Success Story

Success Story: Gale Lost 90 pounds!

success: Success Stories

Age: 44
Starting Size: 22 Current Size: 10
Starting Weight: 240 Current Weight: 150
Weight Loss: 90

Success Story Gale Raisanen from , MN wrote:

“Growing up I was always involved in sports. I wasn’t in great shape, but I was good enough to participate. I played competitive sports until my early 30s when a shoulder injury and life intervened. As the single caregiver of my two nieces and nephew for the past 12 years, I didn’t have free time to truly be active. Couple my crazy schedule with poor eating choices–fast food, processed foods, sugary snacks, unlimited portions—and that’s a recipe for disaster. Before I made the decision to improve my health, I was packing on 10 more pounds each year.

In 2008, I weighed 240 pounds and had stomach pain. After finding out from doctors that there was nothing medically wrong with me, I decided to get physically and mentally healthy.

Then in April of 2010, my brother committed suicide. He was the unfortunate victim of the struggles that many soldiers endure, and apparently it was too much for him to take. I was devastated and it took a toll on my physical health.

I started formulating a plan to address my health issues with small, simple steps. I cut out most fast food, processed food and sugary snacks. I ate fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. I controlled my portions, followed moderation and I only ate when I was hungry. If hunger isn’t the problem, then eating isn’t the solution. If I indulge a little now, I plan it first.

I started exercising every day. I was able to drop weight consistently for several months—but then after about four to five months and 50 lbs. lost, I hit a plateau.

I had to shake up my routine to meet my fitness goals. For years I watched Chris Freytag’s Motivation Monday health segments on NBC KARE 11. Her segment about 20 minute interval training really got my attention. I soon purchased her 10 lb. Slimdown program. Soon I was losing weight again, reshaping my body and gaining muscle.

I like her interval training so much I next purchased her 10 lb Slimdown Xtreme, and participated in her 28 Day Challenge Facebook Group. The workouts are challenging and she makes them fun. Chris focuses on different muscle groups and each workout offers a lot of variety. Her program includes yoga and kickboxing too.

There have been huge changes in my body composition in the relatively short time I’ve used Chris’s Slimdown programs.

The support from the Facebook group, fondly known as “Team Xtreme” and Chris has been fabulous. They make me want to work harder at attaining my goals. Chris is definitely a cheerleader, and I feel she really wants me to do well. I love her mantra—Yes You Can!

I can do things now I never thought I could do before. I went from barely being able to walk a couple of miles, to spending an hour on the elliptical machine, doing yoga, competing my first 5K, and cutting back on diet pop consumption. My small wins turned into a big win which is empowering.

There’s no doubt that my new healthy lifestyle has helped me physically, but it also has provided a huge boost to my mental state. After my brother’s passing, I’ve been lifted up by support from family, friends, my faith and my involvement in organizations that support our military and suicide awareness/prevention. Through exercise, I’ve developed a mental toughness and peace that I can’t even describe in words.

I can honestly say it is fun to see the definition in my cheeks, jawbones and neck again. I also have muscle definition and shopping for clothes is now more fun. I can’t stress enough how much I believe there is no substitute for good health. You have one life, and you need to decide how you want to live it.

Sometimes when I’m on a marathon elliptical session much like my brother once did, I imagine him looking down and being proud of me.

Lastly, for other military personnel (and others) struggling with mental health issues, there is no shame in asking for help and getting treatment for it just as you would for anything else. ”


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