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.

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If my boys ever called me lazy poop would hit the fan so hard they'd never even think it again! Report
Your story is so relate-able! Great Job! Thanks for the encouragement! Report
Thanks for telling your very own personal, miraculous story! I love it and hope to be like you one day. Close to my goal and felling that nothing will get in my way. I'm losing 18# that I gained back because of getting fed up with eating healthy and I feel, not allowing enough treats with mainly eating healthy. We can get so hung up on perfection that we forget that we are human and it's important to have a scheduled treat that we can keep sane! Good luck to you and thanks for the inspiration! Report
"I'm their mom; I am supposed to be fun and exciting."

I read that and laughed. When did that become a rule? I have never once had someone tell me that their mom was "fun & exciting." That's just not something that is commonly held as being an important element of motherhood. Report
Congratulations on your weight loss! I am hoping to be able to do the same for my son. Our kids deserve the best! Report
Reading your story is like looking in a mirror! I'm a stay at home mom of 2 small boys, I've always been a little overweight, but it kept creeping up on me. About the time I decided to lose all the weight after my first son, my second one was on the way. When we "play", my boys play while I sit and watch, and I feel guilty for not having the energy to join them. I recently saw my highest weight of 221 and decided it's time to get rid of my extra poundage! I'm down 9 pounds so far and trying to do it in a way that I can maintain, without burning myself out on "health food" and exercise.
Thank you for sharing your story and giving me a glimpse into the future! Report
I don't count calories either. I needed something I could live with for the next 40 - 60 years (I have the kind of genes that mean I might see 90 if not older). I've started mostly eating when actually hungry and stopping when full which has actually cut my portions naturally by about 25 - 50 %. I've lost 10lbs of the 50 I needed to and am slowly convincing myself to be more physical also. Report
Very inspiring story. I lost over 100 lbs 10 years ago by eating low carb and doing exercises like crazy, and when I was only 25 lbs. from my goal I fell off the wagon. I gained it all back plus a little more I realize now that healthy eating is better for you and thanks to SparkPeople I have lost 22 lbs. and still going, I like your response to the nay sayers "I am on a journey to a healthy lifestyle and I am finally getting there", It is hard to explain to others sometimes that you are not on a diet. Stick with it and those last 20 lbs. will come off. Thanks for sharing your story. Report
Great job, proud of you Report
very motivational Report
Thank you for sharing your story! Congrats to you- you sound happy :) Report
You are an inspiration! Well done and thanks for giving me my motivation for today. Report
Hi from Albuquerque. I just wanted to tell you how inspiring you are and Congratulate you on your healthy journey! Thank you so much for posting you story. Report
Thank you for being so honest about your family and work schedule and all that you have to do during the day. You have been working SO hard, and you are an Inspiration to me (being another Mom of small children) that I can do this if I want it bad enough. It takes consistent work and you have done that. Congratulations!! Report
You are a true inspiration to me; I have failed many times,but in reading your story, I think that I may become successful.Thank you Report
Congratulations on your journey and thank you for sharing it with us! Report
Thank you for this story, it came right when I felt myself slipping. Report
Fantastic! God bless! Report
i just started and i cant wait. im trying hard to make changes. this helped to read what you said. congratulations. it feels good to get your life back. Report
You remind me so much of myself! Thanks for the inspiration I need to start on my journey to also become a "fun mom". Report
You're so inspiring Crystal!!!! Way to go! I really liked reading your page and I will be cheering you on for the next 20!! I can't wait until I can write something like this too!!!! Report
Thank you so much for sharing your story! It was just what I needed to remind myself to stay on track today.

You're awesome!
Awesome! Report
Great job! Very inspiring! Report
Thank you for sharing your story. I found it so heartening that you seemed to make small, consistent changes over time. Reading your story gave me the confidence that I can do it too!! Kuddos

ItsHalftime Report
I can relate to your story. It encourages and inspires me that you were able to do this without resorting to special foods or lengthy gym workouts, but within the existing routines of your family. You look fantastic. Report
Good job it is really hard to stay on track your story is very inspiring. Report
You rock Crystal! This is very inspiring! I'm down 65 since January (also not on a special diet plan - focused on permanent healthy lifestyle changes) and over 1/4 toward my goal. Report
Congratulations. Good job .... don't give up.
I need inspiration like yours to get me going. More motivation is a must, I don't have anyone to keep me on task so I am going to have to do this by myself. Report
Great Job!! Report
Very inspirational! Thanks for your blog posting. I've experienced some of the things you mention, particularly having family and friends telling you to eat more. Also, kudos to you for being able to exercise after work. That is really hard! Report
Congratulations! I liked how you said you were not on a diet but a healthy lifestyle change. Your story is very inspirational to me because I have gained a lot of weight since I had my daughters and have just started trying to get healthy. Keep up the good work! Report
This right here is my sister! She is my inspiration and motivation....and I am so proud of her! Report
Thanks for sharing your motivational story:) Report
Awesome! You're definitely an inspiration to everyone. Thanks! Report
Continue to stay focused Crystal and keep dreaming big dreams like vacations, new clothing etc.? Report
You look great and sound happy. Very inspirational. Keep up the great work you are doing. Report
Congratulations for making a plan and sticking to it. You are an inspiration! Report
Well done! There's nothing quite as motivating as spending active time with your children. Congrats. Report
Thanks for the inspiration and motivation! Report
So proud of you!!! I don't have children, but started gaining after I was married. Soon got to over 200lbs! Have started SERIOUSLY changing my eating habits, avoiding sugar as much as possible (I'm addicted to sugar). Just at the beginning of my change and results such as yours are such great motivation!! Report
Kudos, Crystal!!!!! Keep having fun and you'll trick your body into losing that last twenty pounds - just watch!!! You'll be so focused on your kids and family that it will happen before you know it - not that it will happen quickly. Your body will adjust to its new "set weight" and you'll be able to maintain it like you have been doing so far!!! I'm rooting for you, too!!! Don't feel like you have to do it "perfectly", though!!! You are allowed to be human, just like we all are!!! Good luck to all who are inspired by you, too!!! Thanks for your story!!!! Report
Great job! Report
Awesome story! Good for you! Report
You look great - you should be extra proud of yourself Report
way to go Report
Fantastic! Good for you for making a healthier lifestyle you can live with! You are a great role model. Report
Awesome job Crystal! Sometimes just making small adjustments can help you make the biggest changes in the long run. Report
Yea for you, keep up the good work. I'm with you, so far 52 pounds gone and nothing is going to stop me this time!!!!!! Report