Kassidy Riekens, an inspiring woman and mom of three, has lost over 130 pounds since beginning her health journey in May 2015. After having her first daughter, Kassidy got inspired to lose the baby weight and feel better in her skin. She weighed 260 pounds at the time and felt uncomfortable carrying around that extra weight after giving birth. Saying she “never wanted to feel like that again,” she started meal prepping and hitting the gym.
However, her struggles with weight and body image began much earlier in her life. In high school, Kassidy weighed only 107 pounds, working out excessively, and eating very little to maintain her weight. Of course, after high school, life got a lot busier, and she didn’t have as much time to devote to working out. She gained around 100 pounds by the age of 21 from drinking heavily and falling into unhealthy eating patterns.
Kassidy didn’t feel right about her body and even found that her mindset had become cynical and pessimistic. She didn’t like who she had become. But she found it challenging to give up unhealthy eating habits. She ate junk food most days and didn’t exercise, and when she got pregnant, Kassidy kept up those familiar habits. However, on the day she delivered her daughter, she knew something had to change.
“I remember how I felt that day. I was physically so large I could barely move. Not only from the pregnancy but from how much weight I had gained from the excessive eating. I told myself that day that I would change. I would lose all of the weight, plus more, and I would become the best me I could be. And that is exactly what I did.”
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The start the journey of this inspiring woman
“Two weeks after Harley was born, I started meal prepping. I didn’t know what I was doing or where to begin, but I tried. 6 weeks later, I started working out. I had no proper work out program or much help, but I tried. I got a gym membership, researched workouts, asked for help, and did the best that I could. The weight started falling off, which motivated me and kept me focused,” she said on her website.
This time around, Kassidy wanted to focus on becoming more robust and healthier, not just skinnier. Instead of spending hours at the gym and eating very little, she wanted to develop healthy relationships with the gym and food. So, she chose workouts that would challenge her mentally. She said that HIIT, weight training, and the stair master were crucial in losing 130 pounds.
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As far as diet, Kassidy said intuitive eating works best for her rather than counting macros or calories. She enjoys taking typically unhealthy foods such as BBQ and making them both tasty and nutritious. She scours the Internet each week looking for healthy recipes and relies on meal prepping to stay on track.
With her newfound healthy lifestyle, she says her most significant obstacle is her rheumatoid arthritis. Diagnosed in 2017, Kassidy often feels excruciating pain in the joints throughout her body due to chronic inflammation. She says some days it hurts so badly that she can’t even get out of bed, walk, or hold her babies. However, the inspiring young woman didn’t let that keep her from her goals.
She modified exercises at the gym so that they wouldn’t cause her as much pain. Or, she moved on to a different activity that her body would tolerate better. Kassidy researched the best cardio and weight training exercises for people with arthritis to ensure she didn’t suffer an injury. Meal prepping, working out, and taking care of her two young girls became her life.
This inspiring woman is balancing a wellness journey with parenting
Although, raising two kids and trying to keep a workout regimen don’t always go hand-in-hand. Kassidy said she had to drop her kids off with a babysitter pretty much every day to get a workout in. She’d drive 30 minutes out of town to the babysitter’s house, then go back into town to her local gym. That equates to two hours of driving back and forth each day, but that didn’t stop her from reaching her goals, either.
Kassidy has a strong work ethic, but just like everyone, she doesn’t feel the motivation some days. However, she says it comes down to willpower and building healthy habits. Whether she feels like it or not, she follows her meal plan and goes to the gym, as the habits have become second nature. She loves seeing results and being able to buy new outfits, but doesn’t limit her success to just motivation.
She says it gets easier over time the more you practice healthier lifestyle habits. For example, Kassidy says she gained 70 pounds back during her second pregnancy but knew how to get back on track. Having lost 130 pounds the first time, she knew that hard work and dedication would get her where she needed to be. So, she began the grueling tasks of meal prepping and hitting the gym, losing over 80 pounds this time.
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Her combined weight loss efforts now total of 210 pounds. Kassidy proves that anyone, even busy moms, can lose weight and feel more comfortable in their own skin. After her story reached multiple news outlets, Kassidy felt inspired that she could help motivate people all over the world. Her passion for fitness and helping others led her to get a license as a personal trainer and health coach. “My goal as a Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach is to help all of my clients strive to be the best version of themselves,” she said.
Kassidy says that by sharing her story with others online, it keeps her motivated to stay on track. “It’s funny how I share so much stuff on social media to help other women, but those women don’t realize how much they’re actually helping me,” she said. She’s now an online health coach at, selling nutrition and workout plans to clients. After getting into the best shape of her life, this inspiring woman wanted to help others do the same, too.