Overcoming obstacles is something Kristen Smith has embarked on.
She used to weigh 338 pounds and now weighs 158 pounds less to a weight of 180.
“Growing up, I was always overweight. I was over 200 pounds in 6th grade when I went to the doctor for a physical so I could play sports. The weight loss journey only really started. ‘after the birth of my first son in 2012,’ she said.
After going through several cycles of weight gain and weight loss, she “was a fed up fat girl!”
“I’m currently standing here 67 pounds lighter than I was in 2020. In total I’ve lost 336 pounds!”
She attributes her weight loss to changes in her mental habits.
“Once you mentally commit to changing your life, you become unstoppable! I work hard every day to be better than yesterday. Both mentally and physically. »
Smith says it took him a long time to really understand what it takes to be healthy. It’s not just about working out and eating healthy, it’s also about changing unhealthy mental habits that cause a person to gain weight.
“I was a late bloomer,” she said in a Facebook video calling on friends and family for support. “It took me a while to figure out what it means to be healthy, what it means to train every day, what it means to have motivation, to have motivation. You know, really succeeding in what makes good for both my body and my mind. It took me having my kids and figuring out what I had to do. But, it’s okay. You know, we’re all doing what we have to do to get where we’re going. are.
At the next challenge, Smith focused his efforts on becoming Inked magazineis the next cover girl. You can see his challenge by visiting https://cover.inkedmag.com/2022/kristen-smith.
“I applied for the competition for the past 4 years,” she said. “When I received the text message from the current Inked magazine cover girl saying I was accepted, I assumed it was a joke until I got the email with the link they had set up for me on their website.
Inked magazine is an arts and style magazine promoting tattoos and the culture that surrounds them. They often feature celebrities covered in ink and discuss the artists who draw them.
Every year, Inked magazine organizes a competition to choose the girls who campaign on social networks and garner enough support to make the cover of the magazine.
“Who will be the next tattooed model to appear on the cover of Inked magazine and win the grand prize of $25,000? reads the contest entry page on inkedmag.com. “Last year, thousands of the world’s hottest tattoo models signed up for a chance to be named our next cover model and appear on the cover of the number one tattoo lifestyle magazine. in the world.”
If Smith wins, not only will she win a cash prize, but she’ll also fly off for a photoshoot to work with Christopher Kolk, a New York-based fashion photographer. He takes photos of celebrities for major media companies. These photos will go on two pages in the same edition of Inked magazine.
Smith has campaigned hard, marketing herself to the point where she is the first in her group, beating 35 other girls vying for the same position.
When it comes to ink, Smith is a tattoo addict, covering herself in designs as a reward for hitting her weight loss goals.
On her left shoulder is a “beautifully made compass” that she inked when she hit her 100-pound weight loss goal. It’s a reminder for her to always stay on track and stay healthy.
She said 95% of her tattoos are from Onyx Tattoo of East Tawas.
“Onyx Tattoo is hands down my favorite shop I’ve been to. It’s so amazing how far the company has come when I came in there at 18,” Smith said. “In 2014, I started my sleeves and met the artist Henry. Most of the work on my body is his. I like the way his mind works. I come to him with these ideas running through my head, and seeing him bring these ideas to life on my skin is an amazing process.
For Smith, getting a tattoo is a “complete experience.” There’s a big idea that she ponders in her mind as she loses weight and lives her life, and when she achieves a goal, she shares what she wants with the artist.
“I really feel like I know everyone’s style and quality of work and I trust them enough to let them draw freehand designs directly on my skin.”
Once her weight loss journey is complete, Smith plans to wear a Norse Shield Maiden Warrior on her back.
“I’m really excited to start brainstorming with my artist and let him run with his imagination for this.”
Support for cover contestants is increased by placing votes on inkedmag.com. Competing girls share links on their social networks and, depending on the support they get, earn points based on the supporters’ votes. People can vote once a day for free via Facebook, or buy votes for their favorite candidate by donating to charity.
This year’s charity is MusiCares, a cause dedicated to providing services and resources to music professionals in times of need.
MusiCares qualifies a musician as someone who has been employed in the music industry for three years or has released six commercially released recordings.
Those interested in showing Smith’s support for his campaign on the cover can vote via Facebook accounts at https://cover.inkedmag.com/2022/kristen-smith.
If she wins this round, she will move on to more women who have gained support from their own online and local communities.
If she wins this round, then she and a handful of other winners are hand-picked by the editors of Inked magazine.
She asks her friends on Facebook to vote for her every day on the contest site.
“I really didn’t expect the campaign to take off at all,” Smith said. “I was impressed by the number of people, especially women, who reached out to me about my story. It was really inspiring and motivating for me to try to achieve my goals, to see all these people sending me their support and good luck through this process It really started when I was just trying to be healthy for myself and my family and it became a whole movement that I have launched! It was so powerful and beautiful.
Since getting a chance to compete, Smith says she’s excited to promote Oscoda and Northern Michigan to a wider audience around the world.
“Bringing recognition to our city would be incredible. Even to not win and just know that I was able to bring positive recognition to tattoo artists and everyone who supports tattooing, I think that would be cool.
She said if she won the prize money, she would put it in a healthy living center somewhere in the area. It would be a place people could go as a resource to get fitter and develop a better diet.
“It would be amazing to be able to go out and eat and get something that you know is fresh; to get something unprocessed. It’s something we don’t have here. »
In addition to healthy eating, its healthy living center would offer fitness classes such as “Body Pump, Body Combat, Yoga and GRIT”.
Smith said she is working towards becoming a Les Mills Certified Fitness/Wellness Instructor.
Smith runs a Facebook page called “Kristen’s Motivations”, which she uses to motivate 401 people to date. She worked with Dr. Elisabeth Wygant of Elisabeth Wygant Wellness over the summer, providing a fitness boot camp to the community.
She has also worked with Sunrise Kava Cafe, Styled by Blake and Amanda Bergeron Photography to set up community fitness for women in Iosco County.
“It’s really been quite a movement. Women are empowering women. And we want to see that not just this city, but the community as a whole really flourish and just be something big.
Her advice for losing weight is not to starve yourself, but to set goals and work on self-motivation.
“For me, the right way to lose weight is to set yourself up for success,” she said. “So many people I’ve met have told me about how they either starved themselves or battled anorexia or bulimia over the years. I myself have struggled with not wanting to eat so to reach my weight loss goals faster. I mean, how do you lose weight? We burn stored energy, don’t we? Here’s the problem with that: self-starvation not only deprives the body of essential nutrients that inhibit function, but it also forces the body to slow down in order to conserve energy.
She said the last thing anyone should do is starve themselves. Really, the main objective is to develop energy, motivation and capacity.