Transformation of the Day: Krystle lost 220 pounds. Her motivation for releasing the weight was seeing how obesity has led to both of her parents being disabled. She didn’t want to see her life choices and goals limited due to her weight. Her faith has taught her that the right doors will open when you are ready for the blessing. So, when the door opened for her to get the help she needed, she walked right thru. Check out her journey.
What was your motivation? What inspired you to keep going when you wanted to give up?
My motivation for losing weight came from the fact that both of my parents are disabled due to being obese for so many years. I didn’t want my life, my career or my future goals to be shortened because of my unhealthy choices.
What inspired me when I wanted to give up was daily prayer. Also, I truly feel that God will open doors at the right place and time when you’re capable of accepting a certain blessing. At the time that I got my current job (in 7/2015) the decision was made to add bariatric surgery to the insurance approved options. When I learned that, I felt like it was the sign that change needed to start. I made a promise that if God opened the door for me to have this procedure I’d do everything in my power to help myself.
I had gastric bypass on 4/17/17. I lost 61 lbs in the 6 months leading up to surgery with a bariatric nutritionist and lost another 159 lbs after surgery with portion control and lots of exercise. I attribute my relationship with God and a strong supportive network of family and other bariatric patients for my success.
How did you change your eating habits?
My eating habits changed because of two things:
- Tracking my food via MyFitnessPal
- Having bi-monthly sessions with my nutritionist counselor, Chaundra.
I’ve tracked my food from 10/2016 to now. I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon, because it helps with daily accountability. As for Chaundra, we’ve developed an amazing relationship. The fact that she works mainly with people who are in different places in their bariatric journey means her knowledge about our personal experiences is vast. She makes our sessions very comfortable and I can be honest with her and talk about my issues with food… which are the conversations you really can’t have with others without being judged. Talking with her about missing older foods, making healthier substitutes, and other issues has made eating healthier a possibility.
I quit drinking calories (sodas, juices, sweet coffee drinks) and stayed away from fast foods before surgery. Chaundra helped me to go from 2500 calories a day to 1800-2000 calories before I had surgery. Now, a year Post Op, I eat around 1400-1800 calories daily.
What did your workout routine look like?
Concerning exercise I didn’t join a gym until 7/2017. In my first session, I was only able to do 1.16 miles on the treadmill. I made the decision to wake up each weekday before work and exercise. By doing that for several months (rain or shine), I built discipline I never knew I needed. I got to the point where I had the endurance to exercise twice in a day. Now that I’m at my goal size (and 30 lbs short of my goal weight), I’m going to the gym 4 days/week. I do an hour of cardio (mainly stair master or elliptical) and lots of leg strength exercises since the bulk of my weight was in my legs.
What was your starting weight? What is your current weight?
Starting weight: 398 pounds
Surgery Day weight: 337 pounds
Current weight: 178 pounds
Goal weight: 148 pounds
Height: This is funny, before surgery I was 4’11” and now I’m 5’1”
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
The biggest lessons I’ve learned are that making one a lifestyle change means literally everything about you (thoughts, feelings, actions/reactions, interests, etc.) has to change for success. Also, I learned that people will be watching you out of both curiosity and inspiration, but just ignore them and focus on yourself. Finally, stalls will occur regardless of how hard you work. Just keep going, because the effort you’re putting in is creating a new life… not just a lower weight.
What advice do you have for others who want to lose weight?
My advice for people who are currently at their highest weight or who just want to make a change is to do some true self reflection. If you need to have surgery as a tool for success, don’t allow anybody’s opinions to deter you. No matter how you choose to lose weight, stay focused on what’s important to you and not on jumping thru the hoops of others. So many people will attempt to come into your life (who don’t wish you well) because they see how the happiness from your success has changed, you so guard yourself emotionally. If that means your circle has to change, so be it.
Finally, seek professional guidance and support from others on similar journeys. There are bariatric support groups, nutrition and health groups, and other resources at your disposal. Please take advantage of guidance from experts and other successful people.