Sharing our Successes…Meet Cindy!

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I want to start a new series of posts for you about real life success stories of those who have made changes towards living a healthier lifestyle.

For the first success story, I’m featuring a friend I met online named Cindy. I know that after reading her story and seeing her incredible before and after pictures, you’ll be inspired and motivated as I was.

Without further ado, meet CINDY! 🙂

Background Info:
Tell us a little bit about

I am a wife
and homeschool mom of four kids: my daughter is 8, and my sons are ages 6, 5,
and 3. Before having children, I worked in TV news (first as an assignment
editor, then as a newscast producer). I left TV and went to work for the
Australian Embassy in DC for four years, as a Public Affairs Officer. More
recently, I became a TRX instructor at my gym and hope to inspire others to become
fit and healthy.

I have always
wanted to adopt, so after we had two biological children, my husband and I
started the process to adopt a child from Taiwan. We adopted our third child
from Taiwan in 2009; about a year later, our agency contacted us to tell us our
son had a biological baby brother placed for adoption at the same orphanage. We
returned to Taiwan in 2011 and brought him home to join our family.
Your Story:
-How long have you been on this
I have been
overweight for as long as I can remember. Over the years, I have tried pretty
much every diet plan. I have counted calories and points; done the high
protein/low carbs; eaten only soup and exercised like crazy. I would typically
lose weight but as soon as I stopped “dieting” the weight would return, plus a
few pounds.

-What was the turning point for you? (What made you decide it was time to get
I saw a photo
of myself taken in June 2011, when we met our youngest son in Taiwan. Usually,
if someone was taking a photo of me, I could stand a certain way or make it so
you could only see my face in the photo. But this photo was a candid and I was
shocked when I saw it, at just how big I had gotten. I always thought I
“carried my weight well” but this photo said otherwise.


Pounds/Inches lost?
My highest
non-pregnancy weight topped out at about 186.  
 I weighed in at 140 last summer.
I now weigh 146. I have been working on lifting weights, so I expect to gain a
few pounds but the number on the scale doesn’t matter to me as much now,
because my personal trainer measures my body fat each month – that gives me a
better perspective on my body composition that the scale. Since he started
measuring it a year ago, I have lost about 9% body fat (I had already lost
about 30 lbs before he measured my body fat the first time. In the last year, I
have worked to build muscle and reduce body fat.)
Inches lost –
I have lost 8-9 inches from my waist; about 10 inches off my hips; 5-6 inches
off my bust/chest area – yes, I have dropped several bra sizes.

-Clothing size difference?
At my highest
weight, I was wearing sizes 14 and 16. I now wear a size 4 in most clothes;
occasionally a size 2 or a size 6 depending on the brand and the style. I have
always had a range of clothing sizes in my closet from when I would lose and
gain weight in the past – anywhere from a sizes 10 to 16. I have a size 8 dress
I bought on clearance that I hoped to wear one day – it’s too big now. I’m in
the process of clearing out my closet because I am not worried about gaining
back the weight this time.

-Any other medical stats that changed such as cholesterol, blood pressure,
blood sugar, etc.
I had a
check-up last year, and while I have always been pretty healthy, all of my
numbers showed a major improvement from the last time my cholesterol/blood
pressure was checked. I recently checked my “heart age” on this website: – it put my “heart age” 13 years younger than my
current age.

-Your blog/website/instagram account:

-How did you get started? What was the first change that you made?
In January
2012, I started by setting a goal to get to the gym 3x a week. Once I was on
track with that goal, I started setting new goals each month (for instance, try
a new class at the gym, learn to jump rope, complete a push-up challenge,
sign-up and train for a race, etc). I didn’t make any changes to my diet/food
at that point – only tracked calories. In 2013, I started following a program
called Atomic Weight Loss. Through that program, I have re-learned how to eat.
I follow my personal nutrient plan and eat probably twice as much as I was
eating when I was “dieting.”

-What is your workout routine/schedule like?
I typically
participate in 3-4 group exercises each week, usually Boot camp and TRX
classes. I lift weights 3-4 times a week, and also try to run 2-3 times during
the week when I am training for a race. I just returned to running last spring
and will be running my first 10K at the end of March.

-What eating plan or food choices do you follow?

Atomic Weight
Loss –
I eat
according to my personal Atomic Weight Loss plan, which includes the amount of
protein, fiber, carbs and fat I should be eating each day. I don’t count
calories any more, rather I focus solely on nutrients instead.

-What helped
you the most on this journey to be successful?
I have been
successful at losing weight in the past; the nutrition has been huge for me –
and the reason why this time around, I have been so successful. I finally
understand how my body processes food; I try to “eat clean” most of the time.
This has become a complete lifestyle change for me – but I had to do it in
small steps. If I had tried to do it all at once, it would have been too

-What words of advice do you have to give those who are ready to get started?
 Set small goals
that are measurable and attainable. Maybe set a goal for a week or a month.
Stick with making small changes one at a time.

-What words of advice do you have for those who think they will never be able
to turn things around in regards to their health or that may be discouraged?
4:13: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

You must
change your mind set. One day at a time. One step at a time. Capture those
negative thoughts and tell yourself the truth: You are more than just a number
on the scale. You are stronger than you think. You are created in the image of
God, to glorify Him. I would never say to someone else what the little “voices”
in my head used to say to me. It’s going to take time to reach your goals, but
it is worth it and you can do it.

-How do you make time for fitness/healthy eating in an already busy schedule?

gym/working out is part of my daily schedule. I mark my workouts on my calendar
like an appointment, so I don’t overbook myself. I have learned to say ‘no’ and
limit extra activities in our schedule. I participate in online Bible studies
that allow me to stay on track with the kids’ school work during the day. And I
do my grocery shopping and other errands in the evening when my husband is

-Any other
info you would like to share?

I had a bad accident in college where I fell about 20 feet
from a lift while videotaping a football game. Because of my injuries, every
doctor since then has told me running is bad for my lower back. I have suffered
from back pain for the last 15+ years. I let that be an excuse for why I
couldn’t work out and why I had such a hard time losing weight. But by God’s
mercy and healing, I have been able to get back into running – I ran two 5K’s
last year and an 8K, and will be running my first 10K later this month. When I
run now, I praise God because He has given me the ability to run and I love
that time where I can listen to praise music and mentally list all the
blessings for which I am grateful.

I will celebrate my 40th birthday this year and
feel healthier than I did at age 30.

Check out these awesome before and after shots!

Wow, huh?!?!?

Friends, YOU can do this. Use her story as your motivation and encouragement today. And head over to her page and show her some love 😉 So proud to know you, Cindy!

If you’ve got a Success Story that you’d like to see featured here, please email me.

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