Gordon Family YMCA
Every birthday since she was 5 years old, Kristina would blow out her candles and make the same wish: to be at a healthy weight. Kristina struggled with her weight her whole life, trying gym after gym. When that failed, she started looking into weight loss surgeries.
“I was looking for an easy way out,” Kristina says. “When I was shot down by everything, I realized I would have to do this on my own.” Kristina didn't like looking at photos of herself, but she knew she needed to give herself motivation to change, so she kicked off her journey by taking a head-to-toe photo. “I told myself that this would be the last time I would look at myself like that."
Kristina began slowly at the Y, taking water aerobics classes. She made friends in her class and over time, she started to see a change. After a year and half of working and sometimes stumbling, she has lost over 100 pounds. Kristina credits her weight loss to her daily drive to keep showing up, but also to the people she's met at the Y and the variety of exercise options and support the Y offers.
“I also noticed that when I wouldn’t come in, I would gain the weight back, and it made me realize why I was doing this in the first place.” Whenever she hit a setback, she told herself: "It’s a long journey—don’t make it longer by giving up."
Kristina has seen her life change for the better. “Before I lost the weight, I didn’t see myself for who I was, I saw myself as the weight that was holding me back,” she says. “I was afraid to talk to people because I was embarrassed. But the more fit I became, the more outgoing I would become. Every time I would leave the gym, it would lift me up and encourage me to eat better throughout the day. It’s made me more aware of what I feed my kids.”
Now at her end weight, Kristina wants to help others. She remembers how it felt to be an overweight child and wants to work to end early childhood obesity, helping children get the support they need to gain their health back, just as she reclaimed hers.