1. “The first step was definitely mental. Understanding that I needed to change my thinking to be able to make the changes I needed to lose weight. We put so much emphasis on weight loss that we don’t talk about what it takes to maintain the loss.
2. “The next step was to assess my diet. I noticed that I had eating behaviors that weren’t so ideal.
3. “I just move, period. Whether it’s pacing while you’re on the phone or having a personal trainer. One of the biggest things that helped me was a bouncing trampoline; I keep it right next to the sofa, right next to the TV.
Exercise Routine: “I currently work with a personal trainer twice a week. On the days that I don’t train with him, I do a lot of the same style of training that he puts me through, I just do it at home,” DeBerry said. “I incorporate 30 minutes of cardio and I do a lot of YouTube videos. YouTube is a wealth of information for exercise.
Biggest Challenge: “The biggest thing is my eating behaviors,” DeBerry said. “…Before, I tended to overeat. Sometimes I had binge eating – that was the biggest challenge in all of this.
Crystal’s top tips:
1. Work on your mental health: “Definitely work on your mental health. I sincerely believe that weight is a physical manifestation of mental health. …I had to look at that and heal that before I could even lose weight.
2. “Define what clean eating is for you because it looks different for everyone.
3. “All movement is good movement. I think people tend to beat themselves up because they can’t physically do the same, but every move counts. We tend to want to start working automatically, but you have to be prepared for that. We must crawl before we walk.
How has your life changed: “I lost 140 pounds. It made life physically easier,” DeBerry said. “My life has changed by being able to inspire others. Losing weight made me see more possibilities in life and gave me more confidence. Anyone can have the same results as me, as long as they are willing to work to heal themselves. I think the most important thing is you have to realize it’s a lifestyle, it doesn’t stop, it doesn’t have an end date, it’s literally determined by how you live your live each day as it comes.
Looking for reader stories about lifestyle changes: We are looking for stories about changing health habits. Although The Atlanta Journal-Constitution does not endorse any specific program, we include names and links for the benefit of readers who want more information. If you would like to share your story of a lifestyle change, please contact journalist Michelle C. Brooks and include your email address, phone number, and before and after photos (by mail or JPEG). You can write to him directly at: [email protected].