I love to hear about weight loss success stories. I want to know EVERYTHING about the journey. Losing weight is not easy. There are good times and bad times. Life doesn't stop just because you need to lose weight. You have to make it work. Meet Traci, she made it work.
|Tena and Traci (Aug '11)|
I met Traci about 5 years ago. She was in her early 40's, stood 5 foot 4, and weighed 190 pounds. We saw each other at bike races and chatted about our kids and,of course, riding bikes. I had not seen her for a while and almost walked right past her last year. She had lost 50 pounds and looked amazing. I wanted to know every detail and asked Traci if I could write about her journey. She answered all my questions. Prepare to be inspired.
Traci started gaining weight when she went off to college. She began eating chips/dips, junk food, fast food, and drinking beer. Upon leaving college she yo-yo dieted, tried Weight Watcher's and Nutri-System, Slim-Fast, got married and gave birth to three boys. She just couldn't shed the weight.
|Traci and her boys|
In 2011 she had an eye opening experience while doing a research study for women having a high BMI. Unfortunately Traci fit the bill and participated in the study. Her measurements were taken and then she had to perform some fitness tests. She absolutely crushed the tests and remembers the tech saying " she was amazed that a person of (her) size could complete those tasks so easily". The tech was a friend of hers,Traci knew she was not trying to be mean. However, it did get her thinking "about others seeing me as fat".
Traci had finally realized she needed to take care of herself, especially if she wanted to be around for her boys. She had lost her father to heart disease when he was only 38! She was becoming a prime candidate herself and needed to turn things around. She already knew that the 'diets ' she tried were not going to work. So, Traci changed her lifestyle. She does not eat out, watches her portions, and keeps healthy snacks on hand so she won't make poor food choices. She started using a food tracker app on her IPhone. Recording every bite, even a StarBurst fruit chew. She likes the accountability and says it keeps her on track. Calories in, calories out. Traci said her diet is " a healthy mix of proteins with vegetables and healthy grains". When she wants something sweet she reaches for an apple or banana. Instead of chips she enjoys popcorn.
Traci has always been a cyclist. "Before actively losing weight, I would ride when I could", she said. Now she has the energy to ride any time she wants. She commutes to and from work, 24 miles round trip, three to four days a week. Traci's passion is mountain biking however, she need something to do on days she didn't ride. She began hiking in the woods and walking fast around her neighborhood. Just recently she has graduated to running. Don't tell anyone.... she has her eyes set on a half-marathon ( in the future)
Traci told me she had an incredible support system. " My boys and Tena have been extremely supportive...... (Tena) reminds me regularly everyday that if I made bad choices that tomorrow is another day......It's a lifestyle NOT a diet".
|Before and after|
Always read food labels
Be mindful of portion size
Listen to your body
Be prepared with healthy snacks
Up physical activity
Continue to learn about proper nutrition