Transformation of the day: Kristeen lost 30 pounds. With the help of a friend in the gym, this proud social worker learned combined power of weight training and a calorie deficit. Her transformation has improved her physical, mental and emotional health. Check out her story.
What was your motivation? What inspired you to keep going, even when you wanted to give up?
After I gained weight in college, I was planning to get a fat transfer
surgery (AKA a Brazilian Butt Lift) using the extra fat around my midsection. A few months before my scheduled surgery, someone approached me in the gym. We began to chat, and I told them about my plans. They stopped me and said, “If you work with your genetics, you’ll be amazed at what your body can do.” This person then taught me almost everything that I know about weight lifting. I discovered a love for weight training. Before I knew it, I started to see results in my body, and I was hooked. I canceled my surgery date. It has been the best decision of my life.
Looking in the mirror and seeing what this body can accomplish is my ultimate motivation. I also think about how much more confident I feel now whenever I’m tempted to give up. I don’t want to trade this feeling for anything.
This journey has transformed my mental and emotional health. I embarked on this journey while getting my Master’s degree in social work. Since my graduation in May 2019, I’ve been an advocate for increasing awareness about the connections between physical and mental health. I hope to become a Certified Personal Trainer one day!
How did you change your eating habits?
I was already a vegetarian for a few years. I started portioning out my food and aiming to eat in a calorie deficit. I cut back on the classic vegetarian junk foods like French fries, mozzarella sticks, pizza, and things of that nature. I also had a gallon of water a day.
What did your workout routine consist of?
I did full body weight training workouts three times a week. I went slow and steady learning the basics. It took me about 6 months until I actually did a proper squat in the squat rack. Before that, I worked on landmine squats in order to start building up my core strength. I could barely hold the bar on my back when I first tried!
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
My starting weight was 185 pounds. My current weight is 155 pounds.
What is your height?
I am 5’4”.
When did you start your journey? How long did your transformation take?
I started in January 2018, and it took about 8 months.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
I have learned that the human body can do amazing things when we just treat it right and give it a chance to work its magic.
What advice do you have for others who want to lose weight?
Don’t look for a quick fix. Also, love yourself during the journey. Don’t say “I will love myself when I weigh _____ pounds.” Love yourself now, and take in the process. You deserve to be happy NOW!