Kristen Mallory at 252 pounds in April 2015. (Kristen Mallory)

Kristen Mallory lost 87 pounds

Success Story

Kristen Mallory, 48: From 252 pounds to 165 pounds

Former weight: 252 pounds

Current weight: 165 pounds

Pounds lost: 87 pounds

Height: 5 feet, 5 inches

Age: 48 years

How long she’s kept it off: Started in April 2015 and reached her current weight in October. She’d like to lose 15 more pounds.

Personal life: Mallory is a master cosmetologist and health coach through Take Shape for Life. She lives in Roswell with her husband and daughter and has “my family at Team Shine and my family at Salon Colour.” She’s getting health coaching certification and becoming a diabetes educator.

Turning point: “Two years ago, I was struggling,” Mallory said. “I had lost my father and, in turn, had dealt with my emotions as I had all my life — I fed them. This caused my multiple sclerosis symptoms to flare. I struggled with fatigue, depression, high blood pressure, joint pain, migraine headaches, high cholesterol, pre-diabetes and a few other little health gems I’d just as soon forget. … I went on a retreat where I heard my health coach speak. She said exactly what I needed to hear. After her presentation, I asked her to please help me. On April 13, 2015, my journey toward optimal health began. Within a week, I felt good. Within three weeks, I was no longer sleeping 12 hours a day. Within three months, I was off three of my 11 medications. I truly feel like I never would have had the courage to do this had I not gone through losing my dad. Sometimes, we have to hit the ground in order to make these changes.”

Diet plan: “I went on the Optavia 5 & 1 Plan. I eat 80 to 100 calories of complex carbs and protein every two to three hours and drink half my weight in ounces of water daily.”

Exercise routine: “I do interval training and I work out probably an hour three times a week.”

Biggest challenge: “Changing my unhealthy habits into healthy habits; changing that unhealthy tape in my brain. For people that are as morbidly obese as I was, it’s emotional. Having to learn that food is not love; it is not a hug, it is fuel. … Food is fuel, not love.”

How life has changed: “My life is completely different. … I was in constant pain. I was sleeping 12 hours a day. Now, I don’t stop. My sight has completely come back. I am off nine of 11 medications. … I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been. … Losing weight is contagious — my husband started getting healthy and my daughter started getting healthy. Our family as a whole has lost 158 pounds. … This journey has changed my life in so many ways. … It has led me to my true calling, which is to help others suffering with autoimmune diseases, as I did find freedom through fueling (my) body optimally.”

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