Wedding Weight Loss Champ: Cris of Kiss My Tulle {Part 1}

I am CRAZY excited about today because I'm sharing the first-ever Fit for a Bride transformation story, and it's from a blogger many of us know and love: Cris of Kiss My Tulle!! Yay!! Cris lost a whopping 40 lbs before her wedding! Wow! And, she blogged her entire weight loss journey! Double wow!

Weight Loss Success_CrisI absolutely love when Cris talks about being able to zip up her gown for the first time! The pretty lace halter was her big motivator-- she got it through the Wedding Dress Project and between that, and some photos of herself she didn't like, she jumped right into fit-bride-badass mode! She sought better HEALTH and a better self-image, and guess what? Not surprisingly, weight loss came with the territory, and her wedding day was a sweet-sweet payoff-- she weighed 132 lbs down from near 200!

So much of Cris' story resonated with me, like her saying she'd "always been fat," and get this-- we were both 10 lb. babies! (Any other 10-lbers out there?) I think her story is downright INCREDIBLE and if you haven't been following her, it's time to start! She just launched a challenge to encourage small, healthy changes in 2013, and to share them on social media with the hashtag #12MoF! I LOVE that!

This is PART ONE of her story. I'm posting the second half later today, which will include her staple foods and exercise regimen.

Has your weight always been an issue for you? Since what age?

Let’s start at the beginning shall we? I have always been fat. My mom LOVES telling everyone how I was born 10 pounds/10 ounces.

What kind of household did you grow up in? Do you feel you were taught healthy eating principles? I grew up in rural Alaska with no fresh veggies or fruit (literally none), no gyms, and a family that did not work out or eat healthy. In gym class, I was the one who walked laps instead of running them. I was the kid at the pool party wearing an over-sized T-shirt and shorts. I considered French fries a vegetable.

When did you decide to make a change? Did your wedding have anything to do with it? A couple of Christmases ago, my sister discovered fitness. Not “starve yourself skinny” fitness but actual “becoming a healthier and stronger person” fitness and she begged me to join her every morning at the gym so that we could spend more time together. I went and messed around on the elliptical a bit but, again, I didn’t understand the machines, the weight room scared me (and was filled with mirrors and dudes), and I literally had no clue what losing weight entailed. But, I liked being with my sister and she was so happy to have me there that I continued going. And one day, I stumbled upon a machine in the back of the gym called the Koko Fitness SmartTrainer– an all-in-one strength training computerized machine. It changed everything. That machine showed me how to do different strength exercises, it taught me what a rep was, it encouraged me to try harder. From the minute I first struggled to do the exercises on that machine, I was interested in learning more about how I could become a fitter and healthier person.

Do you have any sort of wake-up call or was your progress more on-again, off-again? It was actually in August of 2010, I saw a picture of me from my best friend’s wedding and I was embarrassed. I was working out 5 days a week and was still nearly 200 pounds. I decided that it was time to do something about it (well, first I cried my eyes out and then I did something) .

What was your starting weight? Did you take measurements? Did you measure body fat? I was 5’5” and nearly 200 pounds. I actually didn’t take exact measurements in the beginning (I didn’t even own a scale) but I was too big for the XXL section at Target and lived in The Boy’s T-shirts and sweats.

When did you start to see a difference in your weight? Once I started counting calories, the weight came right off. By January of 2011, I came back from Alaska having actually lost weight over the holidays and was down a whopping 40 pounds.

What was the best part about getting healthier/losing weight? Finding out I could do it. Gaining the knowledge to help me lose it and KNOW that I can keep it off. I can do this. It is possible.

What did you enjoy the most as a pay-off ? No lie – I love being smaller. I can finally buy and wear all those cute outfits that people pin on Pinterest!

If you made these changes because of your upcoming wedding, what part of the wedding, specifically, was motivating? For me, it was my wedding dress. I was the recipient of the very first Wedding Dress Project Dress because of the original owner’s complete faith in my weight loss journey. When I got the dress, I was still 20 pounds away from fitting into it. But on my wedding, it not only fit – I zipped that sucker up myself.

Finally, how did you feel on your wedding day? Great. But I REALLY felt great after getting my wedding photos back – my ass looked amazing.

Were you able to keep with the program after the wedding? Yes, but with some alterations. I didn’t feel the need to diet or exercise on my honeymoon - I ate all the food. Then, I cut back to working out only an hour instead of an hour and half M-F. I was able to maintain (people even commented on it) until recently when some minor medical issues forced me to stop working out and start eating more. I’ve totally gained weight but I’m not discouraged. I have the tools and the knowledge to get myself back into shape once I’m allowed to.

Do you have any advice for other women trying to get healthier and/or lose weight? Since I first began regular posts about my fitness journey, I continually get comments, emails, and tweets asking HOW I lost all that weight and toned my body. Well, let me share the answer with you: I ate less and moved more. That’s it. I tried every month to make small changes to my diet and/or my fitness level to improve my health. Along the way, I lost weight and shaped up. All by making small changes and turning them into habits. That’s why I started the 12 Months of Fitness (#12MoF) challenge- join me in 2013 and challenge yourself to make small changes in 12 Months of Fitness (#12MoF). Every month, I’ll introduce a new small change for you to make to your diet/fitness and suggest several ways to adopt the change.

YES! I'm IN, Cris! I'm ready for small changes and big impacts!

What about you? Are you not inspired? How could you not be?

Come back around noon for more and PLEASE, leave Cris some love in the comments!

*All Images Courtesy of Miranda Laine Photography