Update: Kim lost 170 pounds over the course of 7 years.
Featured Weight Loss Success Story: Kim lost 115 pounds. After being told that she had to lose weight in order to survive a much needed knee surgery, Kim made the decision to change her life. She did her research to find a way of eating that worked for her and took her fitness to a new level. As a result, her diabetes improved. Check out what she shared with us…
A year ago my doctor told me my knee was beyond repair and that I needed an artificial one if I was ever going to walk without pain again. He also told me that due to my morbid obesity he wouldn’t operate on me unless I lost weight, because I might die on the operating table if he did. I made a decision at that moment to change my life and take back control of it. I changed the way I ate and started to exercise. In the beginning I could barely finish a Richard Simmons video or bike one mile without being in pain and out of breath, but I kept at it. Over the course of the last year, not only have I increased my fitness level (per the surgery) but I’ve also lost 115 pounds (I am 5’10”). It took a lot of hard work, self control, trial and error, patting myself on the back and being my own cheerleader to accomplish this. I’ve since been able to get my new knee and am quickly rehabbing it and getting back into shape. I’ve gotten my diabetes under control and only take one third of the insulin I was taking a year ago. My blood sugar levels read as if I’m not a diabetic. I’m not done on my weightloss journey, but I am reflecting on how far I’ve come. I changed my life, I feel a new, I took control, and I am committed.
To change my eating habits I did a lot of research online about what a good caloric intake would be good for me and help me meet my goals. I also read a lot about differnt types of eating plans and tried to find one that would work for my busy lifestyle and diabetic limitations. Once I settled on a low carb, 1200 calorie diet, I picked a date that I would start my program. To get ready, I food shopped and got everything I would need for the week in order to stick to my plan. Then I looked around for recipes and the like. That Monday, I committed myself to my new way of eating and have stuck to it ever since. I also gave up soda, lattes, and alcohol, figuring the extra calories were not doing me any good. This was 13 months ago.
When I first started my program, for exercise I did Richard Simmons videos in my garage. I was not confident enough yet to go to the gym, and my activity level was so low that even finishing one of his videos was a challenge. After I’d lost about 40 pounds, I added in bike riding. This was huge for me because in the past everytime I’d tried to ride a bike, I couldnt even make it a mile. After losing some of the weight and getting my fitness level up with the videos, my first ride I did seven miles. The next one I did 15. After that I did 25 miles and was able to sustain doing rides of that length. After about 65 pounds gone, I started going to the gym and working out with a trainer. I was preparing for my knee surgery and needed to get my leg muscles as strong as possible for the recovery. We worked out together once a week for three months. After my surgery, I had to stop exercising for three months. I just recently started back up again and did a month of nothing but the exercise bike. Two weeks ago, I added in riding a real bike and this week I added strength training back.
My best advice for others is just sharing the things that worked for me. Accountability and positive reenforcement have been critical to my success. I use an app (My Fitness Pal) to log my food and exercise. This way I know how to plan out my day so that I don’t go over my calories. It also helps me make better food choices by seeing caloric values and being able to pick the lesser calorie foods. The app was probably the most important tool I had. I also told all my friends I was going to work on changing my life. I told them my goals and asked them to make sure when we did social things that they were not centered around food. Lastly, because I have a lot of weight to lose, I made smaller reachable goals to track my progress. Instead of saying I have to lose 150 pounds, I said my first goal is 1o pounds, my second is 20, my third is 35 and so on. At each goal I treated myself to things like a mani/pedi, a new piece of exercise equipment, or new clothes. I also celebrated non scale goals, like being able to fit in seats I couldn’t fit into before, being able to buy clothes in the straight size section instead of plus size and every time I tightened my belt up a notch. All these things were victories and I made sure to share them and pat myself on the back for them. I’ve lost 115 pounds so far, and want to lose another 45-50. I feel very confident I can make it happen.