Transformation of the Day: Kimberly lost 161.6 pounds. When she learned that her kidneys were in danger of failing and that her blood pressure was dangerously high, it was time for change. She decided to have gastric bypass, but hid her decision prior to surgery because of the negativity that so many people experience when they opt for surgery. Check out how she put in a lot of hard work to get results.
At 5 feet, 10.5 inches tall, I weighed 365.3 pounds. Honestly, I was probably heavier at some point, but I stopped wanting to know my actual weight. I didn’t want to have to deal with the reasons why I had gotten that big. When I found out that my kidneys were in danger of failing and that my blood pressure had been too high for too long, the reality of the condition of my health set in. I knew if I didn’t do something, I was going to die. I had a vision to make manifest and too many dreams to reach to have my life stolen by obesity.
On April 25, 2016, I changed my life forever by having gastric bypass surgery. I kept that I was trying to qualify for surgery a secret for a year. You would think people would be supportive of you trying to save your life. NOPE! People judge you and tell you that you are taking the easy way out. They may also tell you that you don’t need surgery or you are just being lazy. That’s why I kept my decision a secret until a month before surgery. Weight loss surgery is a tool and not a magic fix.
Before surgery, I started working out a couple days a week. I was required to go to Weight Watchers for 6 months to learn about nutrition and portion control. I also learned to read labels and most importantly love myself for who I was. I learned the hard way that hating myself and the body I was in only caused me to abuse it. They do surgery on your body and not your mind.
So, I laid out a plan for success.
I knew that after surgery I was going to give myself 6 to 7 months and then begin psychiatric treatment for depression. Mental health is just as important as physical health. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Anxiety Disorder and PTSD. I had been using food to cope. In the Black Community, we stigmatize mental illness and that has got to stop! For too many years, I was told to pray, but it was a trick of the enemy and all I did was SUFFER. I turned to chips, fast food, ice cream, candy and any junk food I could get my hands on for comfort. I had been struggling with suicidal thoughts and depression since age 11. It wasn’t until I was 40 years old that someone finally listened and got me the help I needed.
Now, I am a completely different person! I big chopped my hair and went natural because rapid weight loss causes your hair to fall out (it eventually stops), I started exercising 5 days a week with workout programs, like T25, Rockin’ Body, Hip Hop Abs, Walks with Leslie Sansone, Zumba, and Yoga. Who needs a gym!? The gym isn’t for everyone. I invested in weights and an old school aerobics step board. I get my burn in at home. I even got an old school exercise bike with a fan. Who needs a fancy, high priced one? I get on my bike, turn on Hulu or Netflix and power through. I have kettlebells, resistance bands and a stability ball. I always tell people, “Find what works for YOU and then work the hell out of it!”
I meal prep by baking sweet potatoes, skinless chicken breasts and tilapia. I get the bags of veggies, like asparagus and brussels sprouts, that you can cook in the bag and portion those out. I look up menus on the internet before I go to a restaurant so I am prepared, but I also live my life. I eat french fries, but do I do that every day now? NO! I don’t believe in cheat days, because I don’t like the negative connotation of the word cheat. Cheating makes folks feel guilty and like they shouldn’t have enjoyed themselves. We still have to live! I have TREAT DAYS! These are days where I say, “Kimberly, you have WERKED! Enjoy a kid size fries or a kid’s meal.” I still record the treat meals in my total calories on Lose It (a food tracking app). I plan my treats into my calorie count so I don’t have to panic. I already know what the calories are going to be and I give myself permission to have a treat guilt free.
I have a vision collage on the wall as well as other positive words and positive reinforcement. I’ve learned to stop comparing myself to others because whether you start your journey naturally or with surgery, everyone’s body is going to react differently. This as a lifestyle change and something you are committing to for the rest of your life. This is not something you do to fit into a wedding dress or a swimsuit. Get healthy for YOU! Don’t focus on getting skinny. Get healthy!
161.6 pounds later and I am still doing the damn thing! I only have 48.3 pounds to go until I reach my goal. Do I have loose skin? YES! I don’t mind. What I gained is far more valuable than something that can be fixed later down the road. Do I always want to workout? NOPE! I plan my workouts and my rest days. I am realistic. We can’t all start working out for 2 hours. I started
with 20 minutes a day, and now I am up to about 90 minutes.
Start small and build from there! Maybe you can only do 10 minutes a day. 10 minutes a day
is better than no minutes a day! Take short walks. Park in the farthest parking space at the store or the mall and walk across the lot. Take the dog out for a walk or play hide & seek with the kids.
Anything that gets you up and moving! It may sound silly, but whenever commercials come on I get up and walk in place at my fastest pace until the show comes back on. Get it in how you can! We all started somewhere. It doesn’t matter where you start, just start! YOU GOT THIS!