Crystal Benes battled obesity since she was a child and knew something had to change when at 25, she was struggling to breathe and get a good night’s sleep.
She weighed 376 lbs at the time.
“Every choice I made regarding what I fueled my body with and how much exercised I did was all up to me,” Crystal told People. “I had no one else to blame for my poor decisions that led me to being nearly 400 lbs.”
It took several failed attempts to control her weight over the years before she eventually stumbled across the opportunity that completely transformed her life.
Crystal decided that she was the one who had the power to change her life
In the spring of 2018, everything changed when Crystal heard about Fort Wayne’s Smallest Winner, a local weight loss competition.
The intense boot camp program was open to the public and free of charge, so Crystal decided to sign up and was selected to be a contestant.
“That first day was just grueling, just to know you’re the biggest person, you have the furthest journey to go, and for someone to tell me that I would have to lose 200 pounds to even get within a normal range of where I should be is just hard to believe, it’s impossible to believe,” Crystal said in an interview.
Over the course of the next 15 weeks, she lost 102 pounds through consistent boot camp classes, diet coaching and the support of a personal coach, and although she didn’t win, she wasn’t far behind.
Once the competition was over, Crystal was left to her own devices which was a little unsettling at first, but her dedication prevailed.
“I had to understand that this was no longer a diet, and that it had to become my lifestyle,” she remembered.
Determined to transform her life, she continued her regular workouts and nutrition plan until 10 months later she hit another milestone, dropping an extra 100 pounds.
At the time, she recalled it felt like a dream.
“My weight-loss journey came at a point in my life where my weight was something I faced every day and led me to a constant state of depression,” Bene said.
She stopped making excuses
One of her biggest challenges throughout was having to be brutally honest with herself and stop with the excuses, so she could finally get out of her own way, to pursue the healthy lifestyle she deserved.
Through the struggle I encountered during my journey, I came to realize that the most difficult road had led to the most beautiful journey of my life.
Since her 200 pounds weight loss, Crystal maintains her exercise routines and balanced diet, while enjoying all the things she couldn’t before.
“I want to go out and experience things I couldn’t experience as a kid like ride roller coasters, or go skiing, or ziplining, I can do all that now,” she said.
“I always ask myself ‘What if I keep going?’ and that allows me to become stronger, and it shows that it’s possible.”
More inspiring stories:
- Woman Loses Over 200 Pounds By Facing Her Demons
- This Man Lost Over 600 Pounds After Choosing To Live
- Woman Dumped And Trolled By Boyfriend For Being Overweight Gets The Last Laugh
- At 280 Lbs, She Kept Gaining Weight Through Yo-Yo Diets, Today, She’s A Personal Trainer