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Meet Kerry Regan
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Train Like a Woman!
By Kristin Reisinger, MS RD
Kerry contacted me several weeks ago to put together a diet for her. She was entering a weight loss competition at work with a large cash pot and HAD to win. Inspired by her enthusiasm, dedication and spunk, I put together a regimen for her similar to what I would do for myself for a figure competition. In 8-weeks the 5'2" dynamo went from 135 to 112 and won! Proving you can do it... meet Kerry Regan!
KR: Please tell me a little bit about your background: age, athletic background, childhood, career, etc. Anything you might feel is pertinent to where you are now in terms of fitness.
Kerry: I am 31 years old. I was an athletic person growing up and was always in good shape. When I first started working, I maintained a healthy lifestyle and as my job became more demanding I began to sacrifice my fitness and dedication to the gym.
KR: How long have you been involved into fitness and how did you get involved?
Kerry: I first started going to the gym regularly at around 17 years old. I joined Jack La Lanne with my mother and we would do step class all the time. I then began to incorporate weight machines and more cardio. From the age of 17 until I was 24 I would go to the gym 4-5 times a week - always. That began tapering off little by little into my later 20's.
KR: Tell us a little bit about this challenge you took as well as what sparked your interest in taking part in it?
Kerry: As I worked out less and entertained more with work, I went up 2 sizes, gained 15 lbs and lost significant muscle definition. I was no longer happy with the way I was looking and was feeling energy depleted most of the time. My wedding coming up in August was also an incentive. Some of my coworkers were starting a weight loss bet. It was an eight week bet where the goal was highest weight loss percentage. I decided I had a good chance of winning. I knew with total dedication and regular exercise again, I could not only get back to the shape I loved, but also could win some money too!
KR: Tell us about what your strategy was to win.
Kerry: My strategy for winning was lifting twice a week, low weights, high reps and cardio for 45 minutes 6x a week. It was incorporated adhering to a strict eating plan, which you mapped out for me, and eating 5x a day... small healthy meals. Never letting your body enter that starvation mode was key, as well as always having my healthy foods available so that there were no excuses!
KR: What did you find to be the hardest part of losing the weight? The easiest part?
Kerry: The hardest part of losing weight for me was staying dedicated to the no alcohol! There is much entertaining that we do in my career, going out all the time. I needed to eliminate that completely and keep the gym as my priority. Not drinking was key. I enjoy having wine with dinner or at night after work but it was essential to my program to eliminate it, and I found it to be the most rewarding. Once I did this, I noticed the bloating and water weight disappeared rapidly.
The weight loss didn't become easy until I got in a groove. Once you get in a groove of eating healthy (thus increasing your energy levels in a big way), you then look forward to and enjoy going to the gym to work out. It becomes a cycle of total enjoyment. I felt happier and full of energy all the time once I was in my routine. And if my workout was too intense the day before, I then would allow my body to rest.
KR: What was your diet and training like for the 8-weeks during the challenge?
Kerry: My diet was complex carbs and protein. No potatoes, pasta, or white bread. I took a mulit vitamin and calcium pill 3x a day and drank 64oz of water at minimum. My favorite things to eat were egg white omelettes with feta, mushroom, and tomato and my myoplex lite shakes. Sometimes I allowed myself a piece of wheat toast with peanut butter - but I learned to keep that to the morning. When I had that at night, it kept me from losing weight. And lots of green tea!
KR: If you were to give advice to a woman starting out for the first time, what would you tell them?
Kerry: I would say to map out your eating plan with Kristin for the next several weeks and stick to it. Don't lie to yourself but stick to it. I would allow an endulgment in a favorite thing or two a week and get right back to it. (As long as you continue to work out.) I would also say to start out slow, with 20 minutes of cardio and progress at your pace. For me, also having an iPod is key. I love having my favorite songs to listen to and upbeat tunes to keep you going that last mile.
KR: What are your fitness goals for the future?
Kerry: My fitness goals for the future are to continue to block out time for the gym. And to remember that my fitness is a priority for me. If other things come up, I have learned to say no. It ultimately makes me a happier person when I am eating better and exercising regularly. Ultimately, this will benefit me in all aspects of my life.
Kristin Reisinger, MS RD, is a New York City-based nutritional consultant, fitness trainer, freelance health + fitness writer and musician. She holds a Master's Degree in Exercise Physiology + Nutrition from Columbia University and is a Registered Dietitian through American Dietetic Association. She is also a competitive figure athlete, former Galaxy competitor, avid snowboarder, rock climber and surfer. She has been competing for over five years and will continue to do so until she is 80. She can be contacted at email@example.com.