Kayla Rusiecki, 29, a UPS worker is now studying to become a certified personal trainer. She changed her life around and wants to help others.
Many women struggle with losing weight. There is a multitude of reasons like ill health, mental health issues, body type, lack of time, and more, that can contribute to it. Nobody lets go of themselves by choice, they just prioritize other things given how busy women's lives can be. However, taking care of ourselves is important even if we forget to do so often.
Kayla Rusiecki, 29, was deeply affected by her weight for many years of her life until she decided to make a change. She told Women's Health Mag that she "struggled" with weight since the first grade. That is a really difficult place to be as an elementary school student. It took a toll on her confidence and even though she tried multiple things like detox teas, running, and weight-loss pills over the years, it didn't work for her. Then, she was put on blood pressure medicine between the ages of 23 and 25. Apart from that, anxiety took a toll on her mental health.
In February 2018, she and her partner quit drinking alcohol. It helped her to start her weight-loss journey. "I was very aware of my weight and health issues. I worked in the medical field and knew the risks of being obese however never took the necessary steps to do anything about it. It wasn't until I crept into plus-sized clothes that I really felt like I was losing control. I knew I had to make a change before my health declined even more as I continued to rack on the pounds. I drank quite a bit at the time and when I eliminated alcohol completely it definitely made it easier to make healthier choices the following day and overall. I started feeling better and believe it helped me kick off my journey," she told Women Working.
To begin with, she worked on her nutrition using a food container system for portion control. Then, she stopped using that and chose to keep a food journal and drink 1.5 to 2 gallons of water a day, which made a difference for her. Mayo Clinic recommends drinking two 8-ounce glasses of water before meals as that will bring down the tendency to eat more. Adequate hydration can aid weight loss by breaking down and burning fat at a faster rate.
She began "tracking calories" about two years into her journey. "It certainly is NOT necessary however I do believe it's the best way to ensure you're intaking less than you're burning if the goal is to lose weight," she told Women Working.
Apart from taking care of her nutrition, she also started working out. Initially, she needed to use modifications for every move but she kept pushing herself until she reached her goal body. "I continued showing up every day and I got stronger. My workouts were feeling easier and I was starting to feel really good afterward," she wrote in Women's Health Mag.
The 29-year-old UPS worker lost 70 pounds in a year and she has kept at it. She is also studying to become a certified personal trainer.
"Over time, I realized I really enjoyed lifting weights. I continued doing mostly strength training workouts, and I started focusing on doing what I enjoy versus what everyone else was doing. That's when I noticed the biggest changes. I did what made me happiest," she wrote. "This has been the most life-changing journey," she added.
Initially, she worked out for 30 to 60 minutes four or five days a week, but now she works out almost every single day. She makes sure to do meal prep, and as a morning person, she starts on her fitness routine the first thing in the morning. She also made sure to listen to her body to figure out what works best for it instead of following a restrictive diet.
She saw results by being consistent and shared the lessons she learned along the way. Here are some tips from Kayla herself:
1. "If you're just starting out and don't know where to even begin, my number 1 or 2 tips would be to increase your veggie intake by a lot. Let veggies be the most of your plate/meal/dish."
2. Protein intake should be lean protein, such as chicken breast, lean ground chicken/turkey/beef.
3. Eat less processed food and more whole foods.
4. Aim to drink half of your body weight for water in ounces (For example, if you are 140lbs, drink at least 70 oz of water/day).
5. Plan meals on a weekly basis. "I generally spend a few hours on my day off to prepare breakfast, lunch, and sometimes snacks ahead of time so it's easy to grab and go out of the refrigerator." For this, she recommends Tupperware or heavy-duty glass containers with a good seal. (It will ensure your food, especially salads, will keep well up to a week and tasting fresh!)
6. Partially steam lots of veggies of your choice (she recommends broccoli, asparagus, carrots). "When I'm ready to have a portion I air fry them with seasoning of choice for crispy veggies without the added oil for roasting! I invested in an electric steamer that allows me to cook lots at once."
7. "If you want to try tracking macros/counting calories, I'd recommend a food scale to easily measure portions and weigh certain foods. It's a much more accurate way than say, using a measuring cup or 'eyeballing' a portion."
"Hot tip: If you are getting stuck, ask yourself, what stopped you? What WAS NOT working well? What WAS WORKING well for you? Adopt the things that worked well and never be afraid to make adjustments if something isn't working. Just because it works for one person or worked for you in the past, it doesn't mean it'll necessarily continue working. I am still learning and making adjustments all the time. Trial and error! It's why this is a lifestyle."
Cover photo source: Instagram | kayfit_rusiecki