Occupation Stay-at-home mom
Before 285 pounds, May 2011
Current 114 pounds, October 2016
Though she was “chunky” as a child, Roach says it wasn’t until she was in her early 20s and out on her own that she started gaining weight. On her wedding day in 1996, she weighed 242 pounds.
The year leading up to the birth of her third son was difficult. In addition to losing her mother and grandmother, she learned while five months pregnant that her son had Down syndrome.
“I am an emotional eater, and I became unglued,” says Roach. After her pregnancy, she reached 300 pounds.
“I had metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure and was pre-diabetic. I had three sons to take care of but I felt like my body was breaking down.”
She made a decision lying in bed one morning to change and started on what came to be a multistep process.
First, she cut out all sugar and started tracking her eating on MyFitnessPal, a smartphone app. She lost 20 pounds in three months. Then a friend turned her on to Zumba classes, which she took to right away. Next up was Jillian Michaels’ book “Master Your Metabolism.” Roach learned that the quality of calories can make a difference. She eliminated all processed foods and started “clean eating,” saying, “If it’s in a box, it doesn’t go in my mouth.” The last step was CrossFit training, a program that combines movements like pull-ups, squats, push-ups, weight lifting, gymnastics, running, and rowing into a timed workout. Roach says she once suffered from anxiety but not anymore.
“The gym is my happy place, my calm place. For some people it’s yoga, for me it’s the gym.”
Breakfast is usually 8 egg whites with mushrooms and spinach, some fruit and half of a small gluten-free bagel. Lunch can be grilled chicken with green beans and butternut squash. Dinner is often fish, grilled chicken or ground turkey with half a baked sweet potato and a green vegetable. Roach does not eat any pasta and she snacks on Quest bars, hard-boiled eggs, fruit, nuts or Greek yogurt.
Roach exercises every day, usually at two different gyms, and does a combination of cardio, CrossFit, and weight training.
“Get up and do what you have to do, otherwise obesity and inactivity will kill you. If you have 30 minutes to watch TV, you have 30 minutes to walk around the block.”