Before: 281 pounds
After: 169 pounds
Krista Berg, a pharmacy student from Traverse City, MI, battled weight problems throughout her adolescent and teen years. She led a sedentary lifestyle, avoided the scale, and ate anything she wanted. “My favorite foods were loaded with calories and fat. I was aware of it, but I didn’t care,” she says.
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The Turning Point
Fed up with a frumpy clothes selection and tired of going unnoticed by boys, Krista decided to take control of her life at age 20. Once the pounds started coming off, she realized how much better she felt. That’s when health and well-being became her motivation to continue losing weight.
Krista started doing 30 to 60 minutes of cardio 5 days a week and eventually incorporated weight training into her regimen. About a year into her weight loss plan, she thought she was reaching a plateau. A friend convinced her to give running a try, since she was looking for a way to increase her cardio intensity. With him by her side, she ran her first mile at her university’s rec center. Since then, she’s completed six 5-Ks and recently finished a 10-K. Exercise helped her lose 112 pounds, but her diet plays a bigger role in effectively slimming down. “It’s possible for me to skip the gym but still lose weight if I stay within my calorie budget [typically around 1,500]. But I can—and do—easily gain weight when I start eating too much, despite how much I am working out,” she says.
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She used to monitor her food intake with Weight Watchers points but switched to Tap & Track, a mobile application, because it was more convenient to use on her iPod. It’s difficult for her to eliminate foods because she feels deprived, so instead she focuses on scaling back portions. She makes an effort to eat lots of fruits, whole grains, yogurt, and organic foods. And though she’s not a huge fan of vegetables, she makes herself a spinach salad almost every day. She doesn’t eat out as much anymore, and when she does she’s more conscious of what she orders.
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Krista has weighed about 170 pounds for 6 months, and she plans to lose 35 more pounds. She shares her struggles through her blog “My Journey to a Healthy Berg” and considers it a success if she can motivate just one person to make a healthy change. Several readers have sent Krista emails telling her how much she inspires them. What her readers may not know is the impact their positive feedback has on her. “Sometimes I'll be feeling really bad about myself after eating too much dessert or skipping a workout. Then I'll get a comment, and it makes me feel so good and completely turns my attitude around,” she says.
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Fitting into every roller coaster seat at Cedar Point was one of the happiest days of her life.
Shake it off. “Make a promise to yourself that when the initial motivation starts to fade and those bad days happen, you’re going to shrug it off and keep going.”
Spread the word. “It’s really easy to start a ‘secret diet.’ When you do that, nobody knows when you screw up. If you start gaining weight again, it’s not a big deal because no one is asking about your progress,” she says. Share your progress to help solidify your commitment to weight loss.
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Image: Courtesy of Krista Berg
Before: 281 pounds