Cedar Rapids girl shares weight reduction transformation

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – Cedar Rapids’ Kirsten Corrigan said her weight loss journey “started eons ago.”

“I had some success and then eventually I would just fall away and then my weight would come back up,” Corrigan said.

At his heaviest, Kirsten Corrigan weighed about 200 pounds. She has now lost about 40 pounds. She credits the Mayo Clinic Diet with helping her lose weight in a sustainable way.

“I found out about the Mayo Clinic diet in January of last year,” Corrigan said. She said she went to the site and saw a “readiness rating” there.

“I was curious about this readiness assessment because I was like, ‘Well, gosh, I’m thinking about going on a diet, I have to be ready,'” Corrigan said. “I took it and found I wasn’t ready yet. So I just stopped and thought about it for a few more weeks. And then one day, I just decided I was ready. And I signed up. And I had retaken the exam. And at that point, I was ready to embark on the journey.”

dr Lucas Carr, an associate professor at the University of Iowa, emphasized the importance of intention and “willingness” to make significant change.

“We do a lot of stuff that focuses on the intentional level of thinking,” Carr said. “Unfortunately, that stuff takes a lot of energy, and it doesn’t — and for most people, unless you have a whole, you know, high level of motivation, it’s obvious that … your energy will, will that energy eventually be used up.”

It seems that many people who decide to lose weight as opposed to Corrigan are not ready yet. We’re about two and a half weeks into 2023, but according to at least one study, we’re about to see about half of those who made New Year’s resolutions give up. This study found that “One week into the new year, 77% of the participants had kept their resolutions; the number dropped to 55% after one month, 43% after three months, 40% after six months and 19% after two years.”

However, another study found that “at follow-up visits, most participants considered themselves successful in maintaining their resolution.” But Carr himself led a similar study. When asked if he thinks a lot of people who’ve made New Year’s resolutions have lapsed by now, he said, “We think so.”

Carr added: “I actually led one of these studies a few years ago where we used query data from Google search engines to basically scan what people are searching for on Google. And we’ve found that if you search for terms like “fitness” and “exercise” and “weight loss” and “diet,” you’ll know that the number of searches will spike tremendously starting in late December and certainly January. But you know, once February comes around, it seems like searches will start to go down, which means we’ve taken as an indicator that interest is essentially much, much lower at this point.”

Carr said changing your weight or health in general is difficult because it affects pretty much every decision you make.

“I think people underestimate how difficult it is to make a complete lifestyle change because that’s what it is,” Carr said. “Dieting essentially means cutting back on something we enjoy and trying to do that every single meal, every day for the rest of our lives.”

Carr explores the formation of habits and how they relate to health. He said researchers are still studying what it takes to form a habit, but he said there are some specific things that align with habit formation.

“One of those things is having a really good, solid, contextual clue. For example, many habits happen in exactly the same place. Often you do something in the bathroom, like your own bathroom, that you wouldn’t do again if you were in, say, a hotel bathroom,” Carr said.

Carr recommended making small, simple changes to lose weight or transition to a healthier lifestyle.

However, that’s not exactly what Corrigan did. Her approach through the Mayo Clinic Diet requires her to completely eliminate sugar for the first two weeks. However, she added that in addition to discipline, one must also be able to give oneself grace for the change to last.

“Yes, it can be dieting, but it’s really a lifestyle change,” Corrigan said.

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