Natasha Glaspy was not happy with the way she looked or felt so last January, prompted by an offer for a Fresh Start program at the YMCA, she made a resolution to spend the year working on loosing weight.
A year later, and 80 pounds lighter, she said it was one of the best decisions she had ever made.
“I was 28 years old and had PTOS which is a hormone imbalance,” she said last week. “I was already starting to have problems with my glucose levels and was already in the diabetes range. I was taking medicine for my blood pressure. I was taking about four pills a day and I felt like was prisoner to my medicine and was too young for that.”
So Glaspy, a Winston-Salem resident, signed up for the Fresh Start program and started looking for a YMCA that would be a good fit for her.
“It was only once a week for 10 weeks and I figured if I lost 20 pounds in the program then I would keep trying,” she said. “I knew the King YMCA was smaller than the Y’s in Winston and it was only 10 minutes down the road. I was already really nervous about it and this one seemed less intimidating because it was smaller.”
In the first 10 weeks Glaspy ended up losing 23 pounds and decided to keep taking classes because they offered more structure, support and guidance.
“I would work out with one of the instructors, Alyson Dodson, in group training,” said Glaspy. “I really liked the weights at first, because they were not as intimidating as cardio. As I built up my endurance the cardio classes were not as intimidating. Eventually I started thinking about how I ate.”
Glaspy said the focus on diet was a real turning point.
“I used to eat a lot of carbs,” she said. “I cut pretty much all of that out of my diet and that was when I started to really see a difference. I was working out but I still was not feeling as good as I thought I should feel. I started doing my own research and reading up on other people who had lost weight and what they were eating.”
Glaspy said before she focused on diet she would eat up to 3,000 calories in a single meal. Today she averages about 1,500 calories a day.
“I would think something was a serving and it was actually a serving for four,” she said. “I had no portion control. I just did not know.”
She started off counting calories so she had a clear idea of how much she was eating, but over the year has grown her knowledge to be able to estimate without focusing too much on specific calories.
Today a typical day of food includes eggs, egg whites, Greek yogurt, fruit, grilled chicken, steamed vegetables and fish.
Glaspy said the staff and members at the Stokes County YMCA had been especially helpful on her weight loss journey.
“They really helped with motivation and feeling comfortable,” she said. “Everyone is really helpful and makes you feel like you can do it. I would not have had a clue if I had had to do it on my own. I like the classes because you get the guidance ad instruction versus just doing the treadmill and not knowing what you are doing.”
She has also gotten support from friends and family who have seen her weight loss progress through Instagram posts.
“When I show my mom comparison pictures she is like, ‘I just did not realize you were that heavy but I am so proud of you,’” said Glaspy. “I have had friends that I don’t talk to often text me me out of the blue from my Instagram saying they are so proud of me and that I have inspired them to do it. It has really helped me push myself, knowing that I am helping other people and inspiring them.”
Glaspy said she has also gotten a lot of satisfaction from how much better she feels now.
“Now I can go out and do stuff all day and make a day of it,” she said. “I used to just be tired all of the time. If I was not at work, I just laid around doing nothing. Now I do stuff.”
She also appreciates the weight loss when she has to travel.
“Last year I went to Miami and when I got on the plane I had to use two seat belts,” she remembers. “This year I went to Atlanta and actually had extra room on the one seat belt. I got all emotional on the plane.”
Glaspy said the weight loss has, however, made it hard to keep up a dependable wardrobe.
“It has been a very expensive year,” she said. “I lost 22 inches off of my waist. I bought jeans in October and they are already falling off.”
Glaspy said her weight loss journey had not been easy, but it was certainly worth it, noting that her glucose levels have dropped, the amount of medication she has to take has been cut in half and her blood pressure is much better than it had been.
She said she would recommend anyone try to get more active and work on their weight.
“Think about it as doing something for yourself and the longevity of your life,” she said. “It is something for you. We are all busy but an hour a day is only four percent of your day and it is for your health and your life. Your body can do so much more than what your mind will let you think it can do. Don’t hold yourself back. A year from now you will be like ‘Wow! If I had done this last year where would I be today?’ You just have to push yourself and think about why you are doing it.”
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.