Kristi’s Story…one of our groupies!

The reason The Journey is here is because of you.  We know that people are working hard, making changes and pushing themselves to reach goals that they have for themselves.  

We are inspired by reading the stories of others, learning how they got through struggles or those hard days and also knowing more about who they are as a person.  I asked one of the groupies at The Journey to write up her story and answer a few questions to share with all of you.  She has a great story…full of the ups and downs that I know a lot of us can relate to.  

The Journey supports everyone on their own journey and we know that everyone gets there in different ways.  This post talks about different products that were used and The Journey is not telling you to use or promoting any of these products…just letting you know how goals were achieved for this specific journey.

We hope you enjoy her story!  

kristi 1 10 12

Kristi Before…back in January 2012

kristi back jan 12

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Name: Kristi Akers

Age: 29

Height: 5’6”

Location: Twin Falls, Idaho

Occupation: Teacher of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing & part-time graduate student

I have always been fairly skinny my whole life but never in really very good shape. Although I did some sports when I was really young (i.e. t-ball, gymnastics, softball), I never continued sports throughout school because I always felt uncoordinated and was often made fun of.  I remember as a young child having the desire to exercise and to have a ‘flat stomach’ and to ‘be skinny’ and doing some crunches in my room (which now I realize you can’t spot reduce).  Anyway, my mom would ridicule me for working out because I was “already skinny.”  I felt bad about exercising.  Now, I know that being skinny and being healthy and strong and in shape are completely different things.  Even though I was ‘skinny’ then, I could have done more to improve my health through nutrition and exercise.

Kristi After...Just a few days ago!

Kristi After…Just a few days ago!

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The summer between my junior and senior years of high school, my dad passed away from colon cancer.  I was 17 years old and a mess after this tragedy.  My mom immediately started dating a new guy and I felt betrayed and hurt.  I turned to food as a comfort.  I ate many Swiss Cake rolls (as that was something my dad and I did frequently when we had lunches together).  I put on probably 10 pounds during my senior year of high school.  Then, when I went away to college, I put on the dreaded Freshmen 15.  My highest weight while in college was 165 pounds.  During my sophomore year of college, I gave up drinking pop.  That in itself, helped me to lose some weight.  I also started going to weekly aerobics and water aerobics classes with my roommate.

Over the next few years due to moving across the country for a new job, getting married, getting divorced, etc. my weight fluctuated quite a bit and exercise was not a regular part of my routine.  Neither was eating healthy.  I might dabble with some aerobics here or there, get a gym membership for a while, attend some classes, but always give up within a week or two.  Growing up, I “didn’t like” vegetables but mostly it was because I wouldn’t try them because they looked gross; now I eat vegetables for most of my meals and have really expanded my food repertoire.

I met my current boyfriend in November of 2010.  On our dates and times when we would hang out, we would often indulge in pizza, ice cream, cookies, and other sweets while lounging around and watching movies.  I quickly put back on some weight.  My sister was talking about joining Zumba classes where she lived.  I had never heard of Zumba before but shortly after we discussed it, I saw Zumba classes were available in my small town as well.  I immediately went and fell in love!  I began attending Zumba 3-4 times a week.  This was in May of 2011.  However, my eating habits were still out of control.

Finally, in December of 2011, my boyfriend and I had both had it with our weights.  We set goals for ourselves to begin working out and to start eating healthier.  We decided that if we met our goals, we would go on a cruise!  This need to be bikini-ready really helped me with the motivation to workout.  He actually bought me P90X for my Christmas present.  I used that program along with Jillian Michaels’ DVDs and Zumba as my starting point.  I didn’t finish P90X but continued on with Zumba and Jillian Michaels.  Having my boyfriend as an accountability and workout partner was truly helpful!  We did go on the cruise (although we hadn’t quite met our goals by that time) but continued our healthy habits once we returned and did meet and surpass our goals.

I started dedicating more time and effort to my health and fitness in 2011/2012. Eating healthy and tracking calories through MyFitnessPal (MFP) became a priority.  I bought a food scale and started weighing out all of my food to control portion sizes.  I continually work to cut out as much processed food as I can; I try to eat real, whole, healthy fruits and veggies and cook my own meals as often as possible.  I rarely eat out and when I do, I try to make healthy choices (I am human though so I do slip up from time to time).  I read articles online and the discussion forums on MFP to learn as much as I could about how this whole weight loss/being healthy thing worked.  I started taking monthly weights, measurements, and pictures to track my progress.  In August of 2012, I decided to become a certified Zumba instructor and now teach between 1 and 3 classes per week!

On Facebook, I started liking various health and fitness pages and saw one inviting people to join a fitness challenge for 90 days.  I responded saying that I would like to be a part of this.  I purchased Turbo Jam and used that (along with Zumba) as my program of choice.  I also began drinking Shakeology daily (while I do drink this shake and believe it helps me have more energy, I am not trying to sell this to you!).  I convinced my sister to join the challenge with me and we helped to keep each other accountable even though we were about 3 states away from each other!  I completed that program and then worked my way through 10 Minute Trainer.  I also began doing monthly challenges posted on Facebook that focused more on strength training (since I was already doing so much cardio).  In November of 2012, I decided to become a Beachbody coach to continue to share my story with others and help and support them on their journeys.

21st birthday

21st birthday

I spent the summer of 2012 in Maryland working on graduate school classes.  These classes were fast and furious and time was often devoted to reading and assignments.  However, I made time daily to exercise (going to the gym before or immediately after class, finding classes to attend on the weekend in the community, etc.) and continued to cook my own healthy meals for the majority of the time I was there.  It was definitely a rough 2 months being alone in a new place with new people and being out of my regular routine but I still made the best of it and didn’t give up!

I continue to set goals for myself and strive for improvement compared to where I was the previous day or week.  My goals are to become much stronger and faster! I would love to run a 5K someday! (I’ve participated in 5Ks but never ran the whole thing—mostly a walk/job combination).  I want to continue to lower my body fat percentage while toning up my arms, legs, back, and abs.  I want to look and feel comfortable in a bikini.   I want to get my group fitness certification (AFAA) and perhaps become a personal trainer.  I am committed to achieving my health and fitness goals and am committed to helping others do the same!  I recently started a Facebook page called Lean, Fit, and Healthy Living as a way to connect with others and to share what has worked for me as well as other fitness and nutrition information that might help others on their journey.  Please join me on my page at: https://www.facebook.com/leanfithealthyliving?ref=hl.

The progress I have seen has been amazing!  I never imagined I could be the size I am and have so much self-confidence!  In about a year and a half, I have lost 33 pounds and 37 inches. I went from a size 12 pants to a size 4! I never thought I would look and feel this good again!  I can’t wait to see what other changes I will experience as I continue down this path.  Thanks for taking the time to read my story!

Weights and Measurements:

Total Loss:

June 6, 2011:

April 1, 2013

Weight:

155 lbs.

Weight:

122 lbs

33 lbs

Waist:

30 inches

Waist:

25.5 inches

4.5 inches

Hips:

36 inches

Hips:

32.25 inches

3.75 inches

Butt:

41 inches

Butt:

34.75 inches

6.25 inches

Thighs:

23 inches

Thighs:

20.0 inches

3.0 inches

Calves

 15.5 inches

Calves

13.75 inches

1.75 inches

Biceps:

13 inches

Biceps:

9.75 inches

3.25 inches

Forearms:

10 inches

Forearms:

8.75 inches

1.25 inches

Chest (above breasts):

34 inches

Chest (above breasts):

30.0 inches

4.0 inches

Chest: (around breasts):

36.5 inches

Chest: (around breasts):

33.0 inches

3.5 inches

Chest (under breasts):

30.25 inches (5/5/12)

Chest (under breasts):

28.75 inches

1.5 inches

Neck:

12 inches

Neck:

11.5 inches

0.5 inches

Shoulder:

40.5 inches

Shoulder:

37.5 inches

3.0 inches

Wrist:

6.0 inches (1/3/12)

Wrist:

6.0 inches

0.0 inches

Ankle:

9.0 inches (1/3/12)

Ankle:

8.25 inches

0.75 inches

Total inches lost: 37 inches

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kristi!  

The Journey is all about supporting anyone on their journey.  To get stories and up to date articles follow this site, sign up for e-mail alerts or even “like” us on Facebook.  

Do you have a story that you would like to share?  If so…write a comment or send us a message through Facebook.  You can find us at www.facebook.com/smallchangesbigpicture

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