MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) She is a happy, healthy stay-at-home mom of twins, married to a supportive husband of 10 years.
And she loves to run!
In fact, in November, she completed her first 5K.
Yes, life is pretty good these days for Kristina Helms.
But if you'd met Kristina a little more than a year ago, you would have met a different person; a depressed person, an obese person.
"I woke up and just assumed the day was going to be bad," she said, "I didn't like myself, I was constantly berating myself, saying, I'm a horrible person, I can't do this, I can't do anything, just general negative feelings all the time."
And that, says Kristina, is what 90 extra pounds will do to you.
Kristina weighed 260 pounds.
It was "embarrassing," she said, bluntly, "I couldn't go up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath. I had joint pain all the time. My blood pressure was sky rocketing, and I said, I've had enough of this!"
So what triggered this amazing transformation of a self described average woman?
The light bulb went on when she and her husband were looking at Easter photographs of the family.
"We were looking at pictures and he asked me if I wanted to put them on facebook," she recalled, "And I said, you know, I don't like it. And he felt real bad. He said, you're beautiful. And I said, but I don't feel beautiful."
And then Kristina saw another picture, a mental picture of her own children 10 years from now.
"You look at families with obese parents and the kids tend to follow and I said, I don't want them, thinking obesity is acceptable. I don't want them to have the same issues I have, especially the weight and the blood pressure, the bullying I went though."
From that moment on, for Kristina, the race was on.
First, she had to get her mind right.
Kristina knew she had attention deficit hypertension disorder.
Her doctor put her on the proper medication.
"In about two weeks I noticed better eating habits, impulse control," she said.
She was able to push back the plate of, what before, seemed like never ending meals.
She exercised, and felt it getting easier.
She cut out soft drinks. "Then it was, let's cut down portions," she recalled, "Then it was, let's eat healthier foods. And the more healthy food we brought in the less unhealthy foods had room in our diet."
This was becoming a family project, with her husband and kids eating better, too.
Running became both physical and mental therapy.
Even when she reached that plateau where every dieter's weight loss slows to nearly a halt, she kept plugging along.
And now, a year and 90 pounds later, when this biggest loser looks in the mirror, she likes what she sees.
"I'm able to clear my mind when I run, I'm able to focus better. And I'm just overall happier," she said.
"To be able to say I'm happy, is a big thing!"
You can learn more about Kristina Helms and her weight loss adventure in her personal blogspot. http://jiggleproof.blogspot.com