Krista Johnson started packing on pounds during her first pregnancy. She gained even more while she was pregnant with her second child. By the time her fourth kid arrived, Krista’s weight had risen to 242 pounds. (Search: Average pregnancy weight gain) She tried fad diets to no avail. “They would either make me feel miserable or I would gain the weight right away when I stopped the diet,” she says.
The Turning Point
Krista’s older daughter was starting to put on weight, which made her a bullying target at school. “I looked in the mirror and realized I was taking my daughter down with me,” Krista remembers. At the time she had been diagnosed with high blood pressure, was borderline diabetic, and suffered from chronic back pain, but it was her realization that she had a responsibility as a parent to set a healthy example for her daughter that spurred her to make changes. “I committed from that day on and never looked back,” she says.
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Krista started with Tae Bo DVDs. “In the beginning, I did about 10 minutes before having to sit down,” she says.
But Billy Blanks’ message motivated her, so every day she’d add about five minutes to her routine. “He pointed at the camera and said ‘You have to change from the inside out,’ and that sold me,” she says.
She worked her way up to three days of Tae Bo a week and then added a little bit of jogging on off days. Later on she integrated weight training. At the same time Krista began to teach herself about nutrition. She followed the Metabolic Effect diet, which encouraged her to reduced starchy, non-fiber carbohydrates, like white pasta, rice, and bread, and eat more high-fiber carbohydrates, such as vegetables andfruits. . Her meals consisted of half a plate of high-fiber carbohydrates, a quarter plate of lean protein, and five to ten bites of non-fiber carbohydrates. After about a year she was down 70 pounds.
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Along the way, Krista began writing about her weight loss journey at her blog, Fit by Faith, which caught the eye of some of the Tae Bo creators. They flew her to Los Angeles, where she exercised with Billy Blanks and delivered a testimonial for an infomercial. The trip inspired her to become an instructor. Krista now has her certification as a personal trainer and Tae Bo instructor and owns her own 10,000 square-foot fitness studio.
Krista feels like she needs to set an example for her family, as well as for her gym patrons. “They’re counting on me to help them,” she says.
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A year after her weight loss, Krista went through a series of blood tests to check her cholesterol, blood sugar, and thyroid. Unlike prior doctor’s visits, this time she received great news. “Everything was amazing; I had the results of an athlete,” she says. Her good health is a reward in itself, but Krista also feels satisfied knowing that she’ll likely be around for her children for a long time.
Take baby steps. “I had 100 pounds to lose, but it was overwhelming to look at it like that. Instead I’d think ‘this week I’ll exercise three times, and next week I’ll do a little bit more.’”
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