During previous weight loss attempts, Grace Volsky felt shamed into working out. The 30-year-old would then put the weight back on and at her heaviest, she weighed 333lbs.
Grace, from Kansas City, Missouri told Truly: “I was so disconnected from my body at 333lbs that I was pushing away any physical and emotional feeling that I was ignoring it, pretending it didn’t exist.”
After an awkward trip to Disney World, Grace decided to lose the weight again but this time using a different approach. Grace lost 106lbs without ever stepping foot in a gym: instead of calorie counting, Grace only eats when she’s hungry, to the point she’s full, and goes on walks every single day to stay active.
She said: “Now that I've really developed more of a relationship with self love versus who I was then. Learning how to love who I was then and learning how to love who I am now. I only do movement or exercise whenever it feels physically good in my body.”
Grace wanted to help others on their own weight loss journeys and so she became a life coach. She now mentors clients on a one-to-one basis. For Grace, this is her last weight loss journey because she is determined to keep the 106lbs she’s lost off. She said: “I don't want to stop doing anything that I'm doing.”
Our takeaway? For those of you just embarking on your weight loss journey, walking, in conjunction with a healthy relationship to food, is a great way to get started. It's also easy to incorporate into your daily routine, without setting dedicated time aside for exercise.
One study, published in the Journal of Transport and Health, analysed self-reported health assessments from nearly 130,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 64, looking at the length of walks taken and the purpose behind them.
The researchers found walking to lose weight improved the participant's health, but the best improvements were from those who walked for a purpose, such as walking to work or to the shops, rather than those who walked for pleasure.
It could be the pace, as people walking to work walked faster, and so worked harder, than those who walked for pleasure. Leaving the car at home is one of the best (and cheapest) way to bring exercise into your life without relying on the gym. All you need is some of the best shoes for walking and comfortable clothes to get started.
If you get comfortable walking on a regular basis, and want to try your first running goal, our free downloadable Couch to 5K plan can get you hitting that five kilometre goal in as little as eight weeks.
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Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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