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Published October 03, 2013, 10:00 PM

Holt: Structure works for Fargo woman

FARGO – Anyone who knows Liz Nova knows she does well with planning, structure and numbers. Weight loss is no different.

By: Meredith Holt, INFORUM

FARGO – Anyone who knows Liz Nova knows she does well with planning, structure and numbers.

Weight loss is no different.

“Taking weight off, for me, is a simple equation,” she says. “I work out as much as I can, and I eat 1,200 calories, which is the minimum safe amount a woman can eat.”

It took a while for the 26-year-old Fargo woman to get used to a 1,200-calorie diet, but now she’s comfortable with it, and she’s strict with herself about it.

“I get 1,200 calories a day. They can be whatever I want, but that’s how much I get, and that’s it,” she says.

Before she committed to her “Liz Gets Healthy” plan, she’d eat 3,000 calories in one sitting and nothing else the rest of the day.

Liz tracks her activity with a Fitbit and fills a box in her planner with pink highlighter when she finishes a workout.

“The idea of having an empty box without pink highlighter in it was just abhorrent,” she says with a laugh.

Meanwhile, fun run/walks have become somewhat of a hobby for Liz, her husband and their friends.

First it was the Run or Dye in June, then the Go Far Woman Run in August. September’s was the IllumiNight 5K.

“We push ourselves a little bit harder every time we go,” she says.

She ran her first full mile on Aug. 18 (all her important milestones and dates are recorded, of course).

“I think to myself, ‘I know I can run a mile,’ then I just repeat that,” she says.

It’s taken Liz a lot of dedication, determination and “mental work” to get there, but it’s paid off.

Since March 3, she’s lost 80 pounds and counting.

“I’m not quite done yet, and I don’t know that I’ll ever be done,” she says.

Liz struggled with her weight growing up in Fridley, Minn., but it wasn’t until meeting her now-husband (“happy fat”) and starting grad school that it got out of hand.

“I weighed about 195, and then I went to graduate school …,” she says.

Liz, who graduated from North Dakota State University in 2012 with a master’s in human development and family science, had a wedding to plan on top of her coursework.

After settling in to her marriage and a promotion at her job, she felt ready to tackle her next project – her health.

She made up her mind in a single moment, when her husband asked her if she wanted to go to the gym.

“I thought to myself, ‘Well, I don’t have an excuse not to,’ and then I realized there is no excuse. There’s no excuse for not taking care of myself and not going to the gym,” she says.

First they agreed to go on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. They stuck with that for about a month, then they added Wednesdays and Fridays, too.

“Now it’s turned into, ‘You can’t stop me,’ ” she says.

Do you have a weight-loss story to tell? Email me at mholt@forumcomm.com.

Forum reporter Meredith Holt lost over 100 pounds between 2010 and 2012. She will share stories of her weight-loss journey in her column, which runs the first and third Friday of each month in SheSays. Readers can reach her at (701) 241-5590.