Down 72 Pounds, Crystal is a 'Fun Mom'*

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Crystal Turney (CRYSSYBUG)
Weight Lost:  72 pounds
Hometown: Gallup, NM
Occupation: Church secretary

What was life like before your weight loss?
I have pretty much always been overweight.  In college, I lost a lot of weight and kept it off until after I was married.  However, it slowly started creeping back up on me for various reasons.  First, I ate when I felt stressed, and I was stressed a lot during my first year of teaching.  When I got pregnant with my first child, I started eating healthier and trying not to gain too much weight.  After I had him, I stopped eating so well and--you guessed it--gained weight.  About the time I decided to start trying to lose the weight, I got pregnant again.  After I gave birth to my younger son, I continued to eat healthier foods, just way too much of them! I reached my highest weight of 222 pounds. I felt fat and, let's face it, I was fat.  I was a stay-at-home mom, and while my boys played together, I would play on the computer.  I didn't play outside often, and when I did, I usually sat on a chair and watched, instead of joining in.  My clothes no longer fit, and I had to buy or borrow bigger sizes.  I was miserable. 

What was the main motivation behind your weight loss?
My boys were my biggest motivation to lose weight.  They often called my dad "lazy" because he would come home from work and sit in his chair instead of playing with them.  He didn't mind so much that they called him lazy. Then one day they called me "lazy like Grandpa."  I couldn't take it!  I'm their mom; I am supposed to be fun and exciting. I am supposed to play with them and show them I care by doing things they love and enjoy.  I shouldn't be sitting on my butt for hours at a time playing on the computer. I decided it was time for a change and nothing was going to stop me.  

Tell us a bit about your weight-loss journey:
I asked for a Wii Fit for my birthday in January 2011.  I started using it every day to help me stay accountable for exercising and weighing in.  I started buying more vegetables and fruits for snacks, and I started reading labels on foods.  I started walking instead of driving to pick my son up from preschool.  I also started playing more with my boys.  When we went outside, I didn't sit in the chair and watch anymore. I got up and kicked the ball, played baseball or did whatever they were doing.  I started riding a stationary bike for more exercise.  I didn't really count calories, but I made sure I cut back my portions and made healthier choices.  I started cooking more at home, too. I also started reading articles on weight loss and exercise on

The weight came off quickly at first and, before I knew it, I had lost 50 pounds.  The next 20 pounds came off more slowly but at a pace I could live with.  But these last 20 pounds that I am trying to lose have been stubborn!  Still, I have not and will not take any diet supplements or diet shakes.  In fact, as I constantly tell people, I am not on a diet.  I am on a journey to a healthy lifestyle and I am finally getting there. 

How long did it take you to lose the weight? 

It took me about one year to lose 72 pounds.  I took a bit of a break last year and simply tried to maintain the weight.  I went back to work and had to learn how to fit exercise into my new daily routine. In April 2013, I began trying to lose the last 20 pounds to reach my goal.  

What is your typical exercise routine like?
I usually exercise in the evenings, after I finish work, help my boys with homework and tutor.  I go for walks around the neighborhood and sometimes to the local track.  I like to ride a stationary bike for about 45 minutes at a time.  I also enjoy exercise videos.  I use some that I have had for years, and I use some from SparkPeople.  I try to exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, five days a week.  I do like to change things up a bit so I am not stuck in a rut.

What was your biggest obstacle while trying to lose weight; and how did you deal with it?
I think the hardest thing about losing weight was when people kept telling me that I wasn’t eating enough and would try to get me to eat more. Eating meals with my family was difficult in the beginning as well.  We have a large family gathering at least once a week.  It was hard because I had pretty much quit eating fried foods and that was something my family ate frequently.  After seeing my new eating habits and how I was losing weight, it was easier to get my family on board with me.  We still eat meals together, but they are usually much healthier than they were back when I started on this journey.  But, that isn’t to say we don’t indulge in old favorites once in a while!

How has your life changed since losing weight and improving your health?
I feel fantastic now that I have lost more than 70 pounds! I can play tag with my boys, and I can actually catch them now!  I can take longer walks, and we have begun bike riding as a family. I love being more active with my family.  My boys have fun with me and want to play with me which makes me happy.  I enjoy shopping now, too.  I will never go back to wearing those big clothes, simply because I have no plans on letting myself get that big again.  I sleep better, and I don't get sick as often as well. I'm sure when the last 20 pounds are gone and I am down to my goal weight, I will feel even better.  It feels great to be healthier!

Way to go, Crystal. We're so happy for you!

*Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.