Twenty Questions with CORY!
Each Tuesday we feature a different success story from the Trading Cardio for Cosmos community in a segment called “Twenty Questions With…” Young, young at heart, marathon runners and those who can’t exercise at all, vegetarians, pescatarians, working mommas, work-from-home professionals and retirees. We’re going to showcase them all, because when you read about someone like you succeeding, I think it gives you the confidence that you too can succeed!Today I want to introduce you to Cory, who keeps it REAL about her -109lb weight loss and what it takes to maintain it! I really appreciate Cory’s take on dining out, moderation and the foods she keeps close by to help keep her on track through busy days and gym workouts, too!
And now onto the questions:
1. Give us the basics about you – your first name, age, region you live in, etc.
My name is Cory. I am 29 (I’ll be 30 in March!). I live in Michigan and I work as a lawyer.
2. When did you start your weight-loss journey? What was the “tipping point” that made you start?
I’ll be honest, I didn’t have a tipping point like most people. I had pretty much accepted my weight, although I would try to exercise to be healthy, I never really tried to adjust my eating to lose weight. Then in the summer of 2014, my friends started a weight loss bet. I lost 30 pounds that year. In 2015, I just decided that would be the year I lost the weight, and it was!
3. What is one piece of advice you wish you had known when you started out?
You know how they say abs are made in the kitchen? Well that’s true. You can workout everyday, but unless you change your diet, your weight will not change.
4. How much weight have you lost? If you are done losing, and are on to maintaining? How long have you been maintaining your loss?
5. How do you keep your motivation up?
I remember all the amazing benefits that come from leading a healthy lifestyle—eating healthy and exercising. I remember how far I have come and that I do not want to lose all my progress. More practically, I rely on friends and family a lot. I will text a friend if I am thinking of skipping the gym, and they inevitably tell me to go! Otherwise, I rely on my routine. I don’t always want to go to the gym everyday, but I do because it’s my routine.
6. How do you handle cravings?
Generally, I try to make a healthier version of whatever I am craving. With websites like Skinnytaste and Emily Bites Blog, I find I can make most “bad” things I want. If I am craving bad food at night, I just go to bed! I also don’t deprive myself. That leads to binging for me. If I really want something, I eat a reasonable portion and move on.
7. What are your top three tips for success?
My first tip is always to form a habit. After you do something for 4 weeks, it just feels natural and easy.
Second, do not think it will be easy. When I talk to people who say they don’t like salad, or vegetables, I always cringe. The fact is, to lose weight, you’re going to need to eat salads and vegetables (not to mention they are good for you!). It is not always going to be about eating exactly what you want, you will have to make sacrifices.
Third, think of it as a lifestyle. For me, my metabolism will never allow me to live the life I used to and not gain weight. I think a lot of us are in the same boat. So many people I see have a mindset of needing to temporarily diet or exercise to lose weight, and when they stop, they gain it back. You need to find a way to carry on this lifestyle long term. That’s why I love weight watchers, because I think the program supports that mindset.
8. Do you exercise? If so, how often, for how long and what type of exercises do you do?
I exercise about 5-6 times a week. To be honest, I have switched up my exercise routine a lot over the past two years or so, to keep challenging myself and pushing forward. Right now, I usually run three days a week, lift weights three days a week, and go to a kickboxing and yoga class once a week.
9. What is your favorite breakfast?
I actually switch a lot! Last year I was all about protein shakes, but I got burnt out. Lately, I have been having low-carb toast with PB2 and a banana. I also have been enjoying reduced sugar oatmeal, because it’s winter and cold! On the weekends, I love to make eggs or pancakes (Kodiak Cakes for the win!).
10. What is your go-to lunch?
I work a typical 9-5 office job, and I stock pile food at work. If I don’t have leftovers, my go-to’s are Progresso soup, tuna sandwiches with fat-free mayo, turkey or ham sandwiches, and cottage cheese with applesauce. I also try to have a vegetable and a fruit with my lunches. I tend to eat the same things all week to make it easier. If I go out to lunch, I will usually try to have a salad with some kind of protein.
11. What does a typical week night dinner look like? What about a weekend dinner?
I try to cook at least once a week, or meal prep over the weekend and then eat leftovers. I am usually only cooking for myself, so that helps in that I don’t have to cook all that freuqently. One trick I have is to make a casserole on Sunday to heat up on Monday. Also, lately, I have been poaching a few pounds of chicken on Sunday for easy use throughout the week. I also keep a variety of frozen entree options available for nights I am just not motivated to cook.
12. What kind of snacks do you like?
I like my snacks to include protein and a vegetable. I often eat greek yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, flavored tuna packs with celery or crackers, vegetables with fat free italian dressing, or lettuce wraps with turkey. I also almost always have a Quest bar and a piece of fruit before I go to the gym after work.
13. What kind of desserts do you eat?
What kind of desserts don’t I like to eat?! I have definitely found that sweets are a BIG weakness of mine. Lately, I have been trying to find point-friendly dessert options on blogs, many of which have turned out great. Skinnytaste “Pineapple Bliss Cupcakes” are a dream!
One of my other strategies has been to split dessert, or have one bite of a friend’s dessert, so as not to over-indulge.
My other healthy go-to’s for dessert are no-sugar added fruit cocktail with fat free cool whip, fat free pudding, and no sugar added Jell-O. Try adding some crushed oreos to fat free pudding! So delicious!
I also love the Weight Watchers chocolate smoothies and fruit smoothies as a dessert option.
14. What kind of adult beverages do you enjoy?
My go-to adult beverage is white wine, because it isn’t terrible in points, and I love it. A great tip is to add some seltzer water to it to stretch the points. Otherwise, my favorite adult beverages are high, high in points (margaritas, hard cider). Generally, I try to limit my drinking because I love food more!
15. What is your favorite meal to eat in a restaurant?
My general attitude in a restaurant is to order the healthiest thing I can find. I rarely go to restaurants and order exactly what I want. I avoid the sandwiches and French fries, and try to pick something with a lot of protein. Besides, I can always steal a french fry from a friend!
16. Do you have a favorite fast food/casual dining meal?
I generally don’t eat fast food. I like Subway as an option at work (especially their chopped salad), and I also frequently get lettuce wraps from Jimmy Johns for a quick and point-friendly meal! I also love to a good greek salad with low-calorie dressing.
17. Do you have a favorite weight loss blog/website/FB group that you visit for inspiration?
I find lots of inspiration from instagram. My username is @corys_ww_story. I love seeing all the food and workout ideas! I have made some great friends too!!
18. Do you have a favorite website for healthy recipes?
Skinnytaste for sure! My all-time favorite is the Crockpot Chicken Taco Chili. It is so easy and delicious! Lately, I have been making her One Pan Roasted Chicken, Potatoes and Sausage a lot, but I will sometimes substitute the potatoes for butternut squash, or the peppers for carrots. Oh, and I love her Baked Chicken Nuggets too! Basically, I love everything on her site!
19. Do you have a favorite quote, meme or thought that keeps you motivated?
This is the background for my lock screen on my phone, too!
20. What’s one final thought you can share with someone who’s interested in losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight?
You can do it!! It’s cliché but true. It won’t be easy but it will be worth it. And even when you reach your goal weight, never stop pushing and challenging yourself!