Sole Stories: Tia Pettygrue

Everyone has a story. For some it’s a story of wanting something more, for others it’s a story full of tears, heart and determination. Our series “Sole Stories” will give you a glimpse into what drives women to change their lives and their “soles.” Ashley and I recently met Tia via our Facebook fan page after she posted a "before" and "after" photo of herself. After seeing her transformation, we had to know more about her and her weight loss. After seeing your picture, I have to ask how much weight did you lose? How long have you kept it off? I lost a total of 45 lbs, went from size 14 to size 2. I'm 5'3" and size 2 is the perfect size for my small frame. I started my journey in Dec. 2008 when I was size 14 and got to size 4 in September 2009 and was happy with my size, then decided to do a figure competition, which focused on building lean muscle and took my body fat from 29% in March 2010 to 12% by July 2010, so through that process I went to a size 2. I plan to keep my body fat around 16%. What motivated you to lose the weight? I had maintained a size 10/12 for the past few years, but getting to size 14 was something I vowed I'd never do. Then at a Girlfriend's Clothing Swap party in 10/08 I got a pair of jeans that fit SO perfectly, and THEN I looked at the size - yes, 14!!! OMG I thought! [caption id="attachment_646" align="alignleft" width="254" caption="Tia's 2008 Cruise"][/caption] But my "Aha!" moment came the first week of December 2008 when my husband and I were on a cruise. I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in over 2 years and she said she barely recognized me because I'd gained so much weight (picture attached of me and her). At that moment I decided to change my lifestyle. I didn't wait to get home from the cruise, but right then I started eating better and exercised every day on the cruise. When I got home, I signed up for a 15k and started tracking my food. And there it began... How do you stay motivated to keep the weight off? I love how I feel, I have more energy and while I've always been a very confident person, I have a different kind of confidence now. I love being so active and I now enjoy healthy eating with an occasional splurge. And while my husband of almost 20 years has always made me feel beautiful and sexy, he loves the fact that I have muscles and thinks that is so sexy. I also enjoy being an example to others and this is such a motivation to me to continue my healthy lifestyle. I want to help as many as possible to see they can do it too. What is your exercise regime? I do cardio 5-6 days a week, mainly running and I lift weights 4-5 days a week as well. Besides running, what are your other go-to exercises? Weight lifting, bootcamps and kickboxing classes. Are there any foods that you just can't resist? Potato chips and red wine, and instead of depriving myself of them altogether, I consider them as a weekly treat for keeping my schedule. Do you have any words of encouragement for other women who are embracing fitness and a healthy lifestyle? Yes, throw the word "diet" out of the window and focus on making small changes at a time, such as starting to eat breakfast every day, reducing sodas or finding exercises you enjoy. I didn't focus on losing weight as quickly as possible, but doing it steadily. I've used since Jan. 2009 to track my food and this is such a great way to help! I learned that your eating is 80% of losing weight. My saying is "Don't lose weight fast, lose it FOREVER." No matter where someone is, they can do it with time and consistency!



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