Weight loss story of the day: Keena of New York lost 58 pounds and now she helps others to get fit and healthy. She had to battle with a number of medical issues, like Lupus and Mixed Connective Tissue disease. Now, she is a trainer. Here is what she shared with us:
My name is Keena Laster. My journey towards weight loss began in June 2009. During the time, I was commuting back and forth over 4 hours a day, not eating correctly and not exercising. One day while my family members were visiting me, I began to feel weak. I was tired and unable to function. I had to go to the emergency room that night to make sure that my blood pressure was not too low. Upon my initial exam and blood work they found that my red blood cell count was down (4.7). Doctor inquired about me possibly having an accident and was bleeding internally or not. He informed me at that time that I had to stay in the hospital for blood transfusion to figure out what was wrong.
In December 2009, I was diagnosed with Mixed Connective Tissue disease by my Rheumatologist and tested positive for Lupus. During this journey, I was prescribed anti-malaria medication, psychotropic medication (for anxiety/panic attacks) and antibiotics to fight off any types of infections. I was not taking care of my body, spirit and mind. I was required to report to the hematologist every month, the rheumatologist monthly and my primary care physicians. All of the concerns were heightened by my weight of 200 pounds and my stress levels. I struggled with weight loss and weight gain for the following year and a half. I began to realize that the symptoms that I had were better when I lost weight and changed jobs.
After my last blood transfusion, I was cleared to do low impact exercises. I developed a habit of walking around the block in my neighborhood and tried to use mass transit in NYC to get my strength back and hit the gym. I was not effective with executing exercising while on my own.
In November 2011 my family member introduced me to a personal trainer/life coach. I begin with three times weekly and started to feel great. My blood count was beginning to get higher and my red cells were developing normally. In the interim I was able to stop the fibromyalgia in the fingers by beginning with low weights and reps to develop strength and balance. For the first two months, I was at three times weekly. At the end of February 2012, I started training three days one on one training and two days with group training. My journey begin to show results by May 2013. BMI was at 29%. I am happy to say with my results and the understanding of how to teach Pilates, Cross fit, boxing and running with the trainer five days a week, I am now a fitness trainer helping others like myself. I am proud to share this story since I have committed myself to working towards helping others overcome obesity, bad diet practices and corrective exercises (universalfitnessbx.com). I am now at 142 lbs with 21.89% BMI and 22% body fat.
My eating habits changed drastically. I was never much of a heavy eater. I skipped meals and ate sugary foods, junk food everyday. I researched clean eating habits through different sites. Working with my trainer and life coach, I eliminated all foods containing refine sugar, stopped eating breads, ate a minimum of 4-5 times daily so I can train and have the ability to tone and gain healthy muscles. I cook with virgin olive oils, brown rice, eat vegetarian foods and eat lean red meats a maximum of two times a month.