Sometimes your weight loss can get stuck in a rut like your car can sometimes get stuck in the snow. Need a little motivation? Meet Laura Murra, a 33-year-old, 5’6 nurse from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Just three years ago at the age of 30, Laura found herself weighing 223lbs. She was seemingly climbing up an endless sand dune with her efforts to lose weight. “I didn’t realize how much weight I had gained unless I saw an old picture. It made me sad,” she says.  In April of 2010, she watched a video in a nutrition class about women and heart disease. The video gave her a wake-up call and forced her to see what a major risk she was for the deadly disease. From there she began her journey from a size 18/20 to a size 8/10.

Along the way, one of Laura’s biggest obstacles was the overall anxiety of being in a gym.  A very common fear, Laura says, “I did not want to see myself in those mirrors and see how much I had let myself go.”  But she got to the gym and started working out regularly. However, after several attempts at working out on her own, she wasn’t seeing the results she had hoped for. So, Laura enlisted a few close friends and a personal trainer to help get her into shape. Slowly but surely, the weight started coming off and she started to see the results she was looking for. She ran her first 5K with her best friend. And after that she ran a few more 5ks and even an 8k!

Unfortunately though, after about ten months of training she found she could no longer afford a trainer. But rather than just give in to old habits, Laura took what she learned in the gym and began working out on her own. Thanks to her roommate’s treadmill, workouts are now as good as in her own apartment. Typically after a five minute warm-up and stretch, Laura runs five to ten minutes on the treadmill at a speed of 6.0-6.2. Then she hops off to do roughly 20 sets of strength drills like burpees, push-ups, lunges, squats, kettlebell exercises and ab work. Then she gets back on the treadmill and repeats the cycle for 45-60 minutes.

As far as her diet? Once she began working out four to five days a week, she noticed that her tastes in food had changed. She no longer craved fatty, fried foods. She now craves the healthier fruit, veggies and protein which also helps keep her fuller longer. She continues to struggle with her sweet tooth. But she says, “I have to allow myself a dessert when I want, but don’t go overboard.” And for anyone struggling with their weight, she advises, “Do not get discouraged when you have a bad day(s). Instead of rewarding yourself with food (which is easier said than done), buy a new shirt or get a manicure.” Laura also says it’s important to, “Try not to compare yourself to others.”

Now having lost a total of 54 pounds, Laura says that jeans have never fit better! “I am not completely satisfied with my body, but now I can look at myself in the mirror and like what I see. I am proud of my work,” she says. One of the first things Laura noticed was going from a 40DD to a 36D bra. Then she says her face started to change and all of her clothes became too big! No more plus sizes!

Laura is currently still running races and is working on mastering the crow pose in yoga. Even though she says she has another 10-15 more pounds to lose, having lost as much weight as she has is one tremendous feat! Now she says, “I am mostly focused on just keeping the weight off and taking better care of my body.” And through all of it, “The ultimate is having more energy and confidence!”

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