Weight Loss Success Stories: Kristin Dropped 149 Pounds And Went From A Size 24 To A Size 2
Kristin Orton traded her sedentary lifestyle for three gym memberships and cut her calorie count in half to lose 149 pounds
Before: 274 pounds
After: 125 pounds
Kristin Orton, a nursing student from Bakersfield, CA, knows that kids can be cruel. When she was growing up, her classmates constantly teased her about being overweight. She became less active as she reached adulthood and never learned the basics of proper nutrition. By 26, she topped out at 274 pounds. Fed up with her weight, she called on a dietitian-trainer for some guidance.
Kristin, 29, was tired of shopping at plus-size stores. She couldn’t fit into boots or wear high heels. Afraid she wouldn’t be able to fit into a roller coaster car, she avoided amusement parks. She just wanted to live the life of a normal twentysomething.
She consumed about 3,000 calories a day, an excessive amount for someone her height who led a sedentary lifestyle.
A friend referred Kristin to Tricia Bland, RD, ACE-certified trainer, who overhauled her meals and started her on a manageable exercise plan. In fall 2007, they tackled Kristin’s eating habits. Tricia suggested a 1,450-calorie diet of three to four servings of fruit, three to four servings of vegetables, five servings of carbs, five to six servings of meat, and three servings of fat. Kristin upped her intake of monounsaturated fats from sources like avocados and olive oil, and turned to low-calorie, high-fiber vegetables when she was still hungry.
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She recorded her meals on a form provided by Tricia while working on the first 100 pounds. “[The journal] is a useful tool because people mindlessly put food in their mouths during the day,” Kristin says.
Her excitement levels were the inverse of her clothing sizes—she got smaller and her excitement grew. Once she continued losing weight, she decided to try exercising, and started walking 3 miles on the treadmill, taking as long as 25 minutes to complete a mile in the beginning. At the 50-pound mark, she felt a boost of confidence and could move around more easily, so Tricia designed a home workout program for Kristin using resistance bands and a stability ball. (Video: Blast belly fat with this move.)
Nowadays, Kristin has three gym memberships. Each week she attends classes for kickboxing, Pilates, and yoga. She spends 30 minutes on the stair-climber, completes 100 crunches in a row, and does weight-training circuits. The years of hard work paid off—she got into a size 2 in fall 2010. “Sometimes weight is a big barrier for people because exercise hurts. Kristin didn’t give up and has a wonderful perseverance spirit,” Tricia says.
Having lived a life as “the fat girl with the pretty face,” Kristin is determined not to return to her old weight. She keeps working hard to eat right and exercise often. The latter she compares with a chore such as grocery shopping or doing homework.
When Kristin dropped from a size 14 to size 12, she went to Lane Bryant, where she had shopped for 10 years—but everything was too big. Instead of picking another store, she called her best friend and started sobbing because nothing fit. Her friend quickly pointed out the beauty of the problem.
Do something fun. “Just because you don’t like to do hours of cardio on the treadmill doesn’t mean you might not enjoy kickboxing class, yoga, or even weight lifting.”
Don’t dwell on imperfections. “If I slip up and eat junky food, it’s not defining me as an individual. It doesn’t mean my body isn’t worth better nutrition. It was a one-time indulgence, and I try to eat better the rest of the day or up my exercise level.”
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