Down 72 Pounds, Crystal is a 'Fun Mom'*

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Crystal Turney (CRYSSYBUG)
Weight Lost:  72 pounds
Hometown: Gallup, NM
Occupation: Church secretary

What was life like before your weight loss?
I have pretty much always been overweight.  In college, I lost a lot of weight and kept it off until after I was married.  However, it slowly started creeping back up on me for various reasons.  First, I ate when I felt stressed, and I was stressed a lot during my first year of teaching.  When I got pregnant with my first child, I started eating healthier and trying not to gain too much weight.  After I had him, I stopped eating so well and--you guessed it--gained weight.  About the time I decided to start trying to lose the weight, I got pregnant again.  After I gave birth to my younger son, I continued to eat healthier foods, just way too much of them! I reached my highest weight of 222 pounds. I felt fat and, let's face it, I was fat.  I was a stay-at-home mom, and while my boys played together, I would play on the computer.  I didn't play outside often, and when I did, I usually sat on a chair and watched, instead of joining in.  My clothes no longer fit, and I had to buy or borrow bigger sizes.  I was miserable. 

What was the main motivation behind your weight loss?
My boys were my biggest motivation to lose weight.  They often called my dad "lazy" because he would come home from work and sit in his chair instead of playing with them.  He didn't mind so much that they called him lazy. Then one day they called me "lazy like Grandpa."  I couldn't take it!  I'm their mom; I am supposed to be fun and exciting. I am supposed to play with them and show them I care by doing things they love and enjoy.  I shouldn't be sitting on my butt for hours at a time playing on the computer. I decided it was time for a change and nothing was going to stop me.  

Tell us a bit about your weight-loss journey:
I asked for a Wii Fit for my birthday in January 2011.  I started using it every day to help me stay accountable for exercising and weighing in.  I started buying more vegetables and fruits for snacks, and I started reading labels on foods.  I started walking instead of driving to pick my son up from preschool.  I also started playing more with my boys.  When we went outside, I didn't sit in the chair and watch anymore. I got up and kicked the ball, played baseball or did whatever they were doing.  I started riding a stationary bike for more exercise.  I didn't really count calories, but I made sure I cut back my portions and made healthier choices.  I started cooking more at home, too. I also started reading articles on weight loss and exercise on

The weight came off quickly at first and, before I knew it, I had lost 50 pounds.  The next 20 pounds came off more slowly but at a pace I could live with.  But these last 20 pounds that I am trying to lose have been stubborn!  Still, I have not and will not take any diet supplements or diet shakes.  In fact, as I constantly tell people, I am not on a diet.  I am on a journey to a healthy lifestyle and I am finally getting there. 

How long did it take you to lose the weight? 

It took me about one year to lose 72 pounds.  I took a bit of a break last year and simply tried to maintain the weight.  I went back to work and had to learn how to fit exercise into my new daily routine. In April 2013, I began trying to lose the last 20 pounds to reach my goal.  

What is your typical exercise routine like?
I usually exercise in the evenings, after I finish work, help my boys with homework and tutor.  I go for walks around the neighborhood and sometimes to the local track.  I like to ride a stationary bike for about 45 minutes at a time.  I also enjoy exercise videos.  I use some that I have had for years, and I use some from SparkPeople.  I try to exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, five days a week.  I do like to change things up a bit so I am not stuck in a rut.

What was your biggest obstacle while trying to lose weight; and how did you deal with it?
I think the hardest thing about losing weight was when people kept telling me that I wasn’t eating enough and would try to get me to eat more. Eating meals with my family was difficult in the beginning as well.  We have a large family gathering at least once a week.  It was hard because I had pretty much quit eating fried foods and that was something my family ate frequently.  After seeing my new eating habits and how I was losing weight, it was easier to get my family on board with me.  We still eat meals together, but they are usually much healthier than they were back when I started on this journey.  But, that isn’t to say we don’t indulge in old favorites once in a while!

How has your life changed since losing weight and improving your health?
I feel fantastic now that I have lost more than 70 pounds! I can play tag with my boys, and I can actually catch them now!  I can take longer walks, and we have begun bike riding as a family. I love being more active with my family.  My boys have fun with me and want to play with me which makes me happy.  I enjoy shopping now, too.  I will never go back to wearing those big clothes, simply because I have no plans on letting myself get that big again.  I sleep better, and I don't get sick as often as well. I'm sure when the last 20 pounds are gone and I am down to my goal weight, I will feel even better.  It feels great to be healthier!

Way to go, Crystal. We're so happy for you!

*Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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That's wonderful, Crystal! Report
Keep up the good work. We are all "pulling" for you. Report
To HUSKEYSJ, don't give up! You can still be whatever you want to be. Just start from now and move forward. I am doing the same! All the best! Report
Way to go! I admire your commitment and success. You did it for the right reasons and succeeded. You've changed your life and are a great example to your family. Bravo Report
Congrats and thank you for an inspiring story! Report
Congratulations! I almost cried when I read your story because it sounded so much like me except I am now 54, my children are almost grown and I still haven't lost the weight. Don't give up and you won't have to live with all the regret that I have about spending too much time in front of the TV and the computer instead of playing with my kids. Report
Great job!

I also live in NM - in fact only 30 minutes or so from Gallup. Where I am at, whenever I go for my walks I have to contend with multiple stray dogs. But the occasional sighting of wild horses and stray cows make up for it. :) Report
keep up the good work Report
Congratulations! What a great, motivating story! Report
Very, very motivating story - good job! Report
Congratulations! That is awesome! Report
Congratulations!!! Report
I can so relate to the part where you said people tell you that you don't eat enough. I usually eat six meals per day and I am always in my calorie range so I know that I am getting enough, but people (especially at work) are constantly commenting and asking me if I am "eating enough." Frankly, I am always quite full so I couldn't eat more if I wanted too! I am really worried about how it will go for Thanksgiving in a few mom is going to try to stuff me like a turkey, LOL! Report
I loved your story so much! Since I lost some weight my grandkids call me a fun grandma because I do so many more active things with them than their parents do! Your story inspires me to keep working toward losing the rest I need to lost. I also was so happy to see you live in NM! I don't run into a lot of people here from my state, although I do find some. But we are really spread out. I live in Silver City, in the southern part of the state. Congratulations on all you've accomplished! Report
Thanks for sharing your story, Crystal. It's very inspiring and makes me feel like I can get healthier too! Report
WOOHOO! it's great knowing i'm not alone in my battles/complications. it's nice to hear others' stories and what works for them. i'm a much more comfortable 196# now than the 280# i was in Feb 2012 Report
Way to go Crystal ! Report
Great work! You've changed your life! Report
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