Five months ago, Chrissy weighed over 500 pounds, and worried she would not live to see her 35th birthday. Wanting to save her life, wanting a future, she started out on this life changing journey. Chrissy was suffering from several health issues including fatty liver, elevated fasting blood sugar, elevated fasting insulin, and was pre-diabetic. Her blood test results showed high levels of cholesterol and she was at high risk for heart disease. Along with that, she had a vitamin D deficiency and elevated testosterone levels, which suggests that she could have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Not to mention the pain throughout her body every day from carrying the extra weight. Chrissy was sick and tired of her weight holding her back and living in a world she felt she did not fit into anymore.
Chrissy has now been at PFC for 4 of her 6 month stay, a gift presented to her as a guest on ‘the Doctors’ TV Show on CBS. In just 4 short months Chrissy has lost nearly 100 pounds! But, the greatest transformation has been on the inside, which gives us confidence her journey to optimal health will continue far beyond her time at PFC. With that in mind, I wanted to check in with her to get more insight so I sat down with Chrissy to ask a few questions and here’s what she had to say:
Did you have any fears coming into this? If so, what were they?
Chrissy: I had lots of fears! Would I be able to keep up? How hard would it be? Would I fit in? Almost like starting school all over again, haha!
Have those fears been settled after being here for 4 months?
Chrissy: After the first few weeks and getting settled in this place became like a second home for me. Everyone, from campers to trainers and staff, have been so kind and accommodating. I’ve met some of my best friends here at camp! The atmosphere is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. It sounds cheesy, but magic really does happen inside these walls.
What have been some key moments along the way for you? Aha moments that will stick with you forever?
Chrissy: One of the biggest moments here was the first time I made it to the top of our Double Peaks hike. It was a goal I’d set for myself since the beginning and I managed to reach the top weeks before my scheduled date. It was in that moment I realized how far I’d come and how badly I wanted this lifestyle change. I wanted to be able to complete something that looked impossible. Now I know that nothing is truly impossible, it just takes a lot of hard work, dedication and the awesome support of those around you.
What has brought you the most joy during your stay at PFC?
Chrissy: The people I’ve met along the way have brought me the most joy. Without these relationships I’m not sure I’d have come as far as I have so quickly – Especially being away from my support network back home. Seeing my results is another big source of joy and pride too. Watching the hard work pay off is just a reminder that I’m doing the best I can and it’s working!
What has been your main motivation to keep going through this process?
Chrissy: My biggest motivation to continue with this process is that the lifestyle being promoted here is one I truly want to live by. A healthy lifestyle isn’t about being perfect, but finding balance in all that we do. It’s not just about diet or exercise, but getting your head right and taking what we learn here and applying it to the real world. Every time I make good choices and conquer another task it reminds me that I’m doing the right thing and becoming the kind of person I’ve always wanted to be! This is a huge investment for every single individual here and I’m no different. I want to take every opportunity I can to be a healthier, happier, more whole person walking out than I ever could have dreamed when I walked in.
Before coming to PFC, what did being “healthy” mean to you? Has that definition changed through this process? If so, what does healthy mean to you now?
Chrissy: Before coming here I couldn’t even fathom a reasonable and sustainable healthy lifestyle. Being healthy meant giving up things that you love and sacrificing those joys for the sake of being skinny or fit. This place has changed all of that. Healthy isn’t just a state your body is in, but the state of your mind and soul. For me now, healthy is all about balance. It sounds so simple in theory, but before this I couldn’t fathom enjoying healthy food or exercise. Now, there’s plenty of workouts I look forward to every day…And even those that I don’t enjoy, I’ve learned that discomfort is only temporary and the effort is always worth the pay out!
What is some advice you would give to someone starting off on a weight loss journey?
Chrissy: The best advice I can give is to just start. It’s cliché, but it’s true when people say there is no time like the present. Small changes really do make a big difference in the end. For me, the biggest part of conquering my addiction to food and fear of exercise was to dive head first and reach out for help every time I felt like I was slipping. It’s also imperative to combine the food and exercise with a program for your mind. Our head is often powerful and sometimes tricky, but once we begin healing that along with our bodies, big changes start to happen…And it’s all worth it!!