After trying to lose weight since 2010, 34-year-old Christina Baird told POPSUGAR that a doctor's visit in 2015 revealed that she had hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid. Her thyroid wasn't producing enough of the hormone that's responsible for controlling how her body uses energy from food. This is why her metabolism was so slow and she wasn't able to lose weight, even though she was exercising regularly.
With a starting weight of 263 pounds, her doctor recommended she have gastric sleeve surgery to help jump start her weight loss. She had the surgery on Aug. 6, 2015 and started working out four days later. She started slow, walking 45 minutes a day. Eventually, she researched weightlifting, types of cardio, and HIIT, and she joined the YMCA. She now drops her four kids off at school, heads to the gym, and does 45 minutes of weightlifting and 30 minutes of HIIT cardio, five to six days a week, all before going to work.
Christina decided to make herself her number-one priority. She said, "When people ask me where I find time to work out every day, I gave up sitting time, TV time, sleeping in time. It is a part of my life, just like sleeping or eating. It has to become something you have to do."
Christina has lost 107 pounds and says the surgery played a roll in the first 40 pounds, but that healthy habits are what's helped her lose the rest. She follows a ketogenic diet 80 percent of the time, which is focused on healthy fats, protein, and low-carb foods. Christina said, "I chose this because I really just liked the energy I had." If her body is craving carbs, she listens and chooses complex carbs like "sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice, and fruit," and she enjoys a treat on Sunday. Here's what her daily diet looks like:
Breakfast: "Usually breakfast is a protein shake and P3 pack. It's easy to throw in my bag and eat on the go."
Lunch: "Eggs and bacon, or lunch meat, string cheese, and a pickle"
Snack: "Greek yogurt"
Dinner: "Protein and veggies"
Dessert: "Halo Top"
Christina shared, "This for me isn't about being skinny or hitting some magical goal. It really is maintaining healthy living for my life. I want to live a really long time and comfortably if possible! I want my kids to know what balance looks like and know that you can have a treat, but to remember the first bite is the best bite; one cookie tastes the same as two."
Aside from dropping over 100 pounds, Christina is now able to shop in any store she wants and was able to run a 5K with her teenage daughter. She also had Under Armour contact her to trial clothes!
How does she stay motivated? Christina said, "I make the choice. I look at where I was and choose to not go back. I look at my four kids and remind myself that they need a strong, healthy mom, and honestly, the gym is my therapy! They need me to work out so I'm a nicer mom!"
If you're on your own weight-loss journey, Christina reminds you to "learn to love yourself in every chapter. So many people are so hard on themselves, but honestly, be proud you are taking the right steps. Love you right where YOU are!"
She knows moms find it really hard to take time for themselves, adding, "We harbor guilt any time we aren't giving ourselves to our kids. Just keep in mind that taking care of yourself will prolong your life and make you more energetic and able to give more." She insists, "It's OK to go spend some time on you. You will be happier, which means your family will be happier!"
Christina admits, "I'm not anyone unimaginably spectacular. I am a mama and a wife, trying to be the very best version of me. If I can do it, anyone can! I still have days or even weeks that I just lose my drive, but that doesn't define me — it makes me human. Go right now, go find a mirror, and tell the person looking back at you, 'You are amazing, you are worth it, you can do this, and I will love you the whole way!'"