A few months ago Kimberly May-Puett contacted me. She had two goals for telling her own true weight loss story, to pay it forward and inspire others. For Kimberly, losing 57 pounds and 30 inches was a case of mind over manner. She wants others to know that they can be successful too, as long as they’re willing to make real changes.
More from Kimberly in her own words.
Tell me when your weight struggles began: At the age of 25 started traveling a lot for work, which threw off my diet and exercise routine. My weight really spiraled out of control once I became pregnant. With each baby I gained 50 – 60 pounds. I never lost all my pregnancy weight and it fluctuated for years.
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? A busy life, poor eating habits and lack of exercise. I simply did not take care of myself. My weight ballooned up to 253, which ironically was my highest pregnancy weight.
I knew in that moment I really needed to do things differently if I was going to be successful.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? I was approaching my 40th birthday. While generally happy with my life, I was miserable when I looked in the mirror. To make matters worse, blood tests from the doctor confirmed that my cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar were not in healthy ranges. At the height of my frustration, I read something that said, If you change nothing, nothing changes. I’m not sure why, but it hit me like a bolt of lightning.
It’s been three years since Michele Moran tipped the scales at almost 400 pounds. Overweight as a child, Michelle adopted a habit of binge eating that only got worse when she moved out on her own. Now, with a new healthy outlook on food and a weight loss of 213 pounds, Michelle is looking forward to a bright future – and maybe even a triathlon.
More from Michelle in her own words –
Tell me when your weight struggles began. I have been bigger since childhood. When I turned 13, I was wearing a size 13. I remember someone mentioning that I seemed to be going up a pant size every year. From that moment on I was consciously aware and insecure about my weight.
“When I lived at home I binged when people were asleep. When I moved out on my own it got even worse.”
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? Lack of exercise contributed, but the main issue was binge eating. My dinner might be an entire pizza, bag of chips and a box of Hamburger Helper. I felt sick and I was in pain, but I did it every single day.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? I couldn’t fit into the largest sizes at plus size stores. I could only wear tights or elastic waist pants or dresses. I couldn’t fit into seats at the movies, sporting events, roller coasters, or even just booths in restaurants.
After years of looking for the weight loss “quick fix,” Ginnie Wade realized there was no shortcut, just hard work. Instead of joining an expensive gym or eating pricey organic food, her journey to a healthier life started with a ten dollar DVD. Now, 55 pounds lighter, Ginnie says she’s learned a lot and “really enjoyed the journey – mostly.”
Tell me when your weight struggles began. I started to put on weight when I was working as a dog groomer in my early 20’s. I didn’t get much exercise and would go home exhausted and eat whatever I could find or stop and get fast food. Then I had my first child and gained about 60 pounds. I stayed home with her and found myself around food all day. When I was bored, I would eat.
I was able to lose most of the weight at a local gym, but not long after I got to my goal weight, I started putting the weight back on. I only changed temporary things and went right back to my old lifestyle.
What caused you to realize you needed to change? One day my sister and I went shopping for a dress and nothing fit. I couldn’t understand why. That day my sister gave me painful but needed advice, “You’re fat and you need to do something about it.” I had been hearing the same thing from my doctor. After hearing it from my sister I knew I finally needed to make some changes.
How did you lose the weight? I purchased a 9.99 fitness DVD at Walmart. Even though the DVD had been there collecting dust for a year, I brushed it off and popped it in the VCR. I started slow and did what I could, aiming for three days a week. I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app on my phone. That helped me stay on track eating real food.
Kristy Brock remembers the day she saw the scale hit 300 pounds. “I felt like I had hit bottom,” she admitted. “I had no where to look but up, and I came to a place where I realized I had to surrender. I let go of the food issues. I wanted to be an example of self-control, love and life, not loss of control and laziness.”
Kristy Brock used a combination of “real food” and running to lose an amazing 93 pounds.
More from Kristy –
Tell me when your weight struggles began. Weight has been a personal struggle for me for as long as I can remember. I joined “Diet Workshop” in 4th grade and went from 90 pounds to 70. In high school I struggled with anorexia and bulimia. After high school I married someone who struggled with drug addiction, and I dealt with the stress of that by seeking comfort in food. I also had three children and gained weight with each of them.
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? I didn’t have any control over portion size, or what I was eating. I ate foods that tasted good and made me feel good. I felt like the food controlled me. I ate when I was bored, when I was tired, when I was stressed
What caused you to realize you needed to change? When the scale hit 300 pounds, it scared me. I had little to no energy, and had four active kids (two of whom are on the autism spectrum) to take care of. I started to feel like the “fat mom”, and was embarrassed for my kids. I kept thinking of What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and how they felt about their obese mom.
“I was always considered the big girl with a pretty face my entire life. From the age of 20 to 30 I gained over 100 pounds dealing with low self-esteem, taking care of two children and not taking care of me.” Cynthia Arnold says her weight never really bothered her, but as a diabetic with high blood pressure, she knew the extra pounds were taking a toll on her body.
One day, the woman who put everyone else first decided she needed to take top priority. “On May 6, 2013 I started to love me,” she admitted. “I dedicated one year to a journey of self-discovery and made a vow to get healthy.” After losing 76 pounds, Cynthia is declaring the journey a complete success, in more ways than one.
More from Cynthia in her own words –
What habits specifically led you to gain weight? Binge eating. I would go days without eating and then eat until I was sick. I didn’t know portion control and used food as a comfort zone. When I was sad, angry or depressed, food was my best friend.
How did you lose the weight? I realized that it was going to take discipline to get the rewards I was looking for, so I started out with NO white carbs at all for about a week so my body could detox from the sugar. After that I did no carbs after noon and tried to eat clean. I made sure I shopped the outer edges of the store, didn’t eat too much processed food and did lots of research.