2017 Region 2 Winner: Eileen Johnson

Twelve weeks ago, I was an avid excuse-making, face-stuffing, heavy-breathing exercise-avoider. I skirted workouts and managed my stress by eating cans of Stax. I looked like I was heavily pregnant, clothes didn’t fit properly, and I had to grunt to roll on my side in bed. My blood pressure was fine, but my endurance sucked, my hormones were terribly awry, and my uterus was falling out. Not, like, all the way, but my copious abdominal fat was contributing to my mild prolapse.
Back story: I had my kids at ages 18, 21, and 23. I had textbook-perfect pregnancies, easy deliveries, and big babies. I never had problems losing pregnancy weight. My highest pregnant weight was 141 pounds. For comparison, I started off 2017 at 192 lbs. and started the challenge at 180.
In 2011 I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. My small intestine had severe autoimmune damage. Before I grew accustomed to a gluten-free diet, all I ate was rice, butter, and Pepsi. In time I learned what I could safely eat, but the inconvenience was my excuse for eating crappy foods. Most GF “replacement” foods–pasta, bread–are made with rice, potato starch, and corn. Safer than gluten, but not conducive to overall good health. At some point, I developed hypothyroidism…then acid reflux…then PCOS, which is where my whacked-out hormones come in. I was taking thryoid meds, heartburn and allergy meds, spironolactone to help control my testosterone (sexy, huh?), and so on, along with vitamins and supplements because Celiac means I’m a Poor Absorber of Nutrients. My doctor said I was headed toward insulin resistance and wanted to add Metformin to my list of medications.
I declined.
I quit soda. I started walking regularly, then running, following the C25k program. My weight loss was exceptionally slow–yeah, turns out that hypothyroidism and PCOS are known for that–but I was undoubtedly getting stronger.
Once I started the 12-week challenge, I noticed huge improvements in my physical capabilities. I did P90x workouts (starting at 15 minutes each and gradually increasing) and my daily activities were suddenly easier. I began loving walking lunges, and my teens cheered me on.
However, my “food baby” was still large and in charge. A third of the way through the challenge I gave in to tracking my macros. I HATE measuring and recording my food, but it’s effective.
In October I decided to try giving up sugar and most grains. Half of them aren’t gluten free anyway, and I figured that fewer insulin spikes would be kinder to my pancreas and maybe keep the Metformin away.
Bingo! Food Baby has all but disappeared. I no longer look pregnant! I eat meat, veggies, cheese, nuts, and eggs, and some fruits. I occasionally have ice cream for a treat, and I refuse to measure it. The more weight I lose, the better I feel exercising. I’m thrilled that I’ve learned to work with my body. I’m “only” down 11.6 pounds, but I feel a billion times better.
I’m making a new motivation poster this weekend. To be continued!

Congrats to our Region 2 pot challenge winner, Eileen Johnson for being an incredible inspiration and following through on our 12 week challenge! Region 2 consists of New Jersey and New Yorkt! Join our upcoming No More Excuses Challenge starting January 15th and ending on Easter HERE!!! For $50 you will not only receive an email consultation with Maria Kang, a 150 workout ebook, No Excuse Mom tank, 12-week accountability calendar and a fitness/nutrition guide, but you will also get a chance to win $1000 worth of money and prizes.

Congrats to our regional winner! You have $280 extra shopping money this season and we hope you get something extra awesome for yourself! Our No Excuse Moms followed our official NEM program, where they used a fitness calendar, logged in their meals, participated online/in-person and overcame their excuses!
Join our Facebook group or find a free workout community near you!