Family Status: Married, no children
Location: Venice, Italy and West Islip, New York
Starting Weight: 260 pounds
Current Weight: 145 pounds
Pounds or Inches Lost: I lost 115 pounds!
Kristina’s Weight Loss Story!
When did you become unhappy with your weight?
Rarely in my life have I been satisfied with my weight. As an adult, I’ve been as high as 260 pounds and as low as 140 pounds. I finally snapped when I realized I couldn’t hide from the fact that I had undone almost all of a 115 pound weight loss. Although I tried hiding from the camera as much as possible, I just couldn’t avoid the truth that my weight had crept back up to 240 pounds.
What made you decide to lose weight?
Having gone on my first diet at eight years old, I’d been a serial yo-yo dieter all my life until my recent efforts to finally lose and maintain my weight permanently. Before I got started in February 2010, I had my “now or never” moment. I knew I had to take control and work to really lose the weight and keep it off for good. I couldn’t bear the thought of suffering through the pain and humiliation of losing and regaining again, not to mention the negative effects it was having on my health. I was quite literally 33 years old going on 80 with arthritic knees, constant aches and pains, as well as high cholesterol. With my family history of heart disease, I was a heart attack waiting to happen.
What were the most important changes you made to lose weight?
Permanent ones. I finally realized that I couldn’t cut out all the food I loved forever. I needed to learn to come to terms with being able to generally follow a healthy and balanced diet, while incorporating moderate portions of my favorite unhealthy foods from time to time. I also needed to develop a fitness plan that was both fun and sustainable in the long term.
What was most challenging about losing weight?
Finding that balance. For me, my issues with food and my weight were like a drug addict’s or alcoholic’s with drugs or booze. The problem is that you can avoid drugs or alcohol, but you can’t avoid eating. I needed to take all of the knowledge I had gathered about healthy eating and exercise over the years and finally put it into practice in a realistic and sustainable way. Sounds easy to someone who’s never had a problem managing their weight, but that was the hardest thing for me to put into (and keep in) practice.
How long did it take you to start to see results?
I started losing weight pretty much right away, but my overall progress was quite slow with lots of ups and downs. This was very different from my past weight loss experiences where I would lose (then regain) weight very quickly.
How long did it take for you to reach your current weight?
It took me two years until I started maintenance. I lost another 13 pounds making the transition, which took another four months.
How long have you maintained your weight loss and how do you do it?
Nine months. I basically do the same things I did when I was losing weight. I do cardio and strength training several times a week. I weigh, measure and track my food on a popular fitness website, where I’m active in the community there and a leader on the “At Goal and Maintaining and Transition to Maintenance” team. I also try to self-correct as quickly as possible when I slip up and weigh myself almost daily to keep tabs on how I’m doing.
What keeps you motivated to continue your weight loss success?
Not wanting to gain the weight back again! That, and my involvement on the maintenance team on the fitness website that I’m involved with. I believe we’re filling a need that’s been long neglected by the weight loss industry which is offering support to maintainers and encouraging people to come together to share how they successfully maintain so that others can learn from our experiences.
How has your life changed now that you’ve lost weight?
I’m still basically the same person on the inside, just more confident and without the health problems and aches and pains.
Do you have any advice for others who are trying to lose weight?
Don’t give up, even if you’ve failed a dozen times. It took me six serious attempts at weight loss for everything to fall into place and become permanent. You can label it grit or persistence or wisdom. Whatever it was, it finally all came together and I feel confident that I’ll maintain my weight loss forever. I had almost given up on the idea that I could ever maintain a healthy weight but I gave it one last shot and it worked! If I can do it, anyone can.
How did ShapeFit help you reach your weight loss goals?
I’ve always enjoyed reading articles about health and fitness and learning about other people’s success. Being armed with all of that information and inspiration was a big piece of the puzzle that helped everything fit together. The information provided on ShapeFit.com has been an invaluable part of my weight loss and maintenance efforts. The tips and inspiration I have received have gone a long way in keeping me motivated to reach and sustain my losses.
Kristina’s Weight Loss Tips!
Weight loss tip #1:
Have a plan. Know what you want your meal and exercise program to look like and follow it.
Weight loss tip #2:
Hold yourself accountable. Make your journey public and update your progress regularly. This will motivate you to keep going and keep you on track if you start to slide.
Weight loss tip #3:
Exercise. Not only will it give your weight loss efforts a boost, but it will also help you look and feel better. I do a combination of cardio and strength training for the maximum health and vanity benefits.
Weight loss tip #4:
Stay vigilant and take advantage of your support systems. Too many people start to pull away from their support systems when they start to slide, and that’s when you need it the most! Staying on top of your weight and progress and staying connected to the people and resources that can help you will ensure that your slips are only temporary.
Weight loss tip #5:
Cut yourself a little slack. Healthy eating and exercise is important, but we all need a little treat from time to time. Find ways to work your favorite non-healthy foods into your diet and know when you need a few days off from your workouts. This will help you make your lifestyle changes permanent because you won’t feel overworked or constantly deprived.
Kristina’s Weight Loss Eating Plan!
Whole oats, egg whites, fruit (apple, banana or blueberries) and almonds.
Coconut chicken stir fry with peppers, onions, green beans, fresh ginger and whole wheat noodles.
Spicy baked chicken thighs with potatoes and steamed or sauteed vegetables.
Snacks or Mini Meals:
Fresh fruit, protein bars and drinks, yogurt, dark chocolate.
Kristina’s Weight Loss Workouts!
Two weekly sessions each of upper body and lower body machine circuits and/or free weights.
Four to five cardio sessions of 30 to 60 minutes (classes, jogging, interval training, elliptical machine).