. I have several chronic conditions and I never wanted to think my weight was a factor. I would hear my doctor’s say “Krista, the weight has got to go!” and I would think to myself “How could my weight possibly be an issue if I was born with these conditions?” In fact, many of the medications they prescribed me caused this massive weight gain. I just didn’t want to believe there was a correlation between the two. Looking back, I think the real reason I was unwilling to recognize that it was time for me to lose weight was the fact that I like being invisible. Most people would probably be shocked to hear me say that because I am something of a “social butterfly” but what many close to me know is that I am really insecure and shy, especially when it comes to my appearance. I always felt that my weight was a protective coat and the more weight I carried, the less people want to be around me, I won’t get invited out and guys won’t approach me. Rejection is easier when you’re not in a position to get rejected. However, my friends would constantly tell me how uncomfortable they felt being around someone who felt that way. I never want to make the people I care about uncomfortable. So, I just got to a point where I was tired of being sick and a terrible friend. The first step I made was scheduling an appointment with a wellness program my job provides its employees. The program provides therapy, nutrition consulting and a fitness membership. Most people don’t understand why I went to a therapist to lose weight but it was the best decision I ever made. She helped me realize why I feel security in being obese and what emotions I felt in connections with food. She also had me participate in groups to connect with other men and women dealing with weight issues. Then, the nutritionist gave me a roadmap of the types of foods and vitamins I should be consuming. Finally, the fitness membership gave me the opportunity to work with fitness professionals to plan out a workout that fit in my schedule and was still effective.
- What is your motivation?
My motivation is my future. To be more specific, my future kids. Being as young as I am, having children is not on my radar at all right now, but I do think about them. This all relates back to something I saw while shopping with my mom. This little girl and her dad were playing around and decided to race to the car in the parking lot. As they are running towards the car, I see the little girl look back and call out to her mom. “Come on, Mommy! Hurry up!” Then I look back and her mom, a heavy set woman, is trying her hardest to run and proceeds to run out of breath. I don’t think she made it 50 feet before stopping. I felt so uncomfortable and embarrassed for her. Then I looked down at my stomach and realized I was headed there. My mom was so active in my life and we did everything together: travel, play sports, cook etc. Her active participation during my childhood is what has made me the smart and caring person I am today. I don’t want to rob my future kids the opportunity to have a fun mom who can it all!
- Do you follow a strict diet regime?
I wouldn’t describe my diet regime as strict. One thing my nutritionist taught me is that our bodies will not make eating healthy a habit if we try to make it a “diet” or deprive ourselves of treats. Together, he and I made a meal plan, where I eat small portions every three hours (five meals a day) and if I followed the plan for the week, I could treat myself to something small, healthy but still enjoyable, like frozen yogurt, smoothies, going to a restaurant etc.
I also do something called “Chef it Up Sundays”. On Sundays, I cook up all the meals I want for the week and store them in containers in the freezer. That way, I don’t have to think about food. I just grab the container and stick it in the microwave.
- Do you follow a strict workout regime?
My life is so hectic and my schedule is packed due to my work. For that reason, I plan my fitness for when the time permits. Right now my schedule can accommodate an hour and a half Zumba twice a week after work, self-instructed cardio and strength training five times a week during my work lunch hour, and weekend runs. It is my hope that one day I can hire a professional trainer to help guide me through the rest of my journey.
- How long have you been on this journey?
My whole life (HAHA). My weight has been up and down for that long, but this particular path in my journey started in November 2014.
- What would you say has been the hardest part?
The hardest part has been adjusting to my new size. I love my clothes so the fact that I have had to “retire” my old clothes has been rough. In addition, I haven’t bought many new clothes because I am still transitioning, making it more difficult. Then, I get so much attention now. Remember, I like being invisible, so having people whistle in the streets and compliment me all the time has been really weird. Plus, I notice my clothes don’t fit but somehow I feel the same size. It’s been a crazy adjustment for me.
- What are some routines that you swear by?
As cliché as I sounds, I have been waist training. I am not naïve to think the waist trainer is magical and will do all the work. If you are actually willing to put in the work, it has a lot of benefits. One being that the compression garment makes you less likely to overeat. Next, as you lose weight, it helps “shape” you. I was worried about losing my curves while losing weight but the waist trainer has helped cinch my waist. I wear mine 8 hours a day and now during my workouts.
- Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for those out there looking to get started or to get back on track?
I have five pieces of advice:
- Don’t think you have to do this alone. You wouldn’t believe how many people are trying to get healthy and fit, and are just as lost as you may be. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and take advice.
- It takes time. It didn’t take a day to put the weight on, so it won’t take a day to come off.
- Don’t try and use a short cut. I won’t knock anyone’s methods but I see a lot of quick weight loss schemes on social media. Don’t do it. Some of those products seem harmless but are really dangerous. Weight loss is important but so is health. They should be working hand and hand. Don’t sacrifice one for the other. Also, the quicker it comes off, the quicker it will come back.
- Don’t get caught up in numbers. The scale is no one’s friend! In the beginning of my journey, the scale didn’t move but my clothes were falling off. Don’t get discourage by everyone’s common enemy: the scale.
- Don’t compare your journey with someone else’s. You will drive yourself nuts that way. Weight loss and wellness is not one size fits all. Focus on you and take baby steps.
- How much progress have you made thus far?
I have lost 109 pounds so far. I was 331 pounds and now I am 222. I was wearing a 22W/24 and now I am in between a 12/14.
- What was your goal? And how did you set it?
I don’t have a goal per se. My doctor told me the weight I needed to be considered “healthy” but that number is far too low for my comfort. I don’t think I would be ok at 135 pounds at 5’ 6.5”. Right now, I want to be a size 10, so whatever pounds that is, but I think that could change once I get there.
- Is there any one thing or things that have helped to make the biggest impact whilst on this journey?
Support. I don’t know if I’d be at the weight I am right now without my medical team, my parents, my friends, and all the support groups I participate in. It is so much easier when you are not doing it alone and have a crowd of people cheering you on. Plus, I find that the more support you have, the more resources you are exposed to.
- Is there anything else that you want to share?
I have received not only a huge amount of positive feedback and support, but countless questions. I believe that weight loss and improved health is far easier to achieve when you have the tools, knowledge and support. For this reason, I have made a website to share recipes, tips, my journey, and other information. Check it out: kmikaele.com
Check out Krista’s amazing transformation photos below! Please be sure to check out her website for more advice and inspiration!