In the photo on the left, taken in 2017, Crystalland Hopper weighed 237 pounds. In the photo on the right, taken in 2018, she weighed 211 pounds. (Contributed by Crystalland Hopper)

Crystalland Hopper, 40, of Riverdale lost 26 pounds

SUCCESS STORY / Crystalland Hopper, 40: From 237 pounds to 211 pounds

Former weight: 237 pounds

Current weight: 211 pounds

Pounds lost: 26 pounds

Height: 5 feet 5 inches

Age: 40 years

How long she’s kept it off: “Started on my own in 2017, I lost 25 pounds on my own and then gained it all back. I started with Casi’s Straight Military Style Bootcamp in January 2018,” said Hopper who reached her current weight in October.

Personal life: “I live in Riverdale. I have one daughter and I have one fur baby, as they call them,” Hopper said. “I’m an accountant.”

Turning point: “When I went to the doctor and they diagnosed me with prediabetes and my blood pressure was so high. If it didn’t go down, they were going to put me on blood pressure medication. My mom was on blood pressure medications, and I knew a lot of other people on them — I didn’t want that,” Hopper said. “I decided to go the other route, with diet and exercise. I started playing kickball on a league through Casi’s Straight Military Style Bootcamp in the fall of 2016. … After a year of listening to them talk about the boot camp so much, I decided to try it. I started in January 2018. … I did every boot camp she has for a whole year. I became a squad leader for her this year. … It’s not every day that you are going to meet people who will get up at 5:30 a.m. I’ve developed friendships and relationships with those people who are coming — that is part of what keeps you coming.”

Diet plan: Her day starts with oatmeal. Lunch is a salad with salmon or shrimp, and dinner is fish or shrimp with collard greens prepared weekly in a large batch with smoked turkey.

Exercise routine: “I stay active pretty much every day,” Hopper said. “On a normal weekend, I’ll either run or walk.” During the week she’s a boot-camp squad leader and a kickball assistant coach.

Biggest challenge: “Sticking with the meal plans — that’s been my biggest struggle sticking to the meal plan,” Hopper said. “Exercise is not a problem.”

How life has changed: “It’s changed a lot, for one. For two years now, I’m still not on any type of blood pressure medication. The change that my family has seen in me has inspired my family to get out and do something, too,” Hopper said. “You’ve got to decide: Do you want to watch TV or get up in the morning and do something? When you have friends that are fitness-minded, they are asking when are you going out to go run? … You have to surround yourself with like-minded people So when I am starting to fall off, I see one of my friends and she helps me get back on it — we help motivate each other. Find something that you like to do that will help with your fitness goals that you enjoy. Find some type of activity that you like that won’t feel like work.”

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