“I was tired of being tired,” says Tiffany Kessler, referring to the time in her life when she weighed 330 pounds at 36 years old. As a mother of two, including a daughter with cerebral palsy and developmental delays, she didn’t have energy left in the tank to take care of herself. She says she had reached a weight she never thought she’d see.
“I felt terrible and literally would hide from the world. I was in such a depression,” she says. After putting her kids on the bus, she would close the blinds and then eat and sleep throughout the day. “It was like I lost myself.”
Kessler, now 45, says just getting out of bed was a struggle, and her body constantly hurt. But the real wake-up call came during a doctor’s visit in 2012. “My blood pressure was so high, the doctor recommended I go on medication,” says Kessler. She remembers the nurse telling her once she started taking it, she would probably have to take it for the rest of her life. “Those words rang in my head. I knew my high blood pressure was due to my weight; in other words, it was under my control. I left without the medication.”
Around the same time, Kessler’s son was playing football and was excited to have dropped 20 pounds. “My son came home from football practice and was so amped up,” she says. That moment helped her realize she needed to set a goal of her own. “I went outside and walked to the end of my block and back. It was like I was coming out of a cocoon or something. That little walk was the beginning of a new me.”
Kessler began using MyFitnessPal about one month into her journey. She used the app to scan barcodes at the grocery store and tracked everything she ate, targeting a goal of 1,600 calories per day. She stopped drinking soda and swapped out cheese and pizza for more nutritious foods like tuna, chicken breast and salads. Kessler lost 50 pounds in four and a half months, but she wasn’t done. Her new diet, combined with walking, contributed to a 140-pound weight loss over 18 months.
CLICK TO TWEET THIS ARTICLE > With help from @myfitnesspal, Tiffany tracked calories and walked her way to a 140-pound weight loss in 18 months. #myfitnesspal
Kessler has maintained her weight loss through a lifestyle of exercise and healthy eating that focuses on protein and produce. She eats eggs and oats for breakfast every day, and then aims to eat a big green salad with protein like chicken for either lunch or dinner. She also fell in love with lifting weights and strength-training is a big part of her exercise regimen — but she still enjoys walking, especially outside, and often goes hiking on recovery days. She even became a certified personal trainer and nutritionist to help others who struggled like she did.
“I never went into this thinking I’d be a trainer,” she says. “I was just miserable and wanted to feel good.” Kessler went through ups and downs, working to find balance and a routine. Now, she and her husband hit the gym at 5 a.m. each day, and she continues to enter foods into MyFitnessPal to hold herself accountable. She encourages others to be a little selfish and take care of themselves, because when you become healthier, you become a better version of yourself in every aspect of life.
“Don’t give up on yourself,” says Kessler. “We get inspired by seeing the end result, but the journey is hard. There will be bumps in the road. That’s part of learning, so be patient with yourself and keep going.”
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