Kristen Bloom is an optimist. So when she started to gain weight after taking her first desk job in her early 20s, she didn’t let it bother her too much. “I’d get on the scale and be like, ‘Oh 20 pounds heavier? It will come off, it’s fine,’” Bloom, now 38, says.
When Bloom was 32 years old, she spent a week in the hospital following surgery to treat appendicitis. It was there, at 5’1” and 204 pounds, where she experienced a wake-up call. “I said, ‘OK, this is such a miserable experience. Even though [appendicitis] isn’t a weight-related issue, someday there will be one,’” she says.
While she recovered, she started to research ways to get healthier. “The first change I made was I started walking every day,” Bloom says. She dedicated half of her hour-long lunch break to walking, five days a week. “I remember that first 30-minute walk, my calves were burning, I was breathing heavy and I was sweating like crazy.” But she stuck with it for a whole month, and “after 30 days it was like, ‘I can do this,’” she says.
Growing Up on Pop Tarts and Casseroles
“To me, weightlifting was something only movie stars and bodybuilders did.”
Fueled by her more active lifestyle, Bloom decided it was time to tackle her (admittedly) terrible eating habits. “My mother was a heavy person and so I never learned healthy eating,” she recalls. “Dinner would be a cheesy casserole and for breakfast, Pop Tarts. I grew up with an overabundance of food for dinner, and a skimpy or crappy breakfast.”
Gradually, Bloom started reducing her calorie intake and coming up with a set of eating guidelines. One rule that worked: Never buying ‘trigger foods’ she knows she’ll overeat (like chocolate covered pretzels). “Or, if people bring snacks into work, I won’t eat it unless it’s homemade,” she says. She got her portion sizes under control by measuring her food diligently, and tries to order off the appetizer menu at restaurants. Slowly but surely, over the course of three years, Bloom lost about 40 pounds. “I wasn’t gung-ho on losing weight, I was gung-ho on getting healthy,” she says.
From Walking to Weight Training
In 2014, Bloom decided to step up her workouts and put her newfound energy to the test. “That’s the point where I found Daily Burn,” Bloom says.
“I was not a gym person at all. I was too shy and self-conscious to go into a gym to even look around.” At-home workouts seemed more doable. And her husband, Daniel, was on board, too. “We knew we weren’t going to get in the car to drive to the gym. What we did know was that we could take 30 to 45 minutes and go in front of the TV to do a workout,” he says.
“By the time I finished that first half-hour, there was sweat pouring off of me and I was grinning from ear to ear,” she recalls.
Bloom completed the entire three-month Cardio Sculpt program, before switching to Intelliburn. “While I’m exercising, I’m telling myself, ‘You can do that, you’re strong, you’re fast, you’re amazing,’ and then my body will follow,” Bloom says. Though she’d been walking for cardio, she noticed a huge improvement in her endurance after starting Daily Burn workouts.
Eventually, she started doing the strength-based Live to Fail program, to start building more muscle, too. “To me, weightlifting was something only movie stars and bodybuilders did,” she says. “Then, when I switched to LTF, I could actually see definition in my muscles and changes in flexibility. It was huge,” she says. Within a year of starting Daily Burn, Bloom lost another 26 pounds. By October 2015, she weighed 138, and hoped to lose another six pounds before hitting her goal weight. Today, she is proud to say she has done just that, losing a total of 74 pounds in a year and a half.
Bloom is still powering through her workouts, crushing 5Ks, and spent a recent vacation hiking in Yosemite National Park. “Before, I’d go to work and sit and type, then sit some more at dinner or at the computer or TV all evening. I know that I wasn’t living a very exciting life,” Bloom says. “Now I feel I am and want to see how much further I can go.”
Sure, you will always have doubts, she says. “But you will always surprise yourself. Just keep pushing.”
Originally published October 7, 2015. Updated November 12, 2016.
Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by Daily Burn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that this site is owned and operated by Daily Burn. Daily Burn users who worked out for 30 minutes or more at least five times a week for 60 to 90 days reported an average weight loss of about one pound per week. For those seeking to lose weight, keep in mind that extreme weight loss can be harmful to your health if done improperly or too suddenly. Always talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise or weight loss program.