Name: Kristy Thacker
Occupation: Social Media Manager for Sportsman's Adventures Productions
"If you fall down, you have to get up. Just because you ate 2 oreos, doesn’t mean you have to eat the whole bag." -Kristy
It took Kristy a long time to become mentally ready for the dramatic physical change you see above, to be the kind of person with the wisdom quoted above, and truly master the patience and perseverance needed to lose over 100lbs. Her story is compelling for many reasons, one reason being that she did fall down. She fell so hard that at one point she gained back 60 of the 80lbs she had worked so hard to lose. Ouch.
"It's a marathon" she told me. And she meant this literally and figuratively.
I met Kristy three years ago when she walked into the CrossFit gym where I was coaching at the time. I remember sitting on the curb with her after her first workout. She couldn't run 100 meters without stopping to walk. I could tell she was upset, fed up is more like it. "I'm sick of being like this" she told me. And she meant it. For the first time in her life, she realized that she wanted to change her weight for herself, not for anyone else.
Over the course of the next three years, Kristy learned how to change her lifestyle, set goals, and most importantly, how to get up after a fall. The same woman that once struggled to run 100 meters complete a half marathon last weekend. In the interview below you won't find any "secret weight loss tricks", but you will find honesty, reality, and hopefully motivation to find the strength and patience to conquer your goals like Kristy has.
At what age do you remember first thinking that you needed to lose weight?
I remember being made fun of for my weight as early as Kindergarten. But I think the notion that I needed to lose weight was drilled into my head when I was 8 -- my first summer at fat camp! Literally, I went to fat camp... when I was 8!!
What types of diets did you try that did not work? Why do you think these diets did not work?
I've tried everything from Weight Watchers to Nutri-system to Herbalife. I think these diets failed because after a few months I would get sick of eating cardboard and counting calories, and I would go back to my old eating habits. And I also think I would get bored easily because I was looking for a quick fix to my weight problem.
Explain the difference, from your perspective, between a “fad diet/exercise ” and a “lifestyle diet/exercise”.
In my opinion, fad diets are generally short term and deprive you of certain nutritional elements. Whether it's limiting your calories so that you're basically starving yourself, or cutting out fat, or drinking some special shake filled with caffeine that burns fat, fad diets are not meant to be long term. A lifestyle diet is long term. Put the calculators away, stop counting calories and just learn to make healthier choices. Find an exercise routine that fits your life. Walking on a treadmill for an hour didn't do it for me. I needed something challenging.
How did you come to the conclusion that you needed a lifestyle change?
After yo-yo dieting for so long, I reached my highest weight ever and it made me sick. I saw a picture of myself and something inside of me just clicked and said it's time to make a change.
Why did you choose CrossFit?
I don't think I chose Crossfit, I'm pretty sure Crossfit came and hunted me down. Leaving work one day I literally saw a sign for SFCF with an arrow pointing toward the gym and a phone number. I called, agreed to try it, and the rest is history. I do Crossfit for the challenging workouts, for the community environment it provides and because it works.
What were the first dietary changes you made?
On my first day at Crossfit, Fernando (SF CrossFit owner) said he wanted me to try the Paleo Diet. He told me to go buy a book called Primal Blueprint. I did, I read it in one sitting and the next day my diet consisted of fruit, veggies, nuts and meat.
What motivated you during those first 90 days of CrossFit?
My coaches motivated me. Seeing the number on the scale go down motivated me. The support I got from fellow gym members motivated me.
What was the hardest part of the first 90 days?
The hardest part of the first 90 days was not being able to physically do things in the gym because of my size. It was embarrassing, but at the same time that motivated me even more.
Aside from being 80lbs lighter, what were some of the most dramatic changes that you noticed in your life at the 90 day mark?
My whole attitude and outlook on life changed. I was excited about the future and reaching my goals, and overall I was just happy!
Explain the “falling off the wagon” phase… how you got off track, how much weight you gained back, how you lost control, how you got back on track, etc.
I fell off the wagon when my grandmother died. It was just a dark time for me since she and I were so close. I went back to my old habit of being an emotional eater. I basically ate my way through the grieving period. I gained about 60 pounds in 7 months. I got on the scale one day and when I saw the number I was so angry at myself for letting myself get back there. I made a decision in that moment to get back on track. I literally took a garbage bag and emptied my refrigerator and cabinets of any junk food. Once I got my diet back on course, I made my triumphant return to Crossfit.
What did you learn from that experience?
I learned that sometimes I'm going to go off course and sometimes I'm going to fall down. But no matter what, I've got to get back up and keep going. I found this quote and have it taped to my mirror as a daily reminder: "Never let a stumble in the road be the end of a journey."
How do you prevent yourself from falling off the wagon again? Is it possible?
I've been back on the wagon for 2 years now and it's been such a learning process. I've figured out what works for me and what doesn't. I prepare my meals ahead of time and I plan my when cheat meals will be in advance. I put my daily exercise times in my calendar ahead of time so I don't make excuses for myself. When I have everything planned out, I stay on course. It's definitely possible to stay on the wagon forever. I just have to choose to stay there by making healthy decisions on a daily basis.
What are your goals after the half marathon? Clearly I'll have to add a full marathon to my resume!
What is the best advice you can give someone who is at the beginning of their weight loss journey?
Work out hard, eat clean, be patient and don't make excuses.
If you could to talk to the 13 year old version of yourself today, what would you say to her?
I would tell her that it gets better. That she is worthy of love and happiness. And not to take life so seriously, have a little fun.
Thoughts after completing your first Half Marathon?
I'm sore and blistered, but I'm already calculating when I should plan my full marathon. There's no feeling like the one I had crossing the finish line Saturday. I want more!!
As our Fashlete of the Month, Kristy is receiving a customized sterling silver inspirational charm with the words of her choice. "Keep Going" is Kristy's mantra these days and also great advice.
Kristy, we are so proud to officially welcome you to the Fashletics family! You've got your sights set on a full Marathon now, and even though you are always looking ahead to the next challenge, we want to thank you for taking the time to look back on your journey.
Check out Kristy's stats below to get an idea of her progress and training. Impressive stuff!