Transformation of the Day: Kizzy lost 209 pounds. During her nine year journey, has experienced tremendous success and significant loss, including the passing of her young son. Despite it all, she put her faith in action and never gave up. Significant physical ailments led her to have gastric bypass surgery in 2018. Check out her story.
When did you start your journey?
When I first entered my healthy-living venture, it was in 2009. I was a non-traditional student in my undergrad studies program. I got tired of seeing the ripped threading on the inner thighs of my jeans. What pushed me, however, was the moment that I returned to class after a short summer break and saw that I could no longer place the writing board of the desk on top of my lap. I had grown too large to fit in the classroom’s seating.
August 12, 2009 was the first day I stepped into the gym in my adult life. I was 31 years old and weighed in at 356.7 pounds. My heaviest weight was 428 pounds prior to that point. My height is 5’8″.
What inspired me most, during the times when I wanted to give up, was the desire to be able to move my body. Mobility was and has always been, very important to me. Up to that point, I accepted what I just could not do. In 2009, I rode a bike, began playing Just Dance on the Wii, started skating at the skating rink with my kids (instead of sitting on the sideline) all for the first time in my adult life.
In 2011, I reached a 178lb weight loss—just through prayer, Weight Watchers and a kick-butt personal trainer. I went from 428 pounds to under 190 pounds in a little over a year and a half. I maintained at around 225 pounds from 2009 until 2012.
Weight Watchers was helpful because it helped me to weigh what was “worth” eating on any given day. No food was restricted, no food that I “could not have.” It was just a matter of asking myself if it is worth it today.
In May 2012, my family met a tragedy, and I lost my 7-year-old son. I picked up emotional eating and regained 100+ lbs of the weight I had lost in a year and a half. When I was delivered from emotional eating, I still struggled severely. I would join WW, do well, then fallback and regain the weight again. It was repetitive like this for nearly 2 years. What inspired me to keep pushing toward good health during this time was the belief in a better life that was available and accessible to me—no matter what or how challenging it was to reach it.
Then, God told me I was done with WW and that I now needed to focus on learning how to eat healthier without it—paying attention to macronutrients and such. That’s when I joined CrossFit, and begin a Paleo 80/20 eating lifestyle that helped me a great deal.
With the help of a new CrossFit coach (something else new in my life the second time around at weight loss), I began eating Paleo (80/20). I learned from my CF coach that for me no diet is sustainable that cuts out entire food groups. Eating Paleo at an 80/20 ratio still allowed me to focus on the most beneficial macronutrients while allowing for other things that are not typical of paleo—like rice and healthy carbs.
My weight would still fluctuate. But I was learning how to go deeper with my health. It wasn’t just about eating right and working out. It was about making sure I had good form, good sleep hygiene, took time out for myself, and scheduled self-care. I didn’t see as much change as I did the first time around, and sometimes I wouldn’t see a difference, but I knew I had to keep going. I knew that not continuing to workout would’ve resulted in a much-worsened condition.
By 2017, I was at the largest I had been since my initial weight-loss in 2009 and, beyond that, all the physical ailments I was rid of, came back—PLUS some. I didn’t like the weight, didn’t like the knee pains, didn’t like any of it, but had a lot of healing to go through and needed to be patient with the process.
When I got to Nashville, I decided to look into medical weight loss solutions because of the physical ailments that made it increasingly harder to remain physically active. I had back spasms and a bi-lateral meniscus tear that resulted in severe knee pain (crutches off and on and all. I could not even get surgery until I lost 60 lbs.). I also had sleep apnea this time around.
Although surgery was an option for me when I initially entered this healthy-living venture (when I weighed 428 lbs), I didn’t opt for it then because I knew I couldn’t handle it. I knew I couldn’t handle having surgery, but hadn’t yet learned how to live right. Now, I do know how to live right (AND love right). Perhaps those times I had to keep going to the gym, doing CrossFit, eating Paleo, and logging into MyFitnessPal DESPITE any real change was God preparing me for this—at least partially.
Here’s the point:
Whatever you feed, grows. Feed the right things, even when the right things don’t seem to be showing up in the right ways. God is faithful.
I had a gastric bypass weight loss surgery on 5/1/2018. The weight comes off in slow and in small increments, but I am still convinced the God knows what is best—even concerning what the pace of my weight loss needs to be.
Whoever thinks surgery is the “easy way,” is entirely ill- and/or misinformed. It still takes work. It requires the maintenance of healthy choices, and it still requires a process. It is a tool, not a magic pill. And I’m thankful for the process I went through before surgery. That process prepared me all this and more.
What did your workout routine consist of?
I work out 4-6 days a week. I do CrossFit 2-3 times a week with a personal training CF coach. On the other days, I either workout at home in my garage gym or via workout videos in my living room. I also do outdoor walking and dance workouts at home and at the local Y. For me, variety is key. I enjoy working out most when I’m doing what I love. I try to set myself up for success by having available to me whatever I deem is needed to get the job done!
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
My starting weight in 2009 was 428 lbs. This second time around, my starting weight was 336 pounds (on 1/1/2018). I currently weigh 219 pounds. I am at a total weight loss of 209 pounds. (116.7 lbs loss since my surgery pre-op date (March 15, 2018); and 76.3 lbs since surgery on May 1, 2018)
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to keep going: to be patient with the process. As shared above: Whatever you feed grows… I have learned that one step in any direction leads to a destination. Keep stepping in the right direction. No matter how hard or how long it takes, you will inevitably get to where you desire to go/be.
What advice do you have for other people who want to lose weight?
Keep going and keep pushing, no matter what. Do not despise the process. It will benefit a sustained lifestyle. It is one thing to lose weight, but a whole other thing to maintain a healthy idea of self as a whole: what you eat, how you live, what you believe, etc. Your process is essential for this reason. Connected to this, I would also advise that those entering or in this healthy-living venture not ignore the spiritual, mental, and/or emotional factors which have affected/do affect our weight, self-esteem, and perspective.
Learn to love who you are at EVERY SINGLE STAGE of the process, or you will find reasons to hate yourself at every phase of the process. With the wrong mindset/perspective, you will never see your body or your self as “good enough.”