SPRINGBORO, Ohio - New Year’s resolutions can begin in any month of the year. August 2015 is when a success story started for Springboro resident Christina Littleton.
Although athletic and thin during her younger years, her father’s passing from pancreatic cancer in 1999 left her reeling emotionally. She gained a lot of weight, met her husband, Jason, got married, got pregnant, and gained more weight.
“The summer of 2015 I was having too much fun, and eating too much. In August I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, ‘Who is this person?’” said Littleton, who weighed 284 pounds at that point. “I was determined that I was going to do this, so I took a picture of myself.”
The wedding photographer had been going to Weight Watchers on and off before, but this time she stuck with her weekly meetings at the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Springboro. One and a half years later, she was down 115 pounds. It took her almost eight months to lose that last 10 pounds. The 5-foot-6-inch woman is now a fit and toned 159.
“Your main goal is to go in and lose weight. But there are things that you gain,” said Littleton, whose daughter, Ava, will be 11 next month. “Going through the journey I’ve learned to change my mindset. Before, I would secretly pick myself apart in the mirror. I didn’t want Ava to see that.”
She’d been very active when she was younger, with tennis, softball and running.
“So now I’m back to that side of me; being competitive. Developing more confidence in myself and taking more risks in my personal and professional life,” said Littleton, 40. “I completed a half-marathon in Nashville last year.”
She is teaching one weekly spin class, which will soon become two at the Coffman YMCA. In honor of her father, she participates in the 5K PanCan Run (fighting to end pancreatic cancer) in Kettering every year. She also runs on the treadmill.
The weight loss has an added bonus of giving her more energy to last through those long days with her camera equipment.
“I would be on my feet for hours; 12 hours from start to finish to photograph a wedding. I remember taking 800 milligrams of Motrin, and then again in the middle of the day just to get through it,” Littleton said. “And now I work out before a wedding.”
One of the reasons she has succeeded this time is her husband, who has always been supportive.
“There are so many programs out there, and just find one that works for you. Just create new habits,” Littleton said. “Instead of reaching for a bag of chips, you reach for an apple instead. You need to re-train your brain in the way you eat.”
In addition to her running and spin classes, she varies her workout sessions. She lifts weights, powers through a TRX core-based workout and does PiYo, a fast-paced yoga.
Lauren MacDonald, the instructor of the Weight Watcher’s group that Littleton has been attending, has a story of her own. She lost 110 pounds on the program, reaching her goal in 2012. She had some good words to say about her star pupil.
“She has done a amazing job. She’s stuck with it. A lot of people come and go, but she’s very motivational and inspirational to others,” said MacDonald, a Miamisburg resident who also works as a teacher.
MacDonald’s classes run twice a week at the Covenant Presbyterian Church at 415 N. Main St., Springboro. There’s an 8 a.m. meeting on Saturdays and a 6 p.m. meeting on Mondays.
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