Tracy Thong says she was always the "heavy one" compared to her two younger sisters — especially after high school when she stopped playing sports and didn't care about being active or eating healthy.
"Though I was unhappy with myself and completely lacked confidence, I had zero motivation to change, and for years I continued to live that lifestyle," Tracy told Women's Health. "I'd look in the mirror and think, 'I'm not that big.'"
It wasn't until she saw a photo of herself at her highest weight, 190 pounds, that she realized it was time to make a change. Instead of making a goal weight, she set a goal for herself that she wanted to be able to run a full or half marathon — and "if I could lose maybe 30 pounds that would be great."
She joined a gym and worked out for two hours every day, six days a week — 30 minutes on the elliptical, 30 minutes on the treadmill, 30 minutes on ab exercises and 30 minutes on strength training. She also did circuit workouts with a personal trainer 30 minutes a day one day a week. After eight months she had lost 30 pounds!
Tracy says after that she hit a weight loss plateau, but used running to get over the hump. After two unexpected deaths hit her family, she used running to fuel her mourning. She signed up for her first 5K and joined a running group.
"After joining, I fell in love with running," Tracy said. "It helped me recover from the losses I'd experienced and helped me stay positive. For a while, I was running lots of 5Ks and 10Ks, and finally, a few weeks ago, I completed my first half-marathon. Through that, I was able to leave behind all the pain and suffering of this past year and realize how much I’ve grown as an individual."
Today, in addition to running, Tracy still goes to the gym, but focuses mainly on circuit training and strength training. She also became a personal trainer.
As for her diet, Tracy keeps it clean. Check out a typical day of eating:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with fruit
Post-workout snack: Protein shake or fruit bowl
Lunch: Spinach salad with strawberries, orange slices and chicken breast with light dressing
Dinner: Salmon with spinach (or chicken breast cooked in olive oil with garlic or red pepper flakes) with rice and veggies
Tracy says she loves being a personal trainer and helping other women just like her realize they can achieve anything they put their minds to.
"People reach out to me and say I inspire them to run or work out. And what's even crazier is that I'm teaching women how to do what I used to think of as impossible through my boot camp classes."
[H/T Instagram / @tfitnessempire_]