Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Growing up, Lindsay Raynne relied on food for emotional support. “I came from a broken family, and eating was my constant,” she says. “Stability in caloric intake, you could say. I could always count on the joys of taste.” Low income living meant poor food quality for Raynne and her family, and she lived off of simple carbs, processed foods and sugar.
Raynne struggled with body-image issues and disordered eating throughout her life, and while she wasn’t particularly fit, she also wasn’t overweight.
Downward Spiral, Uphill Battle
After Raynne married her husband Michael and gave birth to their daughter, Leah, things were good. However, when she became pregnant again, doctors said the baby would have several medical issues, including cerebral palsy — and that she may not even survive the birth. Raynne put all other concerns, including her own health, on the back burner.
“After [Anna] was born, I was broken psychologically,” Raynne says. “I was unable to cope, and my blood pressure spiked.” She was put on medication to control her blood pressure, and because of the emotional turmoil, she began to gain weight. Her stress level also compounded or exacerbated her existing health problems, including migraines, food intolerances, eczema and hormone imbalances.
After the birth of her third daughter, however, Raynne had had enough. She realized that her unhealthy lifestyle was setting a poor example for her children and that she needed to turn things around, ASAP.
Raynne wanted to lose weight and improve her health, so she did some research on elimination diets and decided to give them a try, hoping some of her issues would abate if she improved her nutrition. She stopped eating gluten and dairy, and she soon found that several of her chronic problems had diminished or disappeared. She also lost 25 pounds and was able to get off her blood pressure medication.
Encouraged, Raynne decided to start exercising. “I had never worked out in my life,” she says. “I started by doing weight training, calisthenics, stretching and inversions at home.” Soon after, her husband convinced her to join a gym, and she slowly worked her way back to bliss.
Today, three years later, Raynne is down 50 pounds and is the happiest she has ever been. “Now I am strong and am a good role model for my daughters,” she says. “I can run farther than [to the end of] the driveway, and I never plan on stopping. I’ll be the little old gray-haired lady in the gym doing handstands.”
Lindsay Raynne / North Attleboro, Massachusetts
Age: 43 height: 5’
Weight before/after: 162/112
Occupation: Mother, fiction writer, wellness coach
Healthy recipe: Chicken sausage, kale and bean soup
Training split: Monday, Wednesday and Friday: legs and glutes; Tuesday and Thursday: upper body, core and abs.
Words of wisdom: Look in the mirror and stay there until you see what it is you’re fighting for, until you feel it in your chest. If you’re seeking motivation, you will be on a never-ending hunt. But dedication rests comfortably inside you and will always remain by your side.