Last updated: Jun 08, 2010
julia-gressick
Now


Julia Gressick was headed straight toward diabetes, so she dropped major pounds.


As an overweight teen, I thought that when I hit 20, Id have an “ugly duckling to gorgeous swan” transformation and the pounds would magically melt off. Instead, I turned 20 and my weight just climbed. In a few short years I developed high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and prediabetes, all of which were linked to my size.

Id been suffering with polycystic ovary syndrome since my teens, another weight-related problem. My doctors wanted to treat me with drugs—some that I could be on for life. All I could think was: “How is this happening to me in my twenties?”

Boy, was that a wake-up call. So I took a hard look at my habits and noticed that I rarely ate breakfast and usually skipped lunch, but after a long day teaching eighth graders, Id get home starving and just binge.

Needing a kick start, I decided to try Nutrisystem. The convenience of nearly-instant meals helped me get on a regular eating schedule. Eventually, I started making my own healthy meals.



Before


At the same time, I started exercising. I bought an elliptical, started walking to work, and added strength training moves. Soon I had lost 38 pounds.

That summer, my roommate started a “Couch to 5K” program, and she didnt want to run alone. I was so sore after the first day! After a while something magic finally did happen: I started loving it—and running became my favorite exercise. I worked up to running and working out five to six days a week. I dropped another 32 pounds and finished my first 5K in September 2007.

Ive lost another 23 pounds since—for a total of 93 pounds. Ive reversed every last one of those scary health problems: My cholesterol is normal, my blood sugar and blood pressure are awesome, and my symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome are gone—all without drugs. Im still eating healthy: A typical breakfast is a fruit smoothie made with kefir (its like drinkable yogurt) and a veggie omelet. For lunch, I have a salad with turkey or ham.

In October I finished my first marathon (in 4 hours, 41 minutes, 51 seconds!) and my goal is to do two more this year.

From Heavy to Healthy time line:

  • 223 lbs-January 2007- My new elliptical machine is ready—and so am I!

  • 199 lbs-April 2007- Under 200 pounds!

  • 178 lbs-August 2007- At a wedding, everyone notices Im smaller.

  • 135 lbs-February 2008- In a bikini for the first time in my life!

  • 130 lbs-Now– Im at my goal! My treat: a shopping spree!


Congrats, Julia! PRIORI is celebrating Julias success by sending her a $500 gift basket of skin-care products from their new CoffeeBerry Natureceuticals Collection with natural coffeeberry extracts. Nice!