Weight Loss

How she did it: Setting small weight loss goals

How she did it: Setting small weight loss goals

Photography by Frances Juriansz Image by: Photography by Frances Juriansz Author: Canadian Living

Weight Loss

How she did it: Setting small weight loss goals

Karen Price
Age: 36
Lost: 30 pounds
Occupation: Stay-at-home mother, part-time veterinary assistant, Brampton, Ont.
Time period: 2 years
Height: 5'10"
Weight loss: 210 to 175 pounds

Where she started
My pregnancies were difficult. I was on bed rest while carrying my firstborn, Dexter, from 20 weeks on. I put on about 30 pounds—and didn't lose it after his birth. Then, when I was pregnant with Elliot, I was afraid to exercise because my first pregnancy had been so difficult.

After I had Elliot in March 2012, I weighed about 210 pounds. Initially, I wasn't weighing myself, so I wasn't entirely sure of the number—and I didn't really want to know. Though I'm a tall person who carries weight well, I felt tired all of the time and wasn't happy with how I looked. I couldn't get down on the floor to play with my kids—I didn't have the stamina. I thought, You have to shape up.

There was no lightbulb moment. It was more about wanting to be active so I could be there for my boys (I lost my mom when I was 21).

How she did it
My first goal was to get under 200 pounds. I'd been going to the gym at least three days a week for about a month, and when I finally weighed myself for the first time, I was down to 193.

My next goal was to reach 185, and when I did, I thought, 165 would be nice, but I'd be happy with 175. Then, I got down to 175 pounds, and I've maintained that for the past 10 months.

The last five pounds were the hardest to lose. I became a little obsessive, weighing myself a couple of times a day and policing my food intake. Once I achieved my goal, though, the obsessiveness went away. I became less concerned about the number and more about how I felt. That said, there have been fluctuations during stressful times and the holiday season, but I've always been able to get back down to 175.
As part of my get-in-shape plan, my family joined the YMCA. In addition to improving my fitness and carving out a little “me” time, my husband wanted to get active and we both wanted the boys to socialize with other kids in the children's programs.

As I started to get into the mindset of actually trying to lose weight, I turned to personal trainers who helped me develop a cardio and weight-training routine, which I did three or four times a week. I also went to the Y with my family every Sunday. My husband and I would work out, then take the boys swimming. We really tried to embrace an active lifestyle.

There was nothing extraordinary about my diet. Instead of eating chips, I snacked on fruit and vegetables. A hard-core pop drinker, I limited my soda consumption to one can a day, a drastic reduction considering I typically drank three or four. I baked rather than fried my food, I ate smaller portions and I added more greens—such as peas, green beans and broccoli—to my plate. Because I was cooking more healthfully, my family ate more healthfully, too.

My junk-food addiction wasn't something I was willing to give up completely (it's my Achilles' heel). I didn't cut out McDonald's hamburgers, but instead of ordering a Quarter Pounder Meal, I'd opt for a kids' Happy Meal. No diet will be successful if you give up all the things you love.

The key to changing my eating habits was training my brain. I learned to eat until I was satisfied, not until I was full. When I wanted to have a snack before bedtime, I'd tell myself,  No, you don't need it. You're bored, not hungry.

Where she is now
I've been able to maintain my weight because I continue to be active. I still go to the YMCA three or four times a week, doing a few days of strength training and devoting at least one day to cardio. I monitor what I eat, though I'm not as vigilant as I used to be. Every week, I review my diet and ask myself whether I overindulged. If the answer is yes, I know I'll have to be more careful the next week.

Accomplishing my weight-loss goal was a moment of pride. Losing weight is difficult, especially as your age climbs. The fact that I put my mind to it and I did it is really rewarding.

For more inspirational weight loss stories, check out how one mom lost 100 pounds



This content is vetted by medical experts




This story was originally part of "How She Did It: No Small Change" in the July 2015 issue.
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Weight Loss

How she did it: Setting small weight loss goals