My Story (Prepare yourself… I like to write).
Any of us who has ever struggled with our weight have a story. Allow me to share mine. Then, shoot me an email and let me know yours. Mine has a very happy ending; with H2O, yours will too.
I grew up in a small town in rural Kentucky where life revolved around three things: church, family, and food. Although I found the focus on church and family to be incredibly healthy, I cannot say the same for the food (albeit incredibly delicious!). Vegetables were only consumed in casserole form, complete with butter, cheese, and crushed Ritz crackers. Cornbread, biscuits, rolls, and/or muffins were an essential part of every meal, and partaking in dessert was a family expectation.
Needless to say, I did not have a lean physique throughout my childhood. On the contrary, being overweight shaped my childhood in many more ways than I realized at the time. I quit gymnastics and ballet because I was too big to be any good. I hated field day at school because we all had to race and I was always last. I was the object of ridicule throughout the day at school, receiving the nickname “LaLona HUGE” (my maiden name was Hughes) which stuck with me all the way until high school (even when I was no longer “huge”). Therefore friendships, sports, and certainly my sense of self-worth were affected.
Despite those things, I never seemed to really comprehend that they were all happening to me because I was overweight until one very memorable day in 5th grade. I had a crush on a 7th grader who went to my church. I mustered every bit of nerve I could find within me, and then I approached him to say hello. “Hi,” I said with my best smile. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “You’re fat.” I’ve since debated whether to hate or love that kid, because although it was traumatic, that moment started me on the path to a healthy, active, nutritious lifestyle.
At first, I considered heading to the opposite extreme. Common sense told me that if I just barely ate, I would lose weight. However, I knew that way of life was neither healthy nor sustainable; as a result, I sought to learn how to do it the right way, and I immersed myself in books about nutrition.
At the time, the fad was “no fat grams”. Therefore, I cut out any food with fat (now that makes me cringe!) and developed a diet plan of fruit, breads, veggies, and very little lean protein. Then the fad became “no carbohydrates” (yikes again!) so I said goodbye to my bread, potatoes, and fruit and stocked up on more proteins and nuts. Then the fad became “no meat” so I tried out being a vegetarian. Then I heard I should stop eating dairy. Then it was “gluten free”. Then I decided….that I did not believe in fads. Each fad diet brought results, but those results were neither sustainable nor healthy. Leaving out important food groups over a long period of time left me lacking in some area: hair/nail health, energy levels, etc. I wanted to live in such a way that what food I ate was intuitive; I wanted to love everything I put in my mouth, to naturally make healthy choices, to fuel my body, to not restrict any food group, and to know that this was my way of life; not a fad.
That led to years of personal research, then training under one of America’s Top 100 Trainers in both nutrition and fitness, and ultimately taking everything I have learned in over 15+ years and developing a nutrition program that could be tailored to be 100% successful for any person, with any lifestyle, for the rest of his or her life.
As a result of nearly a lifetime of learning, I am now able to teach clients what foods are best to eat when, proper combinations of foods to expedite maximum nutrition absorption and fat burning, what foods bring us the most energy (naturally), how much time it takes to reshape our minds and palates for new foods, how to include every food group, how to be social and still healthy (even in Kentucky!), and how to maintain an ideal weight and physique throughout every stage of life (even pregnancy and menopause!). And better yet — how to do it all within the whirlwind schedule of being a spouse, parent, a co-worker, a friend, etc. in today’s hectic world!
After four back-to-back pregnancies I am in the best shape of my entire life. H2O has brought me incredible health, energy, fitness, and happiness. I would love the honor of sharing it with YOU.
LaLona Richards has been married to Dan Richards for eight years and they have four children: Brendan (age 6), Hadley (age 5), Madison (age 2), and Charlotte (age 8 months). LaLona is the creator and founder of Health 2 Order (H2O): Nutrition Catered to YOUR Lifestyle and works as a personal fitness trainer. She was crowned Mrs. Georgia America in 2010 and received the Mrs. Georgia America Fitness Award. LaLona enjoys competitive running, strength training, serving in her church, and most of all – being a wife and mom.