tumblr_myrzi6dKsj1s53m2uo1_500I love crossing stories like Anna’s, this is an excellent interview with great a great description of her personal journey. Check out this inspiring story and get inspired!

1 – Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you accomplished.
My name is Anna. I’m from Wisconsin and work as Student Advisor in Higher Education (and love it!!). I recently got married (9 months ago) but have been with my husband for almost 6 years, and we just moved into our first home and are basically obsessed with it. I will also be finishing my MA.Ed this December (insert internal ‘woop woop’)
You can read my story (HERE) – but in a nut shell: after High School, I kept eating the same way I did as when I was a Varsity Swimmer in High School. My weight slowly crept up, I wasn’t being healthy and I wasn’t making good life choices. I made a promise to myself that I was going to find my health and get my life on track. I started eating right, got active, and have never looked back. I lost 35 pounds at one point but have put on a few of those pounds from building more muscle!

2 – What inspired you to take action and make this incredible change?
Finally being aware of how unhealthy I was in my life. I was taking care of myself or my body. I realize it was the only one I’d ever have and I had to make these changes.

3 – Did you find it difficult to stay on track during the process?
Yes and No. It was such a journey, and still is. Some days I just wanted to sit and do nothing, and eat whatever I wanted (and sometimes I do that, I just have cravings for different, healthy, foods these days). The hardest part was getting support from friends and family. Not everyone understood why I was doing this and didn’t seem to want to recognize that I had this new passion of health and fitness. Theyd try to get me to eat things I was trying to stay away from or just didn’t want to eat anymore. But I stuck to my guns and prevailed. I focused on what I wanted for myself in the long run.

4 – What helped you stick with it and not give up? Because I know it can get tough.
Again, as I’ve mentioned – this is the only body I have. We recently went through the loss of my Mother in Law (who was in her 40 when she passed away). Life is too short. We don’t know how long we’re going to be here. But what I DO know is that we can choose how to live our lives; healthy or unhealthy, fit or lazy. Its up to us. The actions we take now can have a big part in how the rest of our lives play out.

5 – Were your friends and family encouraging you during the experience? If so, do you find it helped you stay motivated and kept you going?
I should have read through all of these questions before I answered, huh? As you saw above, it was hard at first (and some days is still hard is someone says “oh this just has a little bit of wheat”…. I haven’t eaten gluten in almost 3 years. My stomach doesn’t like gluten and gluten doesn’t like me… feel free to read my Gluten Freedom story here). I had some friends that were very motivating and my husband (boyfriend at the time) was there for my every step of the way; although I know he’d love me regardless if I was 154 lbs (start weight) or 120ish as I am now. Whenever family or friends are supportive, it is always helpful. But your journey should be YOUR journey. Focus on how awesome YOU are doing. It’s a benefit it you have support from friends and family though!!

6 – What are some of the benefits you got from the whole experience?
I found myself. I found how I’ve supposed to be all along. I have found how strong and fit I can be and AM. I learned how to cook. I learned how to be creative in the kitchen. I’ve learned that I am persistent and will work for what I want and what I think I deserve.

7 – There is so many options for people to lose weight but many are still finding it difficult to achieve. What exactly did you do to lose that weight?
To quote from my blog: It was a complete lifestyle change for me. It was difficult at first, but I started doing little things at a time, and then slowly start implementing other tricks. For example; I first started with the working out. I worked out almost every day, very intensely, and dropped from 154 to 140. Then the weight loss stopped…probably because I was still eating all the junk food I normally ate. Then I started slowly cutting out different types of food. First it was chips, then candy, then ice cream, lots of pasta and breads, etc. (I would take out a few of the ‘bad foods’ every few weeks. it gave my body time to go through the ‘withdrawal’ and get used to living without them). The food was definitely the hardest, but realizing how much better I felt eating more fruits, veggies, proteins and good carbs, I didn’t want to go back! Once I got the workouts and food on track, the weight just kept coming off (remember, i lost all of the weight in about 3 years; VERY slow and gradual.
My workouts now consist of Insanity of Insanity, T25 or Taebo  6 days a week, always at 5:15am before work. Some videos are only 40 minutes, some are an hour. A few times a month I enjoy getting in a good run, as well. I know I don’t have to work out every day, but ive gotten so used to it that its just a part of my daily routine! It gets me energized and my endorphin’s flowing for the day. I switch off with Insanity & Taebo videos, and incorporate running or elliptical because the the changes in work outs allow your body to be ‘shocked’ with switching things up!. Within these workouts, I use my own body weight so I can create the long lean muscle instead of bulking, which is really important to me. 

8 – If you were able to go back in time before you made the change what advice would you give yourself?
“Don’t obsess over the number on the scale. Your body is your body. EveryBODY is different.”
I know I let my weight loss take over my life at times and I would not wish that on anybody. Even though I only lost ~30 lbs, it was a huge change; physically and mentally. People that haven’t lost weight, or who aren’t trying to become healthier, don’t understand what people who lose weight go through. My workouts, body image, foods, daily caloric intake, was on my brain quite often… and I know it affected family/friend relationships at some point or another. Thankfully, it’s in the past and I have overcome those issues and am such a stronger, and happier, person.

9 – Do you have any advice for those who don’t know how to get started?
You only have this one body. Make a goal. Make a promise to yourself. Do you want to live a long, happy, healthy life? Make the changes to allow that to happen. It is SO worth it. You are SO worth it.

10 – You have an inspiring story! Is there any way for people to follow you? Perhaps a blog?
Twitter: Anna_HLM

Please email it to me at [email protected]

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