A few months ago, Taryn Haley-Denton happened to see one of our weight loss rock stars, Eli Sapharti, do a shout out on Facebook, asking for people who had lost at least 50 pounds to raise their hands if they wanted to be featured for our True Weight Loss (TWLS) segment. Taryn, contacted us immediately. After losing 135 pounds in 2 years, it’s easy to see why.
Usually our TWLS participants can pinpoint one instance that made them want to get serious about weight loss, but for Taryn, there wasn’t one specific catalyst, “I wish I could say I had some romantic moment where I had the whip cream can in my mouth and heard a divine voice say, ‘Taryn, this is not the life for you,’ she explained. “Mainly the reason I started getting healthy is, well, that’s what you do when you’re heavy – you think about losing weight and being thin, yet never really think you will.”
But she did! Spurred on by the thought of looking better, feeling healthy, and conceiving a future child, Taryn made a complete lifestyle change. “Theoretically, it was very simple,” she said. “I ate less, ate healthy, and exercised more. No secret pill, specific diet plan or premade meals.”
I modified my diet, that’s all.
By restricting her intake to a minimal amount of fast food, processed foods, refined flour sugar and grain, Taryn began to lose 10 pounds per month. “I eat five to six small meals per day that include a wide variety of vegetables (I dress them up with different spices and sauces), and lean protein (chicken, fish, turkey, egg whites, greek yogurt, and cottage cheese).”
Cardio is key to Taryn’s weight loss
Taryn works out six times a week and tries to switch up her cardio activity. She prefers running, but she also includes the stairmaster, elliptical machine, Zumba and free weights to her workout regimen.
Struggling with the food relationship
Like many people trying to lose weight, the love/hate relationship with food can be a constant distraction. Taryn relates to that issue saying, ” At this time I am managing my relationship with food and the anxiety that comes with it, better than ever, but that has come through a lot of self-reflection and work.”
The biggest reason I fell in love with running is that, for me, it comes down to competing with myself.
Taryn says she’s still shocked that she can consistently run 5 miles per day considering two years ago, she couldn’t run at all. She admits it’s her favorite activity because she can see her hard work manifest itself in a faster mile/minute or a further distance. She now has 16 road races under her belt, and she’s preparing for her first half-marathon.
Advice she’d give to others?
“Understand that no one who has lost a significant amount of weight has achieved that result by being 100% perfect all the time. In my weight loss journey, I’ve skipped workouts, eaten too much, or indulged when I should have refrained. You will stumble, several times, but as long as you continue to work towards your goals, make continued little healthy changes every day, be patient with yourself, and keep your end goals in mind, you will succeed!”
Taryn created the Facebook page, Fit Love, to chronicle her weight loss and motivates others.