Lauren Yost’s struggle with her weight began much earlier than most mothers. She did not have to wait until her 30’s or 40’s to stare in the face of a slowing metabolism because Lauren Yost became a mother while she was still in high school. Unlike most girls her age, Yost was doing late night feedings and diaper changes when others were hitting parties and proms. Yost welcomed the responsibility of her child and still managed to keep her own life in control. She put fun and friends on hold in favor of studying, working and taking care of her son. She learned to balance her time well, and with the help of her family not only earned her high school diploma, but continued on to college and in 2010, earned her degree from Miami University as well.

Lauren Yost Before

Yost says that her weight issues crept up on her slowly in the six years after giving birth to baby Cameron. “The stress eating and unhealthy ‘fast and easy’ meals had caught up with me. When I got married in 2009, I weighed over 170 pounds.” She says that over the years her weight continued to yo-yo. She would lose a few pounds here and there, but old habits never allowed her to achieve any long-term success. Yost felt helpless and started to believe that she would always be at war with her weight, that is until she took some advice from her mother. “During those couple of years my mom, who had been overweight the majority of my life, joined a gym and began running to lose weight,” she says. “She lost over 100 pounds and is in training for her second marathon. I figured if she could do it, I could definitely do it.”  Yost began joining her mom at the gym and running. Her mother signed them both up to run in the Shamrock Shuffle 5k, and to Yost’s surprise, not only was she able to finish the 5k without stopping, she was also able to finished it in just 34:30! In addition to running, Yost also began changing her eating habits by replacing unhealthy food likes chips and soda with healthier options like lean protein, veggies and water.

While Yost does not follow a particular diet, she does incorporate methods used in books like The Runner’s Diet and Eat This Not That into her lifestyle. Two days a week she runs for 30-40 minutes at a 5.5 – 6 mph pace and one day a week she does a longer run at an easy pace. She also adds in strength training one day a week and occasionally does yoga and deep stretches. While she does love the way her body is changing, Yost says it’s the changes in her face and complexion that have been most impressive. “My face used to be pudgy and round,” she says. “Now my bone structure is a lot more defined and my double chin is gone!” She says her complexion has also cleared considerably and now feels just as amazing as it looks.

Lauren Yost After

While Lauren Yosthas not yet reached her ultimate goal, she has certainly surpassed her initial goal. She says her plan was to lose 25 pounds by July 1st, and by April she was already down 20! She hopes that other moms will read her story and gain the confidence to make their weight loss goals happen as well. She encourages moms out there to take time for themselves, even when that time impacts their to-do lists. “As a mom and wife, taking care of yourself should be the FIRST thing on your to-do list,” she says. “Not only do you owe it to yourself, but you owe it to your family as well.” When time is tight, she suggests fitting in workouts through fun, family activities such as hiking and bike rides, and encourages moms to make healthy changes to their diet that they can share with their entire family. Lauren Yost may not yet have reached her weight loss finish line, but her determination and ability to keep her eyes on the prize already makes her winner in our book!

Sian Bitner-Kearney