How They Got These Bodies: Meet 4 Washingtonians Who Lost the Weight While Reclaiming Their Health

Whether it was fasted cardio or plain old walking, counting macros or drinking more water, learn how these Washingtonians lost the weight and drastically improved their health.

How They Got These Bodies: Meet 4 Washingtonians Who Lost the Weight While Reclaiming Their Health
Kristin Lucia. Photograph by Edgar Artiga. Styling by Hayley Garrison Phillips.

Kristin Lucia

Manager of a cancer registry at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

Swimsuit and goggles, Lucia’s own.

Age: 41.

Photographs courtesy of Lucia.

Current weight: 157 pounds.

Weight lost: 109 pounds.

Height: Five-foot-eight.

How long it took: Two years and five months.

How she works out: Lucia kicked off her weight loss by signing up for a triathlon. Now she does CrossFit at least five or six days a week and swims, runs, or plays flag football in between, with one or two days for rest.

How she eats: After trying the Paleo diet, Lucia switched to counting macronutrients, a practice that allows her to eat any type of food she likes while pushing her to cook more at home.

Biggest impact on health: At the start of her weight loss, Lucia had high blood pressure, around 150/100, prompting her doctor to put her on medication. Now her BP is about 106/60—and she no longer needs meds.

How she feels now: “Before my weight loss, I was a very sad person on the inside, with not the best confidence. Now I feel like an entirely different person. I walk into a room and don’t think instantly that someone is talking about my looks.”

John “Rum” Rumcik


John “Rum” Rumcik. Zella “Pyrite” knit shorts in “Grey Wolf Melange,” $55 at Nordstrom.

Age: 41.

Current weight: 240 pounds.

Photograph courtesy of Rumcik.

Weight lost: 75 pounds.

Height: Six feet.

How long it took: 11 months.

How he works out: Initially, Rumcik hired Ken Settepani, a professional bodybuilder and coach, and followed his regimen—an hour of weights six days a week and about 30 minutes of cardio four days a week. He’s now prepping for the 2019 Arnold Amateur classic physique competition and follows a program that Arnold Schwarzenegger laid out in the Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, which includes lifting weights six mornings a week for 90 minutes.

How he eats: He first cut out all processed foods and now eats a low-fat, high-protein diet every day.

Biggest impact on health: In 2017, he was diagnosed with high blood pressure and prediabetes and was put on medication. Today he’s off the medicine, has stopped snoring, and sleeps better.

How he feels now: “I always thought I felt good but didn’t realize how much better I felt until I lost the weight. I feel better at 41 than at any other time in my life.”

Ashleigh Nicole Diaz

Team lead at Vector Security

Beyond Yoga “All for Ties” tank in “Darkest Night,” $66 at Summit to Soul; Oiselle “Magic Number” tights in Black, $98 at Summit to Soul.

Age: 32.

Photograph courtesy of Diaz.

Current weight: 205 pounds.

Weight lost: 90 pounds.

Height: Five-foot-five.

How long it’s taken: 18 months.

How she works out: Five to six days a week at Onelife Reston. At least two mornings, she does “fasted cardio” for 30 minutes on the treadmill. (Research supports that working out on an empty stomach prompts the body to burn fat for fuel.) Then she does a high-intensity circuit, focusing on strength, speed, and endurance. Two to three days a week, she works out with Onelife trainer Branden Allen. She also does “mindset conditioning” daily, such as meditation or yoga.

How she eats: Diaz first did the Paleo diet and now counts macronutrients. Turkey burgers, Brussels sprouts, and whole-wheat pasta are her go-tos.

Biggest impact on health: Diaz says she was “completely depressed” before her weight loss.“Life was passing by, and I was just existing rather than fully living. Now I feel like a totally different person. I walk with my head held high.”

Declan Horgan

Executive chef, Kirwan’s on the Wharf

Harbor Bay black tee ($30) and Reebok “Speedwick” fleece pants in Navy ($50) at DXL; New Balance X-90 sneaker, $109 at Nordstrom.

Age: 42.

Photograph courtesy of Horgan.

Current weight: 340 pounds.

Weight lost: 135 pounds.

Height: Six-foot-three.

How long it’s taken: Eight months.

How he works out: Horgan began exercising by walking his friend’s dogs, and he now cycles up to two hours every morning, often around the monuments on the Mall.

How he eats: Nothing after 7 pm anymore. His diet centers on chicken, fish, broth soups, salads, fruit, and lots of water.

Biggest impact on health: Seven months into his weight loss, Horgan got rid of his type 2 diabetes. He also quit smoking and drinking and says he has much more energy.

How he feels now: “Unstoppable.”

This article appears in the January 2019 issue of Washingtonian.

Kim Olsen

Kim Olsen ([email protected]) is a freelance writer in Alexandria.