For Kayla Sleigher, it wasn’t until her early 20s that her weight started to become a serious problem. Her trigger: Transitioning into adulthood, which threw off her previously active lifestyle. “You go into the real world and start working and having a family. Taking care of myself wasn’t a priority,” Kayla, now 31, says. “I never cared to exercise. I didn’t care what I ate.”
At five-foot-seven, Kayla weighed 150 pounds when she was 20 years old. But for the next eight years, she avoided the scale—pushing aside worries about weight gain in order to focus on her son, career and family. In 2004, she met her future husband through mutual friends. Four years later, she got married, on May 3, 2008.
Yet, when her wedding photos arrived, Kayla got a stark wake-up call about her weight. “The photos were completely devastating to me,” Kayla says. She hated the way she looked on her wedding day, and in her dress. “I don’t have a single photo from that day out in my house. They are all shoved away.”
But painful as it was, those photos motivated Kayla to finally step on a scale. It read 209 pounds.
Fighting to Get Fit
“I spent a year being depressed and feeling sorry for myself after my wedding,” Kayla remembers. Finally, in January 2010, she decided enough was enough. It was time to get fit. “Eventually, I just got to a point where I was like ‘This is stupid,’ sitting around hating myself,” Kayla says.
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By making simple changes like cutting out soda, eating more protein, and taking walks around her neighborhood, Kayla lost 35 pounds between January and August of 2010. But eventually, Kayla’s motivation started to wane—and her weight loss plateaued.
“I didn’t know what program to follow,” Kayla says. “You could research a million weight loss programs for years and still come out confused. I needed someone to set out a whole plan for me.” She thought about joining a gym but the nearest one was 40 minutes away—too far of a commute to justify a membership.
Hooked on Inferno
Just as her resolve was starting to waver, Kayla came across a DailyBurn commercial on TV in January 2014. The first month of membership was free, so she figured she might as well give it a shot. Never one to back down from a challenge, Kayla decided she wanted to dive into the hardest program she could find on DailyBurn. “I started with Inferno and I was hooked,” Kayla says. “Anja jumpstarted me and… and the weight finally started coming off.”
Though her first Inferno workout was definitely tough—it was worth it. “Half an hour after I was done, I felt great. I worked out really hard, but I still had so much energy,” Kayla says. “That’s what kept me going back; you get that rush and that’s what keeps you going.”
With the help of Inferno, Kayla shed 20 more pounds—and started seeing serious results. “My waist is so much smaller, my butt is more lifted,” Kayla says. “I feel like if I wanted to sign up for a 5K tomorrow, I could do it.”
Kayla says her weight loss has also allowed her to keep up with her active husband and 12-year-old son. “My husband tried doing one workout with me and couldn’t make it!” Kayla says. Even more impressive: Kayla recently challenged her son to a push-up contest—and she won.
Consistency Is Key
One of the keys to Kayla’s success: Scheduling her workouts at the same time every day, even on weekends. “I love to do them between 9 and 10 in the morning. It gives me enough time to have breakfast, wait for the food to settle, and then do my workout,” Kayla says. “Then, afterwards, I have my protein shake and lunch.”
With only five more pounds to go until she reaches her goal weight of 137 pounds, Kayla and her husband have their sights set on renewing their vows—and recreating those pictures that Kayla would still rather forget.
“I definitely want to continue on this road,” Kayla says. “At this point, it’s not even about getting skinny any more, I’m happy with my weight, happy with how I look—I just want to be healthy. This is the only body I have. I have to take care of it.”
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Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by DailyBurn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that Life by DailyBurn is owned and operated by DailyBurn. DailyBurn users who worked out for 30 minutes or more at least five times a week for 60 to 90 days reported an average weight loss of about one pound per week.This article originally appeared on Life by DailyBurn.