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Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Teddi Mellencamp's weight fluctuated all her life, but after moving to LA in her 20s, the pounds just kept coming. "I grew up riding horses, and then I came to California and I didn't have any balance," Mellencamp tells Prevention.com. "I gained over 50 pounds in the first six months."
A vicious cycle started: She'd notice the extra weight, then try to lose it with a diet of Dr. Pepper and string cheese. The emotional rollercoaster of trying to have a baby only made things worse. "I struggled get pregnant and had a couple of miscarriages before I had Cruz," the mom-of-two says. "I was doing IVF and taking steroids and blood thinners, which caused me to gain [more] weight."
Shortly after Cruz, now 5, was born, Mellencamp weighed more than 200 pounds. "I thought, 'oh, it's going to come right off.' But it didn't," she says. "I had only lost 15 pounds after his birth." So one day, she woke up and decided to make a change.
She started by getting active
Mellencamp used social media as a launch pad: "I started an Instagram account to hold myself accountable for making healthy lifestyle changes," she says. "On the caption of the first post, I wrote, ‘Hi I’m Teddi Mellencamp and I’m changing my life today.’"
Mellencamp took photos and videos of her workouts—which included low-impact activities like walks, yoga, and stretching—and posted them to her account. The first change she noticed had more to do with her emotional state. "During the first year I didn’t see many physical changes because I hadn’t changed the way I was eating, but I felt a huge mental shift," she says. "I was no longer feeling depressed and I was less anxious."
But eating healthier was the key
Once Mellencamp combined fitness with nutrition, she says her body completely transformed. "I started learning about my body’s needs and taking care of myself," she says
Her daily go-tos includes egg whites, Dave's Killer Bread, oatmeal, and a lot of veggies. "I want to make sustainable choices," she says. "So often people skip breakfast. I always have breakfast, a morning snack, lunch, and dinner."
And now, in place of fad diets she has balance. "I think what I didn’t understand before was that I thought in order to enjoy myself, I had to have a cheat day and have alcohol, pasta, and dessert," she says. "Now I’ve learned balance. Instead of having pasta, wine, and dessert, I’ll choose one. But I never feel punished or use food as a reward."
Thanks to being active every day, eating healthy, and holding herself accountable by posting regularly on Instagram, Mellencamp eventually lost 80 pounds. "When you set a goal for yourself, and hold yourself to something and commit to it, you will see changes," she says. "I got into a mindset where I was motivated, and I wanted to feel motivated every day. If you can commit, that’s when transformation happens."
And she encourages moms to get creative about finding the time. "If you’re a mom and have a stroller, then there’s a way to workout," she says. She adds that free online workouts make it easier to workout from home.
Now she wants to help others
After Mellencamp's own impressive weight loss transformation, she started the coaching program ALL IN to help motivate others. "It matters nothing to me how much someone weighs," she says. "But if someone wakes up feeling good about themselves and proud of themselves, then they’ll go out feeling confident."
The reality star pairs clients with coaches who have completed her Jumpstart Program. "I think the thing that makes ALL IN so amazing is that every coach was a graduate of the program," she says. "You want to know that someone has been where you are."
Mellencamp also works hard to keep her own mental health in check: She writes down what she's grateful for in a journal every day, and she accepts that there will be days when she won't feel up to her routine.
"I used to put pressure on myself if I felt tired or anxious, but this is totally normal," she says. "We’re going to ebb and flow with our moods. It doesn’t mean something terrible is going on with your body. It’s life. It’s important to know that it’s OK not to feel OK every day."
After closing up Season 9 of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Mellencamp recognized other aspects of her life that she needed to change. "It’s hard to watch, but I keep reminding myself that you’re able to learn from watching yourself," she says. "They highlight certain aspects of your personality when filming, and then I realize what I need to work on. It’s eye opening."
Despite everything, Mellencamp is in a constant state of working on herself for the better. She's having her first ever ALL IN retreat in October and plans to launch an ALL IN app and gratitude journal.
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