Weight Loss Transformation of the Day: Kimberly lost 42 pounds. This petite mom and member of the Air Force struggled with her weight since middle school. When she decided that enough was enough, she did her research, changed her eating habits and dedicated herself to working out hard. Now, she is a NPC Bikini Competitor. Here is what she shared with us about her weight loss journey…
Hello, my name is Kimberly Edwards. I am 24 years old, a member of the United States Air Force and a single mother of one. It all started when I was in middle school. I have always been a hefty girl and struggled with my weight, especially coming from a family where being heavy is in our genetics. I have always been the target or topic of discussion when it came to the word “FAT”! Lunch time was when all the teasing and taunting took place. I just wanted to fit in and was thinking the whole time “These are my friends they are just messing with me.” However, the fact was that this went on EVERYDAY throughout my middle school years. Jokes from being called “sloppy”, to “whale”, to names involving cuss words, which were very hurtful. I was almost at a point to where I didn’t even want to go to lunch sometimes.
Later on in life, my heaviest weight was when I was pushing 180 pounds at 5’3″ tall after I had my son. The jokes and taunting only got worse and have gone on all the way up to present day with me joining the military. I always thought that I was ok, but my self esteem was NOT good at all. So, I decided that enough was ENOUGH and it was a time to make a change! Not for other people, but for MYSELF, for my CONFIDENCE, to feel GOOD and to say I ACHIEVED something that a lot of people often get knocked down for trying.
I initially started my transformation in 2012 by working out 3 times a week. I mainly wanted to focus on just dropping the weight. We all know that cardio is the #1 most efficient way to shed weight, so I was running almost 1-2-3 miles, 3-4 times a week including the weekend. Some days, I even ran in the rain, cold or snow. No matter the weather, I knew I had a goal that I wanted to achieve. No matter how slow or fast I went, I was doing something. Even on days after my run, I would come back in the gym an get on the Treadmill, Bike, Elliptical, etc. for up to 30 minutes to a hour more while wearing heavy clothes with a hoody to make myself sweat more.
Shortly after I started dropping pounds and had increased my gym time to 5 days a week, I hit a plateau. I knew that the next source of change had to be my DIET. I slowly transformed my eating habits. I stripped away soda to candy (The Basics) an got more technical as I leaned more along the way when it comes to healthy eating. After making those two huge changes, I was noticing I was still not where I wanted to be. I was down 20 pounds, but still had a little ways to go and that’s when I was introduced to Herbalife. It’s the go-to product that has made my transformation as successful as it is today! I was always skeptical when it came to weight loss products because I never believed they really worked. I decided to give it a try only to find out it was a total success. I was dropping pounds in my first week. So, heavy-duty weight training and clean eating works for me, as well as working Herbalife into my diet. I say that you just have to learn your body and research is what helped me do that. Also got advice from doctors and had a lot of friends who were certified personal trainers. I took their advice and also started following healthy food pages online.
Now, I’m smaller than I’ve been in YEARS and I have been able to achieve a short term goal of competing in my very first NPC Bikini Competition. This is something that I never would of done, because I never thought I would have been able to look like the beautiful ladies on stage. I was able to step on stage at 138 pounds, which is the smallest I have ever been in my life. Of course, as a competitor you’ll never maintain your stage weight, but right now I am training towards yet my 2nd NPC Bikini competition and and sitting at a current weight of 145.5 lbs. That would put me at a TOTAL of 42lbs lost in the course of 4 years and the last 22 lbs I have lost in the past few months!
I have been able to maintain this lifestyle change only because I never really knew how many lives I was impacting and people I was inspiring until I got messages and comments from women and men saying that I was their inspiration. That means a A LOT to me. There were many days that I was discouraged…MANY… but then I’d look down an see my son. Just knowing how today’s society is set up an what it portrays, I mainly wanted to show him that you should never let anyone stop you from achieving your goals. He is my biggest fan.
I am no expert or personal trainer, but improving diet is one of my long goals. On this journey, I have learned that by cutting out soda, candy, sweets and juices, replacing them with only water, fruits and vegetables, I have had success. I’m staying away from processed foods. If the package says things like “less fat” or “good source of fiber”, that doesn’t always mean it’s healthy! I stopped eating fast food and fried foods and started baking and grilling my food. With my meal prep, I eat meals high in protein, like lean turkey, chicken, and fish. My veggies are green beans, broccoli, asparagus and mixed veggies cooked with low salt free seasonings. For my sweet tooth, I have yummy snacks like protein bars and vegan cookies. I get all my sweet tooth snacks from GNC, lol. I drink vanilla almond milk (unsweetened), protein shakes and use low calorie salad dressings when I’m not in prep mode.
My Advice: NEVER GIVE UP, first off. Of course, no matter if your doing good or bad there will always be people who have something NEGATIVE to say. You must not let that stop you. It takes self motivation which comes from within. No matter when you start, today or tomorrow, you are doing something bigger then yourself. Everyone can’t just jump right into to 360 degree change and I understand that it takes time I didn’t just jump in, I made adjustments over time as I mentioned above.
Just start by going to the gym or even working out at home. Do 30 minutes of exercise a day, whether it be walking, biking, running or something else. We don’t all have the same things to do in 24 hours because we are Daughters, Sons, Wives, Husbands, Mothers and Fathers. Get your workouts in when you can. I even workout with my son, turning a workout session into a fun game. Slowly work your way up over time and increase your days and length of your workouts. Cardio is the most important factor for starting out. Dieting as well, it’s all a 20% Fitness and 80% Nutrition mindset. It’s all about what goes into your body. Start little and focus a few thing that you can tolerate cutting out of your diet and work your way up to making even more changes to your eating habits over time.
I am still not where I want to be, only because I always strive for more. I love taking my body through different obstacles to see what it can achieve. There is always room for improvement but it doesn’t mean that I am not happy with the way it looks. I LOVE my body and even though I still have those negative nancys, it’s not stopping me. I know that I have an amazing support system and amazing supporters who keep me going. It’s a LIFESTYLE CHANGE and you have to want it for YOURSELF! It’s possible, it just takes DEDICATION+CONSISTENCY=RESULTS. Be your own motivation.