Think you need tons of time and money to lose weight? Krissinda Amantea, a 37-year-old single mother of two, is living proof that you can transform your body for free!
Krissinda's motivation came one day while standing in front of the mirror, completely naked. "The nakedness in front of me was beyond physical — I found myself emotionally naked as well," Krissinda told POPSUGAR. "I realised that I did not like my reflection in the mirror. Not because of the beauty standard imposed by the media and society, but because that reflection was not the image that I had for myself internally."
The emotional burden of being 257 pounds (18 stone, 3 pounds) was just too much, and that moment changed everything. Krissinda said, "It was an epiphany. I cannot label the feelings that I experienced at that moment. You can call them rage, determination, desire to prove some things to me, desire to prove other people wrong, inspiration, revenge, love. It was a spark that ignited a fire of determination."
Krissinda in 2009.
She first began educating herself, learning about portion sizes and starting with the points plan from Weight Watchers. "It had taught me things like, 'Do I really want to waste eight out of my 21 total points for the day on a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast?'" She read articles and looked on websites for tips on clean eating and was determined to make a lifestyle change.
In 2012, Krissinda made losing weight her New Year's resolution and joined a gym with her nephew, who wanted to help her lose weight. Even after he stopped going, she kept it up. She started working with a down-to-earth personal trainer who had a great sense of humour, who made working out fun. One of the most important things she learned from working with him was that "he believed in me and encouraged me to say 'I can.'"
Unfortunately, after a year, Krissinda could no longer afford the pricey gym membership and personal trainer, but that didn't stop her! "I started working out at home; I came across workout videos on YouTube of Laura London Fitness and POPSUGAR Fitness. At first I thought they would be too hard for me to do, but the more I worked out, the more I was able to do. I have been working out from home for at least four years and haven't been to the gym since."
Aside from working out regularly three to four times a week, Krissinda also changed her diet, gearing it more toward clean eating. "I cut out a lot of sugary, fatty foods. I stopped eating junk food, fast food, and fried foods. I am always aware of what I put into my body."
Krissinda dropped 92 pounds (6 stone, 5 pounds) in four years. Her doctor said losing weight slowly is the best way to ensure she'll keep it off, and she has! She was a size 22 and is now between a four and a six, and she said, "I had shed physical as well as emotional weight." She loves when she bumps into people who used to know her "old self" and they compliment her on her transformation. And when old friends make encouraging comments on social media, Krissinda says it's a reassurance that the reflection she sees in the mirror is finally the one she wanted to see four years ago.
But beyond the numbers on the scale, Krissinda said, "the most important thing cannot be measured in numbers. The most important thing is that the flare of determination that sparked my transformation gave me the confidence to expand that determination in other areas of my life and claim other victories in my professional and family life."
Krissinda keeps her fiery inspiration alive by continuing to read articles and watch YouTube videos. She said, "Other people's stories inspire me on a daily basis." She also says that looking at old photos of herself, and realising how far she's come, motivates her to keep going, knowing that spark inside her is still burning strong. So don't throw away those older pictures of yourself, even if you hate them!
Here's what a typical day of eating look like:
"Sunday is meal prep day! I prepare food for the whole workweek. I make overnight oats for breakfast. Lunch depends on what I'm in the mood for! I sometimes will do meatless meals, or sometimes include meat. If I'm feeling meatless, I will make a big batch of riced cauliflower, roasted sweet potatoes, and sautéed brussels sprouts with tomatoes and mushrooms, or portobello mushrooms stuffed with spinach, tomatoes, and garlic. If I want meat, I will include grilled chicken, or baked turkey meatballs. I usually eat an apple every day with my lunch as well.
"Dinner depends on what I ate for lunch that day and if I'm working out or not after I come home. Sometimes I will just simply make avocado toast with Ezekiel bread and hemp hearts. If I want pasta, I will make some Banza chickpea pasta with my homemade sauce."
If you're trying to lose weight, Krissinda says it's all about changing your mindset. "Once you have it in your mind that you want to make a change, you can do it!" And remember that "any progress is better than no progress at all! You may get frustrated when you hit a plateau, which at some point we all do. However, don't let it deter you from your goal. You will get there!"
Krissinda added, "One of my mottos became 'I can and I will. End of story!' I have been saying that for the last three years now. I had gotten that saying as a tattoo to remind myself even on my worst days that I can do anything I set my mind to!" Even her Instagram account, Small_changes_go_a_long_way, reflects that. If this single mom of two teenagers can lose the weight and keep it off, so can you! It's time to make YOU a priority.