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‘I Lost More Than 100 Pounds—And I Still Eat Ice Cream’

Women's Health logo Women's Health 1/11/2019 Kristina Schneider as told to Emily Shiffer

a person standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Kristina Schneider started WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) in 2009, and she lost 100 pounds on the program. Here's how. © Kristina Schneider Kristina Schneider started WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) in 2009, and she lost 100 pounds on the program. Here's how. Basketball helped me stay fit throughout middle and high school, but I gained weight quickly when I stopped playing in college. I gained the "freshman 50" instead of the "freshman 15." Then, I gained 50 more pounds my sophomore year.

I spent the rest of my twenties yo-yo dieting and trying to lose weight, but nothing worked. At 28, I was the heaviest I had ever been: 302 pounds.

It hit me at my 10-year high school reunion: I was the heaviest girl there, and I felt embarrassed.

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A post shared by Kristina K ❤️ WW Ambassador (@healthyhapachick) on Jan 7, 2019 at 9:44pm PST

I was an athlete and I hadn't seen many of my classmates for 10 years, so this reunion was a life-changing moment for me. I left the reunion early, which was even more depressing since I helped plan it.

Then and there, I vowed that I'd look and feel better in my thirties than I did in my twenties. I joined WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) shortly after. It was my second time doing the plan: I tried it years before during my yo-yo dieting phase, but I didn't stick with it. The first time I tried WW, I approached it as a diet. This time, I approached it as a full-on lifestyle change.

For me, the best thing about WW is that nothing is off-limits.

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A post shared by Kristina K ❤️ WW Ambassador (@healthyhapachick) on Jan 2, 2019 at 4:15pm PST

At first, I simply limited the amount of food I was eating. I realized through WW that I was eating far more food than one person needs. I made the switch easier on myself by using smaller plates, packing less food for lunch, and immediately putting half an entree in a takeaway box at restaurants.

I also started cooking. I expanded my palette to learn to love fresh, unprocessed foods-veggies, in particular. I hated most vegetables for most of my life, but I realized that food preparation was a big part of that. The moment someone introduced me to grilled zucchini, I realized that I needed to do some exploring! Now, I regularly roast Brussels sprouts and butternut squash, and zucchini noodles and cauliflower rice are regular dinner menu items.

Here's what I typically eat in a day:

  • Breakfast: A piece of sourdough wheat toast with guacamole, two eggs, and some Trader Joe's 'Everything But The Bagel' seasoning.
  • Lunch: Homemade salad with spring mix, cucumbers, pepperoncinis, kalamata olives, reduced fat feta cheese, artichoke hearts, protein (either grilled shrimp or chicken breast), and light balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  • Snacks: Strawberries and bananas, dip made from lentils, bruschetta, or fat-free feta cheese with rosemary basil flatbread crackers
  • Dinner: Shredded chicken enchilada casserole with fat-free refried beans, corn on the cob, roasted cauliflower, and salsa.
  • Dessert: A scoop of mint chip ice cream or a mochi ice cream (just a few nights a week).

WW also taught me that I didn't have to go crazy with exercise to lose weight.

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A post shared by Kristina K ❤️ WW Ambassador (@healthyhapachick) on Nov 26, 2018 at 11:16pm PST

In the past, when I would decide to diet and exercise, I would try to go all out with my exercise routine. I felt like I had to work out three to five times a week in order to see results.

Thanks to my WW workshops though, I learned that I shouldn't dread activity, and I didn't even need to go to the gym! I found friends who also wanted to be more active, and we'd walk together at first.

Soon, walking became running. Then, running became a 5K, a 10K and a half marathon race. I’ve also started to explore other types of activity, including kickboxing, barre, and weight lifting. Exercise is part of my life now that I found activities I love.

I've lost 102 pounds, and I can see myself following this program for the rest of my life.

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A post shared by Kristina K ❤️ WW Ambassador (@healthyhapachick) on Nov 6, 2018 at 5:03am PST

My weight loss journey has not been quick. It's been 10 years since my 10-year high school reunion-and it took that amount of time to lose the 102 pounds.

Now that I'm at a more comfortable weight, my focus has become less about weight loss and more about being healthy and strong, especially now that I've incorporated strength training into my routine.

I also want other women to know that weight loss isn't an end-all, be-all for being happy. I used to think that losing the weight would make me happy and make me love myself, but that's not the case-learning to love yourself comes from within, not an external change.

But I am so ready for my next reunion.

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