Some women look forward to their 30th birthdays, while others dread the milestone. But two years ago, Stacy Blair wasn’t even sure she’d live long enough to see hers.
At 352 pounds, the 28-year-old from Minnesota was nearing a crossroads. She’d had an unhealthy relationship with food for years, going back and forth between binging and restricting what she’d eat with little progress. In September 2017, though, she says she had her “aha moment.”
“One morning I was getting ready for a work function and looked in the mirror and was devastated by what I saw,” Stacy said. “My health was getting progressively worse, and it was getting painful just to move and stand.”
“At 28, I was taking medication for high blood pressure, my asthma was getting worse, and it was physically painful to walk or stand for more than five minutes,” she added.
Stacy chose life and hit the ground running. And not only did she celebrate turning 30, but she gained a new appreciation for being alive after shedding an incredible 220 pounds. Now she’s inspiring others to pursue healthier lives by sharing her progress and weight loss tips on Instagram.
Stacy credits her success to making five lifestyle changes:
1. Finding your “why.”
For years, Stacy’s main motivation for losing weight was her appearance. But after taking that honest look in the mirror, it shifted.
“That moment kind of changed my mindset from I want to lose weight to be skinny or look good to ‘I want to lose weight because I don’t want to die,'” she said.
2. Logging food.
Stacy began her journey by tracking calories with the app MyFitnessPal. It helped her gain a better understanding of ideal portion sizes as well as what she ate.
3. Focusing on nutrition first.
Rather than overwhelming her body with a drastic change all-around, Stacy decided to lose 50 pounds before venturing into the world of exercise. She reached that goal through diet alone — in fact, she says changing her eating habits helped her shed most of the extra weight. But she got injured shortly after she began working out and had to stop. Now she says she opts for “unstructured” exercise like walking her dog and hiking for at least 30 minutes a day.
4. Prepping your meals.
Stacy knew that having healthy options ready to go would make it easier to say no to fast food. So, she got into the habit of prepping lunches and dinners before the start of each week. Typically, they consist of chicken or salmon with sides of fresh vegetables.
5. Following the ketogenic diet.
Stacy researched the low-carbohydrate diet for about a year before she decided to give it a try. She used a free macronutrient calculator to track her carbs, fats, and proteins and says it ultimately led to her feeling more satisfied throughout the day. But, she adds, it’s not a miracle diet and certainly isn’t for everyone. The most important aspect of weight loss is sustainable change.
“I want other women to know that there is no such thing as being too far gone, too big, or too old when it comes to weight loss; it’s never too late to take back your health. Be patient with yourself,” she said. “At the end of the day when everything is all said and done, it’s not about the weight you lose, it’s about the life you gain.
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