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Name: Kristina Mondo
Before Weight: 215 pounds
How I Gained It: I had health problems as a child, and the medication that was prescribed to treat it also messed with my metabolism. I was skinny for most of my childhood because the medication I was taking didn't give me much of an appetite and made me hyper and left an aftertaste in my mouth. However, after getting sick again after puberty, the medication I was prescribed thereafter slowed down my metabolism and left me lethargic and craving the wrong foods. I became lonely and an emotional eater, and food was at times an escape. When you look in the mirror and don't like what you see and don't know how to change what you see or if it's even possible, you become defeated and eat more. That's how it was for me.
No matter how I tried to dress myself or do my hair or makeup, I couldn't cover up the fat. I was tired of living the miserable existence that comes with having over 100 pounds of excess bodyweight. I was tired of being uncomfortable, unattractive and alienated. I didn't even feel like me. When I looked in the mirror it was like I was wearing a fat suit. The person who I was on the inside didn't resemble the one on the outside. I hated shopping because I couldn't wear the clothes I wanted. I was shy and uncomfortable in my own skin, and therefore uncomfortable around other people. It kept me from making friends and participating in activities that I would have otherwise enjoyed.
Breaking Point: In June 2011 I decided to make a change. I saw the number on the scale and that was it for me. I decided to go cold turkey on the foods I "loved" and began a regime of clean eating and working with a trainer and exercising five to six days a week. I was determined to change and had a goal in mind to lose 100 pounds. I wanted to become the person I always knew I could be, and the person I knew I was inside. This was my chance, this was my time, and I was determined to look ahead and not back.
How I Lost It: I became strict and disciplined with my diet, adopting a clean eating regime consisting of lean protein and vegetables. I began replacing chocolate and ice cream with fruit salad and Greek yogurt with fruit. I worked out with a trainer once a week and worked out on my own all the other days. I devoured any fitness and nutrition information I could get my hands on to help motivate and challenge me to create new goals.
When I first started exercising, it was uncomfortable and awkward, but I just began slowly working out with friends or family, then on my own and with a trainer. I began to envision the person I wanted to be and began to see images of that person in my head. I also set goals and timelines for myself, and as I achieved each goal I set a new one, raising the bar each time. Currently, I go to the gym five to six days a week and train with a trainer once or twice every two weeks. I try to break up my workouts into two to three days of strength training and the rest cardio. I am currently going to begin training for my first 5K.
I reached my goal weight in July 2013, despite some setbacks and injuries. I was determined to reach my goal and I achieved that through diet and exercise, but also by betting on myself by entering weight loss contests. I won two contests; being a competitive person, I wanted to reach whatever goal was set for me. Ultimately, however, I did it for myself because now, looking in the mirror, I know I am looking at the person I was always meant to be.
After Weight: 115 pounds
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