A Journey to Health and Confidence

One woman transformed her life by turning a health challenge into a way of life.
One woman transformed her life by turning a health challenge into a way of life.

Many people use a new year as the opportunity to start working out, eating more balanced diets, and improving their overall general health.Some people are not able to maintain their commitments and fall off of their intended plans, while others devote themselves to their goals to ensure that they meet success. However, it doesn’t have to be January for a person to set aspirations that they hope to achieve—sometimes a noticeable change is something that needs to be set in motion immediately. Kristy McCoy, a technology facilitator in a DFW Metroplex school district, realized that she was not living a healthy lifestyle and sought to improve not only her physical fitness, but also her overall wellbeing. In January of 2014, after her sister let her know she was concerned about her health, McCoy made a goal to become as fit as she could before leaving on a 40-day trip to Europe with her husband in the summer.

McCoy faced a few challenges along her journey, such as not knowing how to eat properly and make healthy portion sizes, as well as the frustrations of the process of losing weight taking longer than she anticipated. She also had to develop an appreciation for exercise. “I hate to sweat,” McCoy says. “I don’t enjoy physical activity, but I understand that it is vitally important to my health and well-being. That was challenge number one—just getting going.”

McCoy used Beachbody’s 21-Day Fix program to help her not only form an exercise regimen, but also to begin to understand portion sizes and what foods are best to fuel her body. She started making more time for herself each day, dedicating certain periods for her to work out and also to plan out her menu for the week.

It wasn’t long before McCoy turned a 21-day routine into a consistent healthy lifestyle. She said she and her husband, who also participated in the health challenge, were able to hike and explore parts of Europe without becoming easily winded or struggling with carrying their backpacks. “We were able to go and do without reservation about our physicality holding us back,” McCoy said.

She and her husband even returned to Europe over the Christmas holiday season, where they walked, on average, more than nine miles a day. McCoy said she was able to enjoy their time there again without her joints or muscles aching and throbbing at the end of the day.

pants_donot_fit
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McCoy, who lost 46 pounds and eight pants sizes, has become more vocal in sharing her story with others, inspiring them to begin living healthy lifestyles along with her. She said she hadn’t originally intended to share her story with many people, but her coworkers asked her questions when they saw her transformation. Now other individuals draw motivation from seeing her results, which still baffles McCoy. However, it also makes her more comfortable with sharing her story. “People shockingly now look to me for fitness advice,” she said, adding that she never thought she would be inspiration for someone else’s fitness journey. “If I can help one other person get there—help give one other person the confidence I never knew it was possible to have—the risk of putting myself out there will be worth it.”

That newfound confidence is something McCoy has welcomed into her healthy lifestyle. She says that self-assurance is essential in a person’s life. She is now, as she puts it, a changed version of herself, someone with an improved and fresh belief in herself.

This confidence has allowed her to be more willing to let others see a scar on her stomach that she spent years trying to cover up. “The biggest proof that I've changed—I've put photos on social media where you can see my abdomen,” McCoy said. “I'm now okay with showing the world the surgical scar that I've hidden for the last 32 years. As I shrunk, it shrunk, too, and the significance I placed upon it has diminished as I gained pride in the hard work I've put into shaping a healthier me.”