Welcome to Begin TODAY. Join our free Begin TODAY publication to obtain day by day inspiration despatched to your inbox.

For Missy Gillenwater, a 50-year-old stay-at-home spouse from Ohio, sustaining a wholesome weight has all the time been a battle.

Whereas she would try to eat wholesome and train, she discovered it onerous to remain motivated. “I used to be up and down all through the years, however by no means may persistently keep at a wholesome weight,” she mentioned. 

It wasn’t till her acid reflux disease signs grew to become insufferable that she lastly acquired severe about committing to a wholesome way of life. 

“Ache began overtaking my life within the second half of 2021,” she informed the TODAY present in a section on April 17. “My mouth, head and throat harm a lot, and I used to be exhausted on a regular basis. Lastly, I used to be recognized with acid reflux disease and that’s when my transformation started.” 

At her heaviest, Missy Gillenwater weighed 277 pounds.
At her heaviest, Missy Gillenwater weighed 277 kilos.Courtesy Missy Gillenwater


An acid reflux disease analysis led to a way of life change

When the burning and itching in her throat grew to become an excessive amount of to deal with, Gillenwater determined to see an ear, nostril and throat (ENT) physician in March 2022 to search out out what was fallacious.

After diagnosing her with acid reflux disease, Gillenwater’s physician suggested her to change her eating regimen by chopping out fried and fatty meals. She additionally determined to eradicate soda and tomato-based meals and targeted on consuming recent greens and lighter meats. After plenty of trial and error, Gillenwater settled on a listing of meals that wouldn’t trigger her reflux to flare up, and she or he dedicated to the eating regimen. 

At the moment, the one animal proteins she eats are rooster, salmon and turkey. She eats plenty of recent greens and doesn’t eat pink meat, bread or pasta. Each morning, she has oatmeal and a protein shake for breakfast.

When she started walking, Gillenwater could barely walk a mile. Now, she logs 10-13 miles a day.
When she began strolling, Gillenwater may barely stroll a mile. Now, she logs 10-13 miles a day.Courtesy Missy Gillenwater

A nutritious diet impressed a strolling routine

After making the modifications in her eating regimen, she turned her consideration to health. “I figured it was the right time to essentially deal with my well being. I had walked earlier than however knew I may actually make a change if I stored shifting whereas additionally specializing in my eating regimen,” Gillenwater mentioned. 

When she started her strolling routine, she weighed 277 kilos and logging simply 1 mile was tough. She began by strolling 2 to three miles a day at a tempo of 25 minutes per mile.

“Motivation by way of the onerous occasions continued to be a battle,” Gillenwater mentioned. “It may be onerous to get began after which proceed going. At first, I may hardly stroll a mile!” However she caught with it, regularly rising her distance every day, and the kilos began to come back off.

At the moment she walks 10 to 13 miles a day at a tempo of 14 to 16 minutes per mile.

“I haven’t missed sooner or later of strolling over the previous 13 months,” she mentioned.

She discovered motivation within the Begin TODAY group

When Gillenwater began posting her walks on Fb, a pal instructed she be part of the Begin TODAY group. She cherished how a lot encouragement and motivation she acquired from different members.

“In case you’re having a foul day and also you get on there and also you have a look at that, it simply lifts you up, as a result of there’s days if you battle, you don’t need to stroll otherwise you don’t need to do something and also you get on there and that simply units the temper to ‘hey, stand up and do one thing,’” she mentioned.

It was a submit within the Begin TODAY group that inspired Gillenwater to finish her first 5K, she beforehand informed TODAY.

“I wasn’t certain what my time could be, and that day was my quickest time — I had a number of occasions of 55 minutes once I practiced, and I completed that day in 52 minutes. I used to be so excited! I labored as much as that from the folks in this system motivating me!” she mentioned.

Gillenwater had greater than 250 folks remark with congratulations when she posted in March 2023 — a 12 months after her analysis — that she was formally off of her acid reflux disease remedy.

She lost 144 pounds and went from a size 24 to a size 12-14 in shorts.
She misplaced 144 kilos and went from a measurement 24 to a measurement 12-14 in shorts. Courtesy Missy Gillenwater


The constructive modifications she has seen

Since committing to a strolling routine and altering her eating regimen, Gillenwater has seen each her bodily and psychological well being enhance. Among the greatest modifications she has seen are:

  •  She’s misplaced 114 kilos, going from measurement 4X to measurement L in shirts and 24 to 12 to 14 in shorts. 
  • She is off her blood strain and acid reflux disease medicines.
  • Her vitality is thru the roof.
  • Her confidence and shallowness are larger than ever.
  • She lastly enjoys purchasing and attempting on garments.

“I really feel extra assured and completely satisfied than ever. … I really like taking selfies of myself and attempting on new clothes now!” she mentioned.


Missy Gillenwater said she has never felt more confident in her own skin.
Missy Gillenwater mentioned she has by no means felt extra assured in her personal pores and skin.Courtesy Missy Gillenwater

Her recommendation for others

With regards to making eating regimen modifications, she advisable making a eating regimen that works for you. “I adopted physician’s orders and did analysis to search out out particular meals that might make me really feel good and likewise have been good for me too, and from there I constructed my plan.”

Gillenwater is aware of firsthand how onerous it’s to remain motivated. She instructed taking images at each stage of your journey. Seeing the transformation of her personal physique has helped her keep motivated and she or he loves trying again at images and seeing how far she has come.

She additionally inspired others to “deal with what you need to do and the way you need to do it. Set a plan that matches in your schedule and be part of a bunch like Begin TODAY that motivates you.”