posted April 15, 2018 by Gina
“77 lbs later, now a size 6/S, with 118/78 blood pressure and vastly improved Cholesterol numbers. Weight loss is 100/100, intake and exercise. I started walking on week 2, one single 18 minute mile at a time. Now a part time Pilates Instructor, I hike, kayak, SUP paddle, and rock climb to cross train and keep my exercise exciting and interesting too!”
Warning: Serious motivation ahead.
Weight Loss Success Stories: Johanna Halosz
Like many women, I have struggled with my weight my whole life. I hovered around a size 16, dipped down to a 12 maybe twice since 1988, and topped out at a size 20, XXL, in 2014. Right around my 40th birthday, my husband and I took a fantasy Christmas vacation to Hawaii. We saved and planned and had an amazing time. Always active, and social, and adventurous, we did quite a bit of swimming and dining, drinking and snorkeling, hiking and golfing. But looking back on day 13 at the 2000 pictures we took as we packed up to head back to reality, I was so horrified by what I saw. It was the first time I was really sickened by my appearance, and sat staring at myself, crying. Wow. How did I let it get to this, and how did I not know?
Around that time, I noticed my “engine” running hot. My BP was hanging around 130/110, and my doc mentioned BP meds. Cardiac disease runs in my family. I didn’t want to be on medication the rest of my life, but my doctor gave me 6 months, and if I didn’t see an improvement, that would be the next course of action.
On January 15. 2016, I walked into Weight Watchers, alone, for the first time, for the last time. I had to take away all of my obstacles. I couldn’t blame a buddy for not coming with me, or falling off track when someone else did. I had to do this for me. I figured I could go to Weight Watchers and lose the same 25 lbs I always lost. That’s really all I set out to do. I had much much more than that to lose, but I thought 25 would be a huge move forward. I was 222.4 lbs that day. I gasped.
The Weight Watchers Weekly shared recipes, as did the app, and I started my journey using them, but found they were sometimes labor and ingredient intensive, heavy on points and didn’t dance on my palate. I tripped on Skinnytaste on Facebook one day, and noticed how simple her recipes looked, and the ingredient lists were friendly and simple. As with most of us, I cook for my husband and myself, and I needed to get him sold on healthy, delicious, foods to make my life easier. I never told him they were Skinnytaste recipes. He fell for each dish hook, line and sinker. I confessed a few weeks later, in May of 2015, that I had been using Gina’s recipes exclusively in my nightly cooking. He was completely impressed that he never noticed he was eating “diet food”, which is such a misnomer. In fact, he came to start requesting Skinny recipes!
Because social events and entertaining were and are still important to me, I needed to have a way to have my own food available, and Skinnytaste recipes fit the crowd pleasing, healthy bill. We also camp about 60 nights a year, so I food prep meals to bring with us and throw over heat.
77 lbs later, now a size 6/S, with 118/78 blood pressure and vastly improved Cholesterol numbers, 2 years at Lifetime, Skinnytaste is still my default recipe search. When I need dinner inspiration, her daily posts tend to call my name. My regular rotation includes Cauliflower Fried ‘Rice’, Chicken Milanese and Arugula Salad, Turkey Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats, Reuben Pork Tenderloin, Tuna Casserole, Unstuffed Cabbage Bowls, Grilled Shrimp and Veggie Bowls, BBQ Chicken Chili, Bang Bang Shrimp, Chicken Fiesta Salad, and Asparagus Egg and Bacon Salad and so many others. I have other favorites like Asparagus Cups, Mashed Cauliflower Potatoes, I have cooked full holiday meals with all of her recipes, especially sides, and have received rave reviews! And I have cooked in her style long enough to know now how to modify any meal into a similar fashion. Fresh ingredients, lots of fresh herbs, full bold flavor and spices, low to no dairy, cut out the carbs where I can. Skinnytaste has been a game changer to keep my food game fresh, exciting and never dull and boring. I can eat and serve confidently. The people in my life also enjoy her recipes, which helps me to stay on track.
Weight loss is 100/100, intake and exercise. I started walking on week 2, one single 18 minute mile at a time. But I went a little bit faster and longer each day, and the dogs were loving it. 2 months in, 12 lbs down, I walked into a Pilates studio, having no idea what it was, but a friend said I should be excited to be getting a Club Pilates in town. I was hooked on day 1. I have since taken 700+ classes, my body has completely changed and morphed, took a comprehensive Teacher Training Class, and am now a part time Pilates Instructor with a loyal following and full classes! I still take 4-5 Pilates classes a week, and I also walk 3-4 days a week. I hike, kayak, SUP paddle, and rock climb to cross train and keep my exercise exciting and interesting too!
“It’s finding a healthy respect for your body and food, keeping food exciting and tasty and easy and fresh.”
I can’t offer only one best piece of advice, because I think true healthy weight loss, and MAINTENANCE, is a multi-pronged approach. It’s finding a healthy respect for your body and food, keeping food exciting and tasty and easy and fresh. It’s moving EVERY SINGLE DAY, and finding exercise and functional activity that excite you. Its drinking, in my case, 100 oz of water a day. Its exposing your weight loss journey so that you have accountability at every turn. And its stepping on the scale each week, and staying for a meeting. Its finding passion in food and activity and sharing. My journey continues as I constantly talk about it, and inspire others to take a single step towards loving themselves and thanking their body! Thank you, Gina, for showing me that food can be beautiful and tasty, healthy and exciting!
WW Lifetime Member since 11/8/15
Club Pilates Certified Instructor
Thank you Johanna for sharing your inspiring story with us!!