Happy New Year! It’s almost 2019, another new year and for some, another year of new beginnings — with heartfelt resolutions to help them happen. After weeks of enjoying decedent holiday food, many Americans will focus on losing weight, making this one of the top New Year’s resolutions every year.
But what if losing weight wasn’t just an annual necessity, but one that occurred 24/7, every day, every week, every year?
What if gaining weight, and losing it again, has been a lifelong battle with no winner and no real end in sight?
Chrystal Hutchinson-Roseman (mother of three, cancer survivor, business manager) fought the good fight and now finds herself in that very rare winner’s corner.
“I have always been the fat friend, fat mom, and the fat sister my entire life. My sister, who is a year younger, hates that I refer to myself in that manner,” the Fort George G. Meade resident said.
“Unfortunately, I believed it to be true. In my eyes, she looked perfect and I was disgusted with myself. My body image and self-confidence couldn’t have been worse.”
Hutchinson-Roseman hated mirrors and didn’t allow any in her home that showed her image below the chest. In fact, whenever she would pass a full-length mirror in a department store or the like, it would ruin her day.
Now 38, she has always struggled to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle and has been the subject of cruel ridicule as well. Hutchinson-Roseman married in 2015 and had managed to get her weight under control before her wedding.
However, keeping the weight off was difficult and the struggle of her life then ensued. She lost 95 pounds just prior to becoming pregnant with her third child but by the time the child was born, Hutchinson-Roseman had gained 100 pounds. She weighed in at an unhealthy 260 pounds when she gave birth to her daughter.
Hutchinson-Roseman’s pregnancy was not without issues. There had been a situation which left her worried that too much physical activity would endanger the life of her unborn child.
“I had a scare and was worried that if I were too active I’d lose the baby,” Hutchinson-Roseman said.
“So, to ensure the safety of my unborn child, I stayed stationary which lead me to eat a copious amount of food. I had gained back every pound I’d previously lost, plus five more.”
Devastated, she called a friend, who is a personal trainer, and asked for help. Her first act was to immediately adjust her nutritional plan. She would work-out again, picking up where she left off, now weighing in at 259.8 pounds and wearing size 22 pants.
Hutchinson-Roseman began by cutting out unnecessary foods, particularly fast foods and processed foods, and found it was not as difficult an adjustment as previously thought. As luck would have it, her sons, ages 18 and 22 when her daughter was born, weren’t picky eaters and were self-sufficient around the kitchen.
“My husband was the pickiest eater out of the bunch,” she said.
The family eventually adopted a plan that worked for everyone. Hutchinson-Roseman works as a full-time manager for an indoor children’s playground called Pump It Up. After her busy workday, she picks up her daughter from daycare and heads home to prepare the family’s dinner.
Once dinner is over, Hutchinson-Roseman’s day is not. She goes to Planet Fitness to get in a “decent” workout before returning home to do it again the next day.
“I weight train five days a week and run my 5k every day after I complete weightlifting,” Hutchinson-Roseman said.
“Before incorporating the 5k a day challenge into my daily routine, I did weights and 30-40 minutes of cardio (i.e. stairs), starting at level one and increasing the levels every two minutes until my time was up.”
Last month, Hutchison-Roseman’s sister noticed a change in her when she attended a party in her home. In the past, much to her sister’s annoyance, Hutchinson-Roseman would always call first to ask if she would be the fattest person at the party.
“We were at the gym a few days ago and she said, ‘I wanted to tell you that I am so proud of you because, for the first time, you didn’t call and ask if you would be the fattest one at the party,’ ” Hutchinson-Roseman said.
“She started tearing up and then we were just two sappy sisters in the gym crying over a phone call that I didn’t feel like I had to make. She was just happy that I was confident enough not to care.”
To date, Hutchinson-Roseman has lost an amazing 113 pounds. It is because of her determination and hard work that she is now able to reap the benefits of a healthier lifestyle and subscribes to the mantra, “eat clean and train mean.”
She said that to eat clean simply means consuming real food that requires preparation, while training means to continually strive to achieve a goal. She hasn’t reached her final goal yet, but she does have a floor-length mirror now.
“I’m fighting that ‘fat girl’ that still happens to resonate deep inside. I’m winning but have to be ready to fight her with every self-doubt I still hold about myself. No matter what’s going on or how far gone you think you may be, everything will be OK and work itself out. It is never too late to be the best version of yourself.”