If you’d have met Grace Goodman just a couple years ago, you would have encountered a completely different person than who she is today. In a matter of months, Grace has managed to completely transform herself from the inside out, and not just from a physical standpoint, but from an emotional and mental standpoint as well.
Grace, who is 25 and lives in Overland Park, Kansas, spends her days working as a social media and marketing specialist. But when she’s not at the office, her life revolves around another love and passion: her personal health and fitness.
Growing up, Grace was seemingly always off and on a diet and had been overweight her entire life. “Ever since I was little, it felt like someone was putting me on a diet,” she said. And she continued to struggle with her weight through college, trying different programs a few times but never quite sticking to it.
She reached a low point when she weighed 290 pounds at the age of 22. Grace was suffering from many health issues and wanted a way out. And she thought that the solution was Lap-Band surgery.
But after consulting her doctor about the procedure, she not only found out that it wasn’t covered by insurance, putting it out of reach financially, but also that she was so young that healthy eating and exercise were a better alternative to achieving her healthy weight.
Grace said something clicked and she left the doctor that day with a new attitude and perspective, admitting that no one had ever told her she was capable of getting healthy through diet and exercise alone.
So instead of Lap-Band, Grace joined Weight Watchers and truly committed herself to the program, believing in herself for perhaps the first time ever. And to help reach her goals, she was also paired with a trainer – Chris Hemmen of Prairie Life Fitness – who was a major motivator and support throughout her weight loss journey.
Grace said the pounds started coming off consistently in the beginning- 1-2 pounds per week, and she couldn’t have been more thrilled. She’s now at 174 pounds and says a new perspective made all the difference compared to her previous attempts at losing weight.
“I really tried to focus on taking it day by day instead of looking at the bigger picture,” said Grace. “I focused on the smaller goal first – losing 5 percent of my body weight or those 5 pound increments – and started living my life this way.”
Once she was on track with her diet, Grace began increasing her workouts from 30-minute sessions 3 times a week, to 5-6 days, and eventually started a 5K training program that she followed up to the point of the race. She completed her 5K in 38 minutes, and one year to the day later, Grace completed her first half marathon.
“It was a really unbelievable experience,” said Grace. “I really wanted to quit at about mile 8, but my friends and family were out there rooting for me so it kept me going. And I just kept thinking about me before I lost the weight.”
Grace finished the race in 2:38, and although she was shooting for 2:20, she was incredibly proud of her efforts and couldn’t believe what her body was capable of when she pushed it.
In addition to completing races and meeting personal goals, one of the greatest parts of Grace’s weight loss has been the health benefits she’s encountered. Several months into her journey, various tests revealed that all of the symptoms she was experiencing before – including an unexplained rushed heart rate – were 100 percent weight related. Grace said that was a very eye opening moment for her as she’d previously thought medical measures, like Lap-Band, were the only steps she could take to getting healthier.
Today, Grace is a whole new person, and she blogs all about her journey to health at her blog, FromFattyTo.com. She says that she knows the deepest, darkest places of being overweight, and that even in the short six weeks she’s been blogging, she’s had tons of people reach out to her and seek support, or simply let her know that she’s the reason they joined Weight Watchers and started their own pursuit of health.
“I’ve never experienced this kind of happiness in my life,” she said. “Just feeling healthy is something I’d never known before. That’s why I started my blog, because I can relate to a lot of people.”
In addition to sticking to her CrossFit regimen and continuing to build up her running speed and endurance, Grace has some big goals on the horizon, including another half marathon in Kansas City this October. But her main focus is to reach her goal weight of 150 pounds by August - her two year anniversary of joining Weight Watchers – and then eventually become a Weight Watchers coach herself to help others find health just like she did.
When asked if she had any advice or encouragement for those struggling with their weight, Grace had this to say: “I’m always asked if I wish that I was just born this way, and I’d never really thought about that before. But I’ve learned more on this journey about what I’m capable of than anything in life would teach me. Losing this much weight has taught me that I can do whatever I want. If I want something, I go out and get it. I wouldn’t change the way my life was set up for anything.”
To follow Grace’s amazing story of transformation, follow her blog and reach out to her as she loves hearing from readers and fellow health seekers. Great job, Grace! We’re proud of you, and you’re an inspiration to us all.
April 24th, 2012