Growing up, Lisa Martin – a stay at home mother of two living in Oaklawn, Illinois – was never really overweight but she felt like she was. In truth, it wasn’t until college that she started putting on weight, but that slow, gradual gaining pattern snuck up on her. Despite trying a number of diets including Weight Watchers, she was stuck in a body that she felt was not her own.
At her heaviest Lisa weighed 226 pounds, but she never really felt that heavy. Reflecting on how her body has changed over the years, Lisa has only recently held an accurate view of her own shape and weight. “In high school I thought I was fat, yet looking back I wasn’t,” she admitted. “If I only knew back then what I do now.”
Though her weight had begun to leave her inactive and unhappy, a change came when she least expected it. Being a stay at home mom enabled Lisa to begin dabbling in blogging. It all started in 2006 when Lisa lived in Chicago and her family was in Wisconsin and the two wanted to stay in touch without crashing their email servers by sending too many photos back and forth.
“I never thought seven years later I’d still be doing this,” admitted Lisa, who is now active on all four her blogs that serve different purposes in her life: Lisa’s Reviews, which is dedicated to product reviews; Lisa’s Travels, which documents her and her family’s travels; Lisa’s Cooking, which she treats as her own personal, online cookbook; and My Ideas, Thoughts and Ramblings, her most active blog where she earned the opportunity to lose weight with Nutrisystem.
“Sometimes bloggers get opportunities to do things and try products. I was given the chance to try Nutrisystem so I could blog about it and for my own health,” said Lisa. “What I didn’t expect was that I was going to lose 70 pounds.”
Losing Weight with Nutrisystem
In exchange for sample shipments of Nutrisystem products, Lisa began documenting her week-by-week weight loss journey for her readers, family and friends. Though she’s already more than 70 pounds down in just a matter of months, Lisa was skeptical in the beginning that the diet would actually work. “I’d always wondered if the meal plans would work because I’m a picky eater, but I was very surprised to find that I can eat on Nutrisystem and I can find foods that I like,” she said. “And it’s nowhere near as hard as I thought it would be.”
One of the things Lisa has enjoyed most about Nutrisystem is that it takes all of the stress out of dieting since there’s no calorie counting. Every month she simply selects the meals she wants for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert and it’s shipped straight to her door. She also receives snacks and protein shakes, which keep her full between meals.
Not only has Lisa enjoyed blogging because it gave her the opportunity to lose weight, but it also provides accountability. “I know every week that I have to go on there and tell my readers how I’ve done,” said Lisa. “That’s been a huge motivation for me. If I cheated and didn’t do what I was supposed to do everyone would’ve known. I have a whole band of cheerleaders behind me now and I know it.”
In two months Lisa’s blogging contract with Nutrisystem will expire, but she’s at a happy place with her weight now at a slim 155 pounds and she’s looking forward to a fuller, healthier life in her new body. “I’ve had to buy all new clothes and I’m hoping to make the lifestyle change,” she said. “I’ve already been able to incorporate the things I’ve learned when going out or eating with other people. My number one downfall was portion control, which I’ve since learned how to manage.”
To get and stay fit Lisa relied primarily on Zumba, which she does most days of the week. However, she quickly learned you have to be coordinated to do Zumba – a skill she simply wasn’t born with. “I’ve always struggled with coordination and dancing. It’s a work in progress,” she said. “But it’s great that you can burn a whole ton of calories and you can have fun doing it and it doesn’t feel like exercise.”
Lisa also stays active with an smart phone app called Zombies, Runs that simulates zombies chasing you while you run. Terrifying as it sounds, Lisa loves it. Otherwise, she says, running is boring. “It has you run through a workout and zombies are behind you. It’s an $8 app, but it makes exercise silly and fun.”
As for future goals Lisa would love to slim down to 126 pounds, but to avoid getting fixated on the number she’s decided to pick a clothes size instead: A small-medium. Lisa is currently a pant size 14 but she’d love to be size 8 and tone her body a bit more.
Encouragement for Others
For those hoping to make a weight loss-centered New Year’s resolution in 2013 or for those who have struggled with their weight for years, Lisa says don’t give up. “It took me many years to actually think I could do this, and it is attainable. The main things to look at are little changes that make big changes in your life. So instead of getting the white bread pick the whole wheat bread, and get low-fat cheese over full fat.” Lisa also recommends finding an activity that you love to do. “If you hate running, don’t do it,” she said. “Also, have a support system. I’ve found that Facebook is awesome for support. Just let your friends know what you’re doing and they will rally around to support you.”
Be sure to check out Lisa’s and dozens of other True Weight Weight Loss Stories by viewing the slideshow below. And to follow Lisa’s continued weight loss efforts, stop by her blog My Ideas Thoughts and Ramblings where she regularly posts updated photos and thoughts on her progress.