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Krystina Holliday

Battling chronic fatigue and other health issues, this mother of three has made huge strides through training and diet.

Krystina Holliday

Written by Krystina Holliday 

At the very beginning of my fitness journey, I just wanted to feel happy and healthy. At age 34, I hadn’t lifted a weight since around high school. My body had slowly been shutting down over the years, and I felt like I was on a downward slope.

My “before” photo was taken a few weeks before I first started working out. That was a forced smile in that picture. I was suffering from severe anxiety with frequent panic attacks, PTSD, frequent stomach discomfort, and sleeping disorders, all of which were negatively interfering with my daily life.

I started seeing various doctors for all my problems and was prescribed six different medications. Nothing resolved my problems. I finally realized that NO ONE would fix me — and it’s not their responsibility to do so. I needed to make the choice and put all the work in myself to be healthy. I decided to start exercising as my first step.

Starting Her Journey

At first, it was very difficult since I was dealing with chronic fatigue. I didn’t think I had enough energy to even drive to the gym. I’m also a busy full-time nurse, wife, and mom of three active children.

“I just don’t have the time to exercise,” was my go-to excuse. However, I was determined to make a change, so I forced myself out of the house and to the gym.

I started out doing the StairMaster at the gym for 10 minutes, twice a week. I noticed some positive changes in my body and mood within weeks. I was hooked.

I started going to the gym more often, adding weight lifting to my regimen. I realized that I have always had the time to exercise; it just took a little rearranging and prioritizing to make it happen.

Now, three years later, I’m at the gym (currently my home gym) 5 to 6 days a week, starting at 5:30am.

Surprising Body Transformation

Since beginning my fitness journey, I’ve gained a few pounds, which was surprising to me at first. My starting weight was 124 pounds and my end weight was 128 pounds. However, my body shape has changed for the better and I dropped one pant size. I had to buy a new wardrobe because all of my clothes were too big.

It took me a few months to achieve this. When I first did a dumbbell biceps curl, I struggled to get a set in with a 20-pound bar. My first Jim Stoppami program was Super-Man. After completing it, I curled a 50-pound dumbbell 7 times. It was then that I knew what real progress I had made with my strength.  

I found Jim on Facebook with his New Year’s Challenge. I entered, thinking, “I’ve got nothing to lose.”

I was intimidated by the program at first and almost dropped out, but I’m so glad I didn’t! Using Jim’s program really took my fitness to the next level. I made more progress with strength, muscle gains, and...

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