I first met Rozy on Instagram. Believerr_gonefit is a fellow CrosSport enthusiast that also loves to post her work-outs. I followed and quickly learned that there was a lot more to her than just a pretty face. She is quite possibly one of the most inspirational people I have seen in real life. Her dedication to her health and fitness are obvious in her before and after pictures. I had to know more and she was awesome enough to indulge me in a lunchtime interview.
Rozy's journey to a healthy lifestyle came from a simple desire; a desire for a bigger family. She had never been a petite girl, hovering between 165-175 in high school, but as she grew into adulthood her addiction to foods, particularly salty temptations like potato chips, gradually added pound after pound. By the time she and her husband were ready to have more children she was an “obese, depressed, mom of one” who couldn't get pregnant again. They tried everything and were even beginning infertility treatments when a doctor told her the one thing she didn't want to hear; her weight was a main issue.
She could accept that she couldn't get pregnant but had a harder time believing it was really due to her weight. At 270 pounds she was used to being asked if she was pregnant and it only added insult to injury. So with nothing, but the weight to lose she started yo-yo dieting, doing anything and everything to lose the weight. Her efforts were successful and in time she lost 50 pounds and got the news they couldn't wait to hear, she was pregnant!
Like her first pregnancy, her second was difficult. She was put on bed rest to try to avoid another premature birth and gained 75 pounds over the term of the pregnancy. She was able to shed the weight quickly and by the time baby number two was seven months old she'd dropped 60 pounds of baby weight and was pregnant again with number three. Once again she was put on bed rest, given hormones and told to take it easy to make the pregnancy as easy as possible. Luckily, she delivered at full term and didn't go back to her old ways.
With three children their family was complete and Rozy devoted herself to a new lifestyle. In September of 2012 Rozy started by changing her food and TV choices. She would watch Extreme Makeover – Weight Loss Edition and learn what participants did to get the weight off. She bought Chris Powell's book on carb cycling and started to formulate a lifestyle of healthy eating instead of yo-yo dieting. Now most days include 5-6 small meals every 2-3 hours. Breakfast is her biggest meal usually consisting of eggs, bacon and veggies or sometimes oatmeal. Lunches and dinners are heavy on protein with veggies and good carbs. She tries to avoid breads but if she has it she sticks with grainy breads. Cheese and dairy are luxuries and she treats them as such and uses them sparingly. And in Rozy's world there are no cheat days. She'll allow for a few cheat meals but never days. She says it's much easier for her energy level to bounce back that way.
As the weight continued coming off, working out got easier and Rozy started to get more active at both Gold's gym and our common, house of gain, CrosSport in Wenatchee. She regularly does 2-a-days, meaning she gets in not one, but two work-outs each day. She lifts, does WODs, hikes, bikes, and includes the family so it's not just “her” thing but the family's way of life as well. The twinkle in her eye when she mentioned her PR for dead-lift is 235 was priceless!
In fact that twinkle came out whenever she talked about meeting and exceeding her goals. She admits she hasn't achieved her goals and is OK with it. She's within 9 pounds of her ideal weight of 145 but there will always be more to achieve and strive for. She says she's always making new goals for herself and challenging herself to be better, stronger and faster than before. That's one of her biggest pieces of advice for others as well, set strong, reachable, long-term goals.
Additionally she reminds people that it takes patience and time to achieve life changing goals. Along her own journey she's had lots of ups but also downs, and weight gains, and plateaus. The trick is to keep making progress and to find balance in life… and rewarding yourself every now and then doesn't hurt either, as long as the reward isn't food.
Now two and a half years after her lifestyle journey began, Rozy's greatest achievement is her family and her happiness. She doesn't even remember the fat girl she used to be. Her family has been by her side through it all and she is no longer depressed everyday but happy to live well.
Thank you Rozy for the inspiration you bring to the gym and everyone around you! It is a blessing to watch you travel the road before you.