Losing weight and gaining life: Local woman featured in workout DVDs says key to success is support

The key for weight loss and accomplishing any fitness goal is a support team, Heather Kraft says. And she coaches from experience.

Kraft is a local mother who has become a Beachbody coach, an aerobics instructor and has recently been featured in some of the latest Turbo Fire workout DVDs.

Heather’s healthy journey
Five years ago, Kraft never would have imagined she would be so far along in her healthy journey and helping others the way she does today.

Married to Steve and mother of four—Olivia, 12, William, 10, Claira, 8 and Andrew, 6—Heather began exercising to lose her pregnancy weight.

“All I craved during my pregnancy was jelly beans—not the best for you,” she joked. “I was very unconfident and very unhappy; I didn’t know how to be any different.”

After trying the Turbo Jam and P90X workout DVDs, Kraft admits to “falling off the bandwagon.” She needed to share her workout experience with pals to keep striving for her fitness goals—that was the missing piece.

“In anything in life, you have to want it,” Kraft said. “It didn’t become a lifestyle yet for me.”

So she transitioned to the Turbo Fire regimen as a new Beachbody coach.

To be a coach, she updates a video blog; progressive workout photos and even includes videos of her exercises. Because of her tracked success—losing 18 pounds or 10 inches altogether—Kraft was chosen to be part of the new low impact, high intensity interval training (HIIT) Turbo Fire DVD series.

Heather Kraft (to the right in orange) is a local woman who has recently become a Beachbody coach and is featured in some of the latest Turbo Fire workout DVDs. Here, she is on-set with Chalene Johnson, fitness guru and Turbo Fire creator.

“I screamed, I was so excited!” she said. And was flown to Los Angeles in the spring where she was thrilled to meet Chalene Johnson, Turbo Fire, Kick and Jam creator and more.

“Just being on-set with her was an amazing experience,” Kraft said. “Now, it’s really fun, I’ll get people saying ‘Hey, I worked out with you this morning and they’re states away; it’s just so cool!”

The DVDs went on sale in April.

As she continues her journey, “It’s become about helping people,” she said.

Each month, Kraft encourages people from across the nation, providing as much support as possible through two challenge groups using Facebook.

One program is devoted to members following a Beachbody and Shakeology (a meal-replacement plan through Beachbody) format and another is geared toward anyone, from marathoners to everyday walkers.

The overall practice and motto is “Fitness + nutrition + support = success,” she said. “The reward is peoples’ lives are being changed.”

Having a friend who lost more than 200 pounds or receiving messages about women who can now fit into last year’s dress with ease is Kraft’s message in action.

“People need accountability, they need motivation, they need someone to be able to step alongside them and say ‘You know what, I had a really cruddy day yesterday, too—I ate a bunch of brownies,” she said. “But it’s OK, we can do this one day at a time.’”

Heather Kraft (to the right, in orange) is on-set, filming for some of the latest Turbo Fire workout DVDs in Los Angeles. The DVDs went on sale in April.

Pacing pals
Initially connected through church, workout buddy and motivator Kristin Stocking loves keeping pace with Kraft.

“Heather and I hold each other accountable regarding our workouts,” she said, “We don’t harass each other, we simply share our successes and our failures.”

And Facebook makes this easy to do. Whether it’s sharing the food they ate that day or sharing a sweaty photo to hold each other accountable, “It’s about the support,” Kraft said.

“Sometimes [Kraft] gets her workout done first and sends a note to let me know,” Stocking said,  “Her note spurs me on to complete my workout.”

Support isn’t just encouraging each other to be active. Both women agree that it’s about being understanding, too.

“Heather doesn’t give me a hard time when I am unable to complete my fitness goals each day, she simply shows compassion, encouraging me to try it again tomorrow,” Stocking said.

Being connected with Kraft helps Stocking to continuously reach new goals.

“Healthy support is investing yourself—whether via phone, card or in an electronic form—in another person,” Stocking said. “It is amazing how showing you care, even just a little bit can change a person’s life.”

So don’t wait to hit a fitness plateau, take their suggestion. Call a friend, neighbor or someone you just met at the gym to join you in a workout, on a walk or just share what you accomplished today. It just might be the final piece that’s missing from your workout regimen.

Finding new goals
In the future, Kraft plans to continue changing lives by expanding her Facebook challenge groups, teaching aerobics and hosting fit clubs in her home each week.

“My goal is just to reach as many people as I can to help them on their own journey,” she said,
“And then if they want to, have them join the Beachbody journey to help them help others—‘pay it forward.’”

For more information about Beachbody Coach Heather Kraft, please visit www.ChangedGlory2Glory.com.

About Jen Bucciarelli

Veggie lover and aspiring word chef, reporter Jen Bucciarelli covers all things health and medicine for Rochester Media and The Community Edge. She is always on the hunt for local experts who can help improve the lives of our readers. Send her a note at JenBucciarelli@gmail.com.

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