If you’re on the lookout for motivational weight loss stories, this one will surely make it to the top of your list.
Tatianna Wawrzynski, 37, from Gilford, New Hampshire, has always lived an active lifestyle. She grew up downhill skiing and horseback riding. In college, she played softball and took up running. Any activity that involved the outdoors just gave her life.
However, things started going downhill when she suffered a knee injury. From there, Tatianna began to overeat and binge on chocolate and any dessert.
“I loved all of it,” she said.
Tatianna kept putting on weight until she grew to 315 pounds – the heaviest she has ever been. At 5 feet, 9 inches tall, she became obese.
By then, she couldn’t even go up a flight of stairs without catching her breath and feeling exhausted. Even sadder is that she didn’t have the energy to play with her two young daughters anymore.
“I remember the day I looked in the mirror and I just was really upset and I said you know what? I’m going to make a change. I’m not going to do it for anyone else but myself because I’m ready to get up off the couch and stop letting life pass me by,” she recalled.
Tatianna began her weight loss journey by getting herself a pair of running shoes in 2019. She started by walking down her street, which is a quarter-mile long in each direction. A few months later, she amped it up and walked half a mile. Eventually, Tatianna was going around the block and covering about 1.5 miles.
She then quickened her pace and went from walking to jogging.
To “do something drastic” and speed up her weight loss, Tatianna followed the keto diet. After a year and a half of committing to her eating plan and exercise routine, she lost almost 100 pounds!
Tatianna’s love for outdoor sports was rekindled when a local trainer encouraged her to add cycling to her routine. That trainer does the “real gains” challenge every April, where participants ride outside every day for 10 miles.
This wasn’t an easy feat given the New Hampshire weather, but Tatianna took on the challenge head-on and hopped into the sport in the spring of 2020.
“I just remember being pelted in the face by sleet, and riding in the snow and freezing. And I’m like, I love this, I want to do this. It’s for the crazies, but I guess I’m one of those crazy people,” she said.
Soon, Tatianna found herself wanting to go farther and farther.
And that’s exactly what she did. In August, she accomplished her first 100-mile ride.
Tatianna wanted to take it a step further and join a triathlon. However, the COVID-19 pandemic canceled many events last year, so she arranged her first triathlon and went on her own last June on her birthday. She swam in a local lake, got into her bike, then ran to complete her self-made challenge.
Now, Tatianna rides more than 100 miles per week. She also joins events like snowshoe marathons and gravel cycling races.
Because of Tatianna’s herculean efforts, she was able to get down to 185 pounds!
She stopped following the keto diet six months ago and switched to a plant-based one. This eating regimen allowed her to consume more carbs, which she needed for her ultracycling and triathlons.
She has removed any dairy or eggs from her diet and only eats meat on special occasions.
“I felt really great right away,” she said of the diet switch. “I was just kind of feeling heavy (on the keto diet) so switching from that to eating fruits and vegetables, it actually made me feel really good.”
Like many motivational weight loss stories, Tatianna’s wasn’t all perfect. She said she failed many times during her journey, but she chose to get up every time and try again.
As for food, Tatianna sticks to a 90-95% plant-based diet and doesn’t count calories. She also avoids eating and buying any junk food. By doing so, she found that she didn’t even crave the unhealthy stuff anymore.
However, Tatianna believes that no one should restrict themselves 100%.
“I like to say I’m fueled by craft beer and french fries,” she joked.
Lastly, Tatianna said it’s important to remember why you’re doing it.
“I feel fantastic. I feel the best I’ve ever felt in my life. I’m not exercising and doing all these crazy endurance ultra events to be skinny. I’m doing it to be strong,” she said.
Overweight or not, reading motivational weight loss stories like this will inspire anyone to embrace a healthier and more active lifestyle. Share this with your friends and family!