Update April 2017: Shout out to Kimberly! She’s lost 100 lbs!
Transformation of the Day: Kimberly lost 87 pounds, going from a size 18 to a size 4. Being overweight, she avoided certain social situations. She also faced serious health issues, like high blood pressure and sleep apnea. This petite dynamo had to juggle her career and the needs of her family, while making room in her life to prioritize her health. Now, she is a fitness instructor and health coach. Check out what she shared with us about her journey.
I had been a relatively small person my entire life, however after a run in with LIFE, I went from a size 10 to an 18, in less than a year. Being 5’2″ tall, I went from 140 pounds to 210 pounds in what felt like overnight. I was trying to figure out what happened and how it happened. I knew that I was eating more, but surely not that much more. The embarrassment of my weight gain prevented me from visiting my friends. I did not want anyone to see me outside of my immediate family and the people who only knew me as a larger person. I avoided the people that knew me as a smaller person, like the plague. I dealt with the embarrassment the best way I knew how and that was by turning to food.
After receiving bad news from my doctor, I decided to take charge for my health. This particular appointment was a follow-up for my lab work and ALL of my numbers were off the chart. I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea and I was close to becoming a diabetic. Having shared this news with my sister, who is an emergency room physician, she immediately broke down crying. Even though I had just received a lot of prescriptions for various medications, I still believed I was relatively healthy. My sister vividly explained to me the number of people that come into her ER, just like me, that don’t live, due to having a stroke or heart attack. This conversation forced me to realize that I was on a path to destruction if I did not make changes immediately.
Prior to losing weight, I began to mentally prepare myself for the challenge set before me. I knew I did not gain the weight overnight therefore I could not expect to lose it overnight. I knew my weight loss journey was going to be more than a diet, it was going to be a new way of life. I knew that I needed to bring balance into my life by being intentional with my relationships, my physical activity and my spirituality. I had to figure out what was going to work for me. I believed that all food was meant for us to enjoy, however for me moderation was key. After a month of mental preparation, I began my journey to wellness.
I initially took baby steps and made small changes to my diet. As time went on, I incorporated more healthy changes. I stopped drinking my calories and started consuming more water. I gave up pork and beef, and consumed primarily chicken and fish. I went from frying everything to baking. I consumed more fresh fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. I actually took the time to plan my meals weekly. I knew exactly what I was going to have for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week. Now, I must say that it wasn’t easy, because I have a family to cook for every night. Most evenings, I found myself preparing 2 meals, one for my family to eat and the other for myself, but anything worth having is worthy working hard for.
I also incorporated exercise while on my journey to wellness. When I first started exercising, I could not walk a city block without becoming tired and winded. My exercise regimen consisted of walking 3 times a week for 30 minutes. I knew I had to do something and moving for 30 minutes was better than not moving at all. Once my body grew accustomed to 3 times a week for 30 minutes, I added an additional day and I added on to the length of my workouts. Before I knew it, I went from walking 3 times a week for 30 minutes to running 5 times a week for an hour. During this time, I began to incorporate weight training into my exercise routine.
Over the course of 14 months, I lost 87 pounds and I couldn’t be happier. I had a new zest and zeal for life. I went from weighing 210 pounds to 123 pounds and from a size 18 to a size 4. This experience, my journey of self-discovery is what fueled my desire to help others on their journey to wellness. It is why I became a group fitness instructor. It’s why I went back to school and obtained my health coaching certification. It’s also why I’m working on my personal trainer certification.
I encountered many challenges on my journey. Having to juggle a career, family and their activities, I had to make myself a priority. I had to make myself, take time for myself and NOT FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT! On your journey to wellness to not give up! You will have days that are challenging, you will have days where you will say forget it and you consume everything in sight, however always remember that tomorrow is a new day. Just because you messed up, you can always start over again tomorrow. Don’t let one, two or three bad days of eating keep you from reaching your goal. You will fall down, just don’t stay down. Get back up and begin your journey to wellness again. You will truly be amazed at what you can accomplish!